January 21. “What a man thinks of himself, that is what determines, or rather indicates, his fate.” (Henry David Thoreau)
A year ago, I didn’t really believe much in myself. I was mired in the midst of winter. The winter where I live was shaping up to be particularly harsh, with many heavy snowfalls and blisteringly cold temperatures. I was exploring the depths of winter blues.
I had reached a weight that I had only once been before. I was still a few weeks away from my doctor visit, but I knew that my blood sugar was going to be high. I’d indulged throughout the Holiday season, and the only exercise I’d had in the new year was from wrestling my snow blower. For that exercise I was rewarded with a back that sang to me whenever I moved.
I wasn’t enjoying work. I was stale on the project where I’d been for nearly 4 years. The idea of plodding through another 2 or 3 years on the project made my head ache.
Through it all I had lost belief in myself. Had I stayed on that path, my fate would have been sealed by my own beliefs.
I have written a lot about how my life changed just a few weeks later. I truly believe, as I reflect on this quote from Thoreau, that one of the biggest things that changed for me was that I decided to believe in myself. I decided to believe that I could shed the weight, take control of my health, and live a fuller life. At some point I decided I was worth it, and that, as much as anything, made the key difference.
I have recently written about how I have come to start referring to myself as a thin guy. In the past I would have put on some fake cheerfulness and been “happy” to be the jolly fat man. While I had that attitude, that is what I was destined to be. But I have taken on a new attitude, and a new belief. I am a healthy, strong, young man. I may not be the athlete I was in my 20s, but I my heart gets younger by the day, both figuratively and literally.
My fate today is very different than it was a year ago. And that fate is different because I think of myself differently, and have acted on that new belief in myself.
Today my reflection is on continuing to think of myself as a strong, thin, healthy, young man who has mountains to climb ahead, and whose head is held high. But mostly I am reflecting on the idea that I think of myself as worth it.