The Red Dress

I smile every time I see this old picture of myself. Of course, my son had no idea at the time, but his mommy had just won the confidence lottery.

I separated from my ex-husband of 18 years in the spring of 2014. My son Adam was five months old, the last to be born of our four children together. I was significantly overweight, broke, going through postpartum depression, and miserable with my situation. Figuring out how I was going to make sense of it all was mind-boggling. I was just about to turn 40 and had filed for divorce.

I spent the summer of that year worrying about my children and my health. Would I ever be able to walk up a flight of stairs again without losing my breath? Would I be able to chase my younger children around the house or play in the backyard with them? Something needed to change.

I could not control my unfortunate circumstances, but I could take control of my health and wellness. So that's what I decided to do.

A few weeks into my journey, I noticed my clothing was fast becoming loose on me. The holidays were two months away. I thought it would be nice to get something new to wear. So I started searching online for a dress. There were so many! Then I saw it, the perfect red dress! I was still losing weight and had a significant amount to go.

My inner voice of doubt started to speak to me. Maybe you should wait. What if it's too small even after losing more weight? What if you don't lose anymore? I quickly dismissed the voice and did something daring. I ordered the dress two sizes smaller than I was at that moment! I knew I needed an extra push and some self-encouragement to keep pressing forward. I needed to believe in myself, and now I had another goal to achieve.