Riding the Wave – The Power of Community

If you had told me I’d receive the outpouring of love and support I have received over the last couple of days, I’d have clicked “Publish” a year ago, when I first wrote the list of Little Black Stones. It took 13 months, 30 pounds, a lot of pain and discomfort and some serious self discovery to click that little blue button and create the possibility of a new future – but you have made every step worth it. Thank you so much.

I had an offer from a friend from post-secondary school, whom I haven’t seen in almost 20 years, to cook and freeze some healthy meals for when I’m overwhelmed and in a hurry. Seriously. Twenty years. I’ve had offers to be walking buddies, to be an ear in the middle of the night. Most people don’t now how they can help, but want to – and dang it if that’s not help in an of itself (yeah, I said dang it.)

Give your fellow humans an opportunity to be compassionate, inspirational and amazing and they will exceed your expectations – every time.

From a colleague:

“I am so proud of you Camie! These are all the things we think of ourselves and it takes tremendous courage to say them out loud. I am with you on this journey and I hope you don’t mind me sharing your blog. I think it will provide inspiration to others. Go girl!!”

From a fellow musician:

“I just read your blog. You are far too precious to not have a joyous and long life. Upon trying to think of some way that I can help nothing comes to mind, but if you think of something please don’t hesitate to call. Best of luck on your journey!”

From a high-school friend:

Grade 9“Camie, as one of my favourite aunts says…’you are some woman for one woman.’ Totally honest and upfront. You have my total support and if you ever need a word of encouragement, message me. So proud of you…man, you are just as cool now as you were in high school.” (I also learned I was cool in high school – check out the picture – you be the judge #thisismeingrade9 ;))

From a complete stranger:

“I read your open letter and it tore open my heart in the most wonderfully vulnerable way! I resonate and sing to the tune of your words. I would love to connect and share and journey together towards total health, happiness and wholeness. Sending you immeasurable amounts of Love and Light.”

My point is, opening myself up on this blog was one of the scariest and most amazing experiences of my life. In six months, when the shine has worn off and I feel discouraged, I will return to your messages and they will bring me encouragement. In fact, I will return to them for the rest of my life.

One of the tragedies of weighing 330lbs is that while my body does prevent me from “getting out,” fear, pride and shame are even heavier anchors. I dread seeing people I haven’t seen in awhile. I’m afraid they’ll judge me, I see pity in their eyes. I hear things like “you look good” and I want to scream at them: “NO I DON’T!! WHY ARE YOU SAYING THAT?!” But you, my wonderful family, friends and friends-to-be, have shown me the exceptional power of community and of asking for help. I have already made several coffee dates with people I don’t know well and want to share their experiences with me. I feel light, and alive and able to take on this monumental challenge – with your help.

Finally, if you’re teetering on the edge of vulnerability, of telling someone how you really feel or showing the world who you really are, or doing something you’ve always wanted to do, I can only tell you that for me, giving the humans in my circle the opportunity to love and support me has been well worth the risk.

Stay tuned for “before” pictures and goal setting!

Love and light,

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