When my (incredible) husband and I celebrated our first year of marriage in 2017, we asked each other to use one word to describe our first year as Mr. and Mrs. Washington. Sean said freedom, and that it felt good to be able to be 100 percent of himself with me.
My word… exposed. We both looked surprised when the word fell out of my mouth. Our first year as husband and wife was filled with love, laughter and growth, but exposed is the word that summed up my personal journey that year.
With Sean as my husband, I’ve never been more loved, supported, or encouraged. He cheers me on during my good days, and holds my hand on the rough days. Never any pressure to be or do anything more than my best. But during our first year of marriage, I struggled to stay consistently on track with my health and wellness journey, especially when it came to what I was putting on my plate. Why, when I felt more loved and appreciated than ever, was I struggling as hard as I did when I started on this journey in 2012?
The answer? That old, annoying habit of self-sabotage was EXPOSED. I thought I had buried it for good when I hit my 100 pounds lost milestone in 2015, but it reared its ugly head. Why wouldn’t it? For the first time in my life, so much of what I had worked and prayed for was coming to pass. I was married to my best friend. I was trusted with waking up an entire region as a morning anchor at WTKR News 3. And I was using my health journey to inspire others to save their own lives, too. You’d think I’d be coasting on cloud 9, but a little part of me whispered… You don’t deserve this. So, a little bit at a time, some cheat meals, turned into cheat days and weeks.
Sean saw me struggle, and without criticism, or judgement, or nagging, he held my hand, and reminded me that he was there no matter what. He also reminded me that I deserved to live the life I’ve worked, dreamed and prayed for. It is God’s desire that we live life, and live it abundantly. So why should I punish myself for having the joy God promised me?
I cannot explain the emotional and spiritual weight lifted when I released that word…. Exposed. It put a new wind in my sails and motivated me to be true to the promise I made God when I started this journey: to take better care of the one and only body He gave me. Real love, honest love, loyal love, will be a true mirror. That’s what marriage has been for me, and I pray everyone can experience a love like that, too.