“Fra-gee-lee! It must be Italian!” One of the best lines in The Christmas Story, as the “old man” reads the word “fragile” on the box that contains the infamous leg lamp(if you have never seen this movie, it is one of my favorites for the holidays, just silly!).  It is also what I think of every time the word fragile enters my head or comes out of my mouth. And that was happening often for a while. I felt fragile. I found myself stepping lightly over rocks, walking more cautiously down steps, and always concerned that something was going to be too difficult for me that I would fail or hurt myself. I weighed more than I had in a few years and couldn’t get motivated to really lose the weight or build myself up. I kept thinking, I’m in my 50’s, I’m supposed to be feeling fragile and getting old.

After losing my mom and having dad move in for a while, I was ignoring my body, and my fragility. I assumed this was normal, or at least that is what I told myself. I had put 15 pounds on since my mom had died, wasn’t eating all that well (in private! In public I always ate as if I was a clean eater who watched what she ate!) What I did in my home when no one was looking, that was my secret. This was all happening as I was leaving my corporate job and no longer had to worry about how I looked to people, I could wear stretchy leggings and a sweater and nobody would care. It allowed me to stop thinking about looking good. I used to make sure I liked how I looked in something before I went to work, I wanted to present myself as a trendy executive who knew how to dress her body, and most of the time I was just that. Now, it didn’t matter. Most people didn’t see me during the day so I could get away with anything. That allowed me to hide the 15 pounds a lot (although you never really hide it). And of course that 15 was above at least 30 more that I needed to lose to be healthy again! But everything was fragile. My knees hurt, my tendonitis in my ankles made me fragile. My heart was fragile as I lost my mom, my independence, my career and a friend I thought was going to be a true partner in my life all at the same time. I lost some confidence, lost some self care and lost my way a bit. I was feeling very sorry for myself, was isolating myself and had a lot of anger, frustration and victim thinking swirling in my brain!

I needed to take control of some things and get me back. I no longer wanted to feel so fragile, both physically and emotionally I needed my confidence back. These losses were all hard but I needed to find the possibilities in each. Losing my mom is one I can’t find a positive in, it is a loss that is at times unbearable. I knew that it wasn’t something I was going to “fix” or “gain control of” it is something you truly just move through. But everything else, I could gain control and I could change.

I needed to become less fragile and stronger; physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally.

On a whim, I joined the new gym with one of my best friends. I knew we could motivate each other and we did.  I have gotten control of my eating, back to clean eating (most of the time!) and focused on what is nutritious and fuel for my body. My love affair with food has moved to more of fuel for a healthy and long life and less about cravings and filling a void. The food was a crutch that I no longer want to lean on. I have built muscles and endurance that now allows me to feel and be strong. I no longer feel that I will trip, fall, or must step lightly wherever I go. I can climb, run, pick up heavy items and don’t feel fragile. In fact, I feel strong, almost invincible! My confidence in what my body can do has improved.

Confidence in myself and what I can do has improved along with my body. I feel stronger emotionally and no longer feel the need to fill voids through food or shopping. I see the void and I focus on why I feel the void and what can I do to no longer feel that void. In the past I didn’t think about it, I just filled it by eating and shopping mindlessly. Now, I am much more mindful, what do I need, not want. What am I feeling at this moment and how do I deal with that feeling versus hiding it, masking it or acting on it impulsively.

My heart feels less fragile as well. As I learn more about myself, practice mindfulness and be in the moment more, my emotions no longer control me as much. Although still a lesson to learn, I am now changing my thoughts so that my emotions adjust and therefore I can take more constructive and positive inspired actions. I am no longer a slave to my negative emotions (at least far less so, there is no perfection!).

My move to be less fragile and therefore stronger and more confident in my skin, and my circumstances has been an evolution with fits and starts over the years. This past year it was the biggest growth area I had and I am focused on using it as the springboard for what my intentions are for the year. I am confident in my body and will be fit, strong and healthy. I am present in my life attracting joy and abundance. I am building a business that will help raise the consciousness of the world one person at a time. I am living with an open heart, focused on being my best to attract my best partner. Those are my intentions, and being strong and confident allows for each.

Fragile. Not really anymore. Confident and strong, that is where I am and when I slip a little I remind myself that fragile is for leg lamps, not for Suzy!



  1. Nancy Mullins on January 20, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Great job Suz !!!
    Proud of you !! 💜

  2. Jennifer Keenen on January 21, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Beautifully written, Suzy. Thank you for sharing these deep emotions and lessons learned while coming through a really rough season. I applaud you. Well done.

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