I am worth it. I am.

This week, I hit a milestone. I have lost 50 pounds and I am halfway to my goal weight loss. It feels surreal to put that achievement into words. I am not bragging, nor claiming that it has been easy. I have struggled with my weight, my whole life. My WHOLE life. I don’t pretend to completely understand why that is, but at age 35, I have finally figured out some of the reasons why it’s been such a battle. I have “dieted” several times of the course of the past 20 years, but finally have adopted the most important piece that has helped me find success this time. This is NOT a diet. This is my life, and the changes I have needed to make are forever. And, the entire time, I have reminded myself…these changes aren’t for anyone other than me…because I AM WORTH IT.

  1.  I am worth the yearly gym membership fees.
  2. I am worth the extra $$$ to buy groceries that provide me and my family with healthier options.
  3. I am worth the $100 that I spent on my fitbit, one of a host of tools that keeps me accountable.
  4. I am worth the time out of my busy schedule to dedicate to exercise, and entering my food journal, and studying and researching, and reading about the successes of others.
  5. I am worth my life.

I am not a confident person by nature, or really described as a woman with outward beauty and poise and intelligence. I had to work hard in school to be successful. When I met the man who became my husband almost 15 years ago, I thought I was the luckiest woman in the world. I was grateful for wonderful job opportunities and career advancements that came through the hard work I put in after college. As the time came that we wanted to begin a family, and I learned that my body was broken, damaged, and not “fixable” I used food to comfort me. It’s what a lot of people do. I would stop and start this love/hate relationship, and my weight would go up and down, without ever really addressing the root cause. When infertility and loss began to plague my mind, heart, and spirit, the scale went up, and the belief that I wasn’t worth my life, because I could not reproduce, carry on the family name, and carry out the most basic function of being a “mother”, filled my every thought and action.

I can’t really explain how or when it “clicked” that my flawed thinking was affecting me so physically and emotionally, but for the beautiful brown eyes of my little miracle looking at me with so much love, and admiration and affection…that I decided to make a change. That I was WORTH the change. So, on my birthday in January, I did. 

I have come so far, and I have so far to go. I know the second half of this journey will be harder, and that the hardest work will come after. Because its easy for us humans to enjoy the fruits of labor for a short time, and be satisfied with fixes and solutions…until we become tempted by our weaknesses, challenged by our demons, and fill our heads with self-doubt.

I do this for myself, but I am doing it for Matt and Maggie, God and my family. I do it for all people who have battled and struggled as I have, and continue to do. I can’t thank my friends and family enough for the encouragement and “high-5’s” and hugs and smiles these past few days. You strengthen my resolve to keep plowing ahead. 

For those of you like me, who are looking for the motivation to get started at improving your health, I can only say that I would love to encourage you and pray for you. People have asked me “What has been the best part?” in describing how it feels to lose weight. Many things have been great, and some cause anxiety…like shopping for new clothes, and fretting about spending money to re-size my rings. But all I will say, is that after struggling so long, “It feels good, to feel good.”

If you would like to ask for encouragement, support, or ideas, please don’t hesitate to write or email me. I would love to help.

Thank you. 

See you at the finish line!


Leah Peterson

Leah Peterson is a native Nebraskan, living on the ranch her ancestors homesteaded in 1878. She and her husband Matt, met at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and returned to the ranch in 2012 after working and living in Central Nebraska the past 12 years. They are parents to two daughters, Maggie and Lucy. Leah has an undergrad degree from UNL in Communication Studies, and a MA in Leadership from Bellevue University. Aside from her work at the ranch and opportunity to be a stay at home mom, she enjoys writing, photography, community involvement, spending time with friends and family and trying new recipes in her kitchen. Leah published her first children's book in 2011 titled "An Apple for Dapple" and enjoys traveling throughout the state to share her book with children and raise awareness about the importance Agriculture in Nebraska.