Worth Every Bite

My name is Carolyn, and I am burning my boats…I want to lose 80 pounds.

My name is Megan, and I am burning my boats…I need to lose 100 pounds.

My name is Ken, and I am burning my boats…I am going to lose 40 pounds.

My name is Kelly from Germany and I am burning my boats, too…I am losing 25 pounds.

I am Hailey and I am burning my boats…I am quitting smoking.

I am Russ and I am burning my boats…I want to lose 150 pounds.

My name is Lindsey and am only in college, but I want to burn my boats too…I am going to get help for bulimia.

My name is Faith and today I am burning my boat with Melissa…I want to lose weight and stop drinking.

Hi, I’m Devon, I am burning my boats…I want to quit being fixated on the scale…I want to get healthy.

My name is Carla and I’m burning my boats. I just want to be healthy and get off of insulin.

Hi from the UK! I am burning my boat as well…I want to lose 25 pounds; I want to stop smoking and I want to no longer depend on pain meds.

We are Lydia and Sarah; we are mother and daughter and we are sick of this and want to burn our boats down! We are committed to changing the way we have looked at food for the last 20 years. We have had it!

My name is Grace, and I am burning my boat and I am scared…I want to lose 60 pounds.

My name is Sam and I am burning my boat even though I have no idea what I’m doing…I just don’t want to die in my 30’s…which is possible if I don’t take back my life.

I’m Cait…I’m in London…and I’m burning my boat down. I want to gain weight and be okay with it. I am done binging and purging. Thank you for this.

I could go on and on and on and on. I have 850 unread emails in my inbox right now that I am slowly getting to. We have, at last count, about 15,000 people coming along. One right after the other. People with different names and backgrounds and from different states and continents, people with different needs and desires and things to break free from…and yet, here we all are, together. We may be mostly different – but here is what we have in common: WE ARE WORTH THE WORK.

I have an online course that I created called This Sucks…But God is Good, it’s been out a while now, and one of the things I say in that course is that “we will need to be prepared to do the hard work.” It’s a video course, and so as we were filming the lesson that day, I heard myself say something I hadn’t intended on saying. I said, “…so as we go along in this course and as we deal with grief and heartache and the things that have kept us broken, we need to be prepared to do the hard work. Wait, let me change that. We need to be prepared to do the heart work. You know what? That’s what we’ll call it from now on. Heart work. It’ll be hard…but it’ll be worth it.”

I know that this journey is not going to be easy. I’m not so naïve to think that we are going to drop weight and get healthy and shake addiction and that we’ll all still be here together come December. Some of us will stumble. Some of us will quit. All of us will struggle. It’s going to be hellacious at times. We are going to cry. You are going to get angry at something I write. That’s okay. You know why? Because you. are. worth. the. struggle.

You are!

Just the way you are. Not with the bulimia gone. Not with the alcoholism cured. Not with the addiction broken. Not with the loss of weight. But right now. Just you. Flaws and all.

As we go through this year, we are going to have to uncover some hurt. Listen to me, no one started binging because things were awesome. No one started drinking too much because they were having a great year. No one started shopping to the point of bankruptcy because “hey, things are looking up!” Chances are that the boat you are burning was built from pain. Maybe it was built from shame. Maybe it was built from unhappiness. Maybe it was built from trauma. Or maybe it was built from betrayal. Mine was. Mine was built from pieces of wood from all those things. What about you?

But you’re burning that boat. Remember? But you can’t burn, what you can’t let go of.

So, let me ask you: what brought you to where you are, today? That boat you sailed in on, what was it built of?  And are you willing to do the heart work that it might take to burn that mother down??

Don’t eat another bite, don’t walk another mile, don’t yoga another pose, unless you are willing to believe you are WORTH it. It will all be in vain. Every calorie. Every pound gone. Every step counted. It will all come rushing back in one year or two, because you never believed the truth about who you are. And the truth is: You are worth the work. You are worth it. You are worthy. You are glorious. You are honored. You are loved. The long, slow, painful, beautiful, brutal, brutiful work?  The re-tracing of some painful steps? The discovery of what brought you to this place? You’re worth it. I don’t care who told you that you weren’t. I don’t care who left you and betrayed you. I don’t care who made fun of you and you overheard them. Burn the boat and watch it blaze! They didn’t know who you were.

I just wanted you to know that even if you are NOT on this journey with us (maybe you are just a Stretch Marks reader and you are thinking, “I just wanted a fun article about chin hairs!” ) this article today is for you, too. I’m sure you have heard David and I talk about our Radke Family Membership group, and they can tell you, I preach this to them! I refuse to have a community of people who are not encouraged and loved. Any influencer can start a group and tell you how to make money and be a boss babe. But God forgive me if I don’t lead people to their own worth. I believe it! I believe in you! I believe that you were created for something that you might not even know about, but your potential is waiting. It’s waiting on you to believe………..in you!

When I was young my grandparents took my mom and I to Disney World. As we got on a boat for a jungle cruise our tour guide said something that has become a long-standing joke in our family. He said, “Before we begin today, I want to make sure that you are paying attention when I point you toward the beeeeeeaaaaauuuutiiiifuuuulll spider monkey.” It was the longest, most over dramatic description of a spider monkey maybe ever! It was a jungle cruise; we were going to see a lot of animals and birds and snakes and monkeys. But he wanted to make sure we noticed the beeeeeeeeeeaaaauuuutifuuul spider monkey. I’m going to tell you now, he was kinda weird. The whole jungle cruise? Weird. He cared very little for the parrots or the boa constrictor. But when we pulled around the corner and saw the spider monkey? I thought he was going to freak out. My pawpaw actually told him to “settle down.” (My pawpaw didn’t much care for fluff.) But hey! You gotta give it to a tour guide who wants you to know his favorite part is coming up. And that’s where I come in…

I’m your cruise director.

Welcome.

As soon as everyone takes their seat, we’ll get started.

Today we will see a lot of interesting things. But none are as beautiful and as important, as yoooouuuuu.

No matter what we see. No matter what we come across. No matter what lies up ahead. My favorite part of this journey, as you will see, is yoooouuuuuuu. You beautiful spider monkey, you.

See, you have probably been thinking this cruise is about the destination. No. It never was. It’s about the journey. And the journey starts with you.

It’s always been about you.

I love you,

Mel

P.S. Before you ask: This Sucks…But God is Good is an online course that would really be a tremendous start to your year. I don’t advertise it much anymore because after over 3,000 people took it, I just assumed it had run its course. But when has healing ever gone out of style? If you are looking for a way to let go of some pain and grief and heartache so that you can get on with your life? This is for you! It may be just what you need as your starting point for this year we have ahead of us. You can check it out at

www.Melissaradke.com/thissucks

P.P.S. Also, the Radke Family Membership is not available to join all day, every day. We only open it up at certain times of the year so that we can really get to know our members. I LOVE THIS GROUP. If my house burns down, it’s this group I’m running in to save!! They are the most beautiful spider monkeys you’ve ever seen! We have opened it up this first week in January and you can join this week by going to http://bit.ly/RadkeFamily Is this group required to be a reader of Stretch Marks. No way! This article is still coming to you, whether you want it or not. HA! It’s just a lot of extra me. And who doesn’t want more of ME in their lives in 2021? (Don’t answer that!)