**Note: This blog post addresses some of my weight loss journey, and some of my perspective on how to respond to the comments. My hope is to help someone that is struggling with weight loss, or maybe just trying to find inspiration in getting healthy. If you aren’t interested in reading, I understand I have another post of pictures coming tomorrow!**
I haven’t written in a while about my weight loss because, well, it’s weird to me. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see a girl that’s lost 98lbs since January; I see me, the same girl I was then. I look at myself and see how far I have to go, but when I see pictures, it reminds me of how far I’ve come. I’ve been told this is a form of Fat Girl Syndrome, but I don’t really feel like that’s the case. I’ve always been confident, I’ve always had a big personality, I didn’t let my weight dictate my future, and I’ve never given up on trying to make something of myself. But when I look in the mirror, and do I see the same person, I also see the same soul.
I wouldn’t change the way I was raised. I was always surrounded by people who loved me, and they made sure I knew it, regardless of my weight. I was never bullied. I’m thankful for that, because when I made this decision to change my life, I had one specific prayer – Please help me stay true to myself, help keep me grounded and humble, and help me to inspire others to change their life too. Guide me use what I’ve learned in my experiences to help people on their journey to become the best they can be.
My prayer was never to be skinny, and I’m nowhere close to that now, but my view on that hasn’t changed. I just want to be healthy. Not only for my benefit, but for my family, for my friends, for my employers, and for my future. I feel like this outlook has helped me more than anything mentally. When someone loses this much weight, they get more attention, not intentionally, it just happens. And a lot of times, it causes friendships to break up, it causes marriages to crumble, and truthfully it’s because the person losing weight, and the partner, weren’t prepared for the new attention, and they didn’t know how to deal with it. I specifically tried to prepare myself for this.
But even though I specifically prepared myself for the attention, I didn’t prepare for my own responses. What do I say to someone that compliments me? If I say a simple ‘thank you’, I feel like a brat quite honestly. I have an overwhelming inward need to follow it up with something. I appreciate the compliments so much, so incredibly much, but I don’t ever want to respond in a way that someone would take it as gloating. I want people to know that even though I look different, I’m still the same girl.
Kinda recently I went on a date with a guy, and we had been out several times, and we were sitting at supper one night and the conversation went like this:
him: so, I have a question. me: okay, shoot. him: every time we go somewhere and you see someone you know, they are always making comments about how much you’ve changed, or how you look like a different person. What’s up with that? me: well, I’ve changed some over the last year. him: what do you mean ‘changed’? And you can look at me to tell me, stop acting so shy. me: *turn to look straight at him* well, I’ve lost about 90lbs. him: oh…. so you used to be chubby. me: *with real, real big eyes* uhhh, wellllll, haha, I guess if that’s what you wana call it? him: so what was the deal? could you not just push yourself away from the table? me: whaaaat? *nervous hysterical laughing* I can’t believe you just said that. him: I’m sorry, did I just hurt your feelings? I really didn’t mean to. I just make fun of everybody, and if I didn’t make fun of you, it would be like I’m putting you on a pedestal and well, you’re nothing special.
Obviously, that date ended real quick but the point of my story is, just because I’ve lost weight, doesn’t mean things get easier. It doesn’t mean everything in my life is suddenly just perfect, or that anything has come easily for me. The obstacles just changed. Luckily, I prepared myself for that too, and I’m adapting. I don’t dislike him for his opinions, but I also don’t have to take negative comments from someone who doesn’t know what I’ve been through to get to where I am.
I get emails, texts, phone calls or whatever all the time from people with low self-esteem. They make comments like “I wish I had your confidence” or “I wish I could have your outlook or perspective on life.” Oh honey, but you can. When people are negative to you, you have two choices – to listen to it, or not to. I recently heard a quote by Jenny Donnelly, “What we tolerate, we give permission to exist.” Does it make it easier to hear when people act that way? No. But it’s important to realize that people who look down on you, or talk bad about you or to you, are insecure in themselves.
Stand tall, regardless of your size. Love others, regardless of your last name. Share your heart, regardless of how much money you have. Be the generation in your family that changes for the better. Be who you are, and be good at it, because you are the only one of you. You.are.so.loved.
And to those who’ve loved me…. Thank you.
See, I liked big hair then too… So really, my love for big hair is my mama’s fault