Back in the olden days when I was, oh, around 28 or 29 (you know, like 4 or 5 years ago), I was well over 200 lbs. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you how much I weighed because I refused to get on the scales.
I was extremely unhappy with the way I looked. Had you asked me, I wouldn’t been able to tell you one physical thing that I like about myself. I probably couldn’t have told you anything that I really liked about myself at all.
I knew I was unhappy and thought that if I could just get back into my favorite pair of shorts, I would be happy.
And then my dog ate my favorite shorts.
My “wake up moment” happened in front of a lot of people that I barely knew. I was called “fat” in front of all of those people. I was so mad and humiliated that I cried for a good bit.
And then I decided to do something about it.
“Screw this,” I said to myself. “I’ll show them.”
I began to exercise, which was followed by realizing that I needed to eat healthier, which was followed by discovering that I had to work on a lot more than just my physical appearance.
The root of my weight problems was how unhappy I was with myself on the inside. I had gained weight because I had given up on myself. I didn’t love myself.
I had to really dig deep and make a lot discoveries about myself. I had to accept myself. I had to learn that I really liked the person that I am.
I would like to tell you that after that, all was great and now I’m at the original goal that I set for myself. But I’m not. I made reaching my goal completely my focus on life, and if I had a bad week, I was so hard on myself. I would get so mad at myself that if I could have literally kicked my own ass, I would have. Putting so much pressure on myself was making me unhappy with myself again.
I had to learn to just let it go. I decided to change my goal. Instead of focusing on just my weight, I began to focus on my life journey and living life as healthily as I could. I also learned to accept that somtimes life is going to throw me curve balls. Those curve balls are okay, but I have to learn instead of beating myself up over the curve balls, to learn and grow from them.
I see a lot of you being so hard on yourselves about your weight, and I wonder why? I can fuss at you until I’m blue in the face over it, but the truth is until you learn to embrace this journey that you’re on, fussing at you isn’t going to do you any good.
I wish every day that every one of you could see yourselves the way I see you. I see you running races, completing marathons and triathlons. I see you making choices every. single. day. that are helping you live healthier lives. When I see a choice that isn’t so healthy, I also see life throwing you curve balls.
Look. I’m not telling you to say, “Life sucked today so I can have a big bowl of ice cream!” I’m not saying that at all. What I am saying is those not so healthy choices do happen, then own it, and move on. Be proud of how far you’ve come. Be proud that you have made the choice to live healthy lives. Know that by choosing this journey, you are inspiring others to live healthy lives.
I understand it’s hard. I can still be hard on myself sometimes. Okay, a lot of times. So, let’s all try something a little new. Will you try it with me?
I’m challenging each and every one of you right now to look deep inside of yourselves. Stop being so hard on yourselves. I’ll work harder to stop being so hard on myself. Let’s embrace this journey.
And remember, we’re all in this together.