I’m sure that, by now, many of you have read a certain article published on a certain famous magazine’s site. The article discussed the topic of being uncomfortable by seeing overweight people make out on TV. Unfortunately, the article went from bad to worse to worse in less than 500 words. If you are like me, the direction that article took made you upset, angry, and outraged that anyone would allow such ignorant and hateful words to be posted on their site. Yes, the writer apologized, and that’s great, but that doesn’t change the fact that people were hurt by these words.
That is all I’m going to say directly about that article. However, I do have something to say to you.
I am a fitness blogger. I promote healthy living. I feel like living healthy lives helps us to be better, more authentic versions of ourselves. But also, I have been overweight. I know what it is like to be “different”. I know what it is like to want so desperately to fit in but to feel so very unaccepted.
When you are different, the only thing you want to do is to fit in.You want to be accepted for who you are. Mostly what happens is you just try to blend in because blending in is surviving, and sometimes we do what we have to do to survive.
When I was overweight, I didn’t have to be told that some people were “uncomfortable” when they were around me. I knew they were. Those were the facts. Sometimes things were said, and I was unlucky enough (or lucky enough because one of those comments ended up changing my life) to hear those ignorant words. I also cannot tell you how many times I heard things like, “Well, just do this.” or “All you have to do is that.” or “If you would just exercise, that would do wonders.”
I KNEW all of those things. I knew that all I had do to was this and that, and the weight would melt off. The thing was, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to because I wasn’t ready to change my life. And I wasn’t ready to change my life because I was unhappy. I was overweight because I was unhappy.
We all know that obesity is a problem in our country. We all know that the tools to start living a healthy lifestyle are right at our fingertips. I mean, we live in the age of Google, for crying out loud. But unless we are willing to really face the reasons why we are living unhealthily, we cannot really make that change. We aren’t ready to.
I would love to live in a world where everyone loved everyone else and who a person loves, what a person wears or looks like just doesn’t matter. I would love for obesity to never be a problem anymore. That people would just “get it” and begin finding their own paths to healthy living. I would love to tell some people (some I know and some I don’t) that I have the tools to change their lives. I would love for them to listen and let me change their lives.
We all know that I can’t do any of that. But I’m going to tell you what I can do. And what I will do. And what I do.
I can, will, and do accept all. No matter what your race, sexuality, size, height, eye color, or choice in music, I accept you. I can, will, and do continue to spread the word of healthy living in hopes that I will change someone’s life one day. (Maybe that day will be today. Who knows?) I can, will, and do continue to love myself and grow as a person in hopes of becoming the most authentic version of me that I can be.
And I will refuse to accept mean, hateful, and ignorant words in my presence.
I’m asking you to join me.
Because I can’t change the world, but together, slowly (yet surely) we can change the world. One life at a time.
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