Something I wasn’t prepared for on my weight loss journey is the cruelty it would bring out in the people around me.
When I was obese, people either stared at me way too long or not at all. I couldn’t possibly be a real person with real feelings. I was automatically labeled many things. “Lazy, gross, sad, pathetic, glutton.” Some of those were true, but buried underneath layers of fat I was still a person. A person with dreams and desires like anyone else, but I always felt ashamed.
I was used to being avoided, or judged when I was big, but I wasn’t prepared for the reaction people would have to me when I started losing the weight. It felt nice to get noticed again. It felt amazing to move from a girl who looked obese and sickly to a girl who looked curvy and athletic. I thought my enthusiasm would be infectious. It wasn’t.
There are going to be people in your life that don’t want you to better yourself. It may not even be malicious, but fear is a powerful motivator. A lot of people don’t lose weight and don’t purse their dreams because the people around them make them feel small or incapable. When I started to lose weight when we lived in Oklahoma, I actually had people mocking me for trying.
“Are you gonna enjoy that salad?”
“We’ll see how long this lasts.”
“Why don’t you just love yourself?”
It took me a long time to realize the real problem. A lot of my friends were very overweight, even heavier than I was. They were taking me trying to improve myself as an attack on them. Maybe I should have tried harder to talk to them about it. Maybe I should have voiced how I felt. But I didn’t. Instead I just distanced myself, hung out with a couple close friends and made the gym fill up my spare time. I don’t think I dealt with it the healthiest way. I don’t even know what the healthiest way is. I just know that you don’t have to let people make you feel bad for wanting to change.
If there is one thing I’ve learned through everything it’s that you have to be enough. It may sound cheesy and a lot of people may say it, but you have to live with yourself the rest of your life. Positive thinking is so crucial.
You have to realize that your thoughts are incredibly important and being aware of them is the key to changing how you feel. Are you being negative? Are you being positive? Are you being cruel? There are times that I can actually stop and realize how awful I’m being to myself. All those voices telling me that I’m not enough, I’m alone, my husband doesn’t find me attractive.
Everyone has those thoughts, but you have to rise above them. You’re the one that is going to have to make the choices every day to get yourself to a better place. Whether that is towards weight loss or just a better you in general.
At any time, you can make your situation better.
Surround yourself with people that love you and add to your life.
But do not expect or demand them to make you happy.
Once you start depending on yourself to start bringing joy into your life you’ll wonder why you didn’t just do it in the first place.