“Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” -Chinese Proverb
I have been fat most of my life. I’m not talking about 10-extra-pounds-whiney-ass fat, or I-really-ought-to-lay-off-the-cookies-before-this-gets-out-of-hand fat (…like now). I’m talking a-couple-weeks-of-bad-choices-away-from-needing-to-shop-in-a-special-store fat. (Not to be disrespectful to folks who do. I was damn close, and the value of who I am CANNOT be measured by my pants size, man. But I wasn’t happy with it, and it was not healthy for me. It was an outward manifestation of the fact I did not look after my own needs lovingly.)
It’s not like I wasn’t aware of it. So the morons who made sure I knew I was fat weren’t performing a public service. (Asshats.)
And it’s not like I didn’t try to lose it. From maybe the age of 12 on, I tried off and on–granted, more off than on. Because within a week or two or any of my grand efforts, I got tired of feeling like shit about myself every single time I put something in my mouth.
Like most fat people, I was an expert at losing weight. I knew more about losing weight than any 12 doctors you’d ever meet. Aside: That’s why fat people want to smack the Hell out of you when you start talking about calories and exercise.
Several years ago, I lost most of that weight. I owned a weight-loss community site for a few years during that time, and I observed a lot of people looking to lose weight. And you know, I got a really good feel for who was going to be successful and who was not. You could peg the winners from the wannabe’s, often from pretty much their first posting.
Those people counting the minutes, the ones that went on and on about how disgusting they were, the people who wanted quick tips on losing 10 pounds by the weekend? Well, this group inevitably faded away. Some may come back for a month or so every January–with the same excuses each time–but by and large, they didn’t do much. Not much that lasted, anyway.
But the ones who wanted wanted better health, more comfort, to set a better example for their loved ones, to be around longer to enjoy their families and their lives? There are the people that I would put my money on. They were the people that did well. While they may or may not have lost the weight they wanted to, they tended to get healthier overall and develop some perspective on the whole enterprise. And maybe, just maybe, they’d begin to define “success” by something more meaningful than numbers on a lying little hunk of metal and gears.
The difference eventually became obvious: I’ve never seen anyone making a significant and lasting change in their lives coming from a place of self-hate. The only real transformations I’ve ever witnessed come from a place of self-love. And I’ve seen a LOT of transformations, man.
Maybe you don’t like your own fat (or wounds, or battered self-esteem, or whatever it is on yourself that you consider broken). Fair enough. Maybe being sick and tired of the current state is what gets you STARTED. It did for me–that, and fear of diabetes.
Rather than berate yourself for having the issue, why not accept yourself anyway? The you can process whatever lessons are there for you and see it all as merely part of your experience as opposed to a self-definition. That allows you the possibility of eventually moving past it.
Self-loathing is not sustainable; a worthless person is not worth the work required to grow beyond challenges.
Self-love is sustainable. Self-love feeds you through the hard times, and gives you the strength and courage to move ahead even when it’s hard. Because honestly, sometimes it is. It just becomes possible when you realize in your heart that you’re worth it.
To those who say it was self-hate that got them started, I hear you and respect your perspective. I would argue, however, than wanting better for yourself and being willing reach for it is inherently an act of self love.
But however you see it, I would say at least this one thing is true. The real fat always starts (and ends) in your head.
What do you think?
Get balanced starting with your energy…