There are lots of things in my life that have made me think about our sense of individuality. Weight loss is completely a tribal thing, the community I’ve found online are amazing, men and women with a common goal can be a truly inspiring thing and all of us are striving towards different goals, with a common ground.
For a lot of my life I’ve wanted to please other people, I’ve wanted to fit in and be more invisible than I was. As a child I hit fully grown 5 foot 6 by year 8 (12 years old). I was bigger than all of the boys in my class and most of the girls. I felt bulky and too big. I was already starting to restrict my food intake considerably but I was physically bigger and of course my peers noticed that. A year or so later everyone had over taken me and it was long forgotten what a giant I had been. The damage in my head has never really gone away though. I’ve always felt HUGE. Like I take up to much space, like I’m in the way, particularly next to smaller women and given that I was considerably overweight and 3inches taller than the average woman then thats a lot of them! My posture is terrible, I roll my shoulders to hide my body, minimise my boobs and knock some height off them.
Recently I’ve been feeling much more positive about myself, I’ve had a flurry of compliments and I’ve been feeling positive despite my weight going up and down and it has made me think about how I look at weight loss and how that has changed. The biggest shift being that the weight loss is not my biggest concern any more. Some would argue that it should be, but I’m more interested in life. I’m living my life as fully as I can every day. I do stuff I love, I’m forging new careers, I’m setting myself new goals. I do it despite still needing to lose a considerable amount of weight.
I no longer feel shame when I look in the mirror. I know my body isn’t perfect still, it never ever will be, I have stretched out skin and marks, a surgery scare which bore my son and more bumps and bruises than I care to mention. I don’t often feel a delicate girl but I’m starting to really embrace what I enjoy and what I am and want to be. I’m kinda faking it until I make it and it feels amazing.
I started to think about why I wanted to blend in and how really, that doesn’t suit me at all. Those who know me, and some of them read this, know that blending in is probably never going to be me. I like to talk, have fun with people, chat and laugh. I think it’s fair to say that I have realised over the years that I’ve hidden a lot of things which I thought were not what would please other people, and it made me depressed and needy and desperate. Non of those things really great for maintaining friendships or a happy life or good mental health for that matter. I do still care what people think of me, of course I do, but less wanting to please people and more wanting to bring some happy to their lives too. People don’t have to like me, it’s there choice really.
When you are yourself you attract people who love you for you. When you pretend to be someone you aren’t you attract people who don’t even know you.
Losing weight hasn’t helped me be myself, I’m sure it’s contributed to my newer found confidence, but honestly, I think it’s been the other way around, it’s been embracing myself that has led to success, it’s led to me finding a whole life for myself and to so many opportunities in my life that I never thought I could ever have or dream to have. This is a ramble I hope you understand what I mean.
I believe in YOU. Be YOU. You will succeed.