Updated: Oct 9, 2020
This is going to be a harder post to write, it is going to be a honest look at something people don't often talk about. It is needed though, both for me and for those who are struggling with weight loss. Self-image and self consciousness.
I want to preface this post by emphasizing something. So much of the world today is focused on "I and Me", what I want, what I need, what's best for me, and so on. Often times, this is at the expense of others. If collectively as the human race we would start to focus on others more then ourselves the world would be unrecognizable compared to its current sad state. I don't say this to detract from my and possibly your goal of losing weight and bettering our health, but rather as a balancing point. I want my life to be defined by my positive impact on others. I hope and pray that I can be a blessing to as many people as possible. This weight loss journey will help me accomplish that goal better both in scope and in length.
I have never let what others thought about the way I look keep me down, or at least I like to tell myself. People are entitled to their own opinions, it is not my job to police what other people think. The problem is then the way I felt about the way I looked. My weight has kept me from so much I would have loved to experience.
- I no longer go swimming, not because I don't want to, but because I don't want to be the giant shirtless guy, or worse the giant guy who is wearing a shirt swimming because he is ashamed of his weight.
- I have never pursued a meaningful romantic relationship. I understand a relationship built solely on physical attraction is not a healthy one. But how can I expect someone to love and care for me, if I can't even care for myself? Please note that I am not saying I have to lose weight before I can start looking towards a relationship. I am simply stating that up until now it has stopped me from doing so, fear of rejection is a strong deterrent for me.
- Out in public much of my time is spent thinking about how I can make myself look the smallest. Suck that gut in, stand up taller, puff out the chest. Make sure my pants aren't too low, making sure my stomach isn't hanging out. Honestly, it is exhausting.
- Any sport requiring a moderate amount of running is off the table.
- One size most definitely does not fit all.
The list could go on and does go on in my life, but you get the idea. Even if I like to tell myself that I don't care what people think of how I look, I obviously very much do. Not everyone has to like me, I have a very strong and outgoing (sometime obnoxious) personality but I also like to think that I am kind and caring, maybe even funny. I want people to be able to experience me as a person and come to their opinion of me based off who I am, not how I look. Many of you, my dear friends, are fine examples of this and I truly thank you for that.
"Let us strip off every weight that slows us down. (Heb 12:1)" Ok, it is a bit tongue in cheek of me to post that bible verse in this context. That passage is not talking about physical weight, but rather anything that would stop us from serving God more fully, stopping us from being a blessing to others. It just so happens that my weight is one of those deterrents.
You have heard the cheesy GoodLife slogan I am sure, "When you live the good life, everyone around you does too." Until now, I always dismissed it as that: a cheesy slogan, but the more I think about it, the more it starts to ring true. If you or I pursue anything good, be it weight loss, selflessness, compassion, courage, encouragement or otherwise, that will have a positive or "good" effect on those in our, as Doug Ford puts it, "social circle" and maybe even beyond.
In the end, I want my self-image to be seen through my impact on others and not tied to my negative feeling towards my weight and looks. Weight loss will help me accomplish that. Maybe you are struggling with something, maybe it is weight loss, maybe is something else. Regardless of how you feel about yourself you are worth an immeasurable amount.