Sharing Your Ugly – An Invitation

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to share my story about my weight and subsequent weight loss. Weight is a fickle beast. Often the elephant in the room and not discussed. We frequently hide our own feelings and disappointments about weight because of our own shame. 

That was me. Always trying to pretend I was fine and it didn’t matter but it always did. I wanted to be that overweight person that owned their size and thrived. I wanted to wear whatever I wanted – bucking social convention – and live with freedom in my obesity. Did. Not. Happen. 

The result was that I ate my feelings, my shame and my disappointment with my weight which resulted in more weight. Fickle beast, indeed. 

When I decided to start the process of RNY Gastric Bypass I made the decision to live more openly, more honestly, and more publicly. To do this I had to be willing to share about how my weight has affected my health, my self esteem, and happiness. I had to be willing to go there.

Stepping out on that limb the first time was nerve wracking. Would people understand? Would they ridicule me? Am I the only one who had felt this way? Do other people problem solve with food? My fears were immediately removed. As I spoke I began to see the looks on people’s faces change. They understood, they’ve been there. 

After my first talk people came up to me and thanked me for sharing my story. One woman waited until the end and approached me. She took both of my hands, looked me directly in the face, and with tears in her eyes said: Thank you because I’m living your life and you just showed me that I don’t have to stay this way. 

We often wonder why things happen. I questioned my weight daily for over 30 years. Looking into this woman’s eyes answered that for me. I experienced this to be able to share with others. Connecting with her – and so many just like her – made this fight worth it. 

Motivational speaker Nick Vujicic said: I spent my life looking for the blessing of being born with no arms and no legs. Then one day I was speaking in California and a woman brought her son to the stage. He was 2 years old and was born just like me. The audience knew they were witnessing something incredible. For years I searched for the blessing and in that moment I discovered I WAS THE BLESSING.

I’ve spoken many times since that first day and the reactions are always similar. I was never alone in this struggle but I always felt like I was. So remember this:

  • You are not the only person who thinks of what food to eat next when you’re currently eating. 
  • You are not the only person who eats as a coping mechanism to put distance  between fear, shame, anxiety, or depression.
  • You are not the only person who visits different drive thrus so the workers won’t know how much you’re really eating in a day.
  • You are not the only person who orders delivery food like you’re ordering for a lot of people when it’s really just you. 
  • You are not the only person who wants to get better, get healthy, but you feel as though there’s no way out of the body prison you feel you’re in! 

Seek others, be honest with yourself and your feelings. I cordially invite you to share your ugly. You are not alone and you’re experience could be the blessing for someone else who needs to hear your story! 

———

This post was made in response to the Daily Prompt Blog word of the day: INVITATION.