I hate more than just about anything else, talking about weight. I’ve always been uncomfortable with the subject. I’ve also never been skinny a day in my life. When I was young, my grandma used to tell me I was big-boned and that’s why I was larger than my cousins of nearing ages. She was sweet in those moments, despite her ability to say mean things about me as soon as she didn’t think I was listening. I was tortured as a child for my weight by family and foe alike.
Until the last couple of years, I don’t think I could have told you what having real self-confidence was. I learned to fake it until I made it. Somewhere along the way, I got older and I stopped caring as much what people thought of me. Numbing the mass of voices who all have an opinion on my life. If I wanted to go out dancing, I went out dancing. If I wanted to sing karaoke in front of a crowd, I did. I didn’t let judgment from other’s prevent me from going out and trying new things. Life is short and I was done letting it pass me by. Unfortunately, just because I learned to silence the peanut gallery, didn’t mean I could silence my own judgment.
I know I’m a good person. I too have faults like the rest of the human race. I have a low bullshit tolerance. I don’t deal with people who lie or are mean for no reason. I’m grumpy when I get too hot and just as grumpy when I get too cold for no reason outside of my own comfort. I’m unyielding when I think I’m right. I won’t hesitate to tell someone how wrong they are in a kind way unless their being mean. I’ve never considered myself worthy of much. Including love and acceptance. But why? Somewhere along the way, I placed value in my own weight and beauty. If I wasn’t conventionally beautiful, then I wasn’t worth being loved despite how awesome of person I am. I’ve done a lot of learning and growing in the last two years. When this value system was pointed out to me (via Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck) I stopped dead in my tracks. I’d placed value in this very wrong area for most of my life. Not to say I didn’t have value placed in the right areas as well, but I should not value myself based on beauty. What the fuck was wrong with me? I’d succumbed to some of the meanest thoughts about myself. The moment I stopped doing this, when I stopped placing value where it didn’t belong, my whole world changed. After some serious reassessing, I decided I needed to sort out what my values really are. It took a couple of weeks but I did.
My first value is Courage. Anxiety has played its rolls well in my life making me afraid of the world. I value courage so highly that it was the first of my values to surface on the page. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the knowledge that someone or something is more important than fear. Often this person is me. To say that learning to love myself was hard doesn’t even begin to explain things. Until two years ago, I didn’t know-how. And until eight months ago, I wasn’t sure I was doing it right. I feel like having the courage to say the things that scare me, walk away from people and situations that make me unhappy, and doing the right thing is always hard. It takes courage. It takes courage to love myself day in and day out. It takes courage to tell someone I care about them. It takes courage to try new things, and go new places. The world is filled with a million little moments that take courage. Finding the courage to love myself, despite all my flaws is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I love myself. I can say that and not twinge or shy from the mirror. I love myself. I’m amazing. I am worthy of love, happiness, adventures, and living an amazing life. Finding the courage within myself and others is among my most valued traits.
The second thing I place value in is Honesty. I value those who are honest with me and those who let me be honest with them. I want to be my most honest self with those in my life. This doesn’t always bode well with others. I’ve been told I’m “brutally honest” although kind in my delivery. I don’t want to live a superficial life. I have no interest in fake smiles and pleasantries when secretly someone is talking shit behind my back. I would never say something behind someone’s back that I wouldn’t say to their face first. It’s a rule I live by.
Third, I value both my ability and other’s ability to be Vulnerable. There is beauty with vulnerability. It has taken me most of my life to realize that I need people who can be vulnerable with me in my life. For a long time, I had a pattern of only inviting people who were emotionally unavailable into my life. I think in the back of my mind I thought I would be safe with them. They wouldn’t ask me to be vulnerable if I didn’t ask it of them. I was safe to hide all of those parts of myself I didn’t like. I am able to see now, that was a huge mistake on my part. I’m lucky enough to see how amazing it is to be vulnerable with people I care about. To let people see all the parts of me that I’m not proud of. I’ve grown so much as a person. Feeling that connection with another human, on a deep emotional level, it’s in those moments we realize we are not alone. Life doesn’t have to be lonely if you open yourself to others. I’m not saying it won’t be scary. Have courage.
Lastly, I could have all of the above but without Trust, it means nothing. Trust is so fundamental in my life. If I can’t trust someone, I can’t have them in my life (see this article to understand more thoroughly my anxiety hangups). Historically I have trust issues. I don’t do it lightly. If I invite you into my life, I give you my trust. Simple as that. But when you no longer have it, I don’t know how to keep you in my life. Sometimes I just need time. Time to processes or decided to trust again. Sometimes I need to just walk away. This is one of my greatest battles in life. Sometimes I put my trust in the wrong people. Live and learn. I won’t hold someone new accountable for other’s mistakes. I can’t, that wouldn’t be fair. It doesn’t change the fact that trust is so integral in my life. I need it to breath easy and be happy. Trust doesn’t have to be something I stress about. It’s a choice. It’s something I heavily value.
Because I want to live up to my own value system, I’m going to talk about my weight. The journey to being a healthier version of myself, mentally and physically, has been long. It’s been amazing and hard and there have been lots of tears along the way. But I’m coming out the other side of it as the best version of me humanly possible. To date, I’ve lost 123.4lbs. I think that’s a pretty amazing number making it the reason I’ve decided to finally speak up and share my story. I am proud of this number. There have been no tricks or magic pills, just good old fashioned hard work on the physical side of things. This is the smallest I’ve been since high school and I am old. Owning my flaws and moving through the stuff that’s held me back emotionally was harder than any single pound I’ve worked at losing. The more work I do, the happier I get. The happier I am, the more results I see. I love my life guys. It’s been a roller coaster at times but also I wouldn’t change it. I am the person I am today because of the choices I’ve made. Good, bad, and ugly. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine but I still think it is pretty damn amazing. I choose to enjoy the adventure, every single day.
Cheers – M