Day 261 Question 261:
When was the last time you went out of your way to show someone your support?
Yesterday I received a private group invitation from an old friend. This old friend is 5+ years younger than me. It had been several years since we had seen each other (she was a little girl at the time…a feisty one I might add ;0) I was actually good friends with her older sister throughout middle and high school. I have watched this girl post on Facebook on different days and on several occasions I thought to myself, “This girl is me, just a few years younger”. We both have the outgoing, bubbly personalities and are both in Graduate School studying Counseling. We both struggle with our weight. This private group invitation was for all of her close friends and family members. She was asking for support….she was reaching out. In this online support group she admitted her own personal defeat. She needs to make a healthy lifestyle change and she stated how unhappy she is with her weight and how much she has changed over the past 10ish years. It was truly touching to see her disclose such personal information and to not shy away but come out and ask for help. We all need support in our lives…especially at those times when we aren’t sure if we can do it alone. I wanted to send her a private message outside of the group and these were my words to her:
I wanted to send you a message privately to give you a standing ovation for taking this step. I was in your shoes about 2 years ago and not 1 day passes that I do not think about my weight or my body. In 2009 I was 250lbs and I am now at about 190ish (I am wearing a size 14-16 depending on the cut). I still have a distance to go and I hit these times of laziness and just want it to be easy. I am like you…I LOVE FOOD!!! My biggest problem is late night eating and eating when I am bored. I still struggle with it but I am so much healthier mentally which has helped so much through the journey. It may sound silly but I took a Transcendental Meditation course and it completely changed my life. I meditate twice a day and I am amazed at how calm and relaxed I feel. I feel so much more focused and self-aware which has truly helped me with the challenge. I know EVERYONE will tell you this but your size does not define you. You are beautiful no matter what because our outer bodies are not who we are. With that being said, it is important to feel comfortable in your own skin. I remember being in my condo 2 years ago and I was changing my clothes and I stopped in front of the mirror in just my bra and underwear and I started to ball. I loathed myself and could not believe how I had let myself get to that place. That day everything changed. I had to take a long hard look at what I had been doing and I realized that I was continually having a pity party for myself. It was ME that got me to that weight and it was ME only that could make a change. Again, cliche but so true.
Right now, even though I do not love my body, I am probably the happiest I have ever been…and healthiest. I started to say fuck the people that were only going to see me for what is on the outside and I told myself that every day I would internally encourage myself and compliment myself. I have a feeling you are very much like me in that you can be your own worst enemy. I posted all kinds of inspirational things on Facebook and probably drove people crazy but I needed those reminders of my beauty and my potential. It is so true that once you keep doing something over and over again it will become habit. I write about this stuff so much in my blog because it allows me to be vulnerable and see the real me. I have written about my weight more than once…hell probably more than 10 times. I have done the strict diet and ridiculous exercise regimens and have lost lots of weight only to gain it right back. Nothing EVER worked until I changed my lifestyle. I still eat what I like but I make sure to be a little but smarter about it and I HAVE to stay active….and I stay active my own way. I have never been the athletic type at all and I am not strong but I want to be able to go into the store and not have to walk over to the plus size section. I signed up to run my first 5k next month and I am scared shitless and I may not be able to run a majority of it but I sure as hell am going to try my very best. The only thing that truly works for me is giving myself challenges and constant reminders that it is possible!!! I know you are crazy busy but 2 books( that I know I will read several times throughout my life) I would reccommend to read if you get any time are The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. Both books inspired me because they made me see how important the right here right now is and how damaging our own personal ego can be. I read a lot of your stuff on Facebook and I swear there have been times I think you are me 7 years later. I haven’t seen you since you were very young but I know you have such a great gift in life. You love people, your friends and your family so very much and that is something beautiful….it is what matters the most.
Ok, I have totally cheesed out here. I have actually been on Pinterest like a crazy person lately and I have found some great recipes and workout tips but 2 I really liked were having 2 jars. One labeled Pounds to Go filled with the marbles (the same number of pounds you want to lose) and the other labeled Pounds Lost…everytime you lose a lb or however many you swap them out….that way you can see your progress. The second is taking a jar and labeling it workout tips. Everytime you workout you put $1 in the jar….when you get to $100 you can treat yourself to shoes, a new shirt, purse, whatever you want. I love those ideas because they are visual reminders. I am moving into a new place next month so my schedule has been all out of wack but I am planning on starting Weight Watchers again.
You got this girl. I will talk you through anything you need! Every time that little nagging, insulting voice goes through your head just squash it. Remind yourself that that is your ego trying to control you. As soon as you hear it just tell it to fuck off and tell yourself how great you are….even if it feels impossible to say to yourself. Trust me, once you start doing this enough times you start truly believing in yourself and seeing yourself for the beautiful person you really are!!! Love you girl….sorry for the long rant!
Those were my words. She wrote me back a couple of hours later thanking me and told me more about the struggle she had been going through. I may not know this girl very well on a 1-on-1 basis because of our age difference and locations but when someone reaches out for help…there is no reason to not help them. This subject hits too close to home to not offer a hand if I can. I know too well what it is like to feel so disgusting and think about how unfair it is to have physical imperfections. It took me a long time but I learned that my body is only the physical part of me. Yes, it is important to focus on keeping it healthy but what defines me is so much more than just my body. So many women struggle with their weight and their perception of self (myself included) and if I could spend day in and day out going all over the world telling women how beautiful they are I would. I may see strangers out and about and by just watching them I can see how beautiful they are. I am drawn to give people compliments (people that I don’t know) because everyone deserves to hear nice things….you don’t know how long it has been since they have. There are days when I need support and reassurance….if I want this I believe I have to put out the same as I want in return.