And it has NOTHING to do with what size jeans you can squeeze your ass into.
I'm standing here… and I'd really like some company. I'm hoping to see you up here on this mountaintop. I promise you the views are worth all the hard work. But the hardest work of all has to happen before you even start the climb.
It’s not going to be easy to hear what I’m about to tell you. But you absolutely MUST hear the truth so that you can find the resolve to embark on your own journey...
I cried like a baby writing this article. Actually in almost every article I write, I have very hard moments. It takes me right back into my old life. The emotions from that life flood through me and consume me. They literally take my breath away sometimes.
But oddly as it may sound, I relish the reminiscing pain because it doesn't let me forget how I used to be. It doesn't let me forget how easy it would be to go right back to that place if I don't stay dedicated and persistent.
My past pain and anguish fuels my insatiable passion to share my story. Knowing there’s people just like you, who are living each and every day in the very same world I used to, makes me feel so heavy-hearted.
I remember the debilitating pain and heartache that comes with living life as an obese person. It kills me to know there are those of you still out there feeling that way when you don’t have to. You can fix this. I promise you, you can fix this. My God, if I did it, there’s hope for every single last one of you.
I truly believe this is a coping mechanism that our brains kick into to save us from despair and depression setting in. At least for me it was. I couldn't handle my reality so I lived in a pretend world. I lived in a world where I believed it wasn’t that bad. A world where I still had time to get my shit together. A world that protected me and didn’t let me see the painful truth. The truth that I have ruined myself, both inside and out. A truth that would bury me under a truckload of misery and render me emotionally paralyzed… or so I thought.
I lived in this land of make-believe for 10 years. I spent 10 years eating my way up to morbid obesity. I found that food helped me cope with my problems and in the process I lost myself. You hear people say all the time in regards to obese people “how can people let themselves get to that point.” Well I know exactly how it happens and let me tell you something… It’s easy. Your brain tricks you into thinking it’s not that bad. You don’t see what everybody else sees.
I know it sounds insane, especially to people who’ve never had a weight problem, but even when your big ass is standing smack in front of a mirror, YOU DON’T SEE IT! How is this possible? I mean for God’s sake we have eyes, don‘t we?!
How it happens is actually really simple. Mind-Power.
Your mind can trick you into anything. It can also push you to do amazing and wonderful things. It's all how you use it. But most importantly, it's all how you control it.
This wildly encouraged my obesity.
It also let me go on pretending that I really wasn't grossly overweight. I truly did not see how fat I was.
I’m not kidding. It was that bad. In fact, if I was alone, I would leave.
I’d get to my car and sit there and cry.
The girl I couldn’t even find in a mirror anymore.
This experience is different for everybody and each one of us has to find our own way of seeing the truth but let me walk you through my defining moment.
My Defining Moment. My Rock Bottom.
I waited until I was home alone one day. And I got naked. I stood in front of a full-length mirror (which I never did) and I willed my mind to let my eyes see the truth. I prepared myself to feel pain and sorrow but I was ready to embrace it. I knew in my heart that no amount of pain that would slither up could possibly be worse than the pain I stuffed down each and every day. The pain I would eat. I’d let all those cookies and brownies cover up all the hurt. I’d make my belly so sore from gorging on food that I would forget about my emotional pain… until I got hungry again.
So I’m naked and vulnerable and completely scared out of my wits. And it happens. It hits me. I see how fat I am. I see how sad I am. I see the girl I used to know. I see her in my eyes. The desperation and rawness in her eyes brings me to my knees.
It was on my knees where I stayed.
The tears flooded my face. The snot poured out of my nose. I refused to wipe myself off. I refused to look away from the mirror. I forced myself to see what I’ve been hiding from for all these years.
But more than anything, it was what I saw in my eyes that rocked me to my core.
All the fat and the rolls weren’t a picnic to look at but that didn’t touch the emotional reality of the situation. I finally saw the girl I had lost a very long time ago. I finally found her. She was far away but I found her.
That moment happened on January 12th, 2008. I didn’t keep it a secret on purpose. I just never felt an urge to share it, until now. I had a dream a few nights ago where I was in front of a crowd describing my defining moment. That dream stayed with me for two solid days and then last night I dreamt the same exact dream again. I woke up this morning knowing I needed to share it.
That moment changed my life. But even more importantly,that moment saved my life.
Let me tell you, from that moment on, I saw exactly how big I was. I was like ‘damn, you weren't messing around with them brownies.’ I would think about how much volume I had been eating. I was eating like I was getting paid. It was crazy how I would remember things and see them so differently from how I did when I was under my fat spell. I saw the true horror of how I had been living. But amazingly enough, I was okay with it. I really, honestly accepted how big I was.
For the first time ever, I truly saw what I looked like and I took all of the emotion that frothed up along with that truth and used it to my advantage.
It is absolutely incredible what can happen when you use negative emotions in a positive way.
I knew hardly anyone was going to believe I could do it and that fueled me even more. I couldn’t wait to show all the doubters how wrong they were. I was hell-bent on proving to everybody, but especially to myself, that I was going to do the impossible. I didn’t care how long it was going to take. I knew that no matter how long of a journey it would be, it was going to be worth it. Man, I didn’t know the half of it. It ended up being light-years better than I even imagined.
You see, the problem with living in a dream world is no real change can ever happen. There's no urgency to make changes. There’s no urgency to do something different. When we don't live in the truth, the lies that we tell ourselves chain us.
Your soul is who you really are.
It’s that deep down voice that gives you those funny feelings when something gives you the creeps or doesn’t feel right. It’s also that feeling that keeps bringing you back to certain things or ideas that excite and intrigue you. It's your true voice and when it works with your mind rather than against it, miraculous things start to happen. It’s Herculean force will heave you into the right direction and give you clues all along the way. It was this very force that ended up catapulting me onto the right path. The path that I would follow throughout my entire journey.
She's been waiting to be saved.
It’s time to pony up.
Open the dam and let it all flood in. All the emotions, the pain, the sadness. Prepare yourself for the onslaught of emotions, regrets, and doubts and be open to it. Don’t try to shield yourself from it. Let it knock you on your ass and steal your breath. Embrace the reality so that you can change it. Your mind is a force of harnessed power. Crack open that bastard and unleash it's power for good instead of evil. All the answers and courage are trapped under that dupery. You’ve had the answers all along. It’s time to uncover them.
You've been living this lie for too long.
It's time you see yourself for who you’ve become and forgive yourself for it.
IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN.
You can no longer live in your imaginary world. There is no sense of urgency in that world. There’s no reason to change. You must let yourself feel the pain and see the truth so that you truly accept that you have work to do.
Seeing reality fuels a desire to seek change. It lets understanding and acceptance find a new home in that brain of yours and it evicts all the poisonous thoughts and lies that have taken up residence in there for way too long.
You are no less than anyone else because you've let this happen.
This is how you've coped all these years, it's okay. You must forgive yourself. Your mind helped you hide the truth so that you could go on about your life. But what started out as a coping mechanism is now a nail in your coffin.
Like all bad habits, what starts out to help deal with a problem ends up BEING the problem.
Everybody copes in their own way and most people do NOT cope in a healthy way.
You’ll get nowhere if you stay in the past and beat yourself up for it. Once you force yourself to see the truth, you have to make a vow to yourself to embrace it, accept it, and then move on. Being truly honest with yourself is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Hardly anyone has the courage to do it. Be proud of yourself for being brave enough to let it happen.
Now is not the time to try to punish yourself for your past mistakes. Now is the time to learn a new way to cope.
I promise you can do it. I was in the ranks of the biggest 'lost causes'. If I found a way, there's no doubt you can too.
There’s a better version of you.
She’s the real you.
She is the one who is supposed to be living your life, not this imposter that has been going through the motions.
The real you has been waiting for you to save her.
She’s been knocking on your conscience for years. Stop shutting the door in her face and let her in.