How many times have you gone to the store and convinced yourself that you can fit into something that just was plainly too small? How many times have you struggled in the dressing room with a shirt that's all twisted up over your shoulders with one arm out and one arm trying to pull it down your back? I have done it! I tried too many times to convince my former self that I was smaller than I was. I was living in denial of my true large size. I so desperately wanted to find clothes that matched my inner identity; a vibrant, funky, freelance artist. But alas, most of the clothes were looking like old lady floral get-ups. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry and call for the sales clerk to help me get out of the knot I had gotten myself into!
I didn't want the large-size apparel clothes to define who I was any longer! I needed to slowly get to know this new me and I'm glad that it took me 2 years to drop the weight so that I could develop a healthy relationship with the new me. I wake up with me every day! I like me now more than ever! It's not just the smaller, healthier self that I like. Those are just the added benefits to my hard work at the gym and in the kitchen.
To be a person of size in American society is really a stigma. I know firsthand that I have been overlooked when it comes to dating, or a job, or even standing in line somewhere. I can see it and feel it. Some people are truly uncomfortable around heavy people. Why? It’s not contagious to be overweight! Perhaps it's because ever since we (and in particular women) have been told that we are supposed to be a certain small size in order to be 'sexy.' What does that say to a person who is trying to get healthy if the media isn't even showing them on a magazine cover? If we can at least break the barriers of fear and judgment around people of size, perhaps there would be more folks joining gyms and walking. If the apparel companies would create clothes that fit and empower folks of size, it would encourage them to work out and have a more active lifestyle. I know for myself that I could never even find any decent workout clothes to wear at the gym, so I instantly felt frumpy.
I have met so many wonderful courageous folks on facebook through my Oz blog and I am so humbled by their courage to share their journey openly to their new life. Folks have emailed me and shared great, compelling stories of why they gained weight. It is awesome that they are reaching out. I believe that I'm providing them with hope and validation by sharing my success. They identify with me and see who they want to become. There is no quick method to achieving weight loss goals either, but finding the right fit is a huge first step!
Rock on, fellow warriors! Remember it's about you, first. Meet life head on!