Let me start off by saying that I have nothing against the wearing of glasses. I know a lot of people whose glasses are stylish and do a lot for their look. For me, however, wearing glasses was a symbol of how I was feeling about myself during my morbidly obese years.
When I turned 15 I got contacts and loved them. I wore them every day without fail and was so grateful I no longer had to wear glasses. I faithfully inserted my contacts each day for 10 years.
After my marriage at age 21, I began gaining weight rather quickly. And believe it or not, by the time I was 26, I had gained over 100 pounds! Out came the contacts and on went the glasses. All of a sudden, I had a different perception of myself.
Because of my weight and low self-esteem at the time, I really believed it didn’t matter what I looked like anymore. Who looks at the fat girl? Who notices her? Is she even worth spending time with? So I kept the glasses on – perhaps in a misguided attempt to try and hide from the world.
When you are fat, obese, or overweight, (it doesn’t matter what word you use) it is hard to keep feeling positive about yourself. When the culture around you screams “thin is in,” and you don’t even fit into movie theatre seats anymore, that is a problem from both a physical and psychological standpoint. When you feel as though everyone is looking at you, judging you, and finding you lacking, it's hard to stay positive. When I felt overlooked because of my appearance a little piece of my self-esteem fell away. When I felt as though friends weren't as nice to me as they had previously been, another part of my self-image was lost.
The 10 years I lived as an obese woman were some of the most difficult years of my life. I didn’t feel good about myself physically or emotionally.
Wearing my ugly glasses were an outward symbol of how I felt on the inside. During those hard years it began to be normal for me to neglect my appearance in small ways, like with the glasses. Don’t get me wrong, I still cared about how I looked, but I couldn’t seem to muster up the energy to make the effort to look as good as I could. So I wore glasses, I didn’t wear make-up very often, and I avoided clothes shopping at all costs. At the time, I didn’t make the connection between the glasses and the way I felt about myself. I just went along, wearing glasses, and wishing I could be fit and healthy like everyone else around me.
Looking back, I wish I had not based so much of how I felt about myself on how I looked, but I did. Wherever you are in your journey, I would encourage you to believe that you are worth any effort it takes to get healthy. For me, putting my glasses back in their case was one thing I did when I started on my journey to lose 158 pounds. I was worth the effort it took to look my best – no matter my size.