I talk about myself a lot. Specifically, I talk about my weight loss, my fitness and my diet a lot. I think about it a lot, I write about it, I post on Facebook about it; I field questions and respond to comments about it a lot. As a humble wall flower-type person by nature, the phenomenon of simply putting my own needs first feels awkward and strangely egotistical; therefore, the broken-record of dialog makes me extremely self-conscious and, at times, distressed. I worry that I will be written off as vain and self-consumed, or worse, that others will believe I am pushing my lifestyle on them. As a result, I often feel compelled to apologize for these aspects of my life being ever present in conversation and I attempt to marginalize them in my interactions with friends. I can’t help but think everyone is sick to death of hearing about it. But it is time for me to stop making apologies.
My transformation is nearly always in the forefront of my mind, whether I am contemplating my next meal plan, deciding on my next workout or simply visualizing goals. Of course I think about other things – work, relationships, activities and all the normal things we all think about on a daily basis. I don’t always instigate conversations with others regarding my weight loss; although I always respond openly and graciously when people bring it up. This hasn’t always been the case. There have been times over the course of this journey when my focus shifted to other things and, by and large, the results have been detrimental to my progress. Both professional setbacks and relationship catastrophes have sent me down emotional rabbit holes, setting off bouts of yo-yoing between dedication and total apathy regarding my health and wellbeing. When the dust settled and I regained my composure in a lasting way at the end of last year, I discovered I had also regained 33 pounds. This is what happens when I let my foot off the gas – when I don’t make my weight loss, my fitness and my diet a priority.
I am truly passionate about the changes I have made in my life – not because I’m physically smaller, certainly not because I am closer to fitting into some nonsensical societal expectation of my body – but because I am so blissfully happy. It is a joyous experience to do things you’ve always wanted to do but never believed possible. It lifts the spirits to feel truly healthy and alive and to feel that the life stretched out before you is one of infinite possibilities. If I could have felt this way 110 pounds heavier, I would have stayed 110 pounds heavier, but I didn’t. I felt lethargic, weighed down both physically and spiritually, destined for nothing greater than mediocrity. I lived my life in black and white while yearning for a life in Technicolor. I wanted a life of adventure and my body at that size could never have carried me though that kind of life. But I do not share my story because I think anyone else needs to lose weight. It isn’t my aspiration to inspire people to get thin – I merely hope to inspire others to be or do whatever will make them as happy as this has made me. If someone wants to take the telling of my story and twist it, internalize it and make it seem as if it comes from a place of judgment—let’s set the record straight, it doesn’t.
It’s a funny thing how we each perceive the world through our own lens, run all we see, hear and experience through our own filters. My own hang-ups can influence the way I see myself, causing me to become self-conscious about how often I talk about this aspect of my life, allowing me to make assumptions about what others may be thinking or feeling about me. When I step back and look at my intent – my intent I see clearly, my intent comes from my love both for myself and for the people in my life – I realize I don’t need to check myself, to downplay my achievements or quickly change the subject and dodge being the topic of conversation. I needn’t feel ashamed that my success has become a sort of identifier for me. And, above all else, I have absolutely no reason to apologize.