One of the most difficult things for me on this whole weight loss journey is taking an honest look at myself, either in the mirror or in photographs. For quite a few years in our family photos, there are no pictures of me. I just hated having my picture taken and hated looking at how I had let myself go.
In my last post, I put up that comparison photo of how I looked about 10 years ago and how I looked in a picture taken a year ago. There is an obvious difference, but at first I had to really look at it to see it myself. Why? Because there is still a huge fat man stuck in my minds eye.
No matter how much progress I had made, I still had this image in my head of that fat guy. I would go to my TOPS meeting and people would say “Wow! You are really losing” and I wouldn’t see it. Recently I actually had one member said when she got out of her car and looked over at me, she didn’t recognize me right away.
So why didn’t I see it like they did? One reason is that I have heard over and over through my life that I was fat and that I would always be fat. I had convinced myself of that for years. Why workout or why eat healthy? I will just be fat AND hungry I would figure.
I wanted to talk about this today because I recently had a breakthrough and it was because of that comparison photo I posted yesterday. I took a long hard look at it and I could finally say to myself that the fat man in the mirror is slowly going away.
Have I denied myself? No I have made healthy food choices. Have I tortured myself in workouts and exercise? No I have put in the work needed to get healthier and dare I say it – more fit. Was it easy? No but do I feel better? Absolutely! Am I worried about dropping dead and leaving my wife and family? Not as much, but I still am realistic and know I have a way to go, but I also know I am heading in the right direction.
I have stopped buying clothes for “that fat guy” and now look at sizes that fit the size I am now, not the size I was then. I am a big fan of thrift stores, and I still have a problem sometimes with sizes. I will look at a shirt and say to my wife Bev “This looks pretty good” and she will say “That is huge on you” and sometimes I do a double take and realize she is right.
I am reprogramming my brain with new information and new images. I am losing weight, I am getting healthier and more fit. To use a modern analogy, I am deleting old, invalid information that is no longer accurate. It is a long hard process I will admit and sometimes those old bits of information will creep back in and I have to hit the mental delete button again.
When you look in the mirror, who or what do you see? Do you see a fat person or do you see someone who has put in a lot of hard work and effort? Do you a person who is wasting their time or do you see someone who is closer to their goal today than they were yesterday?
Are you listening to years of mental condition and negative thoughts – both from others and of your own negative self talk? Can I give you a piece of advice? STOP IT!
Don’t let other people’s thought or ideas influence how you feel about your own journey. I spent too many years doing that. As I have mentioned I work in the entertainment field, and I have done a lot of film work as an extra. I would go to auditions or cattle calls and find they were looking for “fat guy”. I would look around the room and realize there were 20 guys who looked like me – it WAS a room full of fat guys and that was how I started to define myself. I even made jokes about it because fat people are jolly right? Even at an early age I realized or maybe just hoped, that if they laughed WITH me they wouldn’t laugh AT me.
I don’t define myself that way anymore. I am a brother, a husband, a dad, and most recently a grand dad. I am an entertainer who makes people laugh for a living. I am a man of faith. I am happily married to a wonderful woman for (as of this coming May) 33 years. I am even more recently a published author. Well a blogger anyway, and I am confident that there are people not only reading this blog, but being helped by it.
I am much more than just a fat guy.
Don’t let the man or the woman in the mirror lie to you. Don’t let your weight define you. You are much more than just that image in the mirror.
How do YOU define yourself? Have you revised that definition recently? As you running on old outdated information? Maybe today will be the day you hit the mental delete button. Maybe today is the day you look at that person in the mirror and think “That is a pretty cool person.”
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!