*Note to readers:
This actually started out this morning as a just one of those lengthier type of Facebook status updates. Instead, I kept writing, and writing. I decided it was best shared here instead, which of course will still be shared on Facebook as well. Just not like I originally intended. ~
Here’s what I don’t understand, we can’t even talk about obesity without people getting upset, claiming “Fat Shaming” and if we can’t talk about the real issues without being shut down the moment we start talking them, then we will never be able to deal with any of them.
As many may now know, I’ve decided to get certified as a health and nutrition coach not only to help other people but to help my SELF. Once upon a time, like many of us, I was in tip-top physical shape, a “smokin’ hot body” if I say so myself. There’s some on this list who knew me when and can verify that is true. Over the years, children, busy lifestyle, depression, divorce, and whatever else real-but-still-excuse- I let get in the way, I gained a significant amount of weight.
At one point I was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome some years back, and still I did nothing. I hid from my friends who knew me ‘back-in-the-day” for I knew they’d be shocked at how I looked. I didn’t do much of anything anymore but take care of my girls all the while getting unhealthier by the day.
It wasn’t until something incredible happened in 2012 that I decided to reclaim the life that was mine. I wanted to live a long, healthy life, and be there for my daughters, my granddaughters (I just assume they will be girls too) and their children. I wanted to enjoy life and everything it has to offer. I started a diet and exercise routine, started losing weight and suddenly developed stomach issues. I lost a considerable amount of weight then due to both the diet, exercise and of course the stomach issues that eventually landed me in the hospital having surgery in May of 2012.
Since then it’s been an off and on type of relationship. I’ve made friends with my self, and my body but I realize now I didn’t quite fall desperately-in-love with myself and my body like I should have. So I treated my Self and my body like the good friend you see every now and again; the kind that you don’t have to see or talk often but when you do, it’s like nothing ever changed? Yes, I treated my Self and my body like that.
What I’ve learned is that you can do that with real friends in other bodies, but you can not do that to your self. It’s no good, not very healthy.
I did gain some weight back, then lost it again and then started a short cycle of up a few pounds and then down a few pounds, and all the while getting upset, and frustrated with my body in the process, and like the friend you start to avoid because they are getting on your nerves always complaining about this, or whining about that, I started to avoid my Self, and my body.
Sure, I tried to live the healthy-ish lifestyle, and I did the main things, like eat, sleep and shower. I even kept up my beautifying routine, which brings me to yet another point:
One of my daughters said to me about why I look younger than I actually am, “Mommy, you look so young because you take damn good care, almost obsessive care of your skin naturally and it shows.”
I thought to myself how true that statement was and yet, why did I only stop at my skin? Certainly, that’s not the only reason my skin looks good. There’s environmental factors, genetics, I’m a non-smoker, I drink lots of water, yeah…I feed my skin good stuff, nothing but the best naturally.
Wow. Only my skin?! What the hell is wrong with me?! Here I am obsessing over having healthy looking skin but I wasn’t bothered with making the effort to be healthy in my physical body! Why didn’t I put forth just as much effort in my overall health, and not just focused on my awesome skin care routine?!
Why?! I like having fabulous, youthful looking skin. You’d think I’d want the healthy body to go with that. But something inside of me was sabotaging my efforts to my good health journey, and sadly, apparently it didn’t take much. My focus remained on how to have healthier, more youthful, glowing skin.
No, I’m not interested in looking 21, that’s not the goal. Ironically, my goal was to be a vibrant, radiant, healthy looking woman whatever my age. Yes, that’s right, my goal was to look vibrant, radiant and healthy, without, apparently, actually being healthy.
How oxymoronic is that?
Fat In Florida:
After I moved into my father’s house is when I felt the worst. You can read more about that experience here in the 8 Pearls Of Light That Guided Me Through Hell post. I didn’t exercise, I didn’t yoga anymore, I didn’t even walk. My weight was an issue they liked to talk about, to humiliate me to bring me down, even though they are fat slobs themselves.
I gained a few pounds as if out of rebellion to say, “Eff you! You don’t control my life, and damn sure not my weight.” How stupid was that? Here I was sabotaging my health because my father and is wife are idiots. This is a perfect example of how moving from an ego-centered place will get you screwed every time. And a fatter ass.
After we moved out, and into our place where we are, I needed time to decompress. I still didn’t jump back-into the weight-loss and healthy-ish lifestyle I was mostly-kind- of-trying to live back in Ohio. I went to work, and have been slowly making our condo our place again.
We’ve now officially been here over 2 months, and I’ve started to find my groove again. Before I left Ohio, a big issue for me then was, “What am I going to do with my life when I grow up?” “What is my calling?” I knew I didn’t want to work in the medical field doing what I do for the rest of my life. Yet, I knew that my calling is to be of service to people, and community. Once I started to settle in here at the condo a bit more, with all of the tension previous months at my father’s house being dissolved into nothingness, these questions were now at the forefront of my mind, and heart once more.
I don’t remember the definitive moment if there was one where I decided enough is enough, and I have to do something. But something indeed happened to me. In a moment of pure, and divine stillness, everything changed. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, what I needed to do, what I was called to do, and I decided right then and there to do it with the same passion, love and excitement I’d do for my loved ones, for my best friend to make their life more comfortable, happy and complete.
I decided to be my own Best Friend. To not only love my Self fearlessly, and courageously despite having ignored my Self for so long, but also to fall IN- Love with my Best Friend, my Self–and I’m falling, deeper and deeper with every day that passed by.
I wanted to do anything, and everything I could for my Best Friend, to show her that I am truly sorry for the way I’ve treated her, the ONE person who’s been with me through every single thing I’ve ever gone through, the ONE person who’s had my back through thick and thin (pun intended); she is the ONE person who took the hit, no matter how hard, for every rotten and stupid choice I’ve ever made. I owed to her, my Best Friend, My Self, do whatever I could to make things right.
Where to start? That was easy. I knew I treated her skin good, so I needed to treat the rest of her good too. I have always been an advocate of natural medicine (rarely ever relying on the doctors and big pharma as I’m terrified of them; working in a hospital and seeing up close and personal what goes on makes me even more weary of the network), raw foods, herbs and supplements, using many almost religiously when sick, and for preventive means. Whatever I did had to be focused somewhere in health and wellness.
Then lightening struck.
I saw an add for Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and I wanted to check that out. The moment I clicked on the link for the website, talked to some graduates, I knew without a doubt, this was for me. The fact that I already have a life coaching background made this even better. This was how I was going to begin to repay my Best Friend, my own beautiful Self back for every poor health decision I ever made.
This is a GIFT of health I am giving to me, Aura, and to my Best Friend-Self because I’m worth it! I realized it’s also a gift I’ll be able to share, and give to other people on the journey to health, wellness and happiness.
So my question is this:
Is there going to be a problem when I’m sharing on the social networks/public platforms what I’m learning, changing and growing from? Is there going to be a problem out there with the sensitive people who might benefit from some of the information I might share, and accuse me of “fat shaming?”
I have no doubt there will be. And that’s simply too bad, and so sad. I’ll not take it personal because I know it’s about their own issues coming to the surface, and something they don’t want to look at. As I’ve already said, I’ve been there. Now I’m on the journey back to healthy, and will gladly share that journey with any one else who wants to walk it, run it, or bike it with me.
Being Fat, Overweight, and Obese isn’t Ugly! It’s just Unhealthy!
Recently, I read an article called, My wedding was perfect and I was fat as hell the whole time”. While I admit it was a beautiful read, and I’m so glad that the bride felt good in her own skin, as fat as she is (her words), really reading those words, having been where she is, I know that for the most part, women who say, “I’m fat and happy” are only superficially happy. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. Inside, deep inside, we are miserable, frustrated, and it’s not that we don’t want to get the weight off, it’s that we don’t know how. So instead, we opt for the in-your-face-I’m-fat-love-me-or-don’t-I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude.
But we do give a fuck. Deep down, we really do give a fuck.
Oh sure, everyone knows, “Eat less, move your body more burn more fat” –yes, we know this much. But what we have a difficult time doing is getting to the heart of the problem of the weight in first place. Most often, it is a deep rooted pain, and rejection of self on the deepest level, so deep we aren’t even consciously aware of it. So deep, we deny it and say, “Oh hell no, girlfriend, I love myself, every inch of my fat body.”
Lies. All Lies.
It’s a brutal and painful hurt, which is why it’s buried so deep. We don’t want to look at it. If we have to look at it, we have to deal with it. This, to me, is where the whole “fat acceptance” comes in to play.
It’s not about other people having to accept us because we might be fat. Floating pictures of fat women in revealing outfits followed by and supported with encouraging comments meant to boost the self-confidence only helps with the outer-self, the self esteem which is very important. Big women need to know they are beautiful, they are gorgeous as anyone else. And yet, still, no matter what, it all comes back to us accepting ourselves as we are.
Sure she is. She’s god damn gorgeous-as-she-is. It matters not if she’s a big girl in regard to being “pretty” or “gorgeous”. I see that it is the external where everyone’s focus seems to be, on whether or not a woman is beautiful, fat or not.
Of course she is.
To me the real questions are these:
Behind her physical beauty, is she healthy? What’s her heart look like? Is she at risk for other life-threatening diseases? And do we do more harm by ignoring the “fat issue” , pretending it doesn’t matter as long as the bigger woman feels attractive, and beautiful?
Fat acceptance starts with ourselves. It’s more than just accepting that, “Sure, yeah I know I’m a big girl/boy”. It’s beyond being stunningly gorgeous on the outside no matter what size you are. That’s external. It’s about the life-long haul; it’s finding the root cause, the emotional, mental and spiritual issue behind all of what’s causing us to hold on to the extra weight that will eventually lead to sickness, and other health issues that could lead to a host of other weight-related dis-eases that can cause early death. It is accepting who we are, and as fat as we are, and giving our fat self nothing but pure love. Real self-love, with the same kind of passion and intensity you’d give to another loved one. It’s the same kind, if not deeper, and stronger love we must give to our own Best Friend–Our Self.
When an overweight and/or obese person is accepted, and loved completely, fully from the self, only then can they begin to see real changes taking place in all aspects of their lives. Interesting enough, when most people fall in love one of the first things that often happens is they lose weight. Imagine falling in deep love with your Self…I’d imagine the weight of deep rooted pain, hurt, and shame carried around for years would begin to fall off, almost effortlessly. I can imagine that because it happened to me.
Interesting how that happens, right?