If there is one piece of advice I could offer to someone beginning their weight loss journey or their quest to become healthier, as someone who has been on his own for a long time, and as someone who has experienced several ups and downs, it would be this:
Don’t be me.
Don’t allow yourself to do an amazing thing, like trying Crossfit for the first time, and then stand in the mirror and remind yourself of how fat and ugly you think you are.
Don’t allow yourself to accept compliments with a smile, while thinking the person giving said compliment is full of shit and is just trying to say something nice.
Don’t allow yourself to hate yourself.
On the surface, that last one doesn’t necessarily sound that bad. You hate the way you are now, so you will work hard to try to fix it so you can be who you want to be. Fair enough, right?
It doesn’t really work that way in practice though, because that hate will spread like a cancer, bringing with it self-loathing and cynicism, to the point where someone deep down inside, you really won’t think you are worth fixing, and you won’t think people will give a shit either way. Keep it up for too long, and eventually you will leave this world having completely missed out on what you could have been. The world will be worse for it, because it could have missed out on a great human rights advocate, or a philosopher, or a teacher, or a parent, or whatever, and no one will ever know just how great things could have been, or what great things could have spawned from it.
I say don’t be me, because somewhere inside me, there is damage. The cancer of hate has spread, and it’s causing the support beams to buckle, or the neurons to misfire, or whatever. I’m not to a point where I am completely incapable of experiencing joy, or wonder, but I fear what will happen if the course continues. I know what to do, and on the surface I will try, but then I will falter and give up, because deep down inside there is a part of me that doesn’t feel like it’s worth the trouble.
I started this journey almost three years ago. Many incredible things have happened, but because of all of these issues, I only see a fat piece of shit loser. Because of that, I am left with almost no self worth, 50 extra pounds, and a whole mess of hatred.
No one should experience this, because it fucking sucks.
You don’t have to be happy with all the choices you’ve made in your life, and you don’t have to be happy with the way you are at this point in time. But you have to accept what has happened, and move on. If you need to be angry, you can get angry, but then let it go, and don’t let it become hate.
A parent could have a kid who is acting like a total asshole, and has done some shitty things. Will the parent hate the kid? No. They won’t be happy with him/her, but the love will be there nonetheless. It needs to be like this internally too. Just as a parent hating a child will only cause pain and misery for both parties and everyone else involved, allowing yourself to hate yourself will cause pain and misery for yourself, and everyone else you know and love, and everyone you could eventually know and love. Like I said before, you go down this path, and the world is worse for it.
If you feel this is happening to you, or has already happened, please do something about it. Put it out there, because people need to know what is going on with you under whatever sort of front you are putting on, and then get help. I can’t really offer up what kind of help, because I don’t know, and I’m just as lost in all of this as you are, but try anything! Speak to a therapist, or go to a support group, or talk to your pastor, or blog, but do something. But be open, and be honest, because hiding any part of this is like a doctor only removing part of a tumor. Eventually it will grow back, and the cycle will begin again.
Don’t try to do it alone though, because you will probably fail. No single human lives on an island of existence. Everything you’ve done in every moment on your life has had an effect on someone else. You might think closing off and retreating within yourself will be beneficial to those around you, but people aren’t stupid. They will see, or know, that you are still suffering, which will cause them their own pain, and begin a vicious cycle with no winners at the end.
I don’t know what my next steps are, but I do want to be better. Hitting submit on this post isn’t going to make that magically happen either. I know this is going to be a long, sucky road, and I am already worn out, and so very tired. I know there’s also no guarantee of finding a holy grail on the other side either. Just because you don’t know though, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
I want to thank the people at Fitbloggin, especially within Karen, Shauna and Mara’s session, and well as Tara and Meegan’s for helping me realize some of these things by telling their own stories. I saw a lot of myself in many of the stories told, and I feel a little less alone than I did going in.
If you happen upon this blog because you are looking for a Fitbloggin recap, don’t be discouraged by this depressing suckhole of a post. The conference was all sorts of awesome and a ton of fun, but it also led to some pretty profound moments and revelations for a lot of people.
I sincerely hope that everyone who was there finds the peace, self-acceptance, and love they need, even if they don’t know they need it yet, because if they do, the world will be BETTER for it.