On October 1, the Federal Government launched the new Healthcare.gov website, marking the beginning of the era of the Affordable Care Act. The site has been up and running for over a month now, so let’s take the opportunity to check in, see what’s happening with Healthcare.gov and talk about some of the implications of the Affordable Care Act.
- 1.A Weight Loss Transformation Worth Sharing: Everyday Weight Loss Tips
- 2.A Weight Loss Transformation Worth Sharing: How It Happened
- 3.A Weight Loss Transformation Worth Sharing: Confidence is Key
- 4.A Weight Loss Transformation Worth Sharing: The Beginning
- 5.A Weight Loss Transformation Worth Sharing: An Introduction
Warning: The following facts may challenge what you currently hold true. Tomatoes are not vegetables, cracking knuckles won’t cause arthritis, swallowed gum doesn’t take seven years to digest and obese people can be happy.
I’m proud to have personally disproved the belief that obesity and happiness are mutually exclusive.
The lives of overweight kids are typically determined directly by their obesity because limited opportunities pass through the filter of what’s both physically possible and socially acceptable. For either physical or emotional reasons, being overweight usually stands in the way. It would have fit with the conventions of society if I let fear keep me from trying out for softball or auditioning for dances, but when I was elected to be the captain of my team and became a member of every group, it was easy to ignore that I was twice the size of everyone I shared the field and the stage with. It would have made sense for me to be shy, intimidated and constantly defeated by a world that valued thinness. Fortunately, I wasn’t concerned with making sense.
I didn’t let my body stop me from living the life I wanted to live, so I was able to overlook the reality of my physical condition and enjoy youth alongside my peers. I couldn’t fit into the clothes my friends were buying, so I didn’t rely on designer labels to make me feel complete. I couldn’t look in the mirror for positive reassurance, so I developed an appreciation for personalities over appearances. I couldn’t depend on attention from boys to make me feel good about myself, so I cultivated my own self-respect. Being overweight had me challenging the norms by which I felt surrounded, and it helped me establish a respectable set of values. Contrary to popular belief, being overweight didn’t ruin my life. My appearance kept me from blending into the crowd, so I took that and ran with it (this being the most running I ever did).
Instead of responding to my obesity with shame, I fostered my own naturally-outgoing personality because I subconsciously recognized the need to convince people to look beyond just what they saw in front of them. It sounds frustratingly cliché to say things like “confidence is key,” but I know people never questioned me or doubted my abilities because I never questioned or doubted myself. Whether your head is held high or your shoulders are stooped low, the world will catch on and follow your lead when passing judgment. If you believe, feel, think and act as if you’re unstoppable, people mindlessly fall by the wayside and respect the fact that you can’t be stopped.
There’s no learning experience comparable to extreme weight loss. In hindsight, I can see how each part of my journey taught me profound life lessons that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to internalize otherwise. A common thread runs throughout many of the realizations I’ve made: Regardless of the specifics, having the right attitude is everything. The pre-weight loss period of my life taught me something universally applicable to all people, not just those interested in weight loss. Everybody has the ability to define themselves. How you view yourself will always, inherently and inevitably, determine how you’re viewed by the world.
Reflecting on my childhood continuously proves to me how, despite what stereotypes exist and what prejudices people may have, you are the sole determinant of how others perceive you. Looking back, I can see that the unwavering belief I had in myself made it possible for me to stand tall as a force to be reckoned with against a world always encouraging me to change. By sharing this powerful truth, I hope my experiences can make a lasting impact on my readers.
To read about how I began the weight loss process, check back for my next post! And if you’re interested in some inspiration, check out my first motivational speech here.