The first six pictures are silly. They make no sense. You read them and you likely wondered their purpose.
We all know our birthmarks, our legs, our arms, and any other body characteristic we have isn’t a reflection of who we are. Those items don’t define us. It doesn’t make “us us”.
But our body weight? Our body composition? Our excess fat? It defines us.
All too often.
We never say, “I have some fat on my body,” but we ALWAYS say………………“I am fat.”
Body fat becomes synonymous with our identities. It becomes completely intertwined and interchangeable with who we are………but more importantly, with how we think others view us.
It distorts our perception of reality and shapes our own beliefs about what is possible.
Unless drastic measures are taken, I cannot change any of the first six items. They are genetic. They are a result of my Mother and my Father.
My Dad has very flat feet, extremely long limbs, and a few birthmarks of his own.
My Mother has blue eyes and ears which are nearly identical to mine.
The stretchmark? That was a result of my own carelessness – about 5 years ago – when I paid much less attention to my own health and well being. It has faded with time, but it’s still visible. Sort of like my thoughts and my own self-worth image from that stage of my life.
But the fat? The picture of my lower back/love handles? That’s just some excess fat. I’m working on it. It’ll be gone soon.
But I am not “fat”.
The fat doesn’t define me. It’s not who I am. It’s what I have – and I have a bit too much of it right now. So, I’m taking the proper steps in the right direction, improving my habits and attempting to conquer this beast.
And this is a mindset shift which has been cultivated through years of hard work. It didn’t come easily. I’m not here to tell you it’s easy to have a complete and total mindset shift…………a shift which takes you from the dark, cold place where you might say, “I’m fat and worthless,” to the forgiving and understanding place where you might say, “I have some fat, but let’s figure out how to make it disappear.”
I wish I could say, “Just do this and your mindset will begin to shift.” But it’s just not that easy. It takes time – serious time – and serious dedication. Attention to detail. Reflection. Meditation. Understanding. And a never-say-die attitude.
When you look into the mirror, what do you see? Do you see a “fat person”, or do you see some excess fat, which can be taken care of with the correct dose of mindfulness, thoughtfulness, self-reflection, and proper habit forming?
When your fat defines you, it’s an insurmountable obstacle. It creates a cycle of self-loathing and of self-hatred. Food becomes the soothing object – the “blankie”, which calms the stress and anxiety you feel when you see the unhappy sight staring back at you in the mirror.
There are certain parts of us we CAN change if we wish to. And we do change them – all the time.
If your teeth were crooked, you would consider getting braces or perhaps veneers.
If your hair was long and unkempt, you would consider a haircut or perhaps a styling.
If your toenails were too long, you would consider cutting them or perhaps a pedicure.
If your skin was dry, you would consider applying some lotion or perhaps a new brand of soap.
If you had excess fat…………..what would you consider?
Would you consider it to be your “genetics” and chalk it up as a fact of life?
Would you consider your health markers, and tell people you were “healthy in spite of your size”?
Would you consider your hormones? Would you say your hormonal issues are causing weight gain and it’s impossible to reverse the trend?
Your age? Would you say ‘weight gain just happens as you age’ and there’s nothing you can do about it?
Your income? Would you say you can’t “eat healthy because it’s ‘too expensive’?”
Or would you treat your fat as you would treat any other unwanted – and changeable – body feature of yours?
When you view your body as an unalterable fact of your life, you are shortchanging yourself. You end up with insecurities which can paralyze you. Your “fucks” are given out to everyone who sees you. They must be judging you, right? Because you’re fat. And that’s that. There’s nothing you can do to rectify the situation.
But that’s a cop out. And a slap in the face to anyone who has stared in the mirror. And done what is intensely painful – admitted that they hated the fat that is visible – and finally decided it was time for a change.
I know the excuses. I’ve made them before as well. I’ve decided that I was “naturally 270 pounds”. That my “genetics” were poor. That I had a threshold of 250 pounds that was “impossible” to dip below.
I made all the excuses. Bunches of them.
Until a day came where I had had enough. And I refused to let a body feature that I have full control over…………control me any longer.
You are not fat.
You are a person. A person with feelings, with emotions, with love, and with kindness.
Your fat is not who you are any more than any other aspect of your body which can be changed and altered.
If you are unwilling to change this, then at least own up to it. Look at yourself in the mirror and speak the TRUTH.
Instead of saying, “I am fat………”, do something really painful.
Say, “I have fat and I am unwilling to do what it takes to rid myself of this fat for good.”
At least that way, you will be telling the truth.
But please be prepared. I’m warning you now. Be very prepared. Because it will sting……………
Trust me. I’ve been there before.