I’ve been doing a lot of thinking ever since I read this post. It would seem that I’ve been hiding behind my weight for as long as I can remember.
- Back in high school I didn’t have a boyfriend because I was overweight.
- In college, guys didn’t like me because I was overweight.
- I didn’t try out for sports because I was overweight.
- I didn’t go on certain outings with my friends because I was overweight.
- I couldn’t dress stylishly because I was overweight.
The list could go on, those are just the first and easiest ones to think of at this moment. My point being that I blamed a lot of things on my weight… not the least of which was a lack of participation in activities other people were doing. Sports? No way! Camping with a group of people who plan to do some hiking? Absolutely not! I blamed my lack of a boyfriend on being overweight. So what happens if I one day find myself no longer overweight?
I ask this because I’m beginning to see how incredibly unlikely it is that I’ll suddenly become some other person. I will not gain a ridiculous amount of confidence, walking into a new situation will still terrify me. I will still be afraid of embarrassing myself or making a fool of myself; being a normal weight will not change that. It’s been super easy to hide behind my weight. Overweight people are a scapegoat for many things and it’s very easy to fall into the pattern of being a victim.
I recently contemplated signing up for a martial arts class. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but never have…. because I’m overweight. I always thought it would look rather ridiculous if I showed up somewhere to learn martial arts obviously out of shape and out of tune with my body. So I’ve lost a little bit of weight and I’m feeling great… and I begin to wonder… maybe I should take that class. I toss it around in my head for a couple of days and then I dismiss it. Why? I’m overweight. It got me wondering exactly how much weight I’d need to lose before I felt comfortable attending such a class and the answer wasn’t what I had hoped it would be. There is nothing that will make attending a martial arts class less intimidating, nerve wracking and/or gut wrenching. I will always be afraid I cannot do it. I will always be afraid I look ridiculous. I just won’t have my weight to hide behind as an excuse.
The revelation is both empowering and depressing. It’s empowering because I now know I’m hiding and I don’t have to hide any more. I can free myself from the cycle and begin doing the many things I’ve always thought I’d like to do “if only.” On the other hand, I’m now well I’ve been hiding. The questions are now: Why am I hiding? Why am I so insecure? Why aren’t I confident enough to just do it? The answer may be cyclical, I may decide I’m all those things because I’ve been overweight my entire life and it’s shaped me. Even if that is just one of many reasons, it still means I ultimately need to re-shape myself on the inside as well as the outside. I still need to get to the bottom of why I am the way I am. I can fix the outside, I can eat better food, I can lose the weight, I can reprogram myself to not over eat, but can I form a person I like? Can I form myself into a confident, self-assured person?
I sure hope so.