What a weekend I had. It was wonderful. It was joyful. It was so different from the way things have been.
This blog title, “Don’t be such a loser” is really written to me, though I think you might find a reminder in it for you, too.
This weekend was full of family celebration. Two days of essentially non-stop parties.
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As I drove home last night, my phone was blowing up with text messages from family members.
You were so much fun this weekend.
You seem so happy.
I’ve been unhappy for years. Beginning sometime in college, I became extremely insecure and self-conscious. My weight was steadily climbing and I just didn’t want to be seen. Beyond my weight, I had a tendency to focus on everything that wasn’t right instead of everything that was.
I didn’t want people to look at me. I wanted to shrink into the background. I hated events & parties and celebrations. I just wanted to hide.
I spent decades on the sidelines. I wouldn’t be joyful or carefree because I’d be thinking about my body, my weight and what other people might be thinking of me. I was certain that everyone was judging me.
I didn’t want to dance or be silly & fun because I assumed everyone was looking about my big legs, fat arms or wide ass.
I sat on the sidelines of life, feeling embarrassed and sorry for myself.
This weekend was different for so many reasons. It was mostly different because I decided to make it different.
In the past, I’d spend weeks finding the most immobilizing Spanx to go under my outfit. I’d make myself miserably uncomfortable to look a half inch smaller. Then, I’d run from any & all pictures lest someone have a permanent reminder of my size.
This weekend, I wore a beautiful black dress with no Spanx. No bra. No underwear. While that might not seem like a big deal to many – that’s the first time in decades that I didn’t feel the need or desire to hide and confine. I’m proud of my strong, muscular legs. I’m proud of my arms & shoulders that reflect the time I put into the gym. I’m proud of my big, round butt and hips that are wider than my waist.
But even if I wasn’t proud of my body (which is more about my mind than my size), I decided to engage fully in the weekend.
I sat on a picnic table with my sister & my niece taking picture after silly picture, loving every one and sharing them with everybody.
I danced on the dance floor – sometimes all by myself – with no thought of if anyone was watching or thinking about the size of my waist. I requested my favorite songs and focused solely on having a great time, not at all on what anyone might be thinking.
Truth be told – from the perspective of the one full of joy and living large – if anyone was thinking anything, it was that I looked to be having fun and perhaps even that they wanted to be as uninhibited.
On Sunday, I took off my skirt & shirt and ran into the water to swim, without a word or a thought about anyone’s impressions of my body.
People didn’t see my size. They saw my heart, my energy and my deep love for my life & my family.
That’s joy. That’s freedom. And THAT is what my journey has been & continues to be about.
The reason I felt reminded to “not be a loser” is because I could have had that joy & freedom all along. I just chose not to because I made life more about my size than about my joy. I made my life more about what I didn’t think I had than about what I did have.
Throughout the weekend I noticed some people who wouldn’t get up and dance. They said they’d embarrass themselves. Many made comments about how they looked, expressing frustration or shame. Others didn’t say it but it was written on their faces. They chose their insecurity over experiencing & creating joy and memories.
It was so familiar to me because it’s where I lived for most of my life. It was a choice and it was a bad one.
Those texts I got on the way home – they weren’t about my smaller body. They didn’t say “you looked great!” – they said “you looked happy” & “you were so fun”.
That has nothing to do with my body. It never did, except in my head.
Guys, life is short.
Swim in the ocean, in your underwear if you have to. Don’t worry about Spanx under your dress or who is thinking about you when you’re dancing.
Have fun. Be fun. Life is about so much more than your body and while you’re busy thinking insecure thoughts, you could be having the time of your life.
I’ll be thinking about how I create more of these moments in my life. How I can dance more. How I can be silly with my family. How I can be less inhibited and more spontaneous.
I’m going to actively create more of those moments.
This post doesn’t include my workout today (because there wasn’t one) or my food (because that’s just not the point of this post).
A quick note on why I didn’t workout today: I was super, super tired when I woke up this morning. I decided that my two health objectives today were rest and clean, nutrient dense nutrition. I decided that keeping it simple without the workout would allow for more rest and less hunger. It was the right choice for me today and I’ll be back at the gym tomorrow morning.