If not now, then when?
You’ve been saying that you want to change your life, yet you seem to be stuck in the same place as you were last week, last month, last year. Well, what’s stopping you? What challenges or blockades are preventing you from moving forward to achieve your dreams?
How long are you going to wish for something different?
For 43 years, I was in that mode, always wishing for a different life. I would see beautiful, elegant women walking past me in the mall, window shopping, looking at all of the clothes that I could not buy because they did not come in my size and I would wish. I would see a group of friends, happy and laughing together, having fun and I would wish. I would see a couple, holding hands, so much in love, really enjoying each other and I would wish.
“I wish I could look like that,” “I wish I had friends like that,” “I wish I could find love like that.”
I wished a lot and I wished for a different life. I looked for it, that’s for sure and I no matter where looked or how hard I tried, I never seemed to be able to find it. What was stopping me? The thoughts in my head were. The little words that go on in the back of your head, those negative words, those thoughts that tell you that you’re not good enough. “You are not worthy of having any of those things!”
And where did those thoughts come from? They came from experience. All my life I was the fat kid. As a child, I was the fat kid. In school, constantly bullied, tormented and teased because along with a multitude of other things, I was the fat kid, I had the weird last name, I wore thick glasses, I didn’t have a lot of clothes because they didn’t make plus size clothes for little girls back then and more. All of this in elementary and junior high school. In high school it became worse, to the point that before my senior year in school I couldn’t bear the thought of returning to another year of torment, so I made a failed attempt at suicide. I took a handful of pills that were in my mother’s medicine cabinet, I don’t even remember now what they were, but I landed in the hospital having my stomach pumped and then I to a psychiatric ward for a while to be evaluated. I ended up not even going to the senior year in high school, but instead taking my GED and scoring the 2nd highest score in the State. That set off another set of circumstances, which I’ll write about another time.
The point I’m trying to make here is the thoughts in our head, the negative thoughts, the way that we think about things. I was taught that my weight was my problem and even as a little kid, I was never good enough because I was overweight. Repeatedly, I was told by my own family if I weren’t so heavy then all of the things that happened to me, wouldn’t have happened. I’d constantly hear the phrases “You’re so smart, but…” or “You’ve got such a pretty face, but…” and the “but” was always followed by “If only you weren’t so heavy.” Instead of being supported in my weight loss desires/efforts, their reiteration that I wasn’t good enough was embedded in my brain. As a result, I grew up from the fat kid, into the obese teen, to the morbidly obese adult and so it went to the point where there’s no doubt in my mind that I was well over 400 lbs. I do know for a fact, when I went to sign up for one of the many, many diets I was on my whole life, I stepped on a specially made scale (they didn’t make scales for people my size back then) and I was 389 lbs. Can you imagine how ashamed and embarrassed I was, especially when the nurse made it a point to tell me that the scale they were using was typically used to weigh baby cows.
I had always been judged by people because of my weight. In the grocery store, that was probably the worst. People would look at this morbidly obese woman, then I’d see their eyes drift to my shopping cart and then back to me again and they’d whisper to the person that they were with, or they’d make some sort of facial expression which I just knew was judgment. Why wouldn’t it be? I learned to get into a store and get out as quickly as possible or I would go as late as possible, so there would be fewer people in the store.
I lived my life for a long way like this, always wishing, always being judged and always feeling embarrassed and ashamed. I always felt like a failure because I couldn’t lose weight. Sure, I had small successes here and there. When I was about 10 years old, my Grandmother paid for me to go to a gym and I remember our “deal” for losing weight was going to be a new wardrobe. I lost my Grandmother and when she passed away, my Mom stopped taking me to the gym. Diet after diet, I would lose a little and then gain a lot back. I thought for sure that I was destined to live in this morbidly obese body, to be depressed, to have people judge me simply because of the way that I looked, to live a life in a dark black tunnel, never seeing the light at the end.
But, as you can see by my photographs, I am no longer than person. Before you ask, no, I did not have weight loss surgery. Some of the first assumptions people have is that I had gastric bypass or lap band surgery and no, I did not. I get the question all the time “Did you have Gastric Bypass or Lap Band?” When I say that I did it with diet and exercise, most people think that it is impossible to lose the amount of weight that I lost without weight loss surgery, but I am living proof that it is indeed possible.
I finally figured out what worked for me. After 43 years of yo-yo dieting, losing weight and then gaining it all back and more, I finally found something that worked for me. And, you can too. You CAN lose the weight you want to lose and you CAN find yourself with a healthy body and a healthy mind. It all starts with changing the way you think. I changed my mind…changed the way that I thought about everything.
I changed the way I thought about myself and those negative, self-defeating words rolling around in my head. I changed the way that I thought about the food that I put in my body. I changed the way that I thought about physical activity and exercise. I changed the way that I thought about the other people in my life. I realized that all of those negative thoughts and negative people had a huge impact on me and that the negativity had to go. So, I cleaned house. And, I replaced it all with positive thought and positive people and it resulted in positive actions.
I’m not going to tell you that it was as simple as saying “Oh, I changed my mind,” but I am going to tell you that it WAS as simple as changing my mind. It took a lot of effort, it took a lot of being conscious and aware of what I was thinking and how I was reacting to things and people in my life and there were times that it was much harder to stop the negative, but I stayed focused on my goal, which was to be healthy and happy. I’d spent all my life unhealthy, unhappy and wishing for a different life.
I wish I knew then, what I know now. But then again, if I did, if one thing was different in my life, then I possibly wouldn’t be here today, to help others see that it is possible, to help others see that they can achieve their dreams and it all starts with changing the way that you think.
Please use the “contact” form or click the little envelope to reach out to me for more information on how I changed my mind and how I practiced visualization techniques to help me along the way. I’m available for one on one coaching, speaking engagements for small or large groups and to write articles or columns for your website, magazine or both. I’m available in person or by Skype of Facetime. Where there is a will, we can make a way to work together.