20+ years later, I'm over 40, fat, and struggling with my own images and stereotypes. I've struggled with my weight for my entire life... is a refrain that we all hear and I constantly say to myself. It is not so much an excuse as it is a reminder. I did this to myself. My choices put me here and keep me here. I do love football and outdoor activities and I adore coaching my son's basketball team and working on my property to build things, and do things.. most days. In recent years, I've not done so much of that as my size is now a limiting factor. both in my own ability as well as in the perspectives of those around me friend & foe..
Awareness is the beginning of recovery. For months, I've struggled with how to address this topic publicly with friends, my kids, etc.. Something snapped in the past few days. A post by a friend from Juilliard discussing his own struggles with size stereotypes and fat factors.. seemed to flip a switch in my head.. freeing me to be honest and open...
I've been ridiculed and laughed at my entire life.. too fat, too loud, not smart enough, too slow, too lazy... too Southern... to liberal.. too conservative... not good enough... not, not, not.... you name it and I've heard it. At every opportunity I've struggled, fought, and ultimately risen above that commentary to PROVE somehow that I was not what they said I was.I learned to trust myself and my faith in God's love for me. In most times, I hardened my shell and ignored the attacks and derisive personal assassination. Feeling it, but burying it.. learning to cope, be the adult, and carry on. Today, I wear that success as a badge of honor... in all cases except my weight.
I've never cracked that nut... Stinging words from children still strike to my heart, worries about chairs, literally fitting in cars.. a belief that my career advancement is directly impacted, and repeated anxiety attacks seem to have come to a boiling point. Mid life crisis full on.. is what most would say. Roger that, is my response.
I declare today, that I'm aware of my problem.. I have a desire to change and am beginning the long journey to gather the knowledge and ability to change. I write this publicly because somehow it helps me.. Tony's writing helped me.. perhaps my writing can help others. I'll need others' help to reinforce any real changes.
As O'Reilly would say on his Factor No Spin zone... "and those are the talking points for tonight."
For me.. reliance on better discipline, more activity, and God to help motivate me will be key. Eat less, better, and move a lot more... finding a routine that I can embrace... and build upon.. I don't have it, but I'm gonna find it.. 4 years from now.. I want my results to show more than rhetoric.