The response to my last post, “Let’s Do a Complete 360,” has been absolutely wonderful and mostly positive. I am overwhelmed by how many people have identified with some element of what I wrote.
Not even 24 hours have passed and it has been shared on social media over 450 times, first by friends, then by their friends, and now by people I have no social media connection with. It’s very Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I’ve received many messages from people ranging from childhood friends and acquaintances to complete strangers. The post has been read by people in over 30 countries. The number of views is astronomical and beyond what I ever imagined or intended. I’m grateful that you, the readers, feel a connection and love from me. You have it.
There have been, of course, a couple responses which were exactly what I spoke of in my previous post – people who enjoyed the article but felt the need to make sure I know that obesity is not healthy and I’m not being honest with myself by saying it is. They are concerned of my influence on others, especially youth. I always appreciate when people are thoughtful and concerned about issues. That is what brings change! As I mentioned before, there are a lot of these types of responses online infecting all social media outlets, but unfortunately they are often intently negative and come from an uneducated place, or a place of blind following without understanding knowledge for themselves. That has not been the case with my “negative” responses, but it is what I referred to in my last post.
These types of responses concern me because they are debilitating to people who are still trying to find their footing and grow into something great. The person being verbally attacked may be coming from a place I once was – used to bullying, media, and feeling worthless because of their body. It is dangerous when such a person finally lets their roots dig a little deeper and drinks in nourishment from the well of self-worth, and then someone bored on the internet comes along to put in their two cents on the person’s every flaw, making many assumptions about the intentions and intelligence of the original poster and the effects of their actions on society. How many times have you watched a YouTube video of a completely tone deaf person doing a cover of their favorite song, only to find a comment section brimming with comments like, “u need 2 kill urself,” “she is so disgusting I hope she dies,” and more?
I’d like to respond to this.
The negative people need to give it up. Find something beautiful in themselves and focus on that. In the process, they may meet many great people, some of which might look like or have a history like the people they mock behind the dim glow of the computer screen at 2 a.m. Put the pride aside. I get it, because I love to make sure people know I’m right, too. But human beings – and I say this as someone who has her days of dislike in dealing with lack of common sense – are generally intelligent, intuitive, and all have the same goals. We want to be better. We strive for goodness. We want to succeed.
The purpose of my original post – which most of you welcomingly understood – was that wherever you are at in your life, it is so important for you to see your value and your worth. It is important to know and feel loved. If you truly don’t feel like there is anyone out there that loves you, count on me. Know that my heart has a much larger capacity than my gigantic glutinous maximus, and I have the capacity to love and encourage you. This world needs more unity, more community. We achieve more when we feel purpose and a sense of belonging. I have seen many examples in my life of people – myself included – who have given up because they felt like a burden to society. I’m sure we all know someone dear to us who has done the same.
Let me make it clear: I am not promoting obesity. But I don’t think I need to clarify that, because you are smart, intuitive people. I am promoting self-love, value, and worth, as a way to live your life with joy in whatever phase you may be in. I’m promoting these values as a way to help you feel more positive and uplifted and to use them as a tool to help you achieve success in all your goals. I’m encouraging these concepts as a way to build healthy relationships and compassion.
Do I know the risks of obesity? Yes. Am I truly, weight aside, free of all illnesses and disease at this very moment? Yes. Am I honest with myself about it on a daily basis? Yep. The funny thing is, when you’re labeled as something so ugly sounding your whole life, you desperately look for ways to get as far away from it as possible. I could recite to you every fad diet, trend, life-style, how to perform pretty much any exercise, tell you the going rate of a personal trainer at ten different locations, and lend you one of my 25+ fitness DVDs. Many of the obese want to get away from it, but the stress of trying to is overwhelming and we can’t quite cross the border. We’ve got a lifetime of negative thoughts and habits to work through and battle, so we aren’t always successful on the first or fifteenth tries. We know that we are racing against the clock, and it takes a lot to win the race.
What I have learned is that letting go of the stress of it usually changes my life drastically, which is why I’m keen on encouraging loving yourself where you’re at. It’s worth looking at your blessings and accomplishments thus far to help you arrive at a place where you are mentally okay to move forward with whatever your goals may be.
For me, that means being okay with myself now and living a fulfilling life at my weight in order to be healthy enough to tackle the huge and daunting task of losing 185 pounds. It means knowing that life is imperfect at any weight or any stage of physical beauty, and that losing weight wouldn’t make life magically perfect in love. That frame of mind led me to my recent marriage, to my travel experiences, to my hundreds of friendships across the globe, to better family relationships, and to an actual desire to make healthier choices for myself and look forward to a brighter future.
A Complete 360 is not just an analysis of me at my current weight or physical beauty versus inner beauty. It is the process of coming full circle. We often think we need to pull a 180 and change everything about who we are to be a better person. That is false. If we take the time to nourish ourselves a little – to let our roots sink deep and explore the soils that feed our souls – we will realize we are actually pretty great where we are and who we are, and we can keep moving forward in the right direction with a little extra self-love and appreciation, value, and worth.