I have struggled with my weight most of my life, but there did come a time when I had a period of what some would call a fairly “normal” weight. I had kept that weight off for a few years and had dated and enjoyed what came with being what society considered “attractive and acceptable”. It was this time in my life when I gained self confidence. I had never had it before (in my teens and earlier). I had pretty much the low self esteem that I see on tv with every heavy person’s story, or what I read in magazines or books.
Well, when I gained back the 100 lbs I had lost to get to that desirable weight, plus gained 100 lbs more, I had actually kept that self confidence. At near 400 lbs, I was very comfortable in my own skin. I never let the number on the scale define the person that I was.
I’d have friends tell me that when they first met me, the first thing they noticed was my size, but then they quickly saw beyond that and then it wasn’t my size they saw. It was me. I wasn’t that heavy person who never wanted to be seen. I refused to NOT be seen! In fact, I LOVE being the center of attention. Always have. I’ve always been sad for my friends with low self esteem, because I do remember what it felt like… I haven’t felt it since I was in high school, some 30’ish years ago, but I remember. It’s not a great feeling. I don’t know how to teach self esteem. I wish I did.
What I do know is that the number on the scale does NOT define who we are. I really wish that more people understood that. We are much more than that number!
One thing I realized and wish I could explain is that the confidence is something others are drawn to. It truly does make one more personable. When I lost the weight, I remember telling my Aunt… “Why are people treating me different? I’m the same person!” and she replied with “You are NOT the same person. You are MUCH more confident, you are much more happy, and it shines through.”
I had to mull that over for a while… While I felt that I hadn’t changed at all. I truly had. Once I made that realization, I then realized how much more approachable I had become to the people around me. It was interesting.