How do you get to be 334 lbs? That’s how much I weighed at my heaviest in 2008. I hated everything. Literally. And everyday I woke up still trapped in that body, in that life, I hated it more. I had to do everything twice as much just to feel it. Drank more, ate more, even took death just to cry. I was somewhere living under layers of disappointment and stretch-mark covered skin.
The reason I’d buried myself alive, albeit in a tomb of flesh, was because I didn’t know how to make sense of myself. I’d always felt special yet here I was feeling physically unattractive, “dumped” by P2AD and my dad months before, in a dead end job with no reprieve in sight. Looking back I can aptly articulate that in the time of my greatest despair and turmoil, I never felt so ordinary.
I get asked a lot how or why I’m so honest on my blog. I give a varied version of the same response everytime. But I think that it boils down to presence, engagement, and awareness. I am not solely defined by my past nor my potential. I am who I am (right now) and that’s all that I am. In having a clear idea of self, I’ve grown to better appreciate others. Of course, right? But I could no longer look at a 300 lb woman and not want to silently pray for her to put down whatever she’s carrying and to shrug off her excess and allow herself to be seen. Easier said..but I found compassion. Patience. Empathy, all through my own engagement with life. Lastly, awarenesses. What do you want? Why? When did you first start wanting it? I make it a priority to check in with myself. To pay attention.
So when it comes to sharing, I do it because it scares me a little. What will people say? Or do? Or think…will people comment? Will they think I’m __________? I consider it all. And then I remember fear. The all too familiar feeling of nothing special. The sinking weight of mediocrity. And I publish. Because fear of average got my to 334lbs. Shame that I did not measure up to my own impossibly high standards I set for myself. I was never going to. I had to accept myself. I was never going to be perfect. But I did have the awesome pleasure of being myself.
It took a great deal of remembering…that I am more than a number on a scale, or in the waistband of jeans. I am not my paycheck. My degrees, not even my family. I am bigger than all of if, and life is bigger than me. I figure when I strip down to my secrets…someone needs it. I am playing my part. I am fulfilling my purpose.
So…how do you get to 334lbs? Silence. Not saying you need help for fear of judgment, ridicule, confusion. Shame. Of being too much of all the wrong things and not enough of all the right ones. Vanilla. Passing up opportunities because you’ve convinced yourself that only the thin/beautiful/intelligent/wealthy deserve good things.
Speaking up saved my life. It gave me life. And in sifting through the 334lbs of lies and secrecy I came across truth. And love. And divinity. And while I work to transform a body built by quiet mediocrity, my true self shines extraordinary. Sure of my strength, mostly. Willing and happy to be flawed and myself. But utterly convinced I am anything but average.