I just got back from visiting a family member who’s dealt with their weight their whole life. It’s started to affect their health, but that’s not all. They also carry around an overall pessimistic attitude that bleeds through just about every aspect of life (relationships, work, self-image – everything). It seems that a lot of the conversations revolve around “how bad I feel” and that this and that are “not going well” or “what a knucklehead” someone is. You get my point.
If I look back on their life I can see where their attitude developed. They had a very unloving father who created a stressful environment at home. This person really learned to be invisible in order to avoid getting tangled into any family hassles. I just have one question: If that was 40 years ago, why wasn’t it possible to break free of that damage? This is a loving, kind, and intelligent human being who has so much to offer the world and the people they have come in contact with. I wonder why that side of themselves was not allowed to come out and live these past 60 years?
Did it start with putting on weight as a young person to hide from the bad situation at home? Did the weight then create another situation at school that reinforced this person’s self-image and inability to self-love? Have these experiences created a negative perspective about the world and the people in it and, most importantly, their place within that world? I’m not qualified to unravel that question. I’m just a kid who grew up loving this individual and not knowing how to penetrate that shield.
Now, all this time later the weight has created an intense list of health issues. They can’t exercise because their knees and hips hurt, and so the cycle continues.
On my last visit I started thinking there are really only three choices for us all.
- Live as the victim of our circumstances for our entire lives. Just keep allowing the hurt we experienced to keep hurting us. Maybe even establish new pain to throw on top of the old so we can get nice and buried under it all. Once we are wedged under bad health, an unsuccessful relationship, oh, and maybe some financial woes, then we really have a strong case as to why it has never worked out for us.
- Be a part of a bad situation and then find your way out from under that reality. Make a clear decision as a young adult that “hey, this is my life and I want something from it and I have something to give to it.” Acknowledge the pain, feel the pain, but somehow find a way to take responsibility for what you can control, and get out there and kick butt. It doesn’t mean we all don’t have issues, but it’s how much damage you allow your issues to do to your present life that is key.
- Catch yourself. Maybe the road didn’t start out so smooth and you were heading for the wall (for that matter maybe you hit the wall or rock bottom), but then you chose to rescue yourself. Twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years old and it’s never too late to make a change or do something in a different way.
There is a lot of love, joy, and wonder out there for us all, we just have to work and go get it. Are there struggles and pain? That just seems to be one of the layers of living, but those are the things that teach us and help us grow.
No more excuses. Treat yourself well, love yourself, and get out there and do what you need to do to get it done. Move, try to stop using food to get numb, go say sorry to someone, tell someone they hurt you, clear out all those that don’t have your best interest at heart, and let’s move forward. Time is not stopping for any of us to figure it out.
By, Gabby Reece