“The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” ~William James
It’s time to come clean. I used to be seriously obese – I know, you know. But what you don’t know is what it is that made me finally stop being that way.
Maybe it wasn’t the best reason – but hey, it did the trick. But it took a long time to get there. Even though I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and several other obesity-related health issues, it took a few non-health-related things to kick me in the butt to get moving.
So I can’t hide it any longer. Here’s one of the incidents that inspired me to lose weight and later tell my story. Of course, I never thought I’d be sharing this stuff in public. But here we go – a whole new thing has occurred in my life – I have chosen to try that whole radical self-acceptance concept, and I’m digging it – which means that I am willing to share my secret weight loss stuff to help you, my very favorite reader, out – and also willing and able to ignore the negative stuff that comes with it when the trolls get a hold of the link. But that’s another post for another day! So anyway, on with the show.
The Day I Lost My Neck: A Painfully True Story of Self-Realization
My name is Angela Atkinson, and I’m the editor-in-chief and creator of QueenBeeing.com, among other things. I’m also a woman who has struggled with being obese and being invisible in a society that both perpetuates obesity and shuns those affected by it.
There was a time that my face appeared to be attached to my shoulders – I was seriously neck-impaired. One evening in 2009, I was sitting in my living room having coffee with my friend Lori, when I admitted something that I hadn’t yet been able to say out loud up to that point.
“Lori,” I said. “I no longer have a neck. I can’t believe I’m this fat! I used to have a NECK!”
Being the good friend she was, Lori insisted she could see something that resembled a neck – but the truth was that she was just being nice. I had no neck.
But that moment was significant – it marked a period of serious personal growth in my life – and within two years of that day, I had completely changed my relationship with food and with my body – and dropped 100 pounds in the process.
Good old Timehop helped me remember this stuff actually – see what it stuck in my face the other day? Ha, I kid! I love these kinds of before and after weight loss photos – they really help my motivation to stay on track! (But, see how I had no neck on that left pic? Yikes! No wonder I could barely breathe.)
I managed to get past the biggest part of my weight struggles and to take off the 100 plus pounds I needed to – although the journey continues every day. I learned to change my mind and to understand myself and the way my body works on a whole new level.
In fact, I chronicled the whole deal in my book, Project Blissful: How I Lost 100 Pounds Without Starving, Sweating or Surgery.
I wrote this book because I truly believe in paying it forward and in helping others who could use some real, solid advice from someone who has been where they are, rather than some random fitness guru who has never experienced the life of an overweight or obese person.
My genuine hope is that it helps everyone who reads it to find a new perspective and to allow her (or his) true self to emerge through the physical baggage she (or he) is carrying today. That’s how it worked for me, once I figured out the really important “little things” I was missing – and I’m sharing them all with you in this book.
By Sarah Aarssen
Want to get rid of belly fat? You can tone and tighten in as little as 45 minutes at home.
“Fat” is not a personality trait.
I was pretty lucky growing up. I never got teased for being a chubby kid.
Even as an adult I never really “suffered” from my obesity like the horror stories you hear on TV or read about on Facebook, with kids being tortured on the playground and adults who are ashamed to come out of their houses or be in social situations.
I was never so awkward that I wouldn’t go to my prom or meet new people. I was just never all that bothered with my weight. Even in a size 22/24 I still managed to feel pretty good about myself most of the times.
I do realize how very lucky I am for that… my parents must have done a great job in that department! (thanks Mom and Dad!)
I’ve always had a bit of a mouth on me though so maybe that was why I was never a target for fat jokes or taunting. I’ve learned to filter over the years but I’m still not one to take too much bull from anybody without stepping in and setting the story straight rather quickly.
I realize not everybody has the same attitude (or the self esteem or whatever it is) to do that though and I am writing this post for some of those people who have just never had the balls to say anything.
Being fat is not part of my personality. I can lose weight, gain weight, have lipo, get implants, cut off limbs, grow a third arm and that still wouldn’t change me from the person I am now.
I will still be a witty (read: mouthy smartalek) character when I’m at my goal weight, just like I was when I was at my rock bottom weight.
Being overweight doesn’t mean I am lazy. I have worked my butt off at every job I’ve ever had. I’ve never had a problem keeping up with my thinner colleagues and in most situations I could work circles around them.
Join our Love Yourself 60-Day Fitness Challenge! We’re getting started Feb. 14, so sign up today!
At one point in my life I was in between jobs when an uncle thought he should let me know that if I didn’t lose weight I would never be able to find a job because people just didn’t hire fat people. I, of course, got a job almost immediately and worked my way up the ladder within the company in a short period of time. When I left they were sorry to see my un-thin ass walk out the door.
So that blows that theory.
Regardless of my experiences in life there are certain “visions of sugar plumps that dance in your head” when people think of the an overweight person. Just to set the record straight and to leave you with a clearer picture of those jazz handed dancers, here is the scoop:
Being fat doesn’t mean that I’m jolly or jovial.
It doesn’t mean that I am mean or bitter.
It also doesn’t mean that I want to be thin or that I’m jealous of those who are.
It doesn’t mean that I’m depressed.
It doesn’t mean that I’m out of control.
It doesn’t mean I’m dirty.
It doesn’t make me ugly.
It doesn’t make me unqualified for the job.
It doesn’t mean I have no willpower.
It doesn’t make me stupid.
It doesn’t mean I’m sloppy.
It doesn’t mean I’m unlovable.
It doesn’t mean I’m unworthy.
It doesn’t mean I’m weak.
Being overweight doesn’t define me… it doesn’t define anyone. I hope we all can recognize that in our daily lives.
What do you have to say? Have you ever felt that being overweight defined you or someone you love? What do you think now? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below.