I thought yesterday's post would resonate with some, but people talking about their kids being bullied and such just makes it all feel so raw. To know that feeling and to even think about it is like pouring salt in a 10+ year old wound.
I did want to talk about the flip side of bullies – the cheerleaders. Not the fake kind either with their too-tight ponytails in ringlets with their skinny, bouncy selves. I mean the true cheerleaders. The ones who don't hesitate to share a kind word. The ones who actually give a damn. The people like YOU who read this blog.
It's so funny because when I started this journey, I was so freaking scared. Not scared that I would fail (although there was a little bit of that), but scared of what others would think. Can you imagine? Me being morbidly obese and quite possibly DYING from it, and having my head tell me that I maybe shouldn't even try because of what others will think about me. To even look back and think that my fear of someone's judgement would stop me from saving myself is ridiculous. Don't ever let anyone have that kind of power over you- ever!
And now for some love. This is not a complete list, just a few random people I wanted to point out. NOT my close friends, NOT family (although some of them are thanked in my crying video here). It's amazing how I can point out the bullies and haters on one hand, yet it's hard to come up with a complete list of all of the encouragers, supporters and cheerleaders who are there. There are so many! THEY are the ones I should care about.
- Readers of this blog: those who comment and even those who don't (I know you're there!) give me strength and encouragement to continue on this long journey. I'm talking about YOU. Yes, YOU there. I know you're there. I've never met you. Yet you still care. Thank you.
- Lady at the gym from Saturday: you were doing crazy crunches on the Bosu ball. I was doing weights and then pulling crazily on some rubber band things that Trainer Rob had me working on. You stopped me to tell me you knew me from my old office building and have seen how hard I've been working at the gym. I heard your “rah rah” loud and clear.
- Older, fit gentleman from the gym a couple of weeks ago: you were waiting on the machine for lat pull downs and I was just hopping on it when I finished my step-ups onto the tall bench-thingy (technical term). You said “man, those things you were just doing are HARD! Good job!”
- Distant co-worker I only see ever few months when I travel: I was talking to you about ordering lunch for the video crew we had coming in for a shoot and mentioned I was doing low carb. You said you had noticed a difference in me but didn't want to say anything. Say away, dear coworker, say away. I appreciate you.
When I started this journey, I feared that people at the gym would stare. They would judge. I feared that I couldn't do the activities there, that I would fall (literally on my ass and figuratively that I would fail). I would start blogging about my struggles and no one would read, no one would care. I thought I for sure would get hateful comments or jokes about my fat from anonymous commenters.
I have never been so happy to have been so freakin' wrong. I have not fallen on my ass (as many times as I tell Trainer Rob I think I might). I have not failed yet. Have things gone smoothly? No. But if they did, where would the lesson be in that? Not one person has made a joke about me at the gym. Not one person has left an anonymous fat hate comment.
I have been schooled, and now I hope you have been too.