I spent some time talking to someone who is close to my heart yesterday afternoon. I met him when we both lived in New York in late 2007, but neither of us live there now. He’s very tall, extremely intelligent and says exactly what he means. He has a very dry wit, and sometimes his words cause me to raise my brow at though I don’t think it’s ever intentional. He accepts my flaws and knows my hopes for the future. He is a real friend who knows my thoughts and (most) of my desires, but he cannot know how much his words affected me today.
Both of our lives are changing now so he has a deep understanding of the unknowns that I’m facing. And yesterday I was talking, once again, about how my weight has held me back in many aspects of my life. I never like admitting that, but if you read my blog then you already know that I’m trying to move outside of my comfort zone and into a place of self-honesty and self-acceptance.
As I went on and on about how my size plays a role in holding me back, he said he didn’t understand why it would now. He said that because he understands the transformation that my body is making that he understands my point of view. He knows that I’m trying to reach a certain goal, but if he knew nothing about me, he would just see me as a normal person.
I realize that his words were not profound or complimentary nor will they impact everyone the way they have impacted me, but to someone who weighed nearly 400 pounds at one point, normalcy is a dream come true. I can’t tell you how many times I walked through the mall or across Park Ave. longing for the day that I would blend in with the other normal looking people. Forget supermodels. I’ve never aspired to that, and I don’t now, but to walk down the street without hearing snide comments from strangers or feeling winded is something that I dreamed about for a long time.
I spend so much time working toward the future that I sometimes forget to appreciate the present. I’m still overweight, of course, but it’s been a long time since someone was blatantly rude to my face. And walking down the street without feeling winded is as common now as wearing a coat that I can button. It’s easy. I even passed everyone at the track today. Who knew that would ever happen?
Maybe my friend is right. Maybe his theory – that the way I see myself is the biggest road block now – is accurate. Maybe I’m no longer so grossly overweight that teenage boys feel the need to tell me how ugly I am or so heavy that a potential employer won’t give me a chance. He believes I will win a triathlon someday or complete the NYC Marathon if that’s what I decide to do. Perhaps I should believe in myself as much as he seems to.
It’s obvious that I need to try harder to appreciate what I see in the mirror – a plus-size woman who takes care of herself, wears nice clothes, designer shoes and knows how to apply makeup and nail polish. I see beauty in other women in my daily life and in the blogosphere everyday. Maybe it’s time to start seeing the beauty in myself.
This guy makes me think about life from different perspectives on a regular basis, but this topic is definitely my favorite. I hope I can express my gratitude for his words…his belief…at some point. But if I did today, he’d probably wonder what the big deal is. After all, he was only stating what was obvious in his mind.
Though he doesn’t know it now, his words made my day, and it reminded me just how important it is to keep working on the inside as I work on the outside.