Let Me Enjoy This One and Negative Encouragement Revisited
Beware of the Ides of March! Whatever. It was fine. Today was great. I started my day early like so many before---with some non-weighted strength exercises, breakfast, and reading…and sometimes writing. It’s a nice start, a good foundation to what could be and should be a good day. I’m doing everything I can to make it that way.
Thank you to everyone for the kind comments about yesterday’s post. A few were wayyyy tooo kind. Really, Tom Cruise, OK---whatever! It’s funny you mention that, because Irene was the first to say that years ago, even at my heaviest, she could see some resemblance. It’s happened over and over again throughout the years. I once had a comedy club patron at Laffs in Tucson, Arizona, stop me after a show just to tell me that I looked like a “fat Tom Cruise.” I guess that was a compliment, kinda.
I remember rushing back to the room that night to tell Irene and the girls all about this strangers observation. I was giddy: “She said I looked like a fat Tom Cruise, can you believe that? You really think so? If only I could lose this weight---I wonder what I would look like in the face?” It was hope for my fat head and me. That’s how I looked at that, it was hope. After feeling like the fattest, ugliest person in every room or group I was in---I felt hope. Maybe if I lost this weight, I could be considered cute. I would dream about that…crazy huh? Or maybe it’s not crazy, it's just a normal fat guy dream. Tom and I do have the same style of connecting ears and maybe the same eye and nose shape---maybe. Our facial structure must be similar. Whatever. Irene read the blog posting and the Tom Cruise comment and then sent me a text that said “See, I always told you that you looked like Tom Cruise, I was the first.” Yes you were my buddy. Honestly, I don’t see it. I appreciate it. And mom, my dear momma---don’t worry---it’s far, far away from going to my head. That’s what mom said tonight…“don’t let that go to your head son.” Isn’t she amazing? I love my momma!
And I love my dear cousin Troy. I haven’t heard from him concerning the post…I hope once he reads the paragraph about our childhood, that he’s still gracious in his understanding. It’s cool to not be the heaviest person anymore. That’s all. I can’t help but smile over that fact.
I can remember thinking to myself: I’m the fattest person in this school. Or: I’m the fattest person in this store right now. Or at a big sporting event: I may be the fattest person in this entire stadium. I know, I know…horrible. And I started doing that to myself in grade school! It didn’t take much to figure out that I was the fattest kid in the school…then I would sit there and obsess over the thought.
So you know what? I’m enjoying not being that guy anymore. I don’t feel “gross” like that girl said to me in eighth grade when I expressed interest in her. I don’t feel like a freak anymore. I felt like one for too long. It messes with your head badly. So good for me that after a lifetime of feeling that way---I can feel good about how I look, confident in my appearance---maybe not total body confidence just yet---but we’re getting there, but seriously…I sometimes tear up when I’m all alone and I’m washing my hands---and I look up at myself in the mirror…and I like what I see for the first time in my life. I’ve never had that before.
I spent the evening with Amber tonight. We arrived home from dinner out at JW Cobbs with just enough calories left for a 110 calorie Blue Bunny Star Bar….or a banana or apple. I chose the Star Bar. It was a treat. It’s important to have occasional treats, and for 110 calories, I love the ice cream bar! We watched Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn. We laughed a bunch. And caught some of the love lessons in the end too. It was a good movie and a nice time together.
I read the post from March 15th, 2009 and found a portion about “negative encouragement.” If you’ve been overweight for a long time, then surely you’ve been a victim of the sharp edged, well meaning barbs, and sometimes not so well meaning jabs from people around us:
One thing that doesn't motivate anyone is “negative encouragement.” Sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it? Negative encouragement is when a person uses negatives in hopes that they'll sting enough to make that person do something about their weight problem. “You're lazy,” “You'll never lose your weight,” “You're a slob,” these negatives do nothing to motivate, they just hurt peoples feelings and reinforce negative perceptions they may already have about themselves. These kind of negative comments can come from great people that really love the target of their remarks. They really do, they would love to see positive changes in the person they're firing these hurtful words toward, and if confronted about the negative comments and relentless negative out loud observations, they would no doubt be hurt themselves, because “hey, I love them, I just want them to do something about their obesity.” I've personally witnessed this kind of “encouragement” and since I have a tremendous amount of experience being morbidly obese, I can ensure you that it has absolutely zero positive value. It just doesn't serve a purpose, at all, not even a little bit. And again, the person dealing the remarks can be a very caring, smart, and loving individual, with nothing but positive hopes and dreams for the subject of their ridicule. Perhaps they've never been morbidly obese, they've never had a serious weight problem, so they don't fully understand the mental perplexities of obesity. If you're the one dealing the remarks, stop it! If you're the one receiving the remarks, don't believe them for one second! You can do this, you have the power within to dramatically change your life forever. Once you truly decide to make the changes, and you make it the most important thing you do, and you work on changing your mind about food, eating, and exercise habits, and you do it everyday with 100% consistency, then nothing can stop you from reaching your goal. Not stress, not emotions, not a single thing can get in your way. How do I know? Because I spent my entire life stuck in the prison of morbid obesity. After countless attempts to break free, I'm just now doing it everyday.
Thanks for reading. Goodnight and…