This year I had the opportunity to hear Robert Herjavec speak (you may know him best from Shark Tank.) He said this, “When the pain from your current situation becomes unbearable, you’ll change.”
I found myself saying out loud, “Yes, THAT is it!” I really do not believe there is any other catalyst that will result in long-lasting changes other than your inability to tolerate one more second in your current situation. Unbearable does indeed facilitate change.
I woke up one day broken. Physically broken. The food had caught up with me. I was almost 250 pounds, tired, depressed, angry, and sad. I stood in front of my bathroom mirror and looked at what I had done to myself. I looked at all the fat, the skin, and my body distorted from the shape it was intended to be. I remember actually seeing my body for the first time. Not hidden under clothes, not hidden by a towel or a robe. I realized I never actually looked at myself. I got dressed in the closet and avoided mirrors. I had chosen not to SEE what I was doing to myself, and the aftermath was devastating. It takes a lot of work to be obese. It is day after day after day of making bad choices. Day after day after day of not caring about yourself. As I stood there, I suddenly realized it was a CHOICE.
For 3 decades I had made millions of choices, but I had not been choosing me. We make choices all day long. I had chosen to be fat. I had chosen to abuse my body. I had chosen to feel sorry for myself. I had chosen to be a victim of my circumstances. I had CHOSEN to tell myself stories to support my lack of health: I am big boned, I have a slow metabolism, I have been overweight my entire life, this is just how things are. As I looked in the mirror and touched a body I did not recognize and had absolutely no connection to, I remember thinking, “I do not accept this.” My current situation had become unbearable.
So I decided I would start making better choices.
The way I had gotten to obese was the same way I would get to good health. Making choices day after day after day, I would make better choices. I also realized it was going to take time. For some reason on that day (in my bathroom, in front of the mirror, assessing the damage and realizing it would take time) I felt free. Time suddenly felt like my friend instead of my enemy. If time could make me fat, time could make me healthy.
There are no quick fixes. You do not get fat overnight; you will not become healthy overnight. You must own your journey and accept your current situation is a result of your own CHOICES. Once you decide you are worth fighting for, you just start. Life is simply a series of choices. You choose every single day, all day long. You choose how to react, how to spend your time, how to see yourself, how to present yourself to the world, what to eat, what not to eat, and what you spend your time and energy on. So if you want a new story start making different choices.
No one is coming to save you. The right partner, the right friends, the right job, winning the lottery, the right number on the scale…none of that will make you happier, you have to choose YOU! You must put one foot in front of the next and forge through the challenging, the uncomfortable, and the pain. In the end, you build your resilience, and this creates a sense of power coupled with gratitude, and you become unstoppable.
I could write 200 more pages on how I got to here: a healthy weight, a career I love, friends who support and love me unconditionally, amazing energy, and opportunity the universe continues to bring my way because I am open to receiving it. Most people want a quick fix, so this is what I tell people who ask me, “How? How did you get to where you are today?” I tell them I just decided I was done being fat, or in other words, my CURRENT SITUATION was no longer bearable.”
Owning my weight and accepting that my current circumstances were 100% my own doing were the first steps. I accepted who I was, I owned all of it. That alone was very liberating. I quit lying to myself and I dealt with the facts…I was fat, I was unhappy, and I no longer wanted to be.
Many people want change, but not if it means THEY have to change. If you want a new story just start. Start making choices that support the life you want. Be the change you want to see. It is simple, but it is certainly not easy. Change is hard work. So ask yourself, is my current situation no longer bearable and am I willing to work?
Your path to health lies in your answer.
I am Jennifer. I am @HappyBodyFood. This is my journey from unhealthy to healthy…but more truthfully this is my journey from self-hate, to self-love.