Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why Am I Sharing My Story?

So...I have this blog, and I make posts on Facebook, and I talk freely to people who ask me questions or make comments about my weight loss...but why? Why am I so open about something that is so deeply personal? I mean, after all, I'm talking about what I eat, the clothes I wear, the exercise I'm doing, my health, and other facets of my life that only my closest friends and family members would normally know about. So why am I now discussing it publicly?
There are several reasons. First, I am not alone in making changes to a healthy way of living, but the only way to discover that is to be willing to talk about it. Since embarking on my weight loss journey, I have drawn strength and encouragement from talking to others who have been bold enough to share with me. Because weight is something that people are often embarrassed or ashamed about, or an area of their life they feel like they have lost control over, so many are fearful of talking about it. This fear isolates men and women every day by making them feel like weight is a taboo subject. Talking about it, however, connects you to those who understand what you're going through. Just knowing you're not alone is comforting.
Another reason I'm being very open about this is because I have a heart to help others who share the same struggles.  I have been very overweight my entire life. Ever since I was a toddler I've been heavy. I know what it's like to be the slowest one trying to run in gym class in school. I know what it's like to be ridiculed by both strangers and acquaintances because of my appearance. I know what it's like to have a horrible time trying to find clothes that fit, and to never feel like I look good.  I know what it’s like to be the biggest one in the room.  I know what it’s like to hide behind kids, pillows, animals, furniture, or friends to cover up as much as possible in photos.  I know what it’s like…to just want to be different than I am…By sharing my story I hope to encourage, to support, and to inspire others to know that they CAN make the life changes they so desperately desire.  It is possible!

A third reason for being so candid about my weight loss is that it holds me accountable.  When you’re extremely overweight, you have to lose a pretty significant number of pounds before your losses start becoming apparent to others.  Overweight folks often hide behind oversized and baggy clothes anyway, so even when the pounds start coming off, it may not be noticed for a while.  Because the fear of failure often lurks close on your heels when you try to change over to a healthy lifestyle, if you don’t tell anyone, then no one will know if you go don’t stick to your commitment.  I have to admit, it was very hard, initially, to tell people about the changes I was making.  But by doing so, I’ve developed a network of friends who check in on me regularly.  They ask me how it’s going at the gym and how many pounds I’ve lost each week.  This helps me stay accountable to working towards my goals.

Finally, and most importantly, by speaking out about where I’ve come from and where I’m headed, I get the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the fact that it has only been because of God that I’ve been able to achieve any measure of success.  The Bible says that we have power to overcome the things that seek to destroy us.  This includes issues with food and weight because they can definitely destroy you!  That power comes through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, thereby allowing you to have a relationship with him, and by the word of your testimony of what He has done for you (Revelation 12:11).  So, my testimony is that by surrendering this area of my life to Him, I’ve found healing for my past, strength for today, and hope for tomorrow…and you can too!

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