If you were to tell the shy, obese girl I was that she was going to cultivate some confidence, lose weight, and give speeches, she would tell you in a meek voice how insane you are!
I used to be the bullied, overweight loser who was not included in anything. Students chased me from the lunch table, so I spent lunch periods in a dark, empty classroom, sitting and eating my lunch alone. The fat words hurt, but the worst that was said to me was on the day I returned after burying my father. He died of a heart attack. Two students mocked me in study hall, saying that my dad died because he could not stand my ugly self, so his heart gave out and he dropped dead.
The study-hall teacher did not intervene and allowed the abuse to happen, watching it like a piece of entertainment. The words and overall treatment morphed me into an introvert who had a lot of self-hate and negativity. I tended to hold on to the negative comments and keep them close to my heart. The negativity branched out into my system like a poison and prevented me from achieving.
I was a downtrodden scientist who was obese. I let people walk all over me, and my weight prevented me from doing things. The weight increased so much that I could no longer find clothes in my size in a regular department store. I could not keep up with my then–three-year-old son. I was over the weight restriction on some amusement-park rides. I was in embarrassing situations in which my fat intruded on someone else’s space on flights and in concert seats. Sure, I tried the weight-loss programs, but my heart was not in it. I went through the motions, purchasing diet food and going to weight-loss seminars. The negativity was still flowing through my veins and did not allow me to set forth effort that was needed to achieve.
I took a look at myself and realized how limited I was, physically and mentally. I needed to drain the negativity out of my system first. Once I did that, I was able to achieve my goals. I started years ago by leaving my dead-end scientist job and creating my own business. There are no regrets; a year later, my old department was laid off as jobs were moved overseas. It was time to work on my weight loss.
I made a list of things that made me overeat and paired them with solutions. Soon the weight came off– 125 pounds worth—and people wanted to know tips and tricks. When I gave them some, they said they were great and that I should write a book. So Goodbye Fatness, Hello Gorgeous! was born. The title means I am saying goodbye to the old me and hello to the new me who changed both inside and out.
I was in articles from the United States to the United Kingdom. People ask me to speak. It is a wonderful life to share my experiences so no one has to suffer as I did at 272 pounds. I came out of my shell and can easily speak in front of others. I can find my size in a store. I can keep up with my son and then some. The confidence I cultivated allowed me to try new activities that I did not think I could do. For example, kayaking and paddle boarding are my newer passions. And finally, I do not allow negativity to seep in. The naysayers are waiting for me to gain…and they are still waiting.
We can all change. If we do not like who we are and do not have what we want, we can get it. One of the greatest foes is negativity. It saps strength, takes confidence away, and leaves people in the status quo. All we have to do is dump out the negativity. Do not let it absorb—let it roll off your back, instead. Retain the positive comments and experiences. When we retain the negative comments and memories, it holds us prisoner and we cannot break free. We cannot go out there and live a happy life or accomplish what we desire.
So I say to you: Fill your cup to the brim with the positive. Do not allow for one drop of negativity.