“You will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle“-Shannon L. Alder
I’m sure each one of us has been hurt by criticisms, disagreements, sly remarks in our life. It hurts more when these comments come from our closest friends and acquaintances. Moreover, it completely shatters our heart when we put our heart and soul into something and it’s not appreciated by others. When I was in school, I was fat shamed by my cousins and few ‘so called’ friends. I used to look up to to them a lot and it physically hurt me when they teased me about my weight. I grew up with severe insecurity and low self esteem issues. These incidents left a deep scar and I grew up with a strong belief that I need to be thin to be appreciated. I overcompensated by becoming an insanely submissive people-pleaser. I used to say “Yes” even when my heart screamed “NO”, just because I didn’t want to be left out. Childhood is the most important period in a human’s life. The values and belief system that we grow up with becomes our reality during our adulthood and it becomes very difficult to unlearn and gain perspective from our own experiences.
Then came the changing point in my life, my weight loss journey. Two years back, in September 2018, I decided to give an all or nothing attempt to lose weight. No brownie points in guessing that I considered my weight the biggest hurdle in my life and truly believed that my life would change for the better once I lose it. I toiled hard for 3 months, put my blood (no kidding, fell down once while running), sweat and tears into losing weight. After a lot of hard work, I achieved my goal and couldn’t wait for the world to appreciate my efforts. You’d think my feelings were reciprocated well right? Well, it wasn’t. Only a handful of people recognized my efforts and complimented me, that included my cousins whose opinion I didn’t care about anymore. The larger chunk of comments were about losing “too much” weight, you looked better before, did you stop eating, why did you lose weight? so on and so forth.
I was dejected for a long time but eventually learned that I was wrong to let other people’s comments determine my worth. It took a great deal of learning to love myself bit by bit, every single thought, every single detail, to move past society’s opinions about the manner in which I should live my life. As they say, no matter how hard you try, there will be someone who doesn’t like you. You cannot please everyone. I was reminded about an amazing movie dialogue which goes like :-
“Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”-Will Smith from the movie “The pursuit of Happyness”
People who can’t achieve/dream of achieving their goals project their insecurity and disbelief onto others who try hard to work on themselves. What is the point of taking criticisms from such people who don’t have your best interests in their heart? I was reborn as a completely new person after my weight loss journey. Although my initial goal was to get appreciated by the society, today I work on myself for myself. Even if you reach the pinnacle of success, there will be someone who’d try to find your faults and bring you down. Love myself, love yourself, peace!