The thing is, then I didn't know that I wanted to be ignored. I didn't realize how much I was praying for people not to approach me and I wasn't aware of the vibes I was putting out. In hindsight I wouldn't want to talk to me either. I am sure I looked miserable and mean because I felt miserable and mean.
There are still times I catch myself wondering what people are thinking about me. Whether or not they are judging or mocking me in their heads. I wonder if they are thinking about my size. I wonder if they are thinking "earthquake!" in their heads. I wonder if they are going to scatter when I approach the way my classmates did. Sometimes I forget that I'm not a child anymore and that most of the people around me have outgrown such childish antics but I'm not naive and I know there is still judgement out there. People may be judging my hair, my tattoos, my sexuality...but I care so much less than I used to and it is because of my weight loss journey.
Now don't get me wrong here; I'm not saying you have to be a certain size to be treated well!! NO!! That's not it at all. What I'm saying is that I learned to be confident by doing things that I never thought I would do. Shedding the pounds helped me shed the insecurities but not because my pants were smaller. It was all the good choices I made, all the things I did to make my pants smaller that helped me gain that confidence.
I never thought I would actually lose more than 30 pounds so when I lost 31 it was a confidence boost like no other! I did that! By myself! I counted points and I watched what I ate and I wasn't perfect but I did it!! I did something I never thought I'd be able to do. That helped me feel more confident! Confident enough to ask my sister to run a 5K with me. I knew I'd be one of the larger people in the crowd and I grappled with the thought "what will people think" and the anxiety that accompanies those thoughts but I allowed myself to remember that I'd lost over 30 pounds, something I thought was impossible and if I could do that I could finish this race! I told myself it wasn't about how long it took and even if I was last I'd have my sister by my side so all eyes wouldn't be on me alone. It was scary but I did it and at the end as much as I wanted to die, I also wanted to do it again.
It's scary to try something new but I'm changing the way I think about myself which is changing the way I think other people think about me. I know that was probably a little hard to follow (if you're a Friends fan it's like when Chandler and Monica know that Rachel and Phoebe know about them. "they don't we know they know we know!" hahaha!) Essentially what I'm saying is that I thought all kinds of horrible stuff about myself and projected those horrible things onto other people which is...well...HORRIBLE!!
Here I am getting all pissed off that people are ignoring me and creating stories around their avoidance. "She's so pretty and skinny. She's such a bitch. She's ignoring me because she thinks I'm fat, like I'm contagious or something! Like my fat is going to jump off of my body and attach itself to her and then she'll be fat too. What a superficial bitch. There are worse things than being fat. I bet she has like a -35 IQ. All that hair dye probably fried her brain." I could go on and on, the longer I let myself create these stories the meaner I got...yet somehow I didn't realize I was the bitch!!!
Once I started doing things I was afraid to do, taking little leaps of faiths and then bigger ones I started to realize how great I am and I started to change the story in my head. "You are worth talking to! You do have something valuable to say!" and when I accidentally met eyes with a stranger instead of looking away immediately (and then creating a story about what a horrible person they were) I smiled.
They say when you're having a HORRENDOUS day you should smile because it tricks your brain into thinking it's happy and let me tell you, I've used this trick on my brain more than once and it does work. Not to mention, smiling changes my whole face! Suddenly I look approachable and friendly which I am!!! I no longer create these horrible stories about people in my head. I want to get to know them and if they don't want to get to know me, ya know what? That's OK!
I notice a huge correlation in eating well and working out and my confidence level. When I make choices I'm proud of I smile more, I carry myself differently, I'm friendlier and I'm proud of myself. When I make poor choices I feel it physically and mentally. I feel blue, reclusive, lethargic and unmotivated. So one of my "why's" is for the confidence.
I spent so many years feeling bad and I think I probably made a lot of people around me feel bad too. I choose to continue to live this life because it feels good. I deserve to feel good...