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We’ve all heard the term fat shaming. And if you’ve been around it, you’ll usually here some sort of resistance that comes with it, which is usually along the lines of “love your body no matter what size or shape it is, being comfortable with who you are, big is beautiful…” Which is great. You should be a strong confident person regardless of your size, shape or color. But that’s looking at this purely from a vanity perspective and not a health or quality of life perspective. I’ve also experienced “Fit shaming” as another form of defense, or as a counter to not wanting to hear the truth about the health risks that are associated with being over weight, and that is usually a response like: “Yeah well my Aunt ran marathons and ate nothing but vegetables and fish and she died of cancer.” Is that the kind of example you want to use to excuse yourself from achieving your full potential!?!? I’m sure your Aunt, relative, friend, whoever lived a fulfilling, happy, vibrant and healthy life at it’s fullest up until the unfortunate event. Their quality of life was probably pretty great thanks to their efforts towards health. Healthy, strong people aren’t bullet proof, but they are harder to kill.

I’m going to let you in on some of the insecurities and struggles I had growing up as the fat kid and getting up to 280lbs at my biggest at the age of 28. I was not happy or confident in the body I had. I didn’t love myself or my body. I hated my body. I hated myself and drowned those feelings in alcohol. I remember being uncomfortable often in clothes, chairs, seats, situations, heat, on dates, on stage with my band and many other places or situations. I’d insist on leaving my shirt on during sex or in swimming pools, even swimming in warm sea water on hot beaches in places like Croatia, Slovenia, Spain or Italy. This is not a good quality of life for anyone. Looking back, I didn’t realize how big I was and how it was effecting my life and probably others around me. Or maybe I did, but I buried it deep down somewhere and conveniently forgot about it. That topic I will cover in a different blog. I remember getting mad at shoes because I had trouble reaching them, or getting mad at pants and belts for not fitting me anymore. Immediately looking to put the blame on something else and not accepting the fact that I was the only one responsible for my struggles. Realizing this was a huge slap in the face. But it is the slap in the face that is necessary to make change.

Now back to health. It is well known that being overweight or obese has pretty extreme health risks such as straining the heart, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and not to mention the havoc it reeks on our posture, joint structure, connective tissues and the imbalances that are created by carrying extra weight around. I haven’t yet met an overweight person without some sort of back, knee, hip, neck or shoulder pains. Knowing these things, and these are heavily studied facts, why would a person defend themselves and promote being overweight or obese? I’d say the same to a thin person that has poor health habits putting them at risk. It’s not what you look like that necessarily matters.

This all begins with awareness. Just hoping to look better won’t cut it. You need to understand that deep emotions need to be released and dealt with before taking the proper actions. Want to lose 30lbs? Why? Look better? Ok. So you don’t like how you look. How does that feel? What pain does it cause you? Peel back the layers and find the core reasons.

Awareness precedes change.

One of the saddest things in life is seeing a person age without reaching their full potential.

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