This started as a simple Facebook post. It was going to be a quick post and then I would be done. Simple. Easy. Not too much thought or emotion in it. But then, something happened… The words just…kept…coming… Suddenly it was over 1000 words, and I knew it had to be more than just a simple Facebook post that would be buried in the black hole of social media within 10 minutes of posting. So, here’s the result of my late-night almost-Facebook post…
That moment you realize you just bought a size MEDIUM shirt for the first time in your adult life…AND IT FITS!!!
You may say, “So what?” You may say, “Good for you.” You may say, “What’s the big deal?”
But if you’ve ever struggled with your weight… No, “struggled” isn’t strong enough… “Struggled” doesn’t even scratch the surface…
If you’ve ever been AT WAR with yourself, with the mirror, with the scale, with the refrigerator, with the tags on your clothes…
If you’ve ever BATTLED the thoughts of, “You’re too fat… You need to lose a few pounds… If you were skinnier, people would love you more…”
If you’ve ever felt the PRESSURE to do more, push harder, work more intensely, be better, run faster, reach higher, go further…yet the more, the harder, the more intensely, the better, the faster, the higher, the further is NEVER QUITE GOOD ENOUGH…
Then MAYBE you understand where I’m coming from…
But real quick, before I get into what I want to share with you, I gotta give you this disclaimer: I’m about to use one of my LEAST FAVORITE WORDS…and I’m going to use it A LOT. More than I’m comfortable with, and maybe more than you’re comfortable with. But even so, it MUST be said. Because sometimes we have to face the ugly things, the uncomfortable things, the things that make us squirm a little bit. We have to push through the hard stuff to get to the good stuff. So with that being said, we’re gonna talk about FAT.
You see, the first time I had any concept of “fat” was when I was 5. My brother and I were laying in the floor watching a movie and eating Cheetos. When we finished eating, my brother laughed and said, “We ate the whole plate! We’re going to be so fat!”
Before that day, “fat” didn’t exist. And then, suddenly, JUST LIKE THAT, I was fat. That was the day the “fat filter” was put over my eyes. I saw myself as fat. I heard the “fat” voices, whispering to me constantly. And they have never shut up…
I remember being called “fat” in the first grade. Her name was Brittany. We (me, Brittany, and the other girls in the class) were taking turns pushing each other on the swings. When it was my turn, I sat on the swing, and Brittany said, “I can’t push you. You’re too fat.”
When I was in 3rd grade, a girl told me I would never get married because nobody would ever love me because I was fat and ugly.
In 7th grade, there was a guy in one of my classes who said “Moooooo” every time I walked by.
My freshman year of high school, some kids in my computer class took one of the wheels off of my chair. When I sat down, the chair tipped over and I fell on the floor. All I remember is the entire class roaring with laughter and one guy, Kevin, yelling “You’re so fat, you broke the chair!”
I’m not telling you these stories to entertain you, make you feel sorry for me or anything like that. No, there is a purpose for these stories.
Because this whole “fat” thing? I get it. I’ve got it DOWN! I’ve had it down since I was 5 years old. That’s a looooong time! That’s almost 23 years of practicing and rehearsing and repeating the “fat” talk in my head.
But here’s the thing… What you believe is how you behave.
Did you catch that?
What you BELIEVE is how you BEHAVE.
I have always believed I was fat and I would never be anything BUT fat. Fat was the filter through which I looked at my ENTIRE LIFE. I never believed it could be any different! I saw myself as fat, thought of myself as fat, talked to myself as fat, made decisions based on the fact that I was fat. Every thought, decision, word and action went through this “fat filter.”
Until about 2 1/2 months ago. I had a conversation with a friend who put me on a path that has completely changed my life.
During this conversation, it’s like she ripped off that “fat filter” for just a moment. Just long enough for me to see myself as something OTHER than fat. Long enough for me to grasp that vision, set a goal, and make a plan to start working toward it.
But then, the filter went right back over my mind.
I still had the goal and the plan, and I continued following it and working toward it. But I still saw everything through the “fat filter.”
My beliefs go through that filter. My thoughts go through that filter. My words go through that filter – especially the words I say to and about myself.
I don’t know if you caught my live video on Facebook the other night (my first EVER…it was pretty rough 🙈) but I talked about how we talk to ourselves. Because how we talk TO and ABOUT ourselves is actually how we ASSUME other people talk to and about us. I had such a powerful revelation of this while I was running, and I had to share it with you.
The “filter” on your mind determines how you think and talk to and about yourself.
I know by now you’re probably saying, ”Uhhhhh, what in the world does THIS have to do with a shirt???”
It’s all connected…I promise!
There have been a few moments over the past 2 1/2 months that the “fat filter” has been pulled off of my mind. A few moments when I saw myself for who I am. I saw myself through the filter of “truth.”
I’m always very careful with the words “reality” and “truth” when I write. You’ll catch me saying, ”The reality is…” and ”The truth is…” And those two statements mean two very different things.
The REALITY is, I’m still fat. Like, that’s a fact. That’s not the “fat filter” talking… That’s the actual reality. I still have quite a bit of weight to lose. I’m not saying this in a negative, self-critical way. I’m simply stating a fact. It’s also a fact that I have already lost 46 pounds and I’m well on my way to reaching my goal.
But the TRUTH? The TRUTH is, I am so much more than “fat.” The TRUTH is, while “fat” may describe my outward, physical state…it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with WHO I AM. It is NOT my identity.
However, when we ONLY see ourselves through the “fat filter” then “fat” becomes our identity.
I’m always totally SHOCKED when the filter is ripped off and I have a moment of clarity. My coach and friend, who has been walking this road with me for several weeks now, has pulled the filter off quite a few times. Each time she does, I hold onto it so tight, until she RIPS it away from me. I hold on because that’s my comfort zone. That’s what I know. It’s not helpful or beneficial for me. Actually, it’s quite destructive. But I know it intimately. I’ve spent every day for the past 23 years with this filter over my eyes.
But lately, I’ve had a few moments when I’ve actually pulled it off of myself. Now THAT is strange! That is a totally new experience!
But when that happens, I can see myself for who I am. I can see – and celebrate – the improvements I’ve made. I can hold my head up high and SMILE at myself in the mirror.
Tonight I had one of those moments. I tried on this tank top, which was the first size medium shirt I’ve purchased as an adult.
But it wasn’t about the “medium” on the tag. It wasn’t about how I looked. It wasn’t about the 46 pounds I’ve lost.
I looked at myself in the mirror, and I didn’t see “fat.” I looked at myself in the mirror and I saw diligence. I looked in the mirror and saw determination. I looked in the mirror and saw desire. I looked in the mirror and saw drive. I looked in the mirror and saw consistency. I looked in the mirror and saw FIRE.
Because I took OFF the “fat filter” and put ON the “truth filter” tonight, I saw all of the things that allowed me to put on that size medium shirt.
It wasn’t about the size. It wasn’t about the shirt. It was about the TRUTH. It was about what I CHOSE to see.
The “fat filter” is a real thing.
And there are other “filters” like it… Maybe for you it’s the “unworthy filter” or the “dumb filter” or the “can’t do anything right filter” or the “failure filter”.
Because if you BELIEVE you’re unworthy, you BEHAVE as though you are unworthy. Every thought, every word, every action is filtered through unworthiness.
If you BELIEVE you’re dumb, you BEHAVE as though you are dumb. Everything you do goes through the “dumb filter.”
Whatever “filter” is over your mind, your eyes, your ears and your mouth, I encourage you to TAKE IT OFF today! I know it’s been there a long time, and you can’t imagine any other way. But RIP that sucker OFF!!! Even for just a moment. Just long enough to imagine yourself as something else.
Take that “filter” off and put ON the filter of TRUTH! Not fact, not reality…TRUTH!
Because the TRUTH is, you are called. You are chosen. You are lovely. You are powerful. You are strong. You are diligent. You are excellent. You are worthy. You are important. You matter. You are full of potential. You are worth it. You have a destiny.
And when you BELIEVE those things, you will BEHAVE as though they are true, and you will see those things show up in your life.