Being the big guy, you really don’t see how different things are for you compared to the “normal” folk.
It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying myself, always laughing and being boisterous, always being a little over the top. Your hope is it hides what’s really going on on the inside. The funny thing is, you don’t realize that’s what your are doing.
You don’t realize that you are trying to hide behind your “forced” outgoingness with the hope that people won’t notice and or comment, but guess what……THEY DO!!!!
So your probably wondering why the title for this edition. Well that pretty much describes how I was prior to losing the weight. I had the hard outside, but inside, well let’s just say I was the consistency of the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man!!
When you’re the biggest person in the room, there are certain “expectations” people have. He’s a tough guy, don’t mess with him, I bet he can pound drinks, or he must kill it at the buffet. Well let me tell you, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that has felt this, sometimes you don’t want to be that guy. Sometimes you want people to know you for who you are and not how you look or how you act. You want people to know that soft gooey center.
Unfortunately thats not always the case.
I really became self aware of this after I lost my weight. Thats the funny thing.
As you lose the weight, you start to notice things about yourself and other people. You start to look in the mirror and see the physical change but there’s no mirror for the mind. Your mind still sees the big guy.
My awareness received the proverbial kick in the ass at my casting interview for Chopped. I was commenting on how people, acquaintances or just the general public, really do act differently towards me since I lost the weight. The producer that was interviewing me then responded with a comment that, as simple as it sounds, totally blew my mind. She said “Do you think it may be the way you’re acting now because of your weight loss”.
I WAS FLOORED!!!!
How could this woman who just met me totally turn my world upside-down with a simple comment like that?
Well she did. It really got me thinking and reflecting on my past. I think of all the times that a friend or family member would say I had to do something about my weight and I wouldn’t do anything. I wouldn’t necessarily blow it off, but as I said earlier, I would do something to distract the issue or make light of it. My favorite comment was always “Never trust a skinny chef” (Holy crap……I look back now and realize how stupid that sounds). I guess you could say by her making that comment I became self aware of how much of a smoke screen I was putting up before.
I started to become more aware of myself now as a person. Someone who is no longer the big guy. I realized that I could actually be ME! There really wasn’t the need for the over the top things that I had done before.
I really also became extremely aware of who my true friends are. There are those that have been part of my life for some time, and they haven’t changed how they are around me because of the weight loss……these are the friends that I now know appreciate me for me and probably saw who I really am before I knew!! These are the same friends that were telling me I had to do something. These are the friends that were worried about me. These are friends that have every right to come up to me and say “I told you so”. These are also the friends that I have to say a heartfelt thank you to.
Much of this awakening happened when I was at the gym. I would start to think about what was going on with me in my life and reflect on my past. This is not to say I regretted all of my past, but it made me wonder why I waited so long to get in shape. These thoughts would get me to push a little harder, lift a little more and run a little longer.
Of course it wasn’t like this when I got started.
The best thing now is that the over the the top things now are things I do, not to hide the real me, but to SHOW OFF the real me. Now I’m not trying to be conceited but the things I do now, were only something I could dream about. At one time it was actually something I mocked. I would ask “Who the hell would want to do that?” Hey guess what I DO!!!! As someone who couldn’t even consider participating in a muck race, a triathlon, or a fitness challenge, having the ability to do that now, well lets just say my self confidence is significantly stronger. My wife might say borderline cocky. I’ll never forget the shocked then amazed looks and comments when I told people I was going to do the race.
There are very few feelings of joy and pride then running across the finish line of a triathlon not by yourself, but also with your kids. I still get goose bumps from it. The overwhelming feeling of joy, pride, accomplishment, and achievement totally makes you forget about the pain you’re in, and also makes all the sweat you put in at the gym oooooohhhhhhh sooooooooooo worth it.
I’m not telling you anything you haven’t already heard when I say taking that first step is the hardest, but let me tell you this. You are not going to only do it for your physical self, but your mental self also.
Think of it as breaking through the hard outer shell and finally revealing the soft gooey center.
Come back next week as I share my experience when I first started at the gym.