My wife and I love watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, and one of RuPaul’s most famous quotes is “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
I love this quote because it is so relevant to everyone. It should always have an impact, no matter who hears it. To me, it means that I have needed to come to terms with my body over the past few years. There was a time when I hated myself. I hated how I looked, how much I weighed, and how hard life was in general.
As I wrote in another blog post – When I woke up on January 22, 2013, I got out of bed and went to the washroom just like any other day. I washed my hands and I glanced up to the mirror and I saw myself. I really saw myself, for possibly the first time. I was fat. I was ugly. I felt disgusted at what I saw looking back at me. It was like suddenly realizing that I had been avoiding looking at myself in the mirror for many years. Just stare down at my hands while washing up and move on with my life. Ignoring what was right there in front of me.
I realized that I needed to change, and I did. Since that day, I have lost 225 pounds.
I am someone who has gone through a rough and abusive childhood. I gained weight quickly and steadily as a child and lost out on a lot of fun during my teen years due to being 450-480 pounds. I was constantly discriminated and put down for being obese. I was bullied. My opinions were dismissed. I was overlooked and ignored by plenty of people over the years. I couldn’t join in when my friends were doing something fun. I constantly had to make excuses for things, knowing that my body couldn’t do what everyone else could. I felt shame and constantly covered up who I was, afraid that nobody would like me for who I truly was instead of how I looked.
Over the past 5 years, I have grown and changed more than I could ever imagine. I speak my mind every day. I never shy away from people. I laugh, I love. I make friends and engage with others constantly. I am an open and honest person, willing to share anything and everything from my life. I am blunt and I am bold. I speak the truth, and I speak my truth.
I love what I love and I hate what I hate.
I hate intolerance, indifference, arrogance, stupidity, and bullies.
I love people, life, equality, acceptance, and love itself.
I also love myself, and so should you.
No matter who you are or what you do.
No matter where you come from or how you look.
Be bold, courageous, adventurous and free. Be the person you’ve been hiding away for years. I hid myself for far too long under too many layers of fat and shame. Life is too short to hide your beauty from the world. Let it shine.
You are beautiful for who you are.
The world is made up of all kinds of people, and everyone is beautiful in different ways. We all have a place, and we all have a purpose. I know that my purpose is to make a difference in those around me and to leave the world a better place than I found it. I want everyone to know that they are beautiful and they are loved. Nobody should suffer in silence. I did that for far too long, and it was horrible. I will never go back. I refuse to let the darkness of suffering win. I will let my light shine for all to see.
I want to be real, open, honest, and authentic by telling my true story. Day after day, I live my life, interacting with people and trying my best to make their day brighter. I want everyone to know what joy feels like. Through the struggles with abuse as a child, and weight problems constantly getting worse, I suffered with thoughts of suicide, depression, guilt, and shame.
I am not that person anymore. I have conquered that. My mental health has never been better, and I am finally starting to see that my physical health can be conquered as well. I have a long way to go still, but I get closer to my goals every day. I will keep putting in the effort, and I will keep working. I will reach my goals.
I wish that I could go back in time and tell my younger self that things will get better. That I will be able to say that I’ve lost 225 pounds, and that everything is going to be different. To never give up, and to be encouraged.
I can’t do that, but I can love, encourage, and help others who were like me. If that’s you, I am here.
You are never alone.