Some of the messages I get are really heartbreaking. People often reach out to me in the hopes that I can offer some words of wisdom…but I am not that wise – all I can do is try and offer my thoughts and opinion on the situation they are facing and have presented.
I don’t think that sharing this message breaks any confidences, as I am not naming names and never would. I received it earlier in the week and it really made me think.
Hi WLB. Question, do you get nasty looks? People walking by with stupid fucking grins on their faces? Do you get treated like shit because of your size? If you do, how the hell do you cope? You seem to get out and about and have a great life and seem confident. I fucking hate leaving the house because of the way I get treated and can’t cope with the stares etc. Could you possibly give me some advice please? Thank you.
My heart broke a little bit when I read it. 🙁
How do you respond?
My response was rather lame actually. I started by empathising a little – yes, of course I have had grief. My ‘name’ links to that…the day I get called a ‘Bitch’ in temper by a random, rather than a ‘Fat Bitch’, will be the day I know I’ve cracked this weight loss malarkey. I have been called a fat cunt, I have been laughed at, I have been stared at…and it’s pretty shit at the time. It stings a little. It really fucks me off. I have said before, seriously, that if guns were legal then I would have been locked away by now – the rage I get when someone throws an insult my way drives me insane.
It drives me insane because they have no idea what kind of person I am.
It drives me insane because they don’t see the lengths I go to in order to try and change my situation – the early morning training sessions (or trying to squeeze them in between work meetings as is now the case!), the counting of calories, the starvation diets I have attempted, the money I have spent on fucking weight loss milkshakes, the diet pills I have taken, the purging I have done, the number of times that I have joined and rejoined weight loss groups, the number of books on my bookcase relating to weight loss.
It drives me insane because they don’t see the lovely things I do – looking after the old lady who lives down the road from me as she has no family and friends, giving regular foodbank donations, donating hay to neglected horses, lifting my dog in and out of the car as she is too old to jump in, helping people out financially, crying when I watch fucking charity appeals on TV and donating money that I really should spend on my boiler!
It drives me insane because they don’t see the love and support I have – they don’t see the adoration my nephew has for me and the cuddles I get from my niece, or the concern that my family feel, or the support that my friends try and offer.
And therein lies the reason that I try not to give a fuck about what random strangers think of me…
They don’t fucking know me!
It’s really simple. I am not going to put my life on hold for fucktards that would find any old reason to poke fun at someone. Do you really think that these people wouldn’t find something else to mock you for…
In fact I remember one chap calling me fat after I had lost 21st…I laughed my arse off at him – I think he thought that I was a teeny bit crazy. I was just thinking, ‘You should have seen before mate!’
Anyway – life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.
I wrote before about an article which was written by a palliative care nurse. Her job was to help ensure that suffering in the last stage of her patients lives was minimised. These patients had been sent home to die. She would spend the last three to twelve weeks of their lives with them.
It was a powerful article and it really made me think – so I wanted to share it with you again.
This nurse stated that people grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. She learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. She experienced some phenomenal changes. Each person experienced a variety of emotions, as expected – denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
What I found most interesting in her words were the five common themes surrounding regrets and things that people would do differently. They made me question what I would have done differently. ‘So many things’ was my instant thought…but I guess that I would not be the person that I am today had I done things differently. I rethought when I read it and I am still rethinking now!
So here are those common themes…
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Pretty powerful stuff I thought!
I am going to continue to try and live my life. I am going to try and separate the stuff and the people that have no bearing on my life…
I know that it is easy to write this kind of thing. I know that it’s easy to read this and think about doing something differently. I really do understand how hard it can be to take the first step. If you genuinely struggle with going out and about on your own then I would confide in a friend – or join an online club of likeminded people and maybe arrange a meet up. Get some support. Don’t hide away in fear of what a 0.01%er might say to you…hold on to the fact that 99.99% of people are lovely – and that 99.99% of people have so much shit of their own going on, that they really couldn’t care less about you walking down the road!
I know that my confidence gets knocked when I know that I am not tackling my situation…so if you feel that this may be the case for you, then there’s only one thing you can do – and that’s take control. Start planning and taking small steps towards your goal – you will be amazed at how quickly your confidence grows. It’s hard to explain, but I almost felt at times like I deserved the abuse…but when I am fighting back and dealing with my shit, then I want to fight back at those who give me grief – it gives me confidence.
On that note, I think I am going to call it a night. As ever, if you want any help or pointers with the planning and goal-setting then just shout!
Today has been good. A good session with Alex – he’s looking after me! – and a busy day at work…I’ll likely be working over the weekend – or Sunday evening at least – but I want to try and make some time for myself to relax too…something I find really hard. I might just mooch up to the stables on my own on Sunday as Mr WLB is off cycling all weekend. I am heading to the hormones event tomorrow at the gym and meeting a couple of friends there…so that will likely bring some fun and giggles as I haven’t seen one of them since we studied together a couple of years ago!
My food has been okay today too:
Breakfast – raspberries, almonds, and Greek yogurt.
Lunch – chicken, olives, avocado, and cherry tomatoes.
Dinner – brinner…and it was lovely! Sausages, turkey rashers, scrambled eggs, grilled tomato, and spinach with button mushrooms and cheese!
Thank you for reading,