A popular question posed by interviewers of famous people is, "if you could say something to your 16 year old self what would you say?" I've often pondered that question. My first instinct is just to plainly say, "it will all work out in the end" Or, "Don't sweat the small stuff". But this journey to health this year has brought up so many things inside of me that I would have to write myself a book.
With all the horrible bullying that is going on in our schools and neighborhoods, it makes me reflect on my jr. high/high school days. To be honest, no one gets away from it. If your fat you get picked on in life. If you "too" smart you get picked on in life. If you have sex in those years you get picked on. If you don't have sex you get picked on. And believe it or not if you are a cheerleader or plain out seem "to have it all together" you get picked on. Maybe not to your face. But it is happening.
Its ugly. Its sad. I look at my two girls and want to do EVERYTHING I can to protect them from it. But I know it will happen. Because even if they are not picked on by their friends or schoolmates, the media will tell them they do not have the right body, or nose or complexion. Something will always be wrong.
On reflection, what I would like to say to my 16 year old self. That boy (that you secretly had a crush on) that called you and ugly lard ass as you left the school bus. He ends up divored and alone. He can't mantain a relationship with anyone. That girl that made fun of you on the beach during Senior skip day? She dropped out of college, lives with her parents and is addicted to meth. Almost EVERYONE that picked on your weight, now struggles with their own. I am not saying these things to laugh and say, "ha, ha, you got yours." I am simply saying no one knows how things will turn out for people. Just like the bullies who didn't know that girl or boy would go home and take their own life because they couldn't take anymore.
Another thing that people may find shocking for me to say to my 16 year old self. "Someday, you will look back and be thankful you were overweight." Shocking I know. But I can tell you that nothing like struggling with a weight/health issue can give you compassion for others. I see people that are hurting. I feel their pain. I don't like to see anyone embarrassed. I like to make everyone around me comfortable and to know that it is O.K. to just be yourself with me. It makes you see others as God does.
Now, those of you who know me, know that I have yelled and been angry at God for my situation. I have envisioned a life so much better if this was not my struggle. But as I move to clarity of my mind and taking better care of my body, I can honestly say to my 16 year old self. "Don't wish for something else, this will lead you exactly where you need to go." I leave you with one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Roamans 8:28."And we know ALL things work together for good for those who love Christ and are called according to his purpose."