When I took on this column, I knew I would be sharing all aspects of my life with everyone. I also knew how personal I got would be left up to me. But let’s face it, you cannot write a column called, Life is Mysterious and not dig deep into yourself for truths that many people choose to keep hidden.
For example, years ago I wrote a story for this column called “Fat and Happy.” It was candid and raw. In it I shared all my flaws from being overweight to having dyslexia. Apparently, what I shared really touched people’s hearts because I had people coming out of the woodwork to express how important that story was to them.
Later, I followed up with another story called “Fat and Happy, Hollywood Calling.” The column chronicled how Hollywood producers found my column and wanted to talk to me about a reality tv show featuring a fat and happy person.
Since I am not in a tv show, it is safe to surmise that for one reason or another that show did not transpire. However, it did leave me with the knowledge that exposing the truth about who you are is so rare, it can garner a lot of attention.
In the world of social media, you can be whoever you want to be. I actually had an old high school friend, with whom I went on a few dates with, who would post glossy pictures of exotic travel with his wife and constantly proclaim how they were living this amazing dream life.
Travel, new cars and boats were all featured in pictures alongside him and her while in Hawaii and other beach locations, enjoying the surf and sand. I was very happy for them and would often comment on their posts with happy face emojis and hearts. They were truly living the American dream. Or were they?
One day I logged on to Facebook, and the first thing I saw was a long post from him declaring himself a fraud. While the travel, new cars and boats were all real, the marriage was far from happy. His wife caught him cheating with her best friend. I mean actually caught him, like in the act. Furthermore, the wealth was borrowed, and they were living in debt up to their eyeballs.
The only thing shocking to me about the whole situation was that he was willing to fully disclose his failings. Especially since he spent a good bit of energy trying to convince the world that he lived a fairy tale existence. I suppose it was cathartic for him to finally get it off his chest.
Which leaves me with a confession of my own. I am currently very disappointed in myself. While I am a fat and happy person, it does not mean that I am happy with being overweight. It just means that even though I am fat, I am happy in my life, marriage, career and so forth and so on.
Anyway, I refuse to buy into the false narrative that you have to look like Barbie and Ken to be happy, or that you have to have the latest and greatest things to be happy. After all, that didn’t work out very well for my friend, did it?
In keeping with my full disclosure, a little over a year ago I lost almost 50 pounds through Weight Watchers and an exercise regimen called CrossFit. I was on my way to being the healthiest version of myself I could be. I even kept everyone updated of my progress on social media.
I was feeling very good about my health, and loved that I could hike up hills and mountains without getting out of breath. I even started to buy myself new clothes while, giving away items that were now too big.
Then the holiday months came, and my life got extremely busy. To add insult to injury, I tore my meniscus while cooking, of all things.
These events led me to drop my exercise routine, and shortly after that I stopped eating properly. Within months the weight I lost was back.
Then a vicious cycle of disappointment and even mild depression crept into my spirit. It was almost unbearable to look at the progress pictures I posted on social media and now see that I have gained all that weight back.
Mind you I am still a happy person with an overall wonderful life, and I still think life is meant to be enjoyed at any size. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be the best version of myself I can be.
You see, I firmly believe that we are a spirit having a physical experience and that our bodies are just a place that houses our souls. Therefore, most of the improvements I have made on myself have been on the inside, often neglecting my soul’s “house.”
For the last few months, I have lived in that place of disappointment, and I can tell you it is not a good place to hang out. But I have found hope again.
My youngest daughter is going through a transformation of her own. She too is working on herself and keeping everyone informed through social media.
I am seeing her progress, and that has inspired me. She is doing it with the help of a personal trainer but here is the thing, she is not just tackling the weight. She is working on her body, mind and soul simultaneously.
For so long, I worked on my spiritual growth while ignoring my physical. When I was working on my physical, my spiritual growth was put aside for a while.
She is showing me that while our bodies may just be a place that houses our souls, they work together. You can work on your physical, and work on your spirit at the same time. In fact, they can complement each other. I know that living in disappointment over my weight gain has not helped my spirit one little bit.
It is time to activate a different thought process. From now on, I will be grateful for the knowledge the weight gain brought me, because through it I learned a valuable lesson.
The body, mind and soul might just be more connected than I ever thought, and this lesson may have brought me closer to spiritual knowledge I am seeking.
Moving forward, body, mind and soul will be looked after with equal care as one complements the other.
Exposing my disappointment over my weight gain is difficult, but I have to tell you that full disclosure is very refreshing, almost cleansing. I guess that is why my friend from high school came clean about his life of lies.
I highly recommend that we all come clean about our flaws and disappointments.
After all, it is good for your body, mind and soul. Life is mysterious.