It was the third year of primary school. I had just returned from an overseas holiday. The first day at school after the holiday, my teacher told me “Oh, you must have had a very good holiday.” I asked her “But how do you know miss?” “Well dear, you have put on some weight.” I left her to go play with my friends but I never forgot what she had said. “What does my weight have to do with fun?”
The question remained unanswered till one day as I was enjoying myself taking bite of my pizza I heard my family talking about how “pizza makes people fat”. I realized when you put on weight it means you have eaten pizza and of course eating is a pizza is fun. “Oh, so when I eat more it means I am happier.”
Little did I know. When my childhood ended, problems started inviting themselves to my life. Not that I had a problem-less childhood. But when I was a child problems did not bother me as much. To me an incurable disease was just a disease. I could not understand the incurable part. I would not lie down on my bed and think of how it was going to affect my future. A new game for my Super Nintendo was all it took to distract me from almost any problem. But it did not remain like that. I started to experience long hours of crying, feeling empty and numb. It was then that I was introduced to a new concept: Eating out of sadness. Several times I found myself eating mercilessly when I was upset or after having heard a bad news.
I was gradually becoming overweight till one day I told myself this was not how I wanted to be. I started to go to gym and work out. I lost a great deal and shaped a great body and for a couple of years succeeded to keep that till once again I started gaining weight. At the beginning, I would tell myself “I can lose this weight whenever I wish.” But then I gained more weight and I realized if I was to continue like this I would end up being a fat person for the rest of my life. And for someone like me who had been the best football player in the school for as far as he could remember this was not acceptable. So once again I started working out and going on a diet and not to my surprise I succeeded. I was once again “fit”. But unfortunately that did not last long either. And for a couple of years, like a Yoyo, my weight would go up and down being up most of the times.
After a period of time, I was starting to accept myself as a fat person. I was starting to forget about the football player, about the athlete me, about the one who had a brown belt in Karate (I forgot to tell you. During one of my losing weight challenges I had signed up in a Karate club and managed to go all the way till the brown belt.) There were moments when I could not see any point in trying and I would give up. But then again when I wanted to buy a new shirt and none of the shirts I tried fitted me, a voice in me would wake up and try so hard to convince me again to lose weight. Sometimes the voice would shout at me, like the time when I refused to go to my friend’s wedding only because none of my suits fitted me. But again after so many ups and downs I got used to the voice. Not only had I accepted that I was fat, but I had also got used to a constant voice blaming me for who I had become.
Later on in life, I realized that there are so many other things in life that I have also accepted to let go, so many goals I had given up on. I do not know about you but for me accepting that I was not perfect was so hard. I would always tell myself that by the time I reach 18 I will be a confident, brave, understanding … (and the list goes on). But I reached 18 and apart from some temporary changes nothing changed. I reached 20 and nothing happened then 21 and it went on like that. And it was not just weight or confidence, the same was true about more important things as well, like being an honest person or a person who does not cheat at work or hurt family. (When I get angry sometimes I say hurtful things that breaks my loved ones’ hearts. And then it also hurts me because I do not want to hurt anyone. I am sorry! I have said that a lot of times. But I did it again.)
But you know what, through all these years, when I went to bed and was about to sleep, I knew I wanted to be a better person. I did not like myself for the times I had lied to my friends or family. I could still remember how peaceful I had felt after my 40-days challenge to be honest with everyone. I could feel the excess weight on my soul due to dishonesty, due to all broken promises and it was annoying me exactly the same way my excess body weight would hurt my knees and made it so painful for me to climb stairs. But I do not want to live like this for the rest of my life. I deserve to be a better person. So I have decided again that no matter how many times I fail I am not going to give up. I want my soul to climb without feeling any pain.
My soul will lose weight. I have decided.