Alright folks, the time has come! I’ve accepted my first guest post from a dear friend. Self Love is often so difficult to achieve, for men and women alike. Enjoy my friend Mike’s experience with achieving self love.
So let me start by saying, I am not a blogger, nor do I want to be one. I was talking to my friend Laney and we both agreed that my insights on life would be a welcomed addition to her outstanding blog, so here I am.
First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Mike, I am 31 years old and I work for Heineken USA doing Sales and Marketing.
Welp, since that’s out of the way, let’s talk about something that I am just finally achieving, Self Love.
I mean let’s be honest, we’ve all been there right, putting on the happy face in public but on the inside you’re torn up. I remember years ago I would be sitting in the middle of packed nightclub, with bottle service and beautiful women all around me, and I felt nothing. No happiness, no joy, no wow I’m blessed to be here, NOTHING.
Now you’re probably saying to yourself “Mike, how could you really feel nothing when you’re in such an environment?”
I felt nothing because inside I had nothing.
Now I know that sounds weird, but there was really nothing going on in my life that made me happy to be alive. I was just going through the motions, putting on my fake smile so people wouldn’t ask me what’s wrong?
WELL, there was a lot wrong.
I had always been an athlete, playing Baseball, Football, Basketball, just about every sport under the sun, but I struggled with my weight. I was always chubby, never really crazy heavy, but always (as some would say) fluffy. I dealt with the standard issues all chubby kids dealt with. The constant bullying, and name calling from their peers.
That never necessarily bothered me until I got older and it continued, even in my 20s. I would walk into stores for “skinny” people and customers would look at me like, what is he doing here? I even had one lady tell me that, “We don’t make clothes for you kind of people here.”
Thick skin is one thing, but that’s arguably the most deflating statement that was ever said to me.
There I was, 28 years old and I cried in my car. Yea-legit tears, damn near ugly-cried over it. As a result of this, I ate, a lot. Mostly Mac & Cheese (because let’s be real who doesn’t love Mac & Cheese) among other things that clearly weren’t good for me. Remember the scene from Nutty Professor when he’s watching Richard Simmons and eating his entire fridge? Yea I did that.
Fast forward to October 2017.
I was in Dallas, TX on a work trip and maintaining my standard eat-anything-in-front-of-me diet (In case you’re wondering, DON’T DO THAT …. A lot). I woke up the morning of my flight home and I didn’t feel good. Not sick, but not right. My body wasn’t happy with me and I wasn’t treating it properly. So I weighed myself and the scale read something I have ever seen in my life: 300+ lbs. HOLD THE F*** UP! 300+ POUNDS MIKE WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO YOURSELF!
I knew I had to make a change, so I began a weight loss program with a CT based company that implemented the diet program called Intermittent Fasting. If you aren’t familiar with what that is, Laney wrote an awesome article on it so read about it (here!!). Like seriously do it, and read the other articles too.
Anyways, I began my journey – god, I hate when people call their weight loss situations journeys, but it truly is a journey. A journey of peaks and valleys, a journey of not being able to eat the bread at the table, a journey of not being able to tell the waiter to never stop putting parmesan cheese on your pasta. A journey of eating red wine vinegar on a bed of salad with a dry chicken breast, a journey of drinking a gallon plus of water a day, and damn near peeing your pants on a daily basis.
This wasn’t just a diet, this was a life altering decision.
I learned to find happiness in something other than a large pizza, and that my body is the only way I can stay on this planet. I learned that the people in my life that supported what I was doing are the people that should be in my life – for life. I’d post pictures on my Instagram (TwentyDeuceCT) comparing what I look like as motivation for myself, but it did something WAY more than that. It provided a source of inspiration for people that may not have the willpower to do something like this.
I will tell you this, if I can do this lifestyle change, anyone can do it!
I had countless people DM me and tell me how I am inspiring them to change their lives, and comment on my pictures telling me how proud they are of me. Now if that doesn’t make you smile on the inside I don’t know what will.
I was working on bettering my health physically, but my mental and self-health was getting more in shape too. This lifestyle change unlocked a passion for Philanthropy that I never knew I had. I began working with charities throughout Connecticut and constantly felt a feeling of happiness every time one of these projects happened. I began going to the gym again and loved the endorphins and sense of accomplishment that I could run for 10 minutes straight. It’s absolutely crazy to think that the food I put in my body would help with something other than the number on a scale but it REALLY DOES.
It makes me smile now, looking back at my mindset exactly one year ago.
I would lie in bed and sulk, and hate the way I looked when I stared at myself in the mirror. I thought there was nothing good about me.
Now, today April 30th 2018, I can confidently look in the mirror and know that I am headed to exactly where I want to be. I can walk back into that store for “skinny” people and buy something right off the shelf. AND YOU BEST BELIEVE I WALKED RIGHT IN AND LOOKED RIGHT AT THE SAME LADY AND SAID YEA I FIT INTO YOUR CLOTHES NOW. Well not out loud but my face definitely said that haha.
Everyone’s story and journey (ok last time) is going to be different. Everyone has a different map of life, but just remember, you can overcome the worst obstacles, and you can be great. You’re not too old, you’re going to end up buying that shirt from the skinny person store, and you will go get bottle service and actually enjoy your time there. YOU WILL LOVE YOURSELF.
Thank you for the opportunity to get some of this out to the world and I appreciate the chance to be a contributor to your blog.
Until next time,