7 Things We Can All Learn From Our Fat Phase

Flickr / jeffreyw
Flickr / jeffreyw

You had a fat phase. I promise you it happened. I know it’s hard to swallow now but understand that it was for the best and you are NOT alone. Go dig out those pictures and remind yourself of how you looked and felt back then. It’s not going to be pretty but you will thank yourself later. Trust me.

My first question is “Why didn’t anyone tell you about it?” You walk around like big man on campus like you typically do, yet I am going to be honest, the only thing big about you is your size. At the time you wonder why that boy stopped calling you and how come your favorite jeans just didn’t fit the same way. Why it wasn’t so obvious then is still mind-boggling. My guess: denial, denial, denial.

My fat phase began sophomore year in college and peaked my junior year in Rome, Italy. That’s right, land of the carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Despite the fact that we had to walk everywhere, the pizza, pasta, and canolis got a hold of me. I learned a lot through this fat phase and I am sure you did too. I’d like to consider myself a good person, but I think I am an even better one with new appreciation because of it. What I learned and I hope you learned too was to appreciate the struggle!

1. You always have an example of how you don’t like to look

You may have erased these pictures from your phone or computer but social media is forever alive! Why not embrace this fact and own it. Use that picture as motivation and a daily reminder to why you eat healthy and work out daily.

2. This example is also motivation for how far you have come

If you ever feel yourself slipping, that’s OK! You can come right back. You have done it once and can do it again. It’s ok to have a cheat day, a cheat week, hell, maybe even a cheat month if necessary. You can come back from it though, and that fat phase is a reminder of how far you have come. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

3. You realize who your true friends/family are

If none of your friends said anything until you brought it up first, then you are lucky to have them. Now don’t get me wrong, if you were getting very unhealthy then any friend who let you know that is wonderful as well. Surround yourself with those who are looking out for your well-being. Maybe they didn’t want to hurt your feelings but made sure to monitor it until it got out of hand.

4. You weeded out the shallow men

I am not proud to admit this to the world, but there were multiple people that stopped calling, returning texts, or even saying hi in public. At the time, I felt confused and made excuses for this behavior. It was not until I got back in shape and looked better than ever that I realized NOW these people wanted to hang out again. That was when I put two and two together and realized the nature of their absence. Needless to say, they didn’t get a second chance.

5.. It helped you kick-start a new lifestyle (not a diet)

How many new foods and exercises do you now love and incorporate into your life due to the experimentation from that time? When it was time to get back into shape, you were reading every health blog and magazine, trying out every featured item at Whole Foods, and saying yes to every gym class offered. Now you love spinning and yoga and had no idea. Now you make your own chia pudding topped with mangos and coconut. Now you can pronounce quinoa and acai and know what food group they belong to.

6. You have a new appreciation for others who are struggling with weight or anything else

You always felt badly for anyone struggling with weight issues, but now it touches you differently. It’s real and you have been through it. It’s hard to have self-control and it’s even more difficult to drag yourself to the gym. What you learned is that the more you do it the easier it is. Knowing this now, impart your wisdom and find yourself a friend who could use some extra help and motivation.

7. It’s a great topic to joke about (now that it’s over)

How many times since it’s been over have you laughed about it with those that love you? And guess what, it’s not going to stop. At least this time it’s laughing with and not being laughed at. Embrace being the butt of the joke here and there as you sit back and relax in that new found fit body of yours. TC mark

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