I went clothes shopping last night. I needed some pants that didn’t make me look like I was wearing a saggy diaper. I got some great clothes, on sale, that I think look really good and should see me through for the next little while.
The store was busy and there were several women also trying on clothes and swimsuits. I was there with my fashion super team, my mom and my daughter. We quickly scouted out what I wanted and then looked at tops to match.
While I had a good experience, judging by the comments in the dressing room, others were not. There were complaints about fit and how they looked and what they wished they could change. I had three thoughts as I listened to what the other women were saying:
- That use to be me, I like it much better now that I am happy with my body, with the progress that I am making.
- I hope that my daughter is distracted and not listening to all these women speak so horribly about themselves.
- I know a way that then can change their lives, I wish I could share my story with them.
I was commenting to my mom, in the car, about the fit of plus-sized clothing, especially for those above the 1x size and was talking about how I wished I could share my story with the women in the dressing room. This continued to be something I thought about through the evening and then I stopped for a moment…had I become a Judgy McJudgerson? Had I morphed into one of those people that expect that everyone eat like I do and look a certain way and just don’t understand how people just can’t take control of their lives? The thought almost crippled me, had my transformation gone so far that I was transformed into something very ugly on the inside? It was a moment of deep self-reflection, this was not what my getting healthy pledge was about.
Of course, as people ask me about my weight loss (since 54 lbs gone is hard to miss) I share with others what I am doing and how I have been successful. But to be frank, it was never about the impact this journey had on others, it was always all about me. After some deep soul searching I came to the conclusion that wanting to share something that has been nothing short of life-changing to people who are openly expressing that they are unhappy isn’t judgy, but I could see it either coming off as that or becoming that, if I am not careful.
It is always my intention to lift others up and encourage, I know too well the sting of words spoken, even with well-meaning intentions.