Losing weight isn’t easy. In fact, it’s bloody difficult. Those of you who have always been slim may scoff at this. Those of you who are currently carrying a stone or three too much will no doubt fully understand.
I’ve written about this previously so I’m not going to regurgitate the same old ‘woe is me’ story and report a general lack of progress. This is a post to suggest if you’re in a similar position, try to find the right forums which will occasionally (ideally frequently) provide you with inspiration in your fight against fat.
Every now and again, I see social media posts which floor me. I’d like to share 2 examples today.
The first comes from an American actor named Ethan Suplee. Ethan appeared in one of my favourite TV comedies of the past twenty years (the wonderful My Name Is Earl) and a number of movies, including American History X and Remember the Titans. In all of these, Ethan was considerably overweight, particularly during the filming of American History X. This picture shows him at this biggest.
One day, Ethan decided to make a change. He didn’t do this half-heartedly. He didn’t ‘give it a go’ and see where things would take him. He decided to lose weight, once and for all. He decided a healthy diet and regular exercise were the answer. He found a love of the gym. He decided to change his life. These days, Ethan looks like this.
Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. It’s the same guy in both pics. Put in simple and stark terms, Ethan had enough of being fat and changed that.
The second example come from Thom Rylance. Regular readers and close friends will know of my love for The Lottery Winners – a fantastic indie-pop band from just down the road in Leigh who will, if there’s any justice in this world, be selling out arenas soon. Since I first saw the band around 5 years ago, Thom has always been a bigger guy but it’s only relatively recently that he’s started to share his thoughts about his size. Clearly, he’s always been ridiculously self-conscious about this, and, like Ethan, he decided to make a change. Here’s a recent Instagram post of his showing the difference:
6 stone in 6 months! All seemingly due to a combination of a healthy diet and frequent exercise (daily, it seems). One day, Thom decided to make a change. He didn’t think about making a change. He didn’t approach it half-heartedly to see how it might progress. He decided enough was enough and he was single-minded enough to tell himself he would do it. Here’s an Instagram post of his from a couple of weeks ago.
I adore the quote ‘I know this is a mirror selfie of me stood next to a disabled toilet, but for the first time in my whole life I’m starting to look in the mirror and kinda like what I see.’
What a feeling that must be. After what will likely have been a lifetime of self-loathing, it must be wonderful to finally feel comfortable seeing yourself in photos and actually liking what you see. Self-perception can really eat away at us, can’t it? I’ve never seen Thom as being as being fat. I’ve only ever seen him as a ridiculously talented singer / guitarist / songwriter / frontman. Yet his words remind me of just how self-conscious those of us who are overweight can be about it, and how corrosive that self-loathing is. How many times have you seen quotes urging you to treat yourself as you would other people? So true yet it’s so ridiculously difficult to do in day-to-day life.
Thom’s words really resonated with me. That outlook is exactly why I hate seeing myself in photos. That outlook is exactly why the mirrors in my house are my worst friends – I should smash them all into tiny little pieces, rather than spending time looking into them, always finding fault yet never finding positives. What an inspiration it is to read the words of someone who was in a similar situation not that long ago but is now finally liking what he sees.
I’ll end this post by sharing the message which Ethan shared alongside the photos above.
This is wonderful – it hits home hugely with me, with this being the quote (a ‘two perspective view’) which has particularly stuck in my head since first reading:
- I can do nothing successful to change my unwanted state; or
- With much effort and work, I can find a path toward change.
Change is possible. That is a given, particularly when it comes to our size and shape. It really isn’t easy but it is possible if we want it badly enough. I have a love/hate relationship with social media but this is an example of when it works for me. If you need inspiration, find positive accounts to follow. Accounts which will frequently motivate you. Accounts which will provide real-life examples demonstrating that life-defining change can be achieved. Accounts which might give you a boost when you’re at your lowest ebb. They won’t do the work for you but every now and again, they’ll act as the best pep-talk you’ll ever have.
As always, thanks for reading and take care.