I don’t have an exact date for this, but my catalyst for change was about a year before I started losing the weight, and part of what inspired me to lose the weight as well. I know it was cold enough to justify the heavy winter gear, so I’m guessing this was late 2016. At the time, I’d gotten to the point I was well past a year removed from another difficult season in my life. It went on for several months, and in case anyone’s wondering, the loser who did it is long gone from my life, and so are the ones who either blamed me or mocked me in the aftermath. At this juncture, it’s super ancient history for me, haha.

Anyhow, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest as I picked up the pieces, figuratively speaking as it were. I also spent time reading things that fostered my moving forward, some of it books, others forum or blog posts. One of the quotes that struck a chord within me on Pinterest talked about how the naysayers who try to talk you out of your goals and dreams, or say you can’t do it aren’t really saying anything about you. Instead, those naysayers are telling you their story.

But back to the story at hand. It was late 2016, and I was in the car with my family. I don’t even remember exactly where we were going originally, just that we were downtown for whatever reason. Naturally one of the stops involved a drive-thru, but I wouldn’t partake in it. I’d given up fast food at the frequency they slammed it down, and vowed that if I ever have takeout again, it would be on my terms, and my terms only.

As we were in the car at the stop light, someone walked across the street. I won’t reveal their gender, or specifics about their appearance out of respect for them, even though it’s been several years since this story happened. This person had on an outfit straight out of the late-aughts, right down to the jacket, and they legit had it going on. I was like, ‘dang, I wish I looked like that.’ One of my family members saw them, stared holes right into them, and chortled, “We’ll never look like THAT again, won’t we?” I was like, ‘yeah, sure, I guess,’ in a noncommittal way. Here we go again.

In the past, before I hit that difficult season, there was a time I’d have joined in on it, as embarrassing as it is to admit. Maybe some of you readers out there have done the same before. But this time, I felt bad for that stranger. I’m sure they knew my family members were totally bashing them, and there they were, just trying to get somewhere or go home.

That Pinterest quote stuck with me, and I realized they told me their story in relation to that person walking across the street outside that day. They weren’t telling me my story, no siree, Bob. No, they told me theirs. There was a time where I’d have joined in on something like this, but not this time. I was done trash-talking strangers because of the way they looked. I didn’t know those strangers from Adam, and as such, they gave me no reason to dog on them or hate them. I decided that engaging in others’ negativity-laden, jealousy-fueled talks about strangers no longer served me, or benefited me in any way.

I guess you could say I’d had my first weight loss epiphany. Looking back, I started laying the groundwork for my weight loss mission during this time. I just didn’t know it. What I knew for sure was my old ways no longer worked for me, and got me nowhere except that same hamster wheel. In time, I came to realize that person in the crosswalk downtown on that day in late 2016 sparked envy and bitterness for my family. Me, I saw them as someone I hoped I’d look like someday. I didn’t know when or how, though. I hadn’t thought about that person in years up until I wrote out the draft for this, and I wonder how they’re holding up these days. BTW, I still want an outfit like what they had on, dated or not, Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care, haha.

Over to you. Have you ever dealt with others around you trash-talking strangers while outright discouraging you in the process? Sound off below, and let’s get it started.

ICYMI, here are the previous installments of my story: 1, 2, 3, 4

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