I have more than a 1,000 followers on Twitter, more than 5,000 followers on Instagram, and more than 12,000 followers on my Facebook Fan Page. And for as much as I desperately try to make everyone happy- it has been made painfully clear to me on more than one occasion that this is impossible. I spend a lot of time on these different social media networks as I attempt to interact with everyone who writes to me or asks me a question- and this is in addition to the messages and e-mails I get on my personal accounts. I literally LOVE talking to everyone and helping in any and every way I can- and I try to post content that I feel is worth sharing- and I will continue to do so.
There was a little reaction to a picture I posted yesterday- and I wanted to talk about it. I deleted the picture from both Instagram and Facebook- just because I didn’t want to keep going back and forth in the comments, but here it is.
I posted it with the hashtag #tbt, for ‘throwback Thursday’, as this is a picture from when I was doing a musical in the summer of 2010. I also said ‘Woof.’
Someone commented on the picture with a sentiment that I’ve heard before- so I thought I’d address it because I think there are some misunderstandings. A girl commented that I should really watch what I say about myself, basically because it could make other people that are bigger feel badly about THEMselves. I replied back to her with how I felt, and shortly thereafter deleted the picture and the comments- because I had decided that it was issue enough for this blog post- so here it is.
When it comes down to it, this is about responsibility, and the problem here comes in when people confuse what is who’s responsibility. It’s frustrating to me that if I post a picture of myself saying ‘Hey guys look how awesome I look,’ I risk being called vain, conceited, or a braggart… Yet if I post a picture of myself and say ‘Woof,’ I have to worry about hurting other people’s feelings?? So I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. Got it.
My next thought- I understand what this girl and what other’s are saying. I remember being bigger and having it upset me when my skinnier friends would talk about not liking certain things about themselves, and me thinking ‘Oh shut up at least you’re skinny, if you think you’re fat you must think I’m so gross.’ I played the victim over and over and over again- until I finally got over myself- and did something about it. So I get it, I understand where the comments are coming from…
But I look at the old photos of myself, and it literally hurts. I can remember the pain I was in physically and emotionally- I look at the pictures and just think about all the things I did and all the things I didn’t do that contributed to me getting to that point- to becoming as unhealthy I was. To pretend that I liked the way I looked or felt back then would be a lie. And if I had been satisfied with the way I looked and felt, I never would have been able to lose the weight in the first place! Change does not happen in satisfaction you guys, change happens in DISsatisfaction. The way I view myself now, then or at any point in my life should have absolutely zero effect on how anyone else sees themselves. If me expressing distaste with the way I looked when I was obese makes you feel badly about yourself- then maybe there’s something else there that you should be looking into.
My point is this- it is NOT my responsibility to make sure that people are comfortable with themselves. That is everyone’s OWN responsibility. MY responsibility is to myself- this is my life and my journey- it has been from the beginning and it will be until the end. You are responsible for your own happiness, your own health, and your own self-esteem. If you find yourself feeling badly about the way you look and the way you feel about you, then it’s a sign that you should do something to make yourself happy. We are our own worst critics, and I will not be afraid to look at old pictures of myself and say ‘Damn Kyle, you sure let yourself get fat.’ You guys- I was fat! That’s like, scientific fact. It’s not up for debate. The moment I become complacent with the obesity at any stage is a moment I risk going back and I can tell you right now I refuse to do that.
I understand 100% where the comments are coming from. I really, really do. But at the same time, it’s time that everyone takes responsibility for their own beings and their own lives. If you’re offended- take a step back and figure out why. Is it really because I called myself fat? Or is there another reason? The moment you stop relying on everyone else to make sure you’re comfortable, the moment you take control of your own life- that’s the moment you’ll start to do things you never thought possible.
If you’re unhappy, do something about it- don’t just sit around and watch while everyone else does.