This was week 126 of my Operation Melt journey that started with my goal to escape obesity and lose over 100 pounds in under a year. As you probably know I achieved that goal (in just 9 months) and then a whole lot more. I went from 325 pounds to completing my first half marathon in just 14 months with a total weight loss of over 130 pounds.
I accomplished this by applying concepts of project management and managing my transformation as a project just like I have helped businesses do for two decades.
After achieving my initial goal, and countless others, my journey of personal transformation has grown into a quest to turn myself and others into goal-crushing machines. My vision for Operation Melt is to build a world where goals don’t die of loneliness.
My weekly Operation Melt blog posts are about continuing to hold myself accountable while sharing my journey with you. My hope is that something that I am doing will inspire you to try to crush your own goal, will motivate you to keep going and will equip you with some additional tools that have helped me manage my journey.
This week’s post is pretty short because I am running a race today – The Hot Chocolate Run. But I still want to stay true to my weekly posting routine.
This week’s post is also a little unusual for me in a different way. Though I generally try to stay positive this week isn’t my normal level of positivity. This is a little bit of a rant about something that happened almost a month ago. This situation bothered me so much that I have struggled to let it go.
I also caution you that there is some harsh language ahead.
T’was the night before marathon…
The night before I ran the Columbus Marathon half marathon I was out at a social event. It isn’t important what the event was (I want to protect identities) but it was the type of event that has assigned seating. We were sat at a table with people who we didn’t know but they all knew each other.
Importantly these people were unaware of my personal transformation. They had no idea that I was 325 pounds just 28 months earlier. And why would they…
We were making conversation and the topic of David Goggins came up.
For those who don’t know, Goggins’ inspirational story was that he also transformed his life through fitness. After growing up in terrible conditions and growing to over 300 pounds he decided to change his life. He became the first person to graduate Navy SEAL school, Army Ranger school and the USAF tactical school. He is a veteran of 3 different branches of special forces. He is an ultra marathoner, a triathlete, holds the world pull-up record and is a total badass. An inspirational badass.
He came up in conversation because he recently released a book. As part of the book promo he has been featured on many different podcasts. Several of this heard his story on different podcasts.
One of the other people at the table started telling his story and that is where the rant starts.
Umm… what did you just say?!
As the person telling the story was describing Goggins he said the thing that still bothers me almost a month later.
“He was over 300 pounds… a total piece of shit!”
Are you kidding me?!
You say that about someone just because they are overweight? You say that about somebody whose incredibly difficult life that you just described.
Because somebody is over 300 pounds you are going to completely discount them as a “piece of shit”… how dare you?
Am I in the club now?
What really bugged me is that I had a similar story to an extent though I started in a better place and ended in a far less badass state. Was I a “piece of shit” just two years ago?
This is the kind of thing that I always feared was being said about me behind my back. But, since high school, nobody had ever said to my face.
I guess, because I am not as visibly overweight, I have been invited into a special club. Now I get to hear insulting, hurtful and ignorant things openly said about others. I know that the vast majority of people don’t think and speak this way about others, just this exclusive club.
To be honest I was happier not hearing it said at all and just assuming people were disrespecting me based on my appearance.
Smaller, not better…
At my core I am the same person I was before I lost 40% of my body weight. I just have less fat weighing me and my self-confidence down.
I am not better than anybody else because I am thinner. I do consider myself better than the old me simply because I re-proved to myself that I have great power to accomplish my big goals.
I am better than I used to be because I have grown, not just because I shrank!
I can also assure you that I never called anybody a “piece of shit” because they are overweight – and probably not any other reason.
In this case I believe that critique was misdirected!
Be more kind, people are fragile…
In a world plagued with body image issues, mental health struggles and skyrocketing rates of suicide these beliefs are very dangerous.
Calling somebody who is overweight a “piece of shit” is a good way to further amplify deeply held insecurities. You know what, they may already believe this deep in their mind. They don’t need to find out that somebody else believes this.
Maybe take a minute and consider what they are already going through in a world that tells them that they are smaller because they are bigger.
Maybe get to know the human being that is in front of you.
Maybe look for the strength inside the person who is dealing with some of the worst treatment that society has to offer.
Maybe show some empathy, kindness or love.
Or maybe just remember what you learned when you were a kid: if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.
In case you wondered I still had a great time at the event!
Thanks so much for reading. I hope that my experiences and my tips can help you achieve your own big goals. If we work together we can build a world where goals never die of loneliness!