I was a confident teenager. I know that sounds crazy and completely opposite of what we hear all the time, but it's true. I was a good student, involved in activities, knew what I stood for and was comfortable in my own skin. Maybe it's because of my experience during my teen years that I'm continually surprised at my lack of confidence in myself now.
I feel absolutely ashamed that my lack of confidence is almost entirely born from my physical appearance. I am overweight, and have been for years. I've tried, multiple times, to get myself into shape, but I never seem to be able to lose more than 20 lbs. And so I'm ashamed not only of my appearance, but also because I can't seem to alter it, and because I'm letting society/others determine a portion of my self worth. Isn't that the exact thing I'm always telling my young friends not to do?
I'm pretty sure that this post will take some people by surprise. I think I come across as capable (which I am) and confident (which I am not). But there's a reason for that. I always say, "Fat people have to be awesome." We all make immediate judgments, and the most common assumption about fat people is that we're lazy, uncommitted or apathetic. That's why we have to be awesome. We have to be the most capable, the first to volunteer, the friendliest, smartest, whatever-est because our personalities and abilities have to overcome the immediate judgments that are made about us.
And sometimes I just get tired of being awesome, because it's a lot of work.