Lisa Fitzpatrick, Ireland’s favourite style guru, wasn’t always the slim, confident person she is today. Having battled obesity, low self-esteem and zero confidence, Lisa came out the other side happier, healthier and immeasurably wiser for the many challenges her weight-loss journey threw at her. Lisa offers some of the life-changing tips that helped her shed the pounds and go from a size 20 to a perfect 10.
Can you really be fat and happy?
Sometimes, you hear people refer to a woman who is overweight as having a bubbly personality. I suppose this has become a term that, rightly or wrongly, we now associate with larger ladies. But does the word “bubbly” really describe how some of these women feel? Are they good at putting on an act, or are they genuinely happy? It’s a tough one, because only they can answer that question.
Maybe you genuinely are the happiest person in the world, but, having walked in those shoes, so to speak, I find it hard to believe that being overweight actually does make all women completely content. My memories of the years when I piled on the pounds are definitely filled with mixed emotions.
Certain things in my life did seem perfect, but, deep down, I did feel like I was carrying a burden when it came to my size. It was only when I made the decision to take control of my weight that I could see things clearly. Being bigger did, indeed, make me feel unhappy, but I found that out only when I began to lose weight and grow in confidence. Once the weight was off, I loved the feeling of being content with everything, and knowing I was giving myself the best chance possible of living life to the full.
It had a massive impact on the way I viewed things and, in many ways, it was like a new way of feeling. Looking back, my bubbly personality probably masked my weight issue. It became my ‘front’ when I met people. It’s much easier to tell yourself you are happy being the size you are, rather than admitting to yourself that your weight might be an issue. I found ways to hide behind what I wore. But that can be so draining and, for some, it can take its toll. Behind closed doors, the reality of being overweight can have a huge impact on your confidence and self-esteem.
This is often when people find comfort in food, which is probably the worst thing they can do. I think that if you are one of those people who have learned how to put on a good show for others, you should never use that as a safety net to stay the way you are. It could become a habit, and then you’ll end up trying to convince yourself that being overweight makes you happy. You owe it to yourself to be truly happy, and to live the best possible life that you can.
It may not be intentional, but, sometimes, those closest to us can be the worst supporters of change, because they are used to us being a certain way. They may not fully understand our motives for wanting to lose weight in the first place. If this is the case in your relationship, remind yourself that this decision is all about doing what is right for you. If you’re not sure how you feel, ask yourself the following questions:
1) Do you like how you look?
2) Does your weight make you feel good about yourself?
3) Are you happy being fat?
I suppose the last question is the most important one of all: are you happy being fat? If the answer is “no”, there has never been a better time to change your life. Don’t put it off until tomorrow. Grab the opportunity with both hands and make the decision to improve your situation now.
If you feel insecure in yourself on a daily basis, you are not alone. A survey carried out in the United States showed that 80 per cent of obese people who were questioned, believed the following: that others perceive them to be physically unattractive, that others comment on their weight, that they are uncomfortable about being seen in public, and so on. I’d say, having been in that position, that this survey is pretty accurate.
Through my work, I meet women all the time who talk to me, confide in me and look for answers about what suits their body shape and size. Often, they approach me to talk about style, but very often they ask for advice on how they can cover up parts of
their body they don’t like. Now, as I’ve said before, covering up your bad bits is fine — we all do it. However, when it gets to a point where we are hiding from ourselves, we need to address the problem.