Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Everyone Has a Story

We were driving through Park City this past weekend as we were in Utah for a National Dance Competition for my daughter. We were stopped at a stoplight when a very morbidly obese man made his way across the street. As I watched him walk my heart was torn in many ways. I felt for him. Even though I was never quite in the same situation he is currently facing, I was still obese and knew the feeling of being trapped and hopeless in my own body. The way he walked looked painful. I could only imagine the chaffing and body sores he must have in different areas of his body due to large amounts of skin rubbing against each other as he tried to move. I watched as the other people on the sidewalk watched him walk past and the look on their faces was almost that of them making fun of him. I wanted to roll down my window and yell at them but I refrained. In the same moment I wanted to roll down my window and tell this young man how proud I was of him. Yes, I am proud of a morbidly obese man I saw walking the streets of Park City! Why? Because everyone has a story and we don’t know his. Maybe he used to be heavier and he was out on his daily walk and has already lost 20,30, or even 50 pounds. Yay for him. And if he hasn’t, he’s still making a difference in his day by getting out there and walking.
I think we can all say we are guilty of looking at someone and making judgments or thoughts when we probably shouldn’t. I know I am not exempt when it comes to this. In fact, for a long time when I would go to the gym I would see one of the trainers who was definitely not “fit” in any way and I often wondered if that bothered her or even her clients? In my mind, I was thinking if I was a new person attending the gym and needing to find a trainer, I’d be looking for someone who I  had faith and confidence in. Someone who mirrored a healthy lifestyle. They certainly wouldn’t have to have a beach body by any means but just someone who I could tell worked on living the kind of lifestyle I was training to achieve. Makes sense right?  Well, after months of watching her work with clients and seeming  sweet and nice no less, I decided that she really is good at what she does. She is encouraging, you can tell her clients like her, and most of all, they still kept coming back week after week, month after month. Then one day while running on the treadmill I decided I had no place to assume  anything about her because I didn’t know her story. That has become my new mantra with people. For all I know she could been 300+ pounds a few years back and wow, look at her now, she looks great! See we didn’t know her story.
The same goes for even myself. I’m sure if a total stranger met me or even someone at the gym layed eyes on me, they could assume that I could stand to lose another 10-15+ pounds or be more fit than I am but did they know me at 278 pounds? Do they know how far I have already come? Do they know my story?
The body is an amazing thing. Even when it is big and obese it can do more than we think it can. And as we progress towards getting healthier, it will continue to surprise us with all the things it is capable of. Whether you are just starting your journey or consider yourself a work in progress, we all have a story and that I am grateful for. May you continue to press forward believing you can do anything you put your mind to. And who cares what others think, right? They don’t know your story.


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  1. LOVE, LOVE this Paige!!! I came to this exact conclusion years ago. I used to think those that were active in the church should be able to handle any calling and they should show up to all activities. What a mistake on my part! I've learned this applies to all people we come in contact with. We don't know their story. It's not our place to judge. Just love reading your blog :)

  2. What a great perspective and reminder to us all Paige!

  3. Awesome post!!!!! Makes us all remember for ourselves and also reminds us to be compassionate about others around us!

  4. A beautiful reminder for all of us. Thank you Paige for this and your example, even though you like me are not perfect, I appreciate you and your sweet reminders of love

  5. Great post! I am feeling encouraged by your posts. This is not an easy journey but you are helping along the way.