I made a mistake…a really big mistake.

I think I made a mistake, a big one, a really big mistake. Here’s some context, it’s nearly been a year that my girlfriend and I have been dating. Like all relationships, there have been some hard nights and awkward situations, but things were really good for the first couple of months. Then, it happened. I tried on my only pair of jeans to wear to an important occasion and they didn’t fit. I tried my suit on, the same result. I had gained weight, I had made a mistake, a big one, a really big mistake.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, I have always been big and I struggled with that for a while. It was tough for a while to love myself regardless of what others think and say, to and about me. It has only been in the last couple of years that I have come to believe in myself and I cultivated some self-confidence. If I’m being brutally honest it still surprises me sometimes that my girlfriend chose me regardless of how I feel within myself and in our relationship. These are all quite personal issues that I have processed in recent times. However, it remains that I have gained weight. Finally, after so many years of not taking any action to start the journey of dealing with my weight, I decided to. That was my mistake, the big one, my really big mistake.

We, my partner and I, decided that we would remove as many carbohydrates, as much dairy, and as much sugar from our diet. We did this; all of it, at the exact same time; one day after deciding we were going to do it. Now, if you have ever made massive lifestyle changes you will understand that it can be quite difficult. The simple act of breaking a habit takes time and effort, breaking a whole bunch of habits simultaneously takes even more time and even more effort. If I’m being honest I fail sometimes – the first day I ate my friend’s marshmallow from her hot chocolate – that was a mistake, a small one, but not an insignificant one.

So, I made a mistake, I changed a massive part of my lifestyle overnight – I can no longer smash junk food, and that’s not just okay but great! Overall, it has been fairly easy and I feel really well for the first time in a while. I’m no fool, I’m being honest with myself. I already knew that Māori are overrepresented in obesity statistics, diabetes statistics, and negative health statistics. I never wanted to admit to myself that I had let myself down. I tricked myself into believing that the opportunity cost of my current self-confidence isn’t time with my grandchildren. I know that a massive journey awaits and there will be many challenges during it. However, I am finally willing to explore that journey and I know that this journey – no matter how I may loathe it on the way past – is no mistake.

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