On April 24th 2006, Jonathan and I had our first date. We planned to meet on Blair Hill in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where we both attended school, for a sushi picnic. Both of us showed up with the same bottle of white wine, 2 glasses and a wine opener. We were both so happy to meet someone who thought to go the extra mile. I had a feeling that was going to be my last first date.
Today, I want to tell you the story of how we met, partially because I want to honor our anniversary, but mostly because there’s a valuable lesson here about being bold and how it breaks the overeating and body-hatred cycle.
I’m about to get a little personal with you… hope you don’t mind.
Jonathan and I first met in history class in the spring of 2006. We started spending time together, trading history notes and sharing books (I had all the books I needed but borrowed his anyways). I thought he was the bees knees, but no matter how much I flirted or “bumped into him” at parties he wasn’t taking the bait.
So I stopped talking to him cold turkey. I figured I must’ve been misreading his cues. It didn’t take long for him to realize that I was giving him the cold shoulder and he confronted me.
“Why are you avoiding me?” He said.
“You know exactly why.” WHOA! Bold move Sarah, I thought. The words just came out without thinking. I was always one to be bold with friends and family (I was voted Miss Tell-It-Like-It-Is in High School) but when it came to boys, I was shy and held back because of my whole “I’m too fat to be with him” shtick.
Well that one bold statement changed my life forever.
Jonathan took my hand led me outside the bar. He told me that he thinks about me all the time and wants to be with me… but the timing just isn’t right. He was graduating in a month and moving to NYC and I still had another year left at college. He thought it would just be easier to wait until I lived in NYC. So practical, as usual.
My normal M.O. would’ve been to say that was fine, and to continue stalking his facebook updates, coincidently showing up where he was, and dressing extra nice to history class hoping he’d change his mind.
But for some reason this new side of me came out that night.
“You’re an idiot” I said. “We both know how perfect we are for each other. I can see the way you look at me. Can’t you feel the energy between us?”
He agreed, but rattled off some bullshit that he though it would be better if we were “just friends”.
Just. Friends. Exactly! Just friends implies subpar, settling, less exciting. Just. Pah!
I told him that I didn’t want to be just friends, that I wanted to be with him and that we’d figure out the details. I gave him 7 days to make up his mind, he could either date me, or never speak to me again.
I didn’t want good enough. I wanted the whole kit and caboodle.
Girlfriend or bust was my new mantra.
Most people would say that negotiating for being someone’s girlfriend is desperate.
Desperate would be negotiating and re-negotiating with no expiration date until you’re left with a shell of what you actually want.
BOLD is stating what you want clearly and giving a deadline. And being willing to be left with nothing.
When my clients first come to me, a lot of them have a habit of hoping for things to change. They hold things in, don’t ask for what they want, and wait. All of this “holding on”, wishing, hoping and staying quiet eventually turns into regret, and that regret piles on top of the lost hopes. All of this piling of emotional crap manifests as extra weight on our bodies, and then we tell ourselves that we don’t deserve what we wish for because we’re fat.
It’s a vicious, terrible cycle.
Today, let’s end the cycle. What do you need to be BOLD about? What are you holding onto that you need to voice, demand or scream? What is it that you want? Where in your life do you need to stop settling for “good enough” and need to go get the whole kit and caboodle?
Maybe you need to say “Honey, it’s been 12 years, I want to be your wife, not your girlfriend.”
“Mom, I need you stop giving me diet advice, it’s not your job anymore. If you can’t agree to that, I don’t want to speak to you.”
“Friend, I hate that you’re always 30 minutes late. I can’t make plans anymore if you’re not going to respect my time.”
When you’re being bold about demanding all or nothing, you need to be fully committed to taking the “nothing” because there’s a good chance that’ll be the outcome. But most of the time “nothing” gives you the space for “something better” to come along, where settling for “good enough” keeps us stuck.
After I revealed my whole heart and soul to Jonathan with complete vulnerability, I was running the risk of being left without the man I’d come to care about AND I would be completely and utterly mortified. I can see why keeping our mouths shut seems like the better option. But even that seemed like a better alternative than “just being friends”.
I gave him the silent treatment for a week so he could get a taste of what life would be like without me. It was torture, but I wanted to be bold. He tried to contact me multiple times and it would’ve been so easy to give in, to just sit next to him for 5 minutes. Girlfriend or bust. Girlfriends or bust.
In true college fashion, I made him a CD (my generation’s version of a mix tape) with music we listened to during our late night study sessions and songs that had not-so-subtle messages. I put it on his car on day 5 of our “life without Sarah” trial run.
Well I guess it was the CD that broke the camels back because the next day we were making summer plans and making out all over campus. I was so grateful that something inside me decided to speak my truth because I had never felt so light and free in my whole life.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reflect on this, and for taking the time to read it. I hope that this inspires you to go out a limb, take a risk, be bold. Your heart, your life and your body will thank you for it.
Next week I’m releasing a FREE Video Training Series called LIVE MORE WEIGH LESS where I’ll be teaching you how to step out, be bold and claim the life you desire so you can finally have the body you’ve dreamed of. Keep an eye out;)
Simple actions to take your life back, know your worth & feel alive no matter how drained, overwhelmed and far gone you feel.