This past weekend was spent on the final preparations for PAX East. I use costumes and events like this to mark weight loss goals and I'm really excited about this one since not only have I already surpassed my milestone goal of losing 88 lbs, but also because my boyfriend, Brandon, is going to participate in this cosplay event with me. I've been hard at work crafting and sewing our costumes and super anxious to see the whole thing come together. Brandon is leaving for spring break and meeting me in Boston for the convention, so I wanted to make sure he tried everything on in case anything needed to be adjusted.
As an actor, I'm used to assuming roles, playing make believe and transforming myself physically, but this is Brandon's first time cosplaying at a fan convention and I wanted to make sure he was as excited and happy as possible. When he finally put everything on, he just lit up! It was like he walked right out of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and into my living room. He was glowing and grinning from ear to ear. It was truly adorable and not only was I so incredibly proud and happy with my handiwork, but I found it so rewarding to give him the ability to experience one of my favorite aspects of conventions.
You see, Brandon has really been there for me during this journey. He's dealt with my obsessions over calorie counting, my anxiety over not being able to constantly indulge in comfort food, my plateaus, my gains, and my victories. He's been the one to talk me through a lot of the inner turmoil I've had as my body changed, I saw myself differently, and I began to be treated differently by people out in the world. I think we all need people like that in order to process our changes and find lasting success.
I've read so many blogs and forum posts about couples, family members or close friends wherein one person is trying to get healthy and the other person isn't. Brandon is certainly supportive of my quest and aware of my choices, but I don't expect him to make the same ones in order to make me comfortable. Sometimes the posts I read are positive, but a majority of the time they describe sad tales of sabotage, passive aggression, and constant frustration that ultimate derails the person working on their health or causes them to slow their progress.
While I do believe in accepting that we cannot control every variable around us (i.e. expect other people in our lives to eat what we eat, ban all goodies from the house, workout all the time), I do think we all owe it to ourselves to create an environment that's conducive to our success. If what I'm describing sounds all too familiar, I really urge you to sit down with anyone who is causing this kind of strife and address it. Explain that you don't expect them to go through it step by step the way you are, but that you do expect them not to actively make it harder on you. If they still don't get it, go to that uncomfortable, vulnerable place and tell them WHY it's so important to you that you succeed. If they have any sense of empathy at all, they'll begin to understand how big a deal this is to you.
The hardest thing to accept is that some people are just toxic. If you go through all of that conflict resolution and the person on the other side of the table remains defensive, negative, or unsympathetic, then you need to accept that he/she is not someone you can be around if you really care about your health. That might be easier said than done, but I truly believe it to be the case. When it comes to the behavior of others, the one thing you CAN control is whether or not you're putting yourself at risk by subjecting yourself their presence. That can make or break your success. We spend every day making choices about our health and this one is just as important. Make sure that everyone around you has your back and your best interests in mind.
I'm certainly glad to have my Special Somepony in my life because I know he's a big part of why I've been so strong throughout this experience and I hope he knows I don't take any of his efforts for granted. Sometimes it's nice to do something that let's the person/people who support you know just how much they mean to you. whether that means making them a bacon cheeseburger even though you can't have one or transforming them into pony from a children's cartoon about friendship and magic.