Back in March of 2019 I went on a 10 day trip to China with my father. Absolutely loved the trip, had an incredible time and don’t regret going, despite what you are about to read.
I think I was in the range of 440 pounds on the trip. I was feeling good about myself that I had lost 60 pounds in the first 3 months of healthy eating.
The trip started off in Beijing. I remember sitting for a rest on a bench in the Forbidden City, when a man smiled at me, slowly approached, sat down next to me, patted me on the shoulder as his wife snapped a photo of the two of us. He nodded gratitude, smiled again, and he was off. I knew he wanted a photo with a giant. I stood out in every crowd. He did it the right way, and I didn’t mind.
We visited a bunch of cities before ending up in Shanghai. On one of the last days we were left to walk along the Bund for a couple hours. Basically a promenade along the river in the heart of the city where the old colonial city still survived. It was an uncomfortable experience at best for me.
I don’t think I’d ever been more self conscious about my size as I was that day. It felt like hundreds of people took turns pointing and laughing at me, snapping my photo from a distance, and the brave few running up next to me while their friend snapped a photo before running off. They wanted the same photo the guy in Beijing wanted, but they went about getting it a whole different way.
The toughest part of the experience was seeing my dad get angry and upset with the whole scene. I kept telling him to let it go. Different cultures can have different definitions of what is socially acceptable and we were in their land, we don’t get to make the rules.
I wished I could have spoken Chinese, here is what I would have told them that day, “This is nothing, you should have seen me 60 pounds ago.”
Find your motivation and your strength from inside, don’t let anyone else determine you worth. Love yourself. Know that better days are ahead.