So this is a bit of a joint post today.
When I started this series, I meant it to be for any issue. Our weight loss journey is the biggest issue going on right now, and so most of these posts will be about that.
But today, I want to discuss something else.
Towards the end of the post, I will also give an update with our progress, but that won't be the focus of the post.
So what is, then?
A certain fear that I've been avoiding for a while, which I've made an effort to face recently.
You may have noticed that I really avoid showing myself on video.
I mean I do two videos a week, between Creators Circle and Readers Questions, but in both of those, I either show a picture of myself (in the case of Readers Questions), or some other image that represents the series (such as in Creators Circle).
Actually some time ago, perhaps a year or so, I did make an attempt to do some videos, but it didn't last long.
This was for two reasons:
- My blindness can weird people out sometimes
- And I just am very self-conscious about my body and being seen
I'll discuss these reasons separately:
This actually had never come up before I started doing videos last year. But then, I had two separate occasions that made me rethink my decision at that time.
The first was a comment I got from a friend. I had a French acquaintance that I practiced my French with. He was also very interested in the law of attraction, and so would read some of my articles.
However, after seeing one of my videos, he basically told me I needed to wear sunglasses.
When I asked why, he said that my eyes could make people uncomfortable.
I was honestly pretty surprised, and a bit shaken by that remark. It was something I had never before thought of in my life. The only issue I ever had with my eyes was when getting my picture taken, because I knew they wouldn't always look in the right direction. But that was a minor inconvenience that I found workarounds for.
But I never thought of that affecting videos, or people actually being uncomfortable with it.
I talked to some other friends about it, and they more or less said not to worry about it, so I moved on with my life.
But some months later, I had posted one of my videos on Reddit, on the Law of Attraction subreddit.
And, I got this really mean comment that was something like, “Why would I want to watch a video of a bored guy rambling on?”
When I asked what he meant, he said, “His eyes are half closed and not focused. He looks like he's half asleep.”
That commenter didn't know I was the one who had created the video, lol.
I explained to him that “that guy” was me, and that I'm totally blind. He felt pretty awful after that and apologized profusely, so I don't necessarily blame him.
But again that really bothered me. I tried to go on with videos for a while after that, but in time, just quit as I was way too self-conscious about this issue.
There's something that's rarely discussed in blind circles. Whether that's because I'm the odd one out with this fear, or because it's just super private and people don't like to discuss it, I don't know.
But as a totally blind person, I haven't the slightest idea how I stack up in terms of how I look.
Throughout school, I always made sure to be super observant of social cues, because it was really important for me to appear “normal”. And I think I've succeeded at that more or less, because my friends often remark that they forget that I'm blind.
So, behaviorally I'm very careful. But I still have no idea what I look like, besides the basics: black hair, brown eyes, 6' tall, etc. But those sorts of raw facts don't help.
I mentioned in one of my previous posts in this series about being body conscious because of my family's obsession around looks, and especially weight. I'd hear my aunt remark that she looked so disgusting because she needed to lose 5 lb.
And the thought going through my head, which I never vocalized, was, “If she looks disgusting at only 5 lb. overweight, then I must be absolutely revolting at my weight.”
And I never really found evidence to the contrary, so I internalized that self-image.
And so, both in life and online, I have an issue about being seen. I don't like to put myself out there too much. When it's just my words, I'm perfectly confident. But put me in front of people where they can see me, and all those old insecurities come back.
Prior to meeting Christine, I only received positive female attention once, at a dance in college. Actually perhaps once or twice more than that, but I really didn't know how to read the signs back then. 😛
But that only proved my pre-existing belief even more. Realistically, it was probably because I didn't know how to put myself out there socially, and many sighted people just have some awkwardness around approaching a blind person. I've heard very similar things from other blind people, so I know I'm not rare in that regard.
And, no offense to Christine, but the fact that I ended up marrying a visually-impaired girl didn't do much for my confidence, either. She tries to tell me that she can see well enough to know how I look, but subconsciously it's hard to believe her.
Overcoming My Fear
Recently I signed up for Zoom Webinars as a way to offer free webinars monthly. It has a feature where I can also be on Facebook Live.
At first, I was going to do the same thing I've been doing, and not use video. If I don't use video, those on the webinar can see my Zoom profile picture, which is set as a picture of me, so I figured it was close enough.
But when testing on Facebook, I was told that all that appears is a black box with my name, and “Zoom” at the bottom.
That seemed kind of boring, so I felt like perhaps I should use video after all.
One of the other reasons I didn't use video in the past was because it was hard to align the camera angle right on my laptop, and also I generally just shot videos in my living room, which just seemed a bit odd.
Now, though, I have my home office, and my iMac's camera is a lot easier to put in a certain position and keep it there, since I never have to move the computer for any reason.
So I tested it out with video, and got positive comments from two separate people, which made me feel like perhaps this was a good idea.
And I started to feel that perhaps it was time to overcome this old fear.
As for the blindness issue, a friend said that if I wanted, I could wear sunglasses.
And I thought about that. But, that seems so stereotypical of blind people—almost cliche in a sense.
Also, I wouldn't feel authentically me like that.
I figured, people will have to deal with how my eyes look. If that makes them uncomfortable, it might point to something they really have to deal with themselves.
What I mean is that I think sighted people are used to seeing the eyes as a point of contact to the person themselves.—their personality and even soul.
Without that visual point of contact, perhaps they feel disconnected somehow.
But, we're all energy. The eyes—even the body itself—are just physical reference points for the consciousness that we really are.
So, perhaps overcoming that discomfort is a positive thing.
I could be wrong. Let me know if you think so. 🙂
As for the self-consciousness issue, that's definitely more difficult, since it goes back way longer in my subconscious.
However, the whole point of this weight loss journey is to feel more confident in my own skin, and trying to hide from others is likely part of the issue that got me here to begin with.
The reason that really drove me on to do this was that I feel like perhaps it'll allow me to connect with my audience more. Hiding behind an image or picture all the time might be perceived as—I don't know—perhaps aloof? And I don't want to be perceived that way. I want to be as real and upfront as possible.
The first Readers Questions video where I've actually appeared on video will be out tomorrow. I'm Also streaming future RQ videos live on my Facebook page every week—probably Friday evenings right now, but I'm playing around with finding the right time.
This post was super difficult for me to write, because I feel in a sense like I'm whining or making excuses, which I don't want to do.
I'm trying to be fully honest, as I promised to do when I started this series, but without coming across as throwing a pity party, because that's the last thing I would do.
I'm not looking for validation, though I fear some of the above makes it appear that way. I'm only looking to tell my story. And I of course always appreciate your support. 🙂
As in weight loss news, we just surpassed our first month as of this past Saturday.
And the results are as follows:
- Start weight: 332.0 lb (150.6 kg)
- Month 1 weight: 317.2 lb (143.9 kg)
- Weight lost last month: 14.8 lb (6.7 kg) (4.46%)
- Start weight: 251.8 lb (114.2 kg)
- Month 1 weight: 240.8 lb (109.2 kg)
- Weight lost last month: 11.0 lb (5.0 kg) (4.37%)
Thanks for Your Support
As always, thank you sincerely for your support. It was difficult to start, and to continue, a series like this, especially when issues like the one I discussed today beg to be uncovered and revealed.
It does mean a lot to us both.