Here in the western world, American culture, thin is in. Being fat is epidemic, it's killing us, we are obese!
You can't blame us, everything tastes so good, and it's so cheap! An apple is good...when it's fresh and crunchy, but give me an off season apple with a couple of bruises in it, or a smushy grape, or a pear that is engineered be picked when it's hard as a rock, then ripen on the way to the store...and it's still crunchy and flavorless and yuck. But Doritos, they're always good! Dollar menus, with the salty fatty flavor enhanced deep fried yummies.
So you can't blame us. When I was a kid, a can of soda was special, I can count on one hand how many times I had one all to myself. Cake was for birthdays. We got chips on payday, not every day in our lunches.
Anyway, we're fat. And believe you me, fat people are treated differently than not-so-fat people. I am still fat, but more ACCEPTABLY fat. 70 pounds down now, but still in a size 16 jeans, I am still fat. But. Let me tell you something. It's different. In the Target parking lot several years ago, I didn't put my cart back where it belonged because I had unloaded small children into the van, and didn't want to walk to the cart return and leave them in there (but also I was probably lazy, and heck, my knees probably hurt after walking all the way through Target)...anyway, as I climbed into the driver's seat of that 15 passenger van, this snarky young couple that pulled into the parking spot across from me grabbed the shopping cart I had left there, and yelled, "No wonder you're fat!" ouch. Once I went on this lovely dinner cruise with Paul, and as we stood appreciating the view, I turned my head and a group of his co-workers all turned away from me at the same time. I continued to stare in their direction, and sure enough, they all peeked over at me, and looked away real quick-like. I caught them. They were talking about me. I had put so much thought into my yellow flowered blue skirt, and yellow elbow sleeved top. No bare arms for me! I had my Birkenstocks on, of course. Maybe they were saying how pretty I looked! Or maybe they heard I had a busload of kids at home. But I don't think so...because when I looked at them, they were ashamed. They didn't smile at me, like they would if they were saying nice things about me.
What kills me is that I am the same exact person as I was before. And when I lose fifty more pounds (hey, it COULD happen!), I will still be the same person. But hopefully I will never ever forget what if feels like to be snickered at. I know, I was probably a sight, especially when Easter candy was 75% off and I was filling my cart. But still.
My metabolism isn't what I would like it to be. I can't eat like a normal person anymore, or my weight will come back with a vengeance. And I don't want that to happen, because I FEEL so much better. I am not running marathons, or doing CrossFit, but I can explore cities and navigate airports and go to parks and malls without huffing and puffing. I can buckle seatbelts and fit in more normal clothes. But I am still me.
I can work at the basketball games, something I couldn't do 70 pounds ago.
Been there done that...I KNOW what it's like to feel hopeless, to feel like that it won't make a whit of difference whether I eat another cupcake or not, I'm still fat, and I could never diet. I used to read so much about weight loss before I took the plunge and really started working on it...I was a huge, fat, weight loss expert. But the numbers were big and scary, and baby steps seemed impossible. And have you heard the success rate of losing large amounts and actually keeping it off? 5%. Yeah, 95% of people gain it all back, and then some. So why try?
For me, as I have written a million times, it was the acid reflux...heartburn 24/7. I had managed it for a few years with antacids and it just got worse. When I finally went to the doctor for it, and saw that my nice low blood pressure was creeping up, I flipped out. I was 46 years old, not ready for the downward slide! The doctor said it wasn't that bad, to just start on the Prilosec, and we would sort out the b.p. later, maybe start on some meds.
I left the office a shaking mess. No. I had to do something. So I did.
I haven't been perfect, it hasn't been easy. But when my size 24 jean skirt started falling down, I knew I was making progress. After a bit I bought a scale. It's been five years since I started to fight back, and it hasn't been easy. I got pregnant for baby #17 after losing the first 25 pounds, and even saw it's tiny heartbeat on the sonogram, but then lost the baby. Sticking to plan wasn't easy during that. I also had gall bladder removal, and you know, real life. Parties and celebrations and trips and just normal baking cookies for the kids. Saying NO a million times doesn't feel rewarding, but it's the story of my life, and I'm sticking to it.
In a perfect world, we wouldn't be judgy wudgy about anyone. I know, there are things I have ranted about here...parents being mean to their kids, toddlers in strollers playing with tablets instead of walking or even just looking at the world around them...but I'm working on working on ME, and giving others freedom to just be themselves. But as for fat shaming, one of the last frontiers of allowable judging, because heck, it's THEIR FAULT. no. I will not. I have walked in those shoes...am still walking in those shoes...
And now, no lie, I am going in the kitchen to help my girls bake cookies for their activity groups. For their sakes, I just try to be normal about it, but we all know that I can't eat any of those cookies...
p.s. One of my coping mechanisms is to buy things that I CAN have, like macadamia nuts, pistachios, peppered cashews, and salt and vinegar peanuts, frozen rasberries and blueberries...90% dark chocolate. They can be expensive, but it helps! I also splurge on good coffee, and different kinds of tea. I also chew different flavors of gum when I really want to eat something...