It always amazes me what society deems acceptable for one human to say to another. At what point in our world did someone decide that ‘fat’ was an awful thing to be?
Recently, I read an article about a lovely young lady, a model of all things, who was body shamed on a flight. Her response to her less than stellar seatmate was gracious & classy. Having been fat for, well, forever, I wondered if I’d have had the grace to react in a similar way. I’ve heard all the jokes, seen the animated characterizations, felt the shame.
In some less than admirable moments, I too have made snap judgments & had thoughts about people round me. One thing I picked up on in this lady’s story, was that she told the man that she worked out 5 times a week. I do the same. Yet, my weight barely changes. Some may say, do more. Do it better. Try harder. It must be what I’m eating, right?
It’s almost to the point that I want to wear a permanent sign proclaiming, ‘It’s not my fault!’. But, that wouldn’t be enough, would it? The problem isn’t my caloric intake ( I rarely hit 2000 calories a day). It isn’t my laziness. Fat doesn’t mean lazy necessarily. In some cases, perhaps. But, not in mine & not in a lot of people’s. Would I love to be more active? Absolutely!
What my sign would have to include would be that my medicines (3 of them anyway) each carry a side effect of weight gain. Should I stop taking them in search for a better number on the scale? Many times I sweat- a lot. My sign would need to proclaim: ‘Profuse sweating is a symptom of Parkinson’s! I’m not sweating because I’m fat!’
My slowness isn’t due to my size. Add the sentence, ‘I’m slow because my gait is also affected by Parkinson’s!’ Tempted to think my exercises aren’t working? The exercises that would definitely help me lose a few are too much for me to do. Also on my permanent sign I’d add, ‘ I walk my dog twice a day! I’ve been doing Yoga to help the balance I lost due to having Parkinson’s! Sometimes my body won’t move or literally gives out during activities!’
See me eating at a fast food restaurant? Yes, I will take a long time at the counter. That’s because there are things I can’t eat. But, maybe I’m there because the kids want to go or because my sugar was low and I need to eat something quickly. Type 2 Diabetes? Yes, I’ve got that too. But, so does most of my family (a lot of whom are thin). Giggle when I drink diet soda? Well, yes, I enjoy its taste, the caffeine, and such. That one won’t be an excuse on my sign.
So, laugh if you must. Make a comment. Imitate my walk. It’s cool. But, before you do, take a spilt second to wonder why I’m not a size two. Maybe in that split second, your humanity will take over & you won’t laugh. I would love to be thin. I’d love to never sweat, look good in every outfit & be the Queen of Activity. But, in reality, I probably never will be. All I can do is keep trying and not give up. Some days are harder than others.
We all have things we’d like to change about ourselves. It’s an uphill battle. But, perfection will never be achieved. Some may say it’s a bunch of excuses. To those people, I’d say, that’s true. But, these excuses are valid. Not just to me but in reality. I’m being as real as it gets. You don’t have to cut fat people any slack. It seems to be the last acceptable discrimination.
But, it won’t stop me from living one day at a time to the best of my ability. Faults & all, I am who I am.