Thursday, August 18, 2011

This Is Not A Weight Loss Blog

Although I will talk about it from time to time.

This time around, I did start running again in order to lose weight. However, this is not the primary focus of my blog. It is really about the intersection of trying to live an active life and being a larger person, challenging people's assumptions about you, trying to model the active lifestyle for both my immediate and extended family, and my journey to prevent totally preventable diseases from entering and subsequently wreaking havoc on my life.

When people see a larger person such as myself say, at a restaurant, or say, at the gym-what are they thinking when they stare in disbelief at the fact that I'm 1. publicly engaging myself in the act of eating and perhaps immensely enjoying a meal, or 2. publicly engaging myself in the act of EXERCISING?

I have even caught myself on several occasions thinking really disparaging things about fat people, classic internalized oppression--"What the hell is he thinking?" or "Wow, maybe instead of that steak, how about just eating the veggies or nothing at all?" or "Instead of bringing up the rear [me] in this 10K, how about getting out of the squad car and running with me?" I know it's wrong, I also know that this is when that mean voice of self-hatred creeps into my mind. So of course, this is what people are saying or thinking about me when I go about living my life, right?

For the most part, I have never really been super self-conscious about my body type throughout the years, except for maybe in middle school--when I did get called a "fat bitch" on "National Butt Day" by this a very short, popular kid in eighth grade. In hindsight, I should have said something insultingly witty, but alas, witty I was not.

I've been mentally and emotionally comfortable in my body, even at my highest weight (which was one pound away from 300.) This is not to say that OTHER people have been comfortable with my weight. I can assure you that this is true, since the disparaging projection of self-hatred comes from things I've heard people say to me directly, or that I've overheard.

I am still in the process of losing weight-but certainly not so that I can feel good about the way others may view me. I really don't care about that. Rather, I have continued on this journey precisely because it is healthful--and frankly I feel awesome being active. Even better, I'm a BIGGER active person. So go ahead and let go of all of those assumptions that you may have about fat people not being able to do this or that, be encouraging and positive about anyone trying to make the right choices for themselves and their families, and if you need to, get on board yourself!

6 comments:

  1. Believe it or not, most people I know who see an overweight person at the gym express admiration for that person. Nothing bothers me more than when people delay goals or decide they "can't" do something that they want to do because of what others might be thinking. The more we live our lives the less we give a crap about what others might or might not be thinking. Keep living!!!

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  2. I have lost 79 lbs. and 50 from kicking my own ass at the gym. I now care about what I look like and I applaud anyone and everyone who does the same. If you are at the gym or doing any excercise at all, you are EMPOWERING yourself. I finally figured out it was best to be doing this for me first and everyone else was just gravy.

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  3. This is the message I want to spread as well!! I have big girl friends that aren't going to the gym or doing other activities because they are insecure about doing those things in front of other people. I understand that. I feel so conspicuous and imagine what people are thinking about me.

    I have some big girl friends that show up to races with me and look around and see they're the biggest girl there. THough it shouldn't be, it can be discouraging. Feeling like you don't fit in and imagining the others there are thinking you don't belong there.

    I've been running four about 5-ish years now and I still find my self discouraged to be finishing so slow and often being the biggest girl on the course. I am very proud of my running accomplishments. So I hate when the insecurities show up. But at the same time, I'm glad I'm there. I feel like I may help change people's attitudes about the abilities of heavy people and I really really hope I encourage other heavy people to get out and get moving in anyway they feel like by seeing my short fat self out there on the roads!

    I was so excited to find your blog as you are sending out the same message! Yeah! Go you!!


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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jill. We ALL need to be out there so that we ALL can be out there without worrying what others are thinking. At least we're out there!

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