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The invisibility of obesity

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Did you, as an obese person, ever feel that you had less social impact than other people? As if you are less acknowledged?
I think it's true.
I think that when you are obese, people do not see YOU, they only see OBESITY. When we see an obese person in public, the obesity overshadows everything about that person. All the facets of that person disappear. It doesn't even matter if WE OURSELVES are obese, and feel sympathy for that person; our minds register the weight first, and that image keeps resonating.

Think about a crowd of people (healthy weights) gathered in a public place. Then, add one morbidly obese person to that crowd. Instantly and unconsciously, we see that individual, and that ONE characteristic. The rest of the people need to be studied and observed longer before we can make any assessments- we need to visually engage, watch them, and think about what we are seeing. We take time to notice details. We must LOOK at them. For obese people, the details are lost. They "become" their obesity.
It's ironic that something that makes you physically bigger makes the world see less of the person inside. And it makes people not look at their faces and their eyes. And having been obese most of my life, I know first hand that it also makes your words less listened to.

Obesity is a very socially isolating condition.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADKBOUND 5/18/2011 1:20PM

    You've hit the nail on the head. We all know the healthy lifestyle rules and guidelines. It is the emotional isolation and the fact that we use food for comfort that is causing the obesity epidemic. I wanted to cry when I read the blog. Your success is an inspiration to me. I'm so afraid to share with people that I'm trying to lose weight because I have failed so many times.

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MBSHAZZER 3/27/2011 11:40AM

    I totally agree with you. I have never been obese, but I definitely have had the experience of registering a person's weight before all else.

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TACONES 3/26/2011 9:43PM

    Sad but true, I agree.

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SECRETFUN 3/26/2011 1:57PM

  I agree, and I also think it extends to those who have physical deformities. Like people are afraid to look then stare, so in fact they don't see at all.

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PHEBESS 3/26/2011 1:07PM

    As always, a thought-provoking blog.

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STARPLANET2000 3/26/2011 10:59AM

    I totally agree with you. It's so sad because that attitude from society generally does nothing to help motivate obese people to get healthier. If anything it perpetuates many of the emotions which cause overeating and/or closing themselves off from society so that they are less physically active. Good blog.

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Remodeling continues, back to the gym, and a short trip south

Thursday, March 17, 2011

We have finished framing, wiring, and plumbing, and moved into the drywall stage on our remodel project. Next purchase is wall and floor tile (very expensive!). All the plumbing and lighting fixtures are already here and waiting to be installed, but the sanding and smoothing of the walls will be arduous and messy. I'm actually looking forward to painting. Cabinets will be here in less than 2 weeks.
I started back to the gym this month, my long battle with bronchitis finally won (after over six weeks). My best machine is the lower back machine, which has a maximum weight stack of 300 lbs. I'm proud to say that I max out this machine.
Yesterday, when I worked out, there were three men in the weight room. I spent plenty of time reducing weights they'd left stacked on the machines. Bicep curls, I must drop the stack to less than half the weight they use. For pecs and flys, I also have to cut the weight in half before I can lift it. The low back machine is the exception. When I sit down on that machine, I drop the pin all the way to the bottom of the stack: all 300 lbs of it. Then, I strap on the lap belt, and lean all the way back to horizontal. Smoothly and effortlessly. It is NOTHING for me to move the stack 25 or 30 times! Now, the only other machine I can move this much weight is the leg press, but that is not effortless, it is tough work. On the lower back machine, I know I could handle more weight than 300.
After I'd finished, no man present in the room got onto the low back machine. Finally, a dude walked in and sat down there, and adjusted the stack . Of course, this meant he was subtracting weight. Adding more wasn't possible. It was pretty gratifying to see that I worked out with over a hundred pounds MORE weight than he did.
This morning, I'll be hitting I-95 again for a short trip to Jacksonville. I wish there was more time and money to spend on spring break this year, but between the dogs diabetes and the houses remodel, it just isn't possible.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLPNURSE 3/19/2011 9:00AM

    Yah for you muscle woman. Can't wait til your project is over!

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PHEBESS 3/17/2011 11:22PM

    I can just picture all the men in the gym watching you on that machine, and NO ONE willing to step up - too funny!

Have a great trip!

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MBSHAZZER 3/17/2011 4:10PM

    My HUGEST gym peeve is people who don't remove the weight from the bar or machine when they're done! I guess they're too tuckered out from lifting all that weight to put it back.

Drive safely!

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I've been inducted

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Today was my formal induction ceremony into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. I must say, I spent far more time on my feet than the rehearsal, last night, led me to believe. Good thing my fabulous Kurt Geiger platform shoes are actually quite comfortable:

Pretty daring move to wear them, as they are NEW and I have never worn them before.
I took care with my hair and makeup, and wore a camel sweater with black slacks and a black embellished cardigan. The shoes coordinated beautifully, peeking out just enough to be seen as I walked across the stage to accept my award, and the whole look was a powerful, yet understated, fashion statement.
Many people complimented my shoes- both inductees and audience members.
One woman, a really attractive woman, I might add, told me I was the prettiest inductee of the group, which I found immensely flattering, as there were so many lovely ladies present! Let's hear it for fashion!

Unfortunately, my name was NOT PUBLISHED in the official program! When I returned home, this was the one thing my spouse and my father-in-law asked to see. I was so disappointed.
On that note, I did not pass the BCMA and will have to take it again. That will set me back a whopping $275.
I'd always heard how HARD the test was. Well, it turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be.

With the warmer weather has come an increase in my business. I've got three bookings in the next week, all repeat customers (YAY!!!! That means I'm doing something RIGHT!). My massive kitchen remodeling project is moving along slowly: all sinks, faucets, and toilets have arrived or are on order and will soon arrive. Electrical wiring should be just about wrapped up this weekend, so we can begin insulating and sheetrocking the new walls over the next 3 weeks, before the cabinets are scheduled to drop. I promise to post pictures as soon as my spouse downloads the images (I'm still working on a 10" netbook with very limited capacity- GRRRRR!).
Off with the skyscraper heels and into the muddy workboots again, I've got a client waiting.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMHARRISON12 3/2/2011 8:23AM

    So happy to hear about your success!! And I will send positive thoughts your way about the upcoming exam! Hang in there!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 2/27/2011 11:44AM

    Wow, those shoes are making my feet hurt just looking at them! I'm in the no heel zone! It sounds like you totally rocked that outfit though. I can just picture you, and I know you looked polished, put together and BEAUTIFUL!

Sorry to hear about the exam, but there is always next time.

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SECRETFUN 2/26/2011 9:55PM

  Ditto Phebe! And may the customers keep coming (and keep coming back)!

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PHEBESS 2/26/2011 1:38PM

    Congrats on the induction, though that sucks that your name wasn't published. Sorry you didn't pass the BCMA - but now that you've taken it, you'll have a better idea of what to focus your studies on for next time, right?

And fabulous shoes!

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WHY do people want to try on my eyeglasses??!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This is SO exasperating.
I wear my glasses most of the time, but at restaurants, I only need them to read the menu. After I've ordered, I like to take them off and set them on the table beside me. They don't make a significant difference in visual acuity in low-light situations.

Invariably, someone at the table will come up with the notion that it would be hilarious to pick them up and put them on. This is always a surreptitious maneuver.
Most of the time, I am able to spot it immediately and snatch my glasses away from the would-be jester, and put them in my handbag. This is inconvenient for me, because they will be very difficult to retrieve from my cavernous bag once they are inside it, and there is a very high likelihood that the lenses will be smudged with fingerprints, a major problem to an eyeglass-dependent person like me. If I don't have a lens wipe with me, I can't clean them (a shirttail or bar napkin will NOT do) and they will be USELESS to me until I am able to carefully clean them.
Another point I need to emphasize is that eyeglasses are very expensive. Beyond that, MY eyeglasses are MORE expensive than most, because not only are the lenses are two VERY different strengths, but they are no-line progressive, scratch resistant, smudge resistant, Transition (light-sensitive) lenses. On top of the prescription, they are Burberry frames. The price tag, WITH A COUPON, is over $700, and insurance did not cover them.
Suffice to say, I don't want you to touch them!
A couple nights ago, I joined my neighbors at their regular Monday night haunt. I love my neighbors and they invite me places constantly, but I have usually declined in the past due to scheduling conflicts. I was excited to finally be with them at the crowded table, having a highball.
I had the misfortune to be seated beside another neighbor, who rubs me the wrong way. Ok, I find him an abrasive boor, but he's in good with the neighbors I do like, so I have to smile and play nicely.
Well, this jerk picked up my eyeglasses when I wasn't looking, and put them on.
True to his 'raised-by-wolves' persona, he made a very LOUD assessment of my vision for everyone at the table: "WOW!!! Not much going on in your world without those, is there?"
The whole table waited for my reaction to this appalling rudeness. I wordlessly put my glasses in my handbag, picked up my drink, and took a sip. Everyone (including the dope next to me) took a cue and tackfully resumed conversations, but it was still humiliating. I wanted to rake this guy in the nuts. He's a complete ass. I don't know WHY my other neighbors don't see this!

Maybe this is part of the alcohol effect that caused the guy directly across the table from me to (very bluntly) ask me to sleep with him. Several times.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SECRETFUN 2/23/2011 10:17PM

  Good gracious! That would drive me nuts too!

I have a tiny head. People want to try on my glasses and they stretch them out such that I cannot use them.

Crazy critters; if you want to try something just ask! Wait, that was what the other neighbor did and that was poor but in a different way.

Maybe I don't miss happy hour....

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_UMAMI_ 2/23/2011 8:10PM

    Jellus of the glasses! Disgusted by the antics of some of your dining companions. What if you get a lanyard or eyeglass holder for them, just for such occasions? Of course, the one guy hitting on you might use it as an excuse to lunch chestward. Hmmm.

And yeah, my FIRST thought was germs. Eww...don't put my stuff on YOUR face.

ETA: ha-ha--I meant LUNGE chestward. But you get my point.

Comment edited on: 2/23/2011 8:12:04 PM

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MBSHAZZER 2/23/2011 3:54PM

    Why do people put your glasses on? That is so strange. I would not think to do that with someone's glasses. That's actually kind of gross. I mean, I'm sure you're clean and everything, but why would I want to put YOUR glasses on MY face? For me, that would be instant breakout! The arms were nestled in YOUR hair, which again, I'm sure is clean but then again... I only wash my hair once a week, so you never know! :D

I have horrific vision - like, legally blind type of vision. If I wear my glasses (versus contacts), people comment only because of the crazy coke bottle-ness of the specs... but your neighbor sounds like an a**hat anyway. Nice reaction... I don't think I would have been so cool!

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PHEBESS 2/23/2011 1:06PM

    Wow. Just, wow. The glasses, the comment, the other guy - I think maybe it's time to throw a drink or two, except that gets expensive.

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I've got to admit it's getting better all the time

Monday, February 07, 2011

I also have to admit that I still have such severe brochitis, I'm barely able to exercise. However, taking lots of meds keeps my appetite away, so I haven't gained weight.
Today, I got my months overdue pedicure; partly because I'm no good at painting my own toenails, and partly because getting one affords me an opportunity for some good reading time. I brought a small library with me, and after careful consideration of the areas I'll need to study for my anticipated upcoming BCMA exam, chose my text and settled in to enjoy a hot scrub.
It was time well spent. However, while I was reading and being manipulated, I received a phone call from the ISA.
Except, I didn't hear it, because my phone was in silent mode. I had no idea the ISA was trying to call me about my exam application.
Hours passed before I checked my curiously quiet phone. To my dismay, I'd missed multiple calls. I noticed I had one voicemail.
I eagerly dialed my router and entered my password, and lifted the phone to my ear. I heard "Hi, this is Jen from"---BEEP---then a robotic voice: "message erased"! When I'd placed the phone to my ear, there was just enough pressure in just the right place to hit the erase command. I was horrified. I had no idea, at that point, who had left me the message or what they'd said.
Looking at my recent calls roster told me all I needed to know- the Chicagoland area code meant I needed to call the ISA.
The first news was bewildering- both of my chapter memberships had lapsed! My heart sank. I asked Jen if my application was disqualified, volunteering to renew my chapters immediately and go through the application process again. She reassurred me- not only had my application been approved, she could renew my chapters over the phone.
Joy! Not because my memberships had lapsed and I had to bust out my credit card, but because my BCMA application was approved and I will sit for the exam this month!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BADAMS86 2/20/2011 11:52AM

    Good luck on the exam and way to go treating yourself to a pedicure! I get one at the beginning of each school semester, and always look forward to it! It's extremely relaxing and always looks better than what I could have done to my nails!

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MBSHAZZER 2/8/2011 10:35AM

    Oh my - that sounds like just the tech pickle I could get myself into!

Anyway, good news all around - I know you and your feet will be ready for the exam!

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PHEBESS 2/8/2011 8:05AM

    Wow, glad that worked out - and good luck on your exam!

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JLPNURSE 2/8/2011 6:12AM

    Whew, glad it all worked out. And aren't pedicures great?

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_UMAMI_ 2/8/2011 1:01AM

    Ok, while I'm really happy for you, I'm sitting here thinking HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DO A PEDICURE.

Because it sounded like HOURS and that kind of freaked me out.
(I'm a DIY nail gal, even while fully pregnant, so can't imagine HOURS of work on toenails.)

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NDORRIS 2/8/2011 12:11AM

    I'll hold a hope in my heart for you that you pass.

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