The Fat Girl
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I am still very much battling my weight.
I'm battling what it means to be "overweight" in a world where anything larger than a 6 is unacceptable.
I'm battling what it means to be healthy, as opposed to being thin.
I'm battling what it means to have character, rather than simply having the most friends.
I have to admit it freely--I am so angry.
Our world has decided that we have no worth unless we are super-skinny, that our beauty and our weight are synonymous, that our abilities are affected by our jiggle-factor.
I'm so, so angry.
It has hit me hard recently at work. I can't get into details, of course, but I work in a medical practice. It has bothered me for some time that there is such a strong push to be "skinny," rather than simply to be "healthy." I know this to be true because half of our practitioners are currently dieting--and only one of those is really doing so by eating sensibly. The other two are doing whackjob diets that are only going to land them gaining back more weight the moment they step off the straight and narrow. How can physicians condone this image?
We have a patient who is morbidly obese. I look in the mirror, and I see a fat girl; but this woman weighs even a significant amount more than me. And every day for the past two weeks, I have heard someone or other in the office talking about her weight, talking about how dysfunctional she is, talking about how difficult it is going to be to do her upcoming surgery, and how they'll need "three doctors and a team of horses."
It angers me. A lot.
Because first of all--she's a person. Regardless of her weight, she has beauty and purpose and value. Second of all--she's obviously in an abusive situation, and not a one of them has spoken a word of concern for her wellbeing. And third of all--and most unimportant--if they are talking that way about HER, they are talking that way about ME.
It pisses me off.
To no end.
When did it become OK to hate fat people, to speak of them with disgust and loathing, as if they were lepers of ancient Israel?
It's not okay. It's really, really not okay. And I have to decide what I can do about it in my workplace.
...I have to somehow keep this anger...from keeping me...from my own goals.
I don't seek to lose weight so I might gain their acceptance. I do not desire their acceptance. So maybe I'm ready to refocus: Why DO I want to lose weight? What will I gain out of it? What will I lose out of it?
And how can I reach my goal...with my character intact?
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Take it a day at a time, make small changes, and eventually the change will come.
835 days ago
It is sad, but it's there. Our society has become very UNhealthy and the focus should be on that. I ate at Village Inn last night and didn't realize until we were inside that it was "free pie Wednesday." I wondered how many people would still eat there every Wednesday if it was a "free fruit bowl" instead of the "free pie night."
We need to refocus on health. We all see the problem, sometimes judge the person, but most of us now understand where that person may be coming from. We may not have been in that person's shoes, but we do know of people that are struggling. No matter why we are at SparkPeople, we've all had our own journey.
I wish I had an answer to the "issues" at work. Professionals should really refrain from such talk, but as a teacher I've heard it, too. One year I had a walking club for two girls that wanted to get into shape. We didn't discuss losing weight only about getting healthy. I do think they felt better about themselves at the end. They both came back to see me when they were older so I'm hoping I made a tiny bit of difference.
People need to realize that thin doesn't necessarily mean healthy, just like being a bit "bigger" doesn't always mean unhealthy. Each of us are on a journey and must figure out where we are going and how to help others along the way. You have a unique perception because of your journey. Take it and make "your part of the world" better!
Hang in there and good luck!
1403 days ago
You know what? Some of this is what hit me when I lost a bunch of weight and a few people started treating me like "one of them" and made comments about people who weighed over 350 (smaller than my start weight). It was shocking and disappointing.
Even though I'm still at that smaller weight, it hasn't happened as often lately. But I think about how it'll be when I'm even smaller. How will I react to that? I feel like these are good things to prepare for, mentally.
Take care, and keep improving yourself. Maybe they don't have weight to lose, but one day they may want to improve themselves too - improve being a better person, and adjusting their judging attitude.
1405 days ago
Thank you so much for your remarks and encouragement, folks.
Cultrshk...you ask a good question: Is it society I'm fighting or myself? I think the answer is both. I think it has to be both. I can't change society unless I change myself. It's not enough for me to be angry on a blog in the privacy of my own little laptop-world. I need to say something and let them know--it's NOT okay. And yes, no matter how we justify it, that behavior DOES come out in our attitude toward the patient. It's not okay. It's not okay for one person, it's not okay for me, it's not okay for anyone to be so unfairly judged and loathed.
And if I can't come to grips with that in a real and practical way, in a way that's not too embarrassed by my weight to stand up and say, "You know, this is really wrong," then all the weight loss in the world won't help me.
My body will die some day. My character may live on a generation or two longer.
1405 days ago
This blog really hits hard.... its so true! and the worst thing is that no one who has never been on this side of the story can understand what we go thru....
Thanks for such an honest blog.
1405 days ago
Fat - the last bastion of acceptable societal prejudice. We talk about sexual orientation, skin colour, religion, and we make sure that everyone knows it is not okay to mock, discriminate, hate those people. But fat people. Well, it's game on - the cruel comments, fat and lazy, fat and ugly, fat and dirty.....It's so sad - it's no wonder we are all so afraid to be "fat" - a size 4, 6, 8, 10 - not fat, but beautiful the way women are suppose to be. Being told when you go to the doctor's office your problem would go away if you lost weight. Being told that if you lost weight you'd get that promotion at work. It's your fault you're fat - no will power, no control. Angry, yes, you said it. What do we tell our kids to do when they come across the hate of bullies. Stand up to them, but maybe that's too hard and too scary. So maybe positive messages, positive words, positive actions. You will reach your goal - and your character, it appears from your words that you have a beautiful soul!
1405 days ago
Wonderful post and I totally agree.
1405 days ago
Ick. Ick. and ICK. Personally, I'm with you. I, too, have worked in a medical setting and they really, really, shouldn't be talking about a patient like that. Like it or not, negative thoughts or gossip about a patient always comes out in your attitude toward the patient.
I love the fact that I can go to the doctor's for an antibiotic and get the lose weight lecture. Seriously? like you're the first one who said that to me? I digress.
My first thought was why do you want to lose weight? And are angry women always fat or are fat women always angry? because I've been there. Totally. I didn't make peace with myself until well into my 30's. Is it society you're fighting-or yourself?
1405 days ago
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