2008 -- 300 pounds
2009 -- 259
2014 -- 262 and losing fast.
We all do it. At the mall, the park, grocery store, church, and even watching on TV.
We watch other overweight people. And we ask ourselves: "Am I REALLY that big?" We judge ourselves against all others. I think it's just human nature. We don't want to be as *insert favourite overweight-descriptive term here* as the next guy.
Did you say fat? Obese? Chunky? Fluffy? Chubby?
We want to be *insert favourite perfect-weight descriptive term here*.
Did you say thin? Skinny? Boney? "Small-boned?"
We all wait and watch. Someone much bigger than us will walk by and we begin the examination. I do it, too. I shake my head and try to remember, I have no right to judge.
The person I am watching -- she knows already that people stare. She doesn't know that I have been where she's been (and may be there still). She just sees me avert my eyes. Her face turns red.
She's hurt. I've hurt her.
I know. I am, still, the recipient of those same glances.
"How did she let herself go like that?" The unspoken question that rings loud and clear in my mind, if not my ears.
Oh friend, you do not have enough time for me to explain it. The question now is how am I changing it? But that's not the question that you'll ask of me -- and not the question I am comfortable enough to ask you.
So we avert our eyes and go our own way -- both of us more the miserable for it.
It's sad, isn't it, that we aren't able to just accept ourselves and others for what we are inside. That fragile outer shell has come to have more value. So much so, that we are afraid to approach those whose outer shell isn't "perfect".
I've noticed that often a group of girlfriends will often have ONE "fat friend". The person to finish off the appetizers... eat the rest of the entree or dessert. The friend who laughs at the fat jokes... and watches her skinny pals dance with the cute guys as she watches the handbags and drinks.
I've been that fat friend.
We watch on television, too. It's all set up for us. #My600PoundLife, Heavy, Biggest Loser, My Weight is Killing Me. There are even more. Some are designed to make us believe that the ONLY way to lose is surgery. Some make us believe that we've got to deprive ourselves of family, friends, and home to be successful.
We watch and think "I'm glad that not's me". Even if it is.
I was watching #My600PoundLife just 107 days ago. (Yes, I know EXACTLY which day). I said, "I can't imagine what that must be like".
My darling Mike replied, "I don't know why not. You're halfway there.".
It hit me so hard. He was right. I was halfway to 600 pounds. I was eating myself into an early grave. High Blood Pressure, Pre-Diabetes, High Cholesterol, stress, fat, migraines, sleep apnea.
What didn't I have? My health.
I came back to Spark People the VERY next day.
Yet... I'm still watching these shows. Well, except for Biggest Loser -- that's the WORST show for the overweight on television.
I suppose I watch because it motivates me to keep putting one foot in front of another. It makes me know that I CAN lose this weight. Even though I have not gone the surgery path, I know that those who do must keep moving, eating properly, and changing their lives from the inside out. I do, too.
Even so, I still cast those sideways glances. I wonder... what are you doing for yourself? I want to tell them my story -- let them know that they, too, can get healthy. I don't say anything, however, because I don't KNOW what they are doing. They may be 100 pounds less than before.
We don't talk about it.
I still receive those same glances from others. They, too, must wonder what I'm doing to myself. They have no way of knowing that I've lost 31 pounds or that I swim 3 times a week.
These glancing blows... the near-misses... they are all part of a larger struggle. The struggle to accept ourselves and others without questions. I still struggle daily.
I have not accepted the fact that I am morbidly obese -- even though I say it -- I still cannot believe it.
When you see me... at the park or mall or swimming pool... just know that I am not looking down on you, either. Like you, I just want to make a better me.
It's not pity that you see in my eyes, it's admiration. You're out there and you're living your life. I think you are awesome.