I don’t even know where to start. Today has been the best day! Today has been the worst day! I want to laugh and smile. I want to cry. I want to eat.
What I really want is to be able to express what I’m feeling in a way that really gets my point across. I hope I can do justice to the thoughts I’m having right now.
Guess what? I did a 5K today. Yup. 3.1 miles. In approximately 54 minutes. I walked the entire course. YIPEE!!!!! And, it wasn’t just any 5k, it was a fundraiser for a baby whose family I know. Baby Mason was born with a congenital heart defect called hypo-plastic left heart syndrome. He has already had two surgeries and will need at least one more–and will likely need a heart transplant at some point. There were a lot of people from my home town there and it was so nice to see them and get to interact with so many people I love–but so sad to think of everything this little family is going through right now.
AND my friend Kellie, who is so super supportive of anything I want to do to improve my situation, walked with me. We have set a goal to do one 5K a month through the summer and are looking forward to seeing our improvements. Thanks, Kellie!
So, here’s the sad part. When we finished, I was pretty happy with myself. I walked. The time was only 54 minutes. But, considering that I haven’t been working out much lately, I felt pretty good about the whole darn thing. Until I saw this …..
and my “YIPEE!” turned into a great big “I AM GINORMOUS!” Seriously. All of the pride and joy I felt at this accomplishment (which for me was really an accomplishment) suddenly disappeared in the shadow of every bad thought I have about myself related to my weight. I wanted to cry. And hide. Instead, I went to the Maverick to get something to eat (old habits die hard).
The saddest thing of all is what I witnessed at the Maverick. A woman was working behind the counter. She was talking to a nice looking, fit gentleman while she was ringing up her customers and they were having quite an intense conversation. I came in on the middle of it, so I wasn’t quite sure of the conversation’s context. I heard her say things like, “I just want to be in a room by myself.” “I don’t want to have to interact with anyone.” “I don’t want to talk to anyone or be engaged in any kind of conversation.” “I just want to be able to do my thing and be invisible.” I wasn’t sure what they were talking about at this point, but I was making a mental note to not make eye contact with the cashier because she didn’t want to be engaged in conversation.
Then the conversation turned and I realized that the man was telling the woman that he would help her at the gym. He told her that if she was willing to make the effort to go to the gym, he would be there to help her–show her what to do and how to work the equipment and what not. An older woman ahead of me in line jumped in to the conversation and told the man, “It’s a woman thing, dear. Women don’t like to do unladylike things–like sweating–in public.”
It was a really uncomfortable conversation to witness. And that’s when it happened. The woman said, “No, it’s because I am 35 years old and a complete fat a$$.” Just as she said those last two words, we made eye contact and I started to cry while shaking my head and saying “NO. No you are not!” (I’m crying again now as I write this.) I stepped up to the counter and said, “I know how you feel. I just finished a 5K and am having a hard time being proud of that achievement because it is overshadowed by how fat I am.” She brightened up a bit and said, “How did you ever do that?” I asked her to come to the gym with me. I told her it really isn’t as bad as she is imaging. That the people at my gym are really nice and super supportive. But….she just moved the line along. Oh, how my heart broke for her and for me and for every other person out there who has ever felt the shame of being fat.
Why are we so mean to ourselves? Why do we let how we look or this one area of our lives where we struggle define us? I think in a lot of cases, our negative feelings and low self worth are not a result/symptom of being fat, but that having feelings of low self worth is what caused us to get fat in the first place. Add to that the times where people have confirmed our low feelings about our weight (I’ve been mooed at by a group of college kids, had a child yell loudly, “Oh my God she is FAT,” etc.) and it is a wonder that this is the first time I’ve seen a grown woman declare in public that she is fat and doesn’t like herself.
It makes me sad, people. It has to change. I can’t change the woman at the store. But I can change me. I’m proud of what I did today and I’ll be yelling WAHOO! at the top of my lunges until I can no longer here the negative thoughts.
WAHOO! WAHOO! WAHOO! WAHOO! WAHOO! WAHOO! . . . . .