Monday, May 2, 2011

Don't Call Me Fat

I know I know... I do it all the time (in blog-world anyway).  I refer to myself as a fat girl, as chubby, chunky, fluffy, blubbery, round, plump, etc.  But don't you dare call me fat, or any of the other above mentioned words, for that matter.
I don't generally make a fuss if someone says something bad about me, especially if the words being said are true.  However, I cannot tolerate being called fat or stupid.... I know I'm not stupid.  We both know that I'm fat but I would prefer if you would just let me say it and you keep it to yourself.  It's not just that I don't like me being called fat, I have a hard time standing idly by when I hear anyone being called fat.  It's one of those horribly mean insults that doesn't deserved to be said.  It's something that cuts through all of the layers of a person and wounds deeply.  It's not funny.
Recently, a friend of mine went to get a physical from a doctor she had never before seen.  This friend of mine is not at all fat, not even close to chubby.... she's really quite average, bordering on the thin side.  During the physical, the doctor poked her in her stomach and told her that she needed to do some ab work.  WHAT?!  She also made a snotty comment about her arms and then told her she needed to lose 15 pounds.  This is coming from a health care professional.  A health care professional!  My friend, who tends to not stand up for herself smiled politely and agreed that she would like to shed a few pounds.  I was furious for her.  This doctor didn't know her from Eve and had no clue whether or not she had ever struggled with an eating disorder, whether or not she was a new mommy, whether or not she was proud of herself for just losing 50 pounds.  My friend has taken it all in stride and has managed to, with the help of this website, lose the weight suggested by the doctor (whom I have another extra special name for).
We don't use the word fat in my house.  While reading at bedtime, we say "9, 10 a great big hen" instead of "a big fat hen".  My dog is robust and round, but never fat (her widening waist is due mainly to my son 'sharing' his meals with her... we're working on table manners).  I am careful not to complain about my weight in front of him, because I don't want him to think it's okay to make nasty comments about others regarding weight or appearance.  I know I can be uber-sensitive on the subject, but I want my son to grow up in a house where he learns to not judge people based on appearance.  We talk a lot about being healthy and active, as opposed to being skinny or fat.  He's only 16 months old, but you would be surprised what kids understand and retain at a young age.  It's amazing how early they learn and illustrate confidence, kindness, compassion, and faith.
I hate listening to a conversation when I overhear someone say 'Well so and so sure has put on a lot of weight' or 'That shirt is waaaaaay too tight on her', etc.  Usually because it makes me wonder what they say about me when I'm not around.  I suppose I wish everyone would understand the pains of struggling with weight loss.  People tend to forget and discard eating disorders such as binge eating and over eating, or endocrine disorders such as PCOS.  Think about it, it's easy to judge and chastise an overweight person, but to jump to the rescue of someone who is underweight.  Don't all disorders and syndromes deserve the same amount of compassion?  People tend to assume that an overweight person is lazy and doesn't work hard, or always takes the easy elevator instead of the stairs.  But that person that you are snickering about may be hurting on the inside, wishing for change, and has no clue where to start.
Technically, according to my BMI, I'm obese.  I hate to say it, but it's the truth.  I'm getting closer and closer to the 'overweight' category, but as for now, I'm obese.  And the thing is, I work hard.  I don't always eat as well as I should, but I try.  I struggle with an abused and washed-up metabolism paired with PCOS.  As far as the scale goes, my body disregards most of the exercise I give it and the healthy food I feed it.  And you know what?  It's frustrating for me to see someone be able to lose X amount of pounds almost without effort.  It's irritating to hear advice from someone who has never really had so struggle with weight.  It is even more irritating to hear people be judged and attacked based on their weight by someone who has never been heavy.
I'm not suggesting we all be obese.  As always, I support being healthy.  But more than that, I support kindness and compassion.

Be healthy.  Love yourself and those around you.  And remember... You're In Good Company.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, especially the point about PCOS. It is absolutely disheartening to watch some people *think* about losing weight amd drop 10 pounds. Or someone else eat total crap all the time and not gain a pound all while I am eating healthy and working my butt just for the scale not to move, thanks to a messed up endocrine system.

    Thank you for writing that. Very important point.

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