Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Self Image...Self Esteem

Have you ever thought… “If I just lose the weight… my life can begin”… or “Everything would be perfect with my life if I just lost the weight”. How about…”I don’t want to go anywhere outside this house until I lose this weight”. Ever? Come on… be truthful… have you?

We all have. You know it… and I know it… but is it true? Has it ever been true? NO… AND AGAIN… I SAY NO!!!! Everything will NOT be perfect when you are a size 2… Your life began at birth… not when you are the right size… and not living your best life isn’t going to get you any points upstairs missy…

I have been overweight and out of shape for about 13 years now. What’s the LAST place you think would be my most favorite place in the world…as a fat person?

Trying on clothes? Nope. Guess again.

A weight loss convention? Nope… guess again.

THE BEACH? YEP… that’s my favorite place to be in the entire world… and as a fat person… it’s usually the LAST thing people expect me to say. Why? Because… didn’t you KNOW? You can only love the beach if you can fit your butt into a bikini… otherwise… it’s not normal to go to the beach… when you look like me. I am required… as an overweight woman… to LOATHE any place that requires skimpy clothing. I am supposed to be ashamed… and afraid… and self conscious, and self loathing. (Hell to the NO… I don’t wear a swimsuit.. Oh gosh… NO!!!!)

A few times… when I’ve taken my boys for day trips to the beach… as I was crossing the boardwalk where all the joggers and cyclists ride… I’ve been honked at and yelled at and this was said to me… “Move over Fat A**!” or “Get your fat off the road, Bi***” I’m not kidding… actual people have actually said those things to me… and yes… in front of my kids. Such fun…

What the idiots didn’t realize I guess… was who they were dealing with, number 1, and that they had to turn around and come right back about 100 yards away.. so I would be seeing them again… real soon. If you haven’t guessed by now…I’m not one to let ANYONE talk to me or attempt to put me down without a fight… just saying.
Soooo… on these classy people’s (guys, girls have never said those things to me) return… I caught their attention. Once… and I’m not proud of this… {okaaay… maybe a little proud… okaaaay… A LOT proud} but it did happen… I grabbed a huge bucket of sand.. and hurled it at the cyclist as he was racing back by… yeah.. .he stopped… and came back around… and started yelling at me… until he realized I was the one he hurled the insult at… and put his hands up… and said… “I guess I deserved that… I’m sorry” I was shocked… I was ready for a verbal attack and some fist throwing if I had to. I was soooooo mad… and I just wasn’t going to let him do that to another person again. I told him to watch his mouth next time… that I bleed red… just like him.. and the next woman might not be so generous to only throw sand at him… AND THEN.. he says…”I was 200 lbs heavier a few years back… I should have known better”. HOLY SCHMOLY!!! That guy didn’t know it… but he taught me something… I WILL NEVER BE SO STUCK UP AND FULL OF MYSELF to put other people down… when I am at goal weight… THAT GUY… had self esteem issues… The only way he could rise above… was to put someone else down…unbelievable… and so what if he was fit and thin… HE WAS A TOTAL JERK!!! A loser!

Another time, the dude was with his kids when he hurled the insult my way… and on his return… his little girl fell and cut her knee up a little. I got my first aid kit from the car… and handed him a bandaid for her, but first I said… “I am sorry my fat has to take up your space, but your daugther needs a band aid and a father who sets a better example for her on how to treat others… Maybe she’ll learn it from me… that you treat people how you want to be treated… here… take the bandaid.. and apologize to your daughter for being such a class A jerk, and I hope she never has a weight problem with a Father like you.”. He just said “thank you” and nothing else…

Here’s why I mentioned those two idiots… and how I stuck up for myself

First of all…NO ONE has any right to think I am lesser of a person the more fat I have on my body. Second of all… I’ve never been one to just shut up and take anything off anyone…it’s who I am.

Ladies… YOU ARE NOT YOUR FAT. You are who you are… lovely, strong, smart, witty, inventive, curious, do-anything you put your mind to… WOMEN!!! Okay.. so there’ some extra padding here and there…

BUT YOU MUST LOVE YOURSELVES WHERE YOU ARE AT!!! YOU MUST… YOU MUST… YOU MUST!!! Otherwise… how is anyone else going to love you!

Self esteem is just that.. SELF esteem. No one can GIVE it to you… you must give it to yourself… otherwise it would be called “Other people’s esteem”!!!

I HATE the commercial on TV.. of all those overweight people saying what they would do if they lost the weight… “I would go visit my sister more”, “I would do this… or do that” GO DO THEM NOW!!!! Right NOW!!! Tomorrow is NOT PROMISED TO US!!! We only have today!!! It takes a long time to lose weight… if I had waited until I lost all my weight… I wouldn’t have gone to Chicago for 9 years in a row to have a great time at business conferences… or I wouldn’t have gone to Italy in 2006 for a month with my hubby and kids and Mother. I WAS THE FATTEST PERSON IN EUROPE when I went… and DIDN’T CARE!!! I was there… against the odds… doing once in a lifetime things… seeing and doing things people only get to READ about in books… with my kids, because life is way to short!!! AAAAANNNND… I lost 15 lbs there, because I ate like they did!!! (small breakfast, huge lunch, fruit at dinner). I’ve been to Alaska, and New York City, and Miami, and Canada, and Mexico, and the Carribean… FAT!!! Why wait?

Don’t get me wrong.. I am aware of what I look like. I am aware that I am not normal, and I do want to feel better and look better, and just be healthy… BUT I REFUSE TO PUT MY LIFE ON HOLD until it happens… I just REFUSE!

There are people left and right having the bypass surgeries and lap bands put in… and that is fine… great even. I just really hope they realize that losing the weight is going to be only one aspect of changing themselves. It changes the size of the stomach… but it doesn’t change ones mind… it will help them wear a smaller size waaaay faster than me… but in the end… self control, good food choices and exercise are still going to be necessary… and I hope in that time warp of weight loss, everyone learns to see themselves as more than a dress size, and more of a person with infinite potential, that has always been there… no matter what size she was.

We are worthy of love, care and devotion just as much as anyone else, and the most important person to get those things from is YOURSELF! Our bodies are God’s temples, and though some of us have abused these temples in one way or another… He will help us rebuild, renew and replenish it… for His glory… so we can share our adventure with others… but He wants us to love ourselves first… and treat what he gave us with respect and dignity.

What I said and did to those people at the beach may not have been the best choices… but I did feel compelled to do so… so my kids would see that we have to stand up for ourselves sometimes…

I will never forget what it feels like to be overweight… it will keep me grounded, and sympathetic, and hopefully nurturing to others. The one thing I know for sure… is that no matter what size I am… I am important… I matter… and I’m relevant… no matter what the media says… no matter what anyone says…

I want you to feel this way too… if you don’t already…

On we go to our wonderful journey’s shall we??

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