Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Letting my guard down

As I was waiting to get my hair cut today, I started thinking about something that I really haven't thought much about. How Im treated now as an obese person, and how that will be different when I'm not. Or will it really be different? It all started when somebody walked in to the salon and turned and looked at me as she walked past. I dectect 'that look'. If you're heavy like me, I think you know what I'm talking about. If you've never been super overweight, I'm guessing you don't. I instantly thought to myself "she's judging me because Im fat." But was she? Was she judging my hair color? Was she really giving no consideration to my presence at all and I just perceived a look that wasn't really there? I don't know, I didn't ask her.
But Im conditioned, from all my years of ridicule and stares, to think that people are looking at me (and whether they give me 'the look' or not, they're judging me about my weight and extrapolating who they think I am as a person from what they see in one quick glance. And it makes me defensive. I automatically assume people don't like me. It keeps me from doing things. I want to find a local church but I keep telling myself I have to be less than 'x' amount of pounds to do it. (And don't even tell me its silly to think you'll be judged over your weight at church. It has happened to me.)
Am I selling others short?
I don't know how to let my guard down on this. When I get to goal weight, even if I weighed 99lbs, how do I undo all these years of thinking people think Im gross and fat and have no redeeming value?
And what about people who I currently know, who aren't strangers, who don't give me the time of day now. What if they do the smaller I become? I don't want to be rude, but if they don't like me know, why should I like them?
I am coming up an a huge milestone, which I have a legitimate shot at reaching at this week's weigh in. I have noticed over the past week as that as set in, I have been thinking a lot more about these kinds of things. Will I know how to live my life as a thinner person? Am I overthinking this (like I tend to overthink everything else?)


  1. I feel the same way... I tell myself as I drive by some random person waiting at a bus stop that not everyone is looking at them and watching their every move... So why, if it is me, do I feel that every passerby is noticing and judging me? It's irrational and yet, so hard to shake.

  2. I have never been obese but have struggled with body image issues. I have to tell you that no matter what weight I am the same issues are always there. The same insecurities, the same doubts. I always think it will go away w/ the next 10 lbs but it doesn't. I think you will have to do alot of soul searching and self esteem exercises as much as the physical exercise to get over that.

  3. These comments are right on target in my opinion. I'm heavy now, but I've been thin before, and my perception of my looks and the way other people saw me has always been the same. I have always - even at or below goal weight - felt heavy and that others saw me that same way.
    As I've gotten older I've become more comfortable in my attractiveness, my sexiness, and my sexuality, and I've learned to try to perceive myself as a vibrant beautiful woman who just happens to be carrying 100 too many pounds around.
    It's not easy though, I won't ever tell you it is.
    It's learning to accept compliments - just say Thank you. Same with how you see yourself - just see and know that you are gorgeous. Others will follow your lead.
    Would it have been easier to be a Rubenesque woman? In regard to my body type - absolutely!
    But I live here and now, as do you. Let's focus on that.

  4. I wish that I could say that you're wrong about "the stares".... My starting weight was 294.8-- and I'm not at 216. (I'm 5'11") I'm still fat, but I'm not morbidly obese as I was-- I've gone from size 28 to size 18 Misses (yes, MISSES!!) But you're right-- people treat me differently. People look me in the eye. People smile at me. People have more confidence in my ability to perform work (mental work- not physical)-- but I'm the same person.

    It's really sad. It makes me angry and upset- because nothing has changed except my clothing size-- but it is what it is... I try to educate others around me when they make comments or judgements about fat people-- but the discrimination is there and it's real....

  5. You are a precious gift and belong to the lord.
    I'm sorry your heart feels so much hurt, but I do understand. I was close to 300bls in high school (yes high school) I know the stares and feeling of worthlessness. It caused me to get involved with things and people that brought me a lot heart ache. You are very right about church being one of the worst for judgement (I have experienced that one also)
    You are doing so great and are so beautiful. Don't ever let anyone or anythig drag you down. The healing will come with time.