December – Day 341 of 365:
I have been reading and watching social media closely lately on weight loss stories. I am came across this new body activism and body shaming causes. I have always known there has been discrimination against the overweight person; but I never new that there were body shammers out there or body activist. I had been obese all of my adult life. I was not an obese child or teenager; it wasn’t until I had my first child I became overweight and then became morbidly obese in my 30’s without me even realizing how big I had become. At 33 I was over 350 lbs. I couldn’t believe it, but like most I started to work out and diet. I was not educated in the whole balance of a proper diet and exercise. I yoyo’d in my 30’s with my weight and never achieved any of my goals.
One day years ago I was at a carnival, where it was crowded and a young lady bumped in to me and blamed me and called me a “fat B@&%$”. I was flabbergasted not because she called me a bad word but because I didn’t think I was fat. I was beside myself. I felt my whole world go in slow motion of such shock. I went home shortly after that and looked in the mirror and could not believe what had happened to me. “What did I do to myself?” I was in utter dismay. It is now 11 years later and my life has changed dramatically. The last five years have been taxing. I got engaged and wanted to look beautiful in my wedding dress and feel like a bride. I lost a great amount of weight but I was still obese. Other occurrences happened with in a two year window from death to surgeries and much more. I found myself stuck at 250 lbs now and not budging. This year I finally made the decision to have weight loss surgery. This has been life changing for me. I can’t even begin to explain all the changes. But with change there are emotions that fly all over the place. I went from this morbidly obese person to a normal looking person. But my recent experience have been an eye opener. As I had begun loosing weight I was in need of purchasing pants that fit properly as my older clothing were all falling off. I go to Torrid a well known trendy plus size store and I noticed that I was being looked at by shoppers and not with kind looks but looks of “what the heck are you doing in here shopping” because I had been obese all my adult life I still felt comfortable shopping at Torrid as I still saw myself very overweight. This was not the fact. I actually dropped down to a size 14 which is still considered plus size. The clerk was kind and helped me find pants that fit and I felt good in. I left pondering the thought of why I was being looked at strangely for shopping in Torrid – was I different than those shoppers? Days had passed and found my self going into Lord & Taylor a very high end store. In the past I would have never shopped there as their plus size clothing was dated and not my taste preference but now that I had lost weight I shopped and found a lovely blouse. This next encounter was something I thought I would never feel or experience. A cashier stopped me and said are you ready? I can take care of you as soon as the register is open. I said yes I am ready, she then gave me extra attention and started to speak to me noticed how tall I am and that I would look good in a certain outfit and would like to show it to me. I said thank you but all I want is this one blouse, she said no problem and smiled at me. We get to the register and she voluntarily gave me an additional 50% off. I was happy because the blouse I selected was a high name brand and very pricey. Now back tracking I had been at Lord & Taylor in the summer ptr-surgery and was interested in purchasing some items and needed help and I was treated less than a valued customer. The young lady rolled her eyes at me took what I needed and never came back. I waited for 20 minutes and I felt like such a fool. I reached out to a manager and they went in search of the person. There were no apologies and I did not get my item. I am not one to fuss so I just moved along after my wasted time. After purchasing my blouse I went and told my husband of my experience and told him I feel confused. Why do I get “proper” attention when I am thinner at Lord & Taylor and I why did I get looked at strange at Torrid? I am damned if I do and I am damned if I don’t. Society has created dived fronts, one for normal sized people and one for overweight people. I came from the obese society where I had been for the last 20+ years and was always welcomed by my preferred stores. Now that I am under 200 lbs and shop in standard retail stores and now am being welcomed and accepted, I can’t help but to feel a little sad. I am not sad because of where I can and cannot shop. I am sad because everyone is profiled from head to toe. Why must we be looked looked at and then criticized? Why must we judge based on looks, weight and clothing? Just as our blood is red our money is green and accepted everywhere.
I am not an activist of any sort, I just wanted to save my life and loose weight. I dealt with my past during this journey just so that I can acquire a whole new buck of thoughts and worries. I am not one to post my body half dressed to show how much I have lost. I am not one to hide either. I am old fashioned and am conservative with my body. So yes I have lost a large amount of weight, no it is not tight, I have been over weight since I was was 25 years old. I am realistic to what I expected to look like. I am content, I am content I am made with flaws and I am no longer a very young person, I am 44 with a children. I applaud those that can express themselves in social media and show their new bodies. I applaud those body activists out there. Obesity is at an all time high in America and there are several variables to why obesity has taken over. But I know there are solutions and ways to change the cultures of how food is utilized. Either way no matter what size you are we are all human beings and should be treated with respect until otherwise. Never judge a book by its cover, we were all intended to be different and look different.
Until next time…..