What Losing Weight Taught Me About How To Treat Obese People

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Once I started to deal with the reality that I no longer was that once obese woman I use to be, and my mind started to catch up to the image staring back at me in the mirror, I started to really notice and see how people in today’s society treat the obese. Sometimes the comments or looks or snide remarks are so subtle that maybe the average weight person does not notice how obese people are treated out in public.

It wasn’t until I had lost over 160 pounds that I started to really notice how people really started to notice me more and treat me diffidently. I realize a lot of that had to do with the fact I had gained confidence and was no longer a wall flower who would go through life with her head hung low, praying no one would notice her. But it was not only men offering to hold open the grocery store door for me, but it was woman also complimenting me on my cute hair style or my red hair I am know for. Cashiers in the locals stores were making eye contact with me, and engaging in conversations with me, the people in my local gym were saying good morning and having general chit chat with me. This was a strange and foreign world to me, the girl who use to shy away from everybody.

As an obese woman in today’s society my normal life when out in public was people rushing past me, never to make eye contact with me or dare to engage in a conversation with me. This interaction with the public became my normal, and it was comforting in a way because I was not forced to talk to people, or worry what they must think of me. But then came all the compliments of people from my past seeing me for the first time in awhile gushing at me, “Wow you look so great”, “You are so much prettier now” “Oh my god I did not recognize you”. This was unusual and at times hard to take, because I remember thinking to myself was I really that bad and ugly before I lost all of this weight? The truth of the matter was I had spent most of my adult life being bullied by own husband on my weight, and then from adults in society overlooking me. That when society started to treat me like a normal person, not an obese person I was shocked and it was a hard pill to swallow.

Now I realize that part of the reason people did not approach me when I was obese was because I lacked self confidence and I made myself a wall flower and would try hard to blend into the background. But at the same token it kind of made me mad, that NOW I am OK to engage with and flirt with, and talk with but I was not before? The truth is in today’s society with all the TV shows and movies we watch and commercials we see on the air, woman who are thinner are somehow the norm and are more approachable and lovable, but those whom are obese are shunned and considered nothing. This is a notion that has been deeply ingrained in our society for too many years, it is everywhere from the comedies you see where they are teasing and taunting an obese person, to the commercials of a super skinny model downing a gigantic cheeseburger. Thin has always meant pretty, approachable, desired and wanted while obese people meant someone to bully, tease and ridicule.

The truth of the matter is as an obese person I was still a good person, I was shy, but I was kind hearted, I loved everyone deeply and I was the type of person to give you the shirt off of my own back. That girl was still here even with all the weight loss. While we do change a lot both mentally and physically, the core of whom we are remains the same whether we are obese or fit. Unfortunately we live in a society today where sometimes we can size up a person by the way they look and deem their value. Another words we see an obese person and we automatically start to judge their lifestyle, thinking oh they probably live on fast food and are lazy. While we look at a thinner person and praise them for their beauty and health conscious ways.

The truth of the matter is, now when I see an obese person my first thought is compassion. Because as I have said from the very beginning of my journey, for every overweight pound that they hold on their body, lies a world of hurt you will never know or understand. Obese people pack on the pounds for many reasons, they have eating problems, don’t know how to deal with their emotions so they eat, they were abused, bullied, sexually abused, physically abused and so much more. Every extra pound on their body not only weighs them down physically but it weighs them so much more emotionally. So today when I see an obese person, my heart bleeds for them, for I have been in their shoes with my own emotional baggage tied into every extra fat roll on my body.

So the next time you are out in public and you see an obese person struggling to walk, or shop, or just be out in public, have compassion for them. Because you have no idea how much pain and struggle they deal with on a daily basis, from ridicule from others, to snide comments, to beating themselves up emotionally for whom they have become.

 

 

 

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About Angie

Single Mom of two girls on a journey to get healthy by losing weight and learning to love herself again!

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