What do you think when you see a flock of well fed fellow Americans waddle into the mall?
After having parked in a handicapped spot?
Let’s be honest. The first thing our brain’s gonna say is, “Wow.” Then, the second thought would be, “I wonder how big the mess would be if that got hit by a semi?”. But the third thought might just maybe be, “I wonder if that poor sentient blimp has some debilitating disease and I’m just being cruel and judmental?” And that’d be followed by fourth-thought: “Wait, then – what are the other 50 people’s excuses I just saw do the same thing today – all of whom looked agile albeit ample in mass?”
Some one else on a recent Facebook post wondered the same.
My first reaction was to obviously laugh until my forehead vein popped out.
Then, as I comment skimmed, I agreed with some and “back-burnered” a few.
Then, I finally tried to put myself in the sitch of a handicapped supersizer.
Especially as one commenter jumped in saying it was rude because she, for instance, had a condition that warranted her needing one. And that’s why heaps of other folks do too. Okay, granted. Yet, something sat funny with me as I read her comment. I think it’s because as I was trying to put myself in her shoes, it didn’t take much to do exactly that. I had had a bulging disc for years that herniated a year and a half ago. I gained a little weight but was never obese. I had a parking pass but only used it when I really needed it. You know why? Because I kept moving through my condition. For a long time, I had the victim mentality that I was powerless over doing much about it. Then I stopped listening to limiting belief systems. Other people came back from the same and worse. So why was I believing the stories about people who suffered forever and needed parking passes and had to be eternally pudgy were the ones that applied to my destiny? Why not the good ones? That took some honesty with myself. Because it meant I had to try harder. Which isn’t fair. Because I didn’t ask for this shiz to happen to me. As a result, when I’d hear anything about people not trying their hardest or giving up, I’d take it personally.
Could that same thing be what bothered me about said comment?
That you don’t take a blanket statement personally?
Unless you’re unhappy with something you know deep down you’re failing at doing?
And if you can convince someone else of your denial lies, then it might make them true? I tend to think so, because when I had plenty of my own denial-lies about what I could and couldn’t do, a lot of benign comments would piss me off. But this snarky little image wouldn’t have been one of them, surprisingly. Why? Because (though I called it “fat” for my standards), I still only had an extra maybe ten pounds on me. I knew that (despite all my other shortcomings and laziness), I was ate least doing what I could to keep the weight off (not only because: gross; but also ‘cause weight gain makes pain worse) by not stuffing my face and working out at least low-impact. Four times a week. After a full day of work. And a bad back. I’m not saying that to antagonize anyone. I’m just saying because of all the lies I told myself, “I can’t exercise” wasn’t one of them. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. When you hate exercising, you won’t find the will or the way. And you’ll gain weight. And hurt more, likely.
No one wants to hear this because it’s painful to one’s pride. But that’s only because when truth is delivered in the form of fat shaming, no one likes the person saying it so they’re more likely to throw the message-baby out with the bitchy-bathwater. Which I get because I do it with other things all the time. I mean, of course I find it hilarious because I’m naturally an asshole with a mean streak that’s so easy to act on – even against myself. But, unfortunately, not everyone can self-poke and they’re thus less likely to listen. And then all we’re left with is supersized butthurt that we still hafta fork out funds for since they can’t put down the fork. Bummer.
That’s where those exhausting acts called compassion and tact can help .
I’m not very good at either, but I try my best.
It’s not any of my business who does what. But there is the slight issue of you draining me on a money-medical level when you’re obese. That’s not very considerate, is it? I wind up having to pay for the health care of those who are overweight by choice (of refusing to try when offered help). But financial strain aside, let’s look at it with some compassion. Some people have conditions where weight gain doesn’t correlate to intake properly – they get disproportionately fat compared to their consumption.
They aren’t the majority.
What would be helpful is some kind of insurance implementation to get overweight people back on track (or on track for the first time). A diet program via the doctor, for instance. He offers a few choices: Overeaters Anonymous, Jenny Craig, a ballgag… Meanwhile, the catch is that they will need to pay more insurance if they are obese (which goes up for every diagnosable disease they have that can be attributed to obesity). And when their weight reduces, so does their payment. It’s not a punishment – but the gift of a new way of living. Like a human person managing life and conquering one impulse at a time.
With the added benefit of people getting off your back about being fat.
When I was suffering with my own back probs, I understood “fatter” was how I was.
Not who I was.
I feel like you can only get offended by something like this if you plan to stay that way forever. Planning to stay unhealthy is resignation. Hopelessness. Giving up. And if we’re in that mindset – regardless of what conditions we have – a physical condition ain’t the only one standing between us and a few extra steps in the parking lot. I know that was my case when I had a limiting belief system. So, you don’t have to explain yourself to me. No need to comment or defend yourself. It ain’t about me. Just ask yourself if you’re trying your absolute best – eschewing all excuses. If so, awesome. Keep going.
If not, maybe it’s time to take some life steps to make the physical ones easier.