Thursday, January 05, 2012

Two events of yesterday

Two things happened yesterday of note.  Well probably more than that, but two that I am going to share with you know.

1.  I went to a Weight Watchers meeting and weighed in and got the ball officially rolling for what I hope to be a road to a healthier me.

It was strange sitting in that meeting.  I've gone to them before and often used humor (often self-deprecating) and hiding in the back of the room as my defenses of choice.  The desire to crack a few jokes certainly came in to play a few times, but I have to say I feel engaged and interested in how people make it work.  (According to #WW words that describe foods that *MAY* be bad for you include - Au Gratin, Fried, Crispy, etc.  REALLY #WW?  Fried food is BAD for me?  LOL)  (P.S. Unfortunately that list does include some of my very favorite food words...Au Gratin....mmmmmm)

Maybe it was seeing people slink in after the holidays that gave me some comfort too.  This is a long process.  I'll be slinking sometime very soon, but the important part is to slink.  It was comforting too, to see the number I'm starting with and realize it was a few small pounds lighter than I expected.  Not good by any stretch, but not my heaviest.  And that I will take!

2.  During my church program last night a Kindergartener came up to me, grabbed my mom-belly belly fat with both hands and said loudly "You're Fat!"

I have to admit, I am never sure how to respond to things like that.  I know how I would respond to my OWN child, but I'm his mom and can tell him exactly how rude and hurtful words can be - when said to myself or others.  But I never know how to respond when it is another child, particularly one who I am supposed to be teaching, mentoring and looking after in a church program.  (Sadly, similar things have happened like this before.)

And here is the thing, the kid is speaking the truth.  I am fat.  I know that, everyone knows it.  It is an observable fact.  Kids are taught to tell the truth, and often are known for pointing out the obvious.  But it is hard to have the moment of realizing that it IS true.  It does hurt.

Now why do I bring up these two stories together?

There have been times in my life when either of these events would send me straight for my two friends Ben and Jerry.  Weigh ins are traumatic when you are this big.  Meetings in the face of the success of others can be challenging when you are struggling.  Insensitivity and hurtful words, especially the true ones, can be embarrassing and shaming.

But yesterday instead I ate the points I was allotted.  Filled up on water and veggies and said to myself, "I got this."  And just this second I do.  So someone remind me of THIS when I maybe reach a place where I don't.

Yes.  I am fat.  But I'm working on being fit instead.  And so long as I am working on it, it cannot fully define me.

P.S.  Though parents?  Be sure to teach your kids that just because something is true doesn't mean it needs to be said.  MmmmKay?


Casey@LoveWhatIs said...

Oh man! That sounds like it was really a hard day. :( Those sorts of days are never fun, and they never feel good. Hopefully today was a new day for you.

A couple years ago, I decided to eliminate all added sugar from my diet. I did it for about 3 weeks from my son's birthday to Thanksgiving. The first week was really hard. The second week was awful. However, something happened, and during the third week I turned a corner. I somehow managed to get to a point where every time I made a choice to avoid sugar and to have something else (or abstain all together), I felt stronger. It was like I was being propelled forward, and each previous choice was making my stronger and feel better and better about the next choice. That was a wonderful feeling, and I will pray that you reach that point soon.

I don't know what I would say to someone else's child if they said something to me which was true but hurtful. It might depend on how well I knew the child and the child's parents. If I knew the parents well, I might tell them what happened and assume they would handle it.

As a parent, I would definitely want to know about something like that so I could talk to my child about it. We talk a LOT in my house about choosing to use kind words. Even in times where we have to say something that someone else might not like, we can say it in a way that is kind and respectful. Hopefully someone else has thoughts that are more useful than that.

Amelia Sprout said...

I know how hurtful it can be to be called fat, but to play devils advocate a bit (really, I should totally get that job when they try to saint people) kids that age tend to say what things are, and they haven't learned entirely that the truth (as they see it) can be hurtful.
If my kid had done it (and I am sure she will if she hasn't already) I think I would like someone to say "yes, I am, but even though it is true, it isn't a nice thing to say to someone". You can acknowledge that they are right, but also let them know the impact of their words. Also, they may have a parent who calls themselves fat, so they are just repeating what they think is OK.

Marie said...

This post made me tear up. Liz, I'm fat too. There. I said it. It's kind of refreshing to admit it. Thanks for giving me the courage to do so.

You know what? Fat or not, you, my friend, are beautiful. You always will be. On the outside and certainly, on the inside. As my dear late mom always said, "pretty is as pretty does." You have the pretty part nailed.

Elle said...


That's awful Liz. I'm so sorry - I think a lot of us have had those moments, and there isn't really much anyone can do or say to make it better. It's so hurtful when people make those kinds of comments, even innocent kids. My young cousin asked me once in front of the whole family "Why are you fat?"

I love him, but right then I wanted to march him into a bedroom and give him a stern talking-to.

You're doing amazing right now. You're making the change, and we're here to support you.