I wasn’t sure I could write this. WOULD write this. I felt shame at feeling shame. As though it was wrong of me to be offended and hurt. I suppressed my sadness and anger, but it lingered like cheap perfume or stinky cheese. Always just sort of there. Because it’s always there. It didn’t take a bigoted blog post. Because I already hear those words in my own head every day.
And they evoke a paralysis and a fear.
Dear Maura and Marie Claire: You don’t have to hate me – because I already do. That’s what I was thinking anyway, and I’d wager I’m not the only one. You know what Marie Claire, I’ve sacrificed my dignity, morals, and integrity for a scrap of attention because I don’t believe anyone will or can ever love me. Not as I am now. Not until I change. Sure, that’s my own psychological pain and negative thinking to deal with, but I don’t need your help to feel bad about myself. To feel unnatural being touched, hugged, kissed, or loved. Did you think your article would spur fat people across the obese nation to get off the couch? Well, I felt inspired to get off the couch and kick your fucking ass. That’s what I felt like. If you knew me? You’d know that I eat pretty darn healthy most of the damn time. Healthier by far than a lot of people you would classify as normal or healthy weights. I drink water. I eat vegetables. I eat fruit. I eat fiber. I don’t eat white bread. My vices? Pizza, Chipotle burritos, ice cream, and breakfast pastries such as scones and coffee cake. (I’m way over donuts.)
But anger. OH ANGER.
It is my nature to study and research. I believe in the Atticus Finch approach to life. I try to imagine myself in someone else’s shoes. (When driving I’ve usually already called them words I wouldn’t say out loud under any other circumstances.) So, I read the article and the apology and the comments and several blog posts sounding off. I wanted to understand. I read Stacey Ballis, I read Jen Lancaster, and I read Josh Shahryar.
I am strong. I want to be strong and healthy and feel good in my body. I felt good in my body yesterday – even at too-close-to-250 pounds. And I will put my blood work up against the “skinny people.” Put on a fat suit you can feel what it is to be a 250ish pound not quite 5’4″ woman. And then get on the treadmill next to me and keep up – lift weights with me. Let’s see who gives up first. I sincerely bet it won’t be me.
I’ve written from my heart and messed up mind about how hard it is to face people at the gym because of what they might see, think, and feel when they look at me. How hard it is to push that down, push it aside, and focus. Not be afraid, but be strong and happy.
I can’t write about this eloquently because it is simply too raw and primal. It’s grunts and gestures and looks and electrical feedback.
I stop and I think about my mother. My beautiful mother who always told me I was beautiful, who nurtured me. The person who sat up with me patiently, lovingly on Sunday nights when I cried. Always Sunday nights.
It is because of the very heart of the uproar that I even started this blog. I started it because I can’t give up.