I’ve been fat as long as I can remember. People try to serve it to me candy coated and call it pleasingly plump, thick, plus sized, bbw and a bunch of other larger than life names that all mean the same thing…… FAT. My doctor likes to call it overweight, too heavy or (my favorite) morbidly obese. I get it. I’m fat. I don’t know how I got here but I do know that I am tired of living in a world where I am called gross, disgusting, ugly and unhealthy. The truth is, sometimes I feel those things so I don’t really need to be reminded of it. The world is full of all different types of people and everyone should be respected for just being human.
I’m sitting on a bench in the park writing this with tears in my eyes. The weather is nice and I decided not to get on the treadmill today and to go walking in the park. After walking about 1.5 miles I was exhausted but decided to push myself and jog the rest of the way to my car. I wasn’t pushing myself to show off… I was pushing myself because the home stretch was uphill and if I had walked I probably would have tumbled in a ditch from exhaustion. I was jogging slowly and giggling, thinking of how my grandma used to call me Turtle, when I approached the basketball court and heard laughter. Laughter loud enough for me to hear over the sound of LL rapping about his Cool J cookies so I stopped and looked around to see what the men on the court were laughing at. Well apparently they were laughing at me and my attempt at fitness. I’m not the one who likes the spotlight so I felt my face begin to flush and tears form in my eyes. I wish I could have turned into a tree but I said fuck it and kept going, only now I started walking. This guy who had passed me at least 4 times stopped and took my hand and began to jog with me. That act of kindness made the tears come but I held that stranger’s hand (with my other hand on my pocket knife of course) and kept going until I got to the table by my car, where I am writing this.
My journey to healthy living is just beginning and it won’t stop because of a few mean people. However, I hope people understand how their actions shape and mold people’s perception of themselves. Fat shaming is not new, which is why many overweight people workout at home. It’s hurtful being the chick that is laughed at for trying to do better. Luckily, my self esteem isn’t lacking because I see how one incident can make people give up on what already seems impossible. If you don’t know the struggle of being “morbidly obese” or have never struggled with your weight, you really have no clue the courage it takes to get out there and begin the journey. At first I said that I didn’t care because I would never see these faceless men, whose laughter taunted me, again but then I realized that I will likely see them very soon. I will be right here at this park tomorrow walking my fat ass around this trail and laughter or not, I won’t give up on myself.