Yes. I am talking about the people who are fat. Obese. Overweight. Chubby. Curvy. Big-boned. Eh, whatever you want to call it. But it’s not what you think.
Before I began my healthy living journey I didn’t have an opinion about overweight people one way or the other. I barely noticed them. Yet when I first started to eat right and exercise, they began to stick out to me – I noticed them more, and then I DID start to have an opinion.
My (flawed) thinking was that ALL obese people – every last one of them – eats too much and doesn’t care for their own well-being. But, hey, that’s their own business. If they wanted to live that way it was fine by me. I had no further opinion about it. End of story.
But that’s how I used to think.
Since being in this blogging game for awhile I’ve struck up some fantastic friendships with beautiful people off all shapes, sizes, races and genders. I talk with them online in the open social media environment. I chat with some via email or on the phone. I’ve even met up with some in person.
…and of all this “getting to know people” has changed me.
I no longer see fat, thin, big, tall, etc when I relate to people. I love all people. I really do! I just see the awesome person that they are and I’m thankful to know them. Sure, are there definitely some peeps whom I’ve known in my life that really DO eat too much and don’t care for their own well-being. Unfortunately, yes. But let’s remove them from the conversation right now. It’s not about them.
Back in the day when I was judging an overweight person without knowing them or their situation, it was the same as someone judging ME because I’m black. That’s happened to me plenty and it doesn’t feel good either. Why not get to know a person first and understand who they are, right?
After watching shows like Heavy and Too Fat For Fifteen (both of which I appreciate very much for helping me to further understand the “why” behind obesity in many cases), I now understand more than ever that being overweight is not always a cut and dry situation.
There may be an eating disorder or other medical condition. It could be a traumatic event from their past – maybe a death in the family, physical or emotional abuse, or even abandonment. There could be an emotional trigger, like stress, loneliness, feeling unwanted or unloved.
I’m sure I haven’t covered the entire gamut of what might make a person struggle with their weight, but if it’s YOU that is struggling – if you desire change and you’re working on it, but have only been met with criticism and finger pointing and whispers and snarky remarks from people who haven’t even bothered to get to know you first, I’m writing this post to embrace you with open arms – to acknowledge your situation, your feelings and your struggle.
I can only hope there will be more people who will “see the light” as I have and respect you as well. This type of acceptance might very well spark a greater empowerment for the overweight person to be healed from their past, to experience recovery, or to simply be happy and free to create new, healthy habits without having to deal with other people’s judgmental ignorance.