Are You Weight Prejudiced? A Fat Bully?

November 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm 8 comments

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa

I’m guilty.

And I’m ashamed of myself.

Before I gained the weight I carry right now, I couldn’t understand how people “let themselves go”, and how they “couldn’t control themselves”.  I would tell family and friends, “shoot me if I ever become fat like that”.

It’s always interesting how the universe responds to statements like those, as here I am 58 lbs over my healthy weight.  I’m obese.  44% of my body is fat.

Even as I knew I was gaining weight, I never really thought of myself as like those “other people”. You know the things you say to yourself – “I can lose this weight any time I want; I don’t overeat; I don’t eat badly; I’m still active”  “I’m not like those other people who probably sit around all day just stuffing food in their faces.”

As my mind is becoming clearer to my reality, and not my fantasy, I realize that there are people out there right now who are looking and saying those things about me.

And it hurts.  I never thought I was a bully, because I never said any of those things to anyone’s face.  It doesn’t matter, though, because I was still a bully. And I’m ashamed that I hurt people they way I’m feeling hurt now, because even if I never said the words directly, my face must have shown how I felt.

5 days after starting my healthy lifestyle journey, I received an email from Workopolis entitled  “The skinny on salary: How your weight affects your paycheque” It went on to talk about a recent study that shows that employers seem to treat women exactly the way the fashion industry does – by rewarding very thin women with higher pay, while penalizing average-weight women with smaller paychecks.

I was shocked when I read this, but I realized that this thinking extends across everything in our society, and not just for obesity.  We’re judged, and we judge ourselves, by society’s beauty bias.

A friend of mine recently changed her hair colour.  Shortly after going blonde, she commented that she thought the customer service on our local public transit had improved.  Same driver, just better service.  I joked that it was because she was blonde now, and she should enjoy the extra attention, and maybe I should change my hair colour too. I’ve always felt that Kim is an attractive, vibrant woman, but it gave us both pause to think that something so superficial could have such an impact on how people treated her.

And I began to seriously think about how I perceived the way people treated me, and if this was the true cause of why I wanted to lose weight.

Am I doing this to get healthy?  Absolutely!

Am I doing this to increase my life expectancy?  Definitely!

Am I doing this to be a better role model to my children?  I truly want to show them a more healthy lifestyle to what we’ve presently been living.

However, if I’m honest with myself, I will admit that how people judge me by my outward appearance has a little bit to do with it.  I enjoy feeling sexy and attractive, and having the opposite sex look twice at me, and flirt with me.  Since becoming single 5 years ago, my confidence in how I look has been very low, and I haven’t felt very sexy and attractive. Why would anyone be attracted to an overweight me?  I felt as though the only person who could love me, would be another overweight or inactive person.  See how my weight prejudice reared it’s head again?

Whatever reasons I have for losing weight and getting healthy again, there is definitely one thing that I will accomplish on this journey.  I now know how it feels to be judged by your appearance, and I will never again, judge someone based on what they look like on the outside.

Prejudice and love cannot exist together in one heart.

And Love feels better in my heart than prejudice.

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Entry filed under: fitness, goalsetting, healthy lifestyle, healthy weight loss, life changes, motivation. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

What Motivates You? Friday’s Gratitude

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shelley  |  November 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    What a remarkable post. I love that you write from the heart.

    In understand the feelings your described becoming single again 5 years ago… I went through the same! {HUGS}

    Reply
    • 2. Patricia Eales  |  November 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm

      Thank you, these feelings had been sitting heavy on my heart for a while now. It took me a long time to write, because I didn’t want anyone to be offended.

      The post fully came about because of an incident that happened to me at a Pilates class at my fitness club this morning. I felt as though I was judged and found wanting, by the instructor. I spoke to her at the beginning of the session (which didn’t indicate level at all) and told her that I had only taken one Pilates class before. She looked at me and said, maybe this isn’t the class for you, but if you want to try, just keep your feet on the floor. (?) During the class she taught at a very high level, and not once did she indicate to me ways I could do it at a lower level. When I got up and left after 30 minutes (which killed me, because I don’t like to feel like I’m a quitter), she never said a word. Whether it came from me being overweight, or that she didn’t think I could do the class, she seemed to judge me and it was really frustrating and upsetting. I asked the club if this was an advanced class, and they said that it wasn’t, and that she should have been teaching all levels. It’s a shame, because Pilates is supposed to be so good for you, and now I feel discouraged about going to this class again, and I shouldn’t feel that way.

      Reply
  • 3. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self  |  November 12, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Wow, this is a truly amazing post! I admire your ability and willingness to be self-reflective in this way, and to share it with all of us. Coming to terms with our own prejudice is no easy task – and I know from experience! – but it’s definitely the first step to challenging that mentality. I wish the whole world could read this post!

    Reply
    • 4. Patricia Eales  |  November 12, 2010 at 10:02 am

      Thank you so much Katie! I started this blog to have accountability in my journey, but it has given me so much more! In addition to finding an amazing group of supportive women, I’ve finally started being truthful with myself!

      I appreciate you dropping by and leaving your thoughts.

      Reply
  • 5. Meg  |  November 12, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    This is such a fabulous post. It always amazes me how society is so politically correct about so many things – race, religion, sexual orientation … but weight seems to be the final frontier, one of the last bastions of acceptable prejudice.

    Reply
    • 6. Patricia Eales  |  November 12, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      thank you Meg. what you’ve said is very true, and hopefully it is something that will be a thing of the past soon.

      Reply
  • 7. Crafty Mummy  |  November 12, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Great post, Patricia. I’m popping over from BlogFrog to Stumble. But I had to show my support. Your post resonated with me too.

    Reply
    • 8. Patricia Eales  |  November 13, 2010 at 10:48 am

      Thank you for stopping by, and for your support! I appreciate it.

      Reply

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Goals for 2011

* Participate in the 100 days of intentional movement
* Walk 2011 miles in 2011
* Continue my healthy eating and exercise program
* Lower my body weight by 10% by February 1st, 2011
* Lose the next 10% of body weight (17 lbs) by April 1, 2011
* Read at least one book per month that provides spiritual sustenance or enlightenment.

Scale Goals for 2011
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04/01/11 - 156.6
06/01/11 - 141

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