I’ve grown up overweight. I’ve never been as heavy as I am now, but know how it feels to be an overweight child, adolescent, and adult. I know the sting of being teased and the pain of feeling like you never quite fit in.
As an adult I would say the amount of attention I get in relation to my weight is about 90/10. Ninety percent of the time everyone just leaves me alone and about 10% of the time I hear little snickers or catch someone staring at me. I’ve never really had a stranger openly comment to me about my weight. Until Thursday.
I have flip-flopped back and forth about whether or not to post this, because frankly it’s embarrassing. But a friend reminded me that by posting this, maybe someone else won’t feel so badly if the same thing has happened to them. The whole point of this blog is to show the good, the bad, and even the ugly side of weight loss and being overweight. So as hard as this is for me, I will share.
I went out at lunch on Thursday to grab a sandwich to eat back at my desk. As I walked back from the sandwich shop I passed through a part of the sidewalk that had been considerably narrowed due to construction. Two people couldn’t pass through at the same time. This man and I started walking through at almost the same time; I was about two steps ahead of him. Rather than being a gentleman and stepping aside to let me pass, he felt the appropriate thing to do was to step aside, look me up and down and moo at me.
(Pauses for stunned silence.)
Yeah. I got mooed at.
To say I was stunned is an understatement. I was already having a pretty rough week and I was tired and not in the mood for any kind of confrontation. Part of me wanted to punch him in the neck but the other part of me just wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear. I put my head down and just kept walking back to my office as quickly as I could trying to keep the tears at bay as I heard him laugh.
Back at my desk I slumped in my chair defeated and angry. Why was I letting this get to me? Some idiot stranger makes barnyard noises at me and suddenly I’m near tears. That guy made me feel ashamed and the worst part is, I let him. His comment did exactly what he wanted it to do—make me feel bad about myself—like I’m less of a person because of my weight, like I’m some second class citizen, like I’m cattle.
I told my friend Ryan what happened, and fortunately we were texting at the time; I don’t know if I would have been able to get the words out without crying. In true Ryan-like fashion he reminded me of two very important things:
- I am an Incredible, beautiful, smart, funny woman
- That guy is a prick.
He’s right, that guy is a prick.
But he’s also right about me being incredible, beautiful, smart, and funny. Those are the things that other people see in me. The people who care about me. The people who matter. That guy doesn’t matter.
I’ve spent the last few days stewing over this, feeling badly, and sorry for myself. But I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m not going to waste any more of my time worrying about what some colossal ass-hat thinks of my figure. I’m going to continue to be my most beautiful, amazing self.
If there is someone else out there reading this who has been the subject of ridicule, teasing or torment because of your weight, I want you to listen to me:
You are beautiful. You are amazing. You are YOU and there is NEVER a need to apologize for that.