You know, it’s not easy being overweight or obese in this country. That is one of the main reasons I isolated myself from others, even friends and family. It’s hard enough dealing with the self-imposed shame and embarrassment that comes with being overweight that enduring society’s is painful and unbearable.
A contributing factor is that most people don’t get that most overweight people have tried every diet out there with no lasting success. What’s worse is that people judge us and believe that we have no self-control, a willpower problem or that we “just let ourselves go.” If it were that easy, noone would be heavy.
Noone wants to endure the health risks, physical appearance or social stigma that comes with being overweight. What people don’t consider is the emotional pain that causes us to binge or compulsively overeat. If the emotional reasons for the eating aren’t uncovered, no amount of diet and exercise will work for the long term, that’s why diets don’t work.
So, I feel very misunderstood and judged for an issue that is emotional but manifests physically. I wear my issue on the outside so everyone can see it unlike a shopping or gambling addiction. Yet people have no compassion and judge me instead.
This is my reality and my mission is to raise awareness so I can be understood.
M: In the past I worked with many people to help them “get healthy” through exercise, nutrition, and understanding their triggers to overeat.
I will never forget this moment:
A young man in his 30’s successfully lost 85 pounds over the period of a year. He and I were so happy that he lost the weight the correct way, taking time to look at all the factors. He was so HAPPY!
One day when I met with him, he was not happy. I could see the mood change even though when I asked he said “I’m fine.” Before he left he told me this: “I was so happy with how I feel and how much better I look. I knew 85 pounds was just a step in my goal to lose 100. But I was feeling confident and better about myself than I had in years. This morning I went into the coffee shop, not through the drive thru like I have been doing for years! As I was leaving, I heard a couple say I BET HE HAS 10 SUGARS AND PLENTY OF CREAM IN THAT DRINK. DOESN’T HE SEE HOW HE LOOKS?”
This young man had just taught me a lesson about people. Who knows when looking at someone the whole story? Judgemental behavior towards people who look different than you think they should, is just wrong and ignorant.
As you mention, the outword signs of eating issues unlike other addicitions that do not show physically cause predjudice much like skin color, religious dress, or mideastern appearance, should not be used as a basis for judging a person at any time or in any way.
So true, but this country is definitely more accepting than others.
PREACH ON SISTAH!!! I’ve never seen the thoughts in my head so well written and expressed! I feel the exact same way every second of every day of my life. Everyday I summon the courage to carry this body into the world. I smile, I say it’s ok…but inside it is so painful it takes my breath away. Thank you for putting this into words!