Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I'm Now Good Enough?

I was thinking about something a while back that has really been bothering me for quite some time. I'm not really even sure how to go about addressing it in a way that makes sense to others, other than just telling you what is on my heart in regards to the matter.

 Have you ever felt judged? Have you ever felt like people are staring at you? Have you ever felt like people are making a snide comment about you as you walk (or waddle) by? Have you ever felt like people are embarrassed to be with you or seen with you because of your weight? What about the idea of you not being selected or picked to help with a function or maybe a job position because of being too fat? I can't answer "yes" to all of these things but I certainly can answer "YES" to most of them. The funny thing is, I really didn't ever even see it as a problem until I lost the weight and people started treating me differently. What's up with that?! It hurts me in a way and does something to my insides that I can't quite put a finger on just yet. Maybe part of that is the fact that I'm still in "recovery" mode and it all really hits home. The sad thing is, I'm still the same person. Fat Paige or skinny Paige, it's still me living in this shell and my spirit hasn't changed one iota. Well, maybe in some aspects it has as far as attitude and confidence but for what I'm getting at, I'm still the same Paige that has always lived in the same body. 

I find it interesting that now that I'm thin and maybe cuter in some ways, (I'm not trying to sound self-centered, but you know what I mean) people all of the sudden are starting to notice me. I'm approachable all of the sudden?  I'm asked to do things or participate in things more often. I get compliments on my clothes. They all the sudden have something in common with me? I'm now good enough?

I'm not really certain why this happens but it does. If you've never been fat you wouldn't have experienced such treatment. If you have been overweightwhether it's now or in the past, I'm sure you can relate in some way.  The good news is that most of the time this type of behavior is coming from individuals who are struggling with one of two things. The first being that they are lacking something in their own life and feel a sense of comfort by treating others in a poor way. It's almost as if they need to validate themselves and this is the only way they know how. The second thing is that maybe these people just don't know how to act around others who are different. I mean it's almost as if we're treated as having a disability.   Therefore people on the outside don't act in a way that is appropriate. In either case, it's really not worth putting your energy into trying to figure them out. Move on. Shake it off. (I know it's hard. I was terrible at it!) Continue on with what you are doing and stay focused. Do not let anything or anyone make you take a detour. Fill your days with those people who can help you and appreciate what you are wanting to accomplish in your life - the ones who want to love on you and see you for what you are becoming. It doesn't matter what's on the outside anyway. You're in transition, remember? It's what's on the inside that counts!  Regardless, you're as special as they come!


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  1. So been there with the invisible thing. I love it now that people will hold the door for me, but it also makes me mad for the times when I really needed help and no one would. I'm working on my attitude towards this.

    You look great! Keep focused!

  2. Wow. It is so true.

    I've talked with my Aunt about this before and we have theorized that when someone is obesely overweight it sends the message to others that they don't love themselves enough to take care of their own body and it is very hard to love a person who doesn't love themselves.

    I am 209 lbs. At the height of my pregnancy I was 260 lbs. I have felt what you have described and though I do not think it is right or fair I applaud you for speaking on such a hard subject.

    "In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King Jr.

  3. Although I am not to my skinny self yet, I totally get what you are saying. The thing I am realizing though, is that I treat myself the same way a lot of times, so it only makes sense that others would treat me the same way. I am good enough the way I am at any size and that is what I am starting to learn on my own journey. Thanks again for all you are doing, you are awesome!!

  4. I have had those same feelings but also understand that I judge others by their appearance as well. We are all affected by how others look so just realize that while it isn't necessary to be cruel it is human nature. It would be nice to live in a world of unconditional love but that's not realistic. I do have friends who don't care about my appearance and are very encouraging and supportive; they are the best. The unfair treatment may be part of what got us seriously losing our weight. Take care.

  5. Ah yes. I've heard this phenomenon also referred to as the "Why now?"

    When this first started happening to me, I thought "Why are people looking at me? Do I have a booger hangin' outta my nose or somethin'? Is my fly down? What?!?" LOL :)

    What I didn't realize that as a fatty, I was wearing an invisibility cloak. (Like Harry Potter) I guess people don't want to look at obese people? Being thin, we have lost our invisibility cloaks. People actually SEE us now. So weird...but human nature. Consider it a non-scale victory.

  6. Paige, I don't know you well, but I have known you for years. And I do stalk your blog (and love it). I also know this feeling, well, and I think you addressed it very eloquently.

    But to play devils advocate...I have noticed how YOU've changed, over the past few years. Not just physically. I rarely see you, but I have noticed your energies have changed significantly. You seem so much more open and encourage more interaction. You have always been lovely, friendly, and happy. And I don't know if it's the confidence of meeting goals, or the extra endorphins from all the exercise, or maybe you have more blog-stalkers that now feel like your BFF.. Anyway, I think it is possible, that maybe when we are obese, (as you know I have been too), we don't put out the same energies that attract people to us.
    It's not that we aren't good enough, and now you are... Maybe it's not their fault, nor ours...maybe it's just energy.

  7. I know EXACTLY what you mean. Although I am overweight now I wasn't always. There was a time in my life I was thin and I see the looks and experiance the feelings you are speaking about. Hit's home. Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one out there that feels this way. Stay strong in your continued journey.

  8. Paige - This post was like it was written to me. I experienced that sad discrimination just this past weekend with two people very, very close to me. I have learned to ignore the injustices with strangers or at least not to let them affect me so much. It made me instantly want to retreat to my shell and not share any of my accomplishments with them. It cut to the core. I have lost 20 pounds and have another 20-30 pounds to go. I've had to shop at special stores and finding trends in my size are still a struggle even at the lesser weight but is becoming more possible. However, all of it had been overlooked and the focus redirected to someone that has never had this struggle. What's the harm in taking the back seat for once and letting the light - even just for a moment- to shine on the person that is fighting tooth and nail for every ounce lost?

  9. Hi Paige!

    Thank you for sharing your success! I am starting where you did and have a very long journey ahead of me. I am looking forward to doing this with a positive approach and focusing on successes. My failures in the past haven't been much help to me...time to change my mind. :) Your blog is an inspiration for me. LOVE your insights, honesty and advice.

    1. I also started a blog to keep me accountable. I would like to link to yours, is that ok?

  10. I can completely relate to this post. Last year, as I lost weight and got fit, I noticed people treating me much differently. People were asking me to be in videos for their school work, someone tried to get me to host a local news show "because look at her, she's so pretty", etc. Now that I've gained that weight back, no one asks me to do any of these things. And no one tells me I should because I'm so pretty, etc. It's something that has been on my mind lately. I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who has felt this way!

  11. I understand, completely! I was thin until my mid-twenties, and when I starting gaining weight and became obese it was a different world for me. I was, suddenly, invisible, and not worthy - at least, that how some people make me feel. I've lost weight, but I'm still obese. I look forward to losing this weight and being healthy again, being able to move better, being able to wear cuter clothes, but I'm, also, really looking forward to being treated like a normal person,again. Great post, Paige!

  12. Great post Paige!! So true!
    I NEVER used to get compliments on my clothes when I was bigger. Now? I get them ALL THE TIME.
    And I shop at freakin' target! Same place I shopped at before!
    Funny how people tend to accept you more when you're thinner.
    Such a messed up world we live in.

  13. Thanks for your honesty today, That was really encouraging. :)

  14. I get it, I have experienced similar things. However, while the vast majority of this is due to overweight people becoming more "invisible" to others I also think that as we lose weight we GAIN so much self confidence that we simply become much more visible to others. It's just my theory, but it makes sense to me. :)

  15. Wow! It was as if i was reading my own diary! I have felt "invisible" so many times (Which in itself is kind of oxy-moronic, don't you think?). Thank you for sharing your thoughts and letting me know that it ain't just me.

  16. I've certainly felt those looks and had those experiences. I haven't lost enough weight to see the difference, but I can only imagine!

  17. I asked my husband earlier this year if he feels embarrassed about my size. Isn't that so sad. Great post once again Paige.

  18. I think people are just cruel to anyone who doesn't look "normal." In high school I was 5'10" 115 pounds and I was constantly ridiculed for my lack of weight, and accused of being anorexic or having an eating disorder. I was rejected by kids in grade school and told that I was "too skinny." I've been told that I might "blow away in the wind," or while I was pregnant I was told that I looked like "an olive on a cocktail toothpick." While I don't share your exact same struggles, I have felt judged and unaccepted because of the way I look. Thanks for sharing this blog so openly, I've enjoyed reading it, and I feel like I know you better because of it!

  19. Great post...and so heartfelt. I have a dear friend who's only been overweight for the past few years. She's talked about this and has noticed a BIG difference (no pun intended) in how people treat her now compared to before the weight gain. I was so surprised because I've never really noticed. But then I realized that maybe it was because I've been over 200 pounds for nearly 20 years...a long time. I think, like you, that I may notice the difference once I get to a more normal weight. And I'm sure that if I do notice a change in how I'm treated, it will be a sad sad realization.

  20. Thank you for this post! It's one (of many) discussion topic I've already had with the staff of where I'm having my gastric bypass surgery. They have "warned" me of this outcome of weight loss. I say warn, because they want to make sure that I am prepared for this new emotion - positive attention. Many who take control of their food addiction often substitute it with other other destructive behaviors - yes, even ones that positive attention can enable. It's something I hadn't really thought about. For decades, I have lived under the shadow of my obesity. I have not only felt judged, but I have been judged - to my face. The sad part for me is that I know I have judged others as well with thoughts (if not comments) of, "I know I'm large but I'm not as big as that person." or "I sure hope I don't look like *that* lady does." or "How can someone let themselves get THAT obese?" I had a hard reality check when I finally recognized my own judgmental self.

    What I am focusing on and trying to let truly sink in is that no matter how the world views me, God sees me has His fearfully and wonderfully made child. Every negative thought that has been hammered into my head by society has its own opposite view from God. I'm consciously making the effort to choose to believe His truths and not the world's lies!

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your blog. You are an inspiration!

  21. Well first off, you do look fantastic in all of your pics. I do know what you mean though. I even wrote a few blogs on this same topic. I know I'm the same person, fat or thin. I have noticed that I'm treated differently now that I've lost a ton of weight. I completely agree with what your post is saying. I could go on forever about it, so I'm just going to stop....


  22. Well said girl! Part of it might just be "us" though. I know it's like the devils advocate talking but are you more open:)
    I know I was when I was skinnier. I would talk to anyone, I would smile all the time, I was just happier and that happiness oozed out of my pores. I think when we're not happy with ourselves we are just more self conscious. Just a thought.
    Now I have 100 lbs to lose to find my happy but I'm fighting like hell to smile at everyone and say hi. I'm fighting to have cofidence when I feel like a pile. The best part will be the journey back there, and that's where you come in. You are my inspiration as well as another fellow blogger. You both keep me going when I want to give up!! Thanks for all you do.

  23. I've also been in both sides, being fat, thin and now fat again. I totally know what you mean. People judge us better or worse by our weight.
    Here in Brazil it's hard to be accepted or part of a "group" when you are obese, even harder to find a job. It's too bad people are that prejudice. People say "Oh is a shame she is fat with such beautiful face..."