I have lost just about 70 pounds now. And every week I am discovering things I can do that I haven't done for years. Things that "normal" size people have NEVER considered. Things that everyone just does and would have no reason to think about - ever - unless they were seriously overweight.
I am sharing this in the hopes that maybe folks who aren't severely overweight will develop a little sensitivity to those who are, and realize, this is clearly not a "choice" (who WANTS to suffer with severe obesity???). I also hope that those who have experienced one or more of the things I am talking about will feel a little less shame and know that you're not alone....
I was talking to my BFF on the phone last week (that's Best FAT Friend), and we laughed till we cried talking about all the things we used to do or couldn't do that we have overcome. This is just a partial list. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.
- If I ever get arrested, I feel happy that they will be able to put real cuffs on me as I can now touch my hands together behind my back. Previously, I could not even touch my fingertips together behind my back.
- Speaking of backs, I can now scratch mine almost anywhere. Before, I needed a back-scratcher. My son is eternally grateful he no longer needs to hear "up a little further...over to the left...down a little... ahhhhhhhhhh"
- For the first time in decades, I can take my bra off by unhooking it normally. I used to have to keep it hooked and pull it on and off over my head. Not that it really matters, but it feels kind of prettier doing it like they do in the rated R movies. :-)
- I can cross my legs. Before, crossing my legs involved resting one ankle on the other knee. That was as close as my thighs would allow my legs to mingle.
- I no longer have to do an olympic gymnastic dismount in order to take care of personal hygiene matters in the latrine.
- I can go to any restaurant, anywhere, and not have to worry about if they are going to put me: (a) in a booth that's bolted to the floor meaning I couldn't move it away so I could fit, or (b) at a table too close to another table so that I couldn't pull myself in close enough to allow others to pass behind me.
- I can fly on any airline and fit in the seat and using their built-in seatbelt without an extension.
- I can see what I'm doing when I shave my legs! I used to bend over, swish the razor around blindly on the back of my legs and hope I wasn't leaving a patch of carpet back there. Fortunately, I couldn't possibly see back there so what you can't see can't hurt you.....
- I can almost reach through my legs to tie my shoes. You know, how people lean forward over the knee and have one arm on either side of the leg as you tie the shoe? I'm almost there. Check the shoes of fat people. You'll notice the ties are off to one side or the other instead of being centered on the shoe. That's because we tie our shoes by crossing one leg over our knee and from that angle it's very hard to get it straight. I can at least reach MUCH better with my legs crossed so that the ties are in the middle. Yay!
- I can go on every freaking ride at Six Flags now. :-) I meet the weight requirement for every single ride I wanted to go on. My son's whole life I could not ride with him on most things because I exceeded the limit, so he had to ride alone. Yesterday was a.m.a.z.i.n.g.
Well there you have it. A tiny peek into the world of limitations caused by being overweight. There is so much more to someone being overweight than meets the eye.
If some of us eat for emotional escape/comfort, imagine how much more we are in NEED of emotional comfort when navigating daily life is wrought with landmines and pitfalls to avoid or compensate for, or navigate around. Add to that the rudeness of a whole lot of strangers who openly glare, point, make rude comments or outright laugh like children, and one really does need some emotional comforting. So we turn to the thing that has worked in the past...eating.
It's all so complex. It takes many steps to reach the point that you're ready to let go of the food and stand openly without it. I'll post on another day the real process that got me to this point. It's been quite a ride.