If you were boss of the world, what is one thing you would change?
This is challenge #72 at Blog This ... yes I'm a bit slow on the uptake ... but let's face it, the internet is huge! How am I meant to know or find every single fabulous item on there. Having said that, I'm working on it...
There are so many things in the world that I would like to change or should change, but this one is SO close to my heart. I want to share my own story with you...
I recently watched an episode of Ruby, a reality show documenting Ruby Gettinger's ongoing weight loss journey. Talk about one heck of an inspiring woman! Starting out at over 700lbs (320kg+), Ruby has lost close to an incredible 400lbs!! AMAZING! Yet, people still look at her in disgust, and she still doubts herself.
One thing really stuck in my mind...the vast disparity in how we perceive woman. An anorexic woman is seen as ill and desperately needing help. People are concerned that they may die and drastic action needs to be taken. Compare that to the morbidly obese woman. An obese woman is seen as disgusting, as deserving to be that way because they have "done it to themselves". People will turn away in horror, or laugh and make fun of them. It breaks my heart.
I will admit, I too am morbidly obese. At my heaviest, I weighed 142.5kg. I don't know the exact weight because my scales only show 0.5 increments after 100kg. Only 4 years ago, I weighed 89kg. What happened? Depression. Evil evil depression. It wasn't the food. I wasn't hungry, but there was something inside me that needed to be fed. The food isn't the problem, the problem lies within. Over two years on antidepressants and a lot of soul searching later and I do feel that I am starting to lift above that depression cloud. I am starting to lose weight.
My weight has been an issue since I was a teenager. I was constantly picked on in high school, and my self esteem was at an all time low. I had absolutely no confidence and never thought I was attractive to the opposite sex. I met a person who wasn't very good for me, that cut me off from my family and friends and told me that he would leave if I ever put on weight. He was mentally and physically abusive and I was so depressed that I thought no one else would ever love me. My coping mechanism...put on weight. I was engaged to be married to that person and I could see no way out. In a moment of clarity, I left him. Not because of the abuse, but because he didn't congratulate me on a promotion. Silly I know, but there's always a straw that breaks the camel's back. I guess I was lucky. Other woman don't get the chance to walk away.
Then along came Andrew. When we met, I was a healthy size 10. By the time we were a couple, I was an 18. Once again I was picked on, but this time by perfect strangers. I would walk down the street and people would shout out obscenities at me...like "f#%k, who's been eating all the pies then!". Most afternoons, I would be in tears. Is this the way a young woman should live?
This has all resulted in years and years of yo yo dieting, leaving me bigger than when I started. Yes, just four years ago at 89kg, people would be happy to talk to me and tell me how great I looked. They also felt it necessary to point out how big I used to be. Thanks. When I stacked the weight back on, those same people stopped talking to me. Obviously I made them feel incredibly uncomfortable.
Now I see the same weight issues starting to pop up in my own daughter. My beautiful, perfectly healthy five year old daughter. Late last year her daycare centre conducted health checks on all the children, and her result...obese! WHAT!!! My daughter is far from obese. She's definitely not stick thin, but she is normal. I have questions from her already...am I too fat, do I look fat in this, etc. She's concerned about what she eats. I will never promote dieting to her as an option. For us, its about a healthy lifestyle and making sensible decisions. Instead of biscuits, chips and lollies, she snacks on carrots, natural yogurt, apples and drinks loads of water. Not because I make her...she can pick what she likes out of the fridge...its because that's the decision she's made for herself. We are educating her to be healthy, and to love who she is, and in the long run, she will be a much happier person.
I too am working on it. Its a battle every day. One that I am not going to give up on. I try not to compare myself to others and I try not to be so hard on myself. One thing I know is that I am blessed. Andrew loves me for who I am. He never criticises my size, and he supports me no matter what. I have been luck enough to have no major health issues and I've been able to give birth to two beautiful children. I am alive, and I am a worthy person. I will be the change I want to see in the world.
The next time you see a morbidly obese person, don't point and laugh, or shout at them to stop eating. They are a human being...just like you.
To quote Kobi Yamada..."She discovered her real measurements had nothing to do with numbers or statistics". Its true.
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