I’m sure a lot of people have heard about the recent headlines on Kevin Smith and how he got kicked off the airplane for being too fat. This blog has nothing to do with him or that story, but it has to do with the topic of weight and another story shown on Entertainment Tonight that the show did BECAUSE of the whole Kevin Smith debacle. For those of you who didn’t watch a couple nights ago, they had their very own Vanessa Minillo (forgive me if that’s misspelled), former Miss USA and a very beautiful size 4, put on a fat suit and walk around New York City. I, at home in my bedroom, was not at all shocked at the response from New Yorkers…..They stared, they ignored her, one guy shoved her out of the way on the subway, guys refused to stop and give her directions. I don’t live in New York but I see everyday how people treat “fat” people and yet, it still brought tears to my eyes. At the end of the experiment, Vanessa stated how it hurt to see how people responded because “she was still the same person on the inside.”
Everyday of my life, I have felt those exact words….well, ok, not all of my life, but a vast majority of it, since I am overweight. I understand what it’s like to feel that way because no matter what size I am, I am and will always still be ME. Weight is part of my outward appearance and I carry it around with me everywhere I go. But I couldn’t help thinking as I watched this show that many people have done these fat suit experiments before and I don’t see any big changes. She cried from the experiment then but will she take it with her for the rest of her life and remember how it felt? Will she be nicer to big people because of it or will she forget over time? Because the main difference to me is that while a person may put on a fat suit and pretend to be fat for a day or however long, at any moment, they can strip that fat suit off and look! they are not fat anymore, people pay attention now!……But REAL big people can’t just strip away the fat…we live with it day in and day out.
I don’t think many people realize what it’s truly like for a big person. I am going to let you in a little on my world. This is not an easy thing, believe me. I can not at this moment get a job that requires standing for long periods of time because my weight makes me feel exhausted. I have a rod in my right ankle and my weight puts incredible strain on it. A lot of chairs are extremely painful to sit in and taking any kind of community classes at college frightens me because of the idea there might be desks in the class. It’s hard for me to get in and out of desks and I hate it when people see that. I fear everyday the risk of falling down because if I do, because of my weight, there’s a good chance I will break something. I haven’t tried out for plays in a long time because of my fear of people seeing me so big, being afraid I won’t have the energy, that I will be rejected simply based on my weight, that there will be no clothes to fit me, among many other reasons. I am lucky enough to have found a man who loves me exactly for me and I would love to start a family but along with the lack of job opportunities I can do right now, there is also the simple fact of having a child at my weight and how that might affect me. If I did have a child at my weight, I wouldn’t be able to get up from a chair or the couch while holding the baby. I can’t crawl around on the floor with a baby….I don’t have the energy to run around with them. It hurts to sit here and write all this out.
I have a thyroid disease and because of it, no matter how little or how much I ate, I would just keep gaining. About 5 years ago, I started taking medicine and doing a special diet and I started losing some weight. About 70 pounds when I stopped losing. When I stopped losing, I was still on the diet, I had A.C. Singers practice Mondays and Wed. mornings, Tuesday and Thurs. morning Aerobics, Thursday night, A.C. Singers until late, I was doing plays so I had rehearsals, doing Theatre lab, full course load of classes. I was staying busy, it was tiring, but I was working hard. The whole 2 yrs. of A.C. Singers I fluctuated around 250-260 pounds, NEVER a dot below that. I got very disappointed and when I went to Indiana for the summer to work at a preschool, I just said forget it. I was paying for my own groceries, trying to save up money and everything and I just said forget the diet. I was still doing stuff, I mean, working at a preschool isn’t easy. When I came back from Indiana, I had gained back 15-20 pounds. Ugh, right?! Well, since then, I have never been able to stick back with that diet again. I still take thyroid medicines but I have a very resistant body that it will work for a little while and then it just stops working and I have to try something new.
Now it’s 2010, still on thyroid meds., steadily gaining and gaining and I have just lost my will to even try anymore. I know you might read this and be disgusted, but if you have never been where I am, then you can’t even begin to understand how hard it is. It is NOT laziness, some of the hardest workers are big people, PLUS, how much harder do you think it is for someone with all the added weight to do simple things that you take for granted everyday as being so easy? Go get you a weight belt, put 50-100 lbs. on it and just do simple housework. Maybe then you will think again about calling ALL fat people lazy.
Another thing is, people always say well, just eat healthier…..ok, besides the fact that I tried that and still got stuck, eating healthy costs a lot more money than just buying groceries that you can afford. Me and my husband don’t have very much money so we buy what we can….I buy fruit and applesauce and juice, etc., on sale when I can but it’s not easy. Maybe that’s why bigger people tend to come from lower class and lower middle class groups. The salads at McDonald’s are $5-6 while you can get burgers and fries on the $1 menu…think about that for a moment.
Anyways, I wish I had some magic powder to make people be nicer to just everyone in general and stop stereotyping…..not ALL people are the same and you have no idea why a person is the way they are so just stop and think before you’re rude to someone.
P.s. For those of you who actually read my blog that don’t already know, I am currently researching lap band surgery for myself. I once thought it was an easy way out until I experienced for myself that sometimes you can’t do it completely by yourself without help. See? Even I jumped to conclusions until I saw for myself. I will be going to a seminar on March 1st and hopefully, I will be able to find someway to get this surgery so that I can be healthier and feel better about myself. Before Chad, it was all about wanting to get guys to like me, now I have someone who loves me, so now it’s for all the right reasons. It’s for me.