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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Finally, I'm publicly coming forward on this:

I realize this blog is "ramblings on cast iron" and not "ramblings on bullying awareness." 

But because this is National Bullying Awareness month, I am publicly coming forward with my stance on the weightism issue, for the first time.

I posted the following article on my personal Facebook page, and decided I wanted it to have a bigger audience.

For those who are actually teachable:  What is appropriate, and what is NOT appropriate.

I live with the fact that every day, I will be subject to bigotry and discrimination, because I am overweight. 

I recognize "the look", and know immediately that I will not be taken seriously. 

And I was always afraid to publicly speak up about it, because I figured that people would tell me I "brought it on myself" and I "deserved" it.

No one deserves to be bullied, for any reason.  

Whether you think a person's weight is a "choice" or not, the debate will go on forever.  But there will NEVER be any question, that being a jerk is a choice.

At my husband's former job, his regional manager had never met me, and knew NOTHING about me.  

He saw me through his office window, and proceeded to laugh and make derogatory comments.  

He asked my husband "How can you stand to be married to a fat pig woman?"  He eventually fired him, and cited that as one of the reasons.

We had no recourse whatsoever.  There is no law prohibiting employment discrimination based on weight.  Had he made a racial slur, for example, we could have taken legal action.

What a shame, that this man has two children, who are being taught that this behavior is appropriate and acceptable.  And what an even bigger shame that he professes to be a "christian."

I'm all too aware of the severe health risks associated with being overweight.  I'm not at all offended when a doctor tells me about it, because he is a doctor, and that is his job.

Just for the record, a few days ago I finally started taking steps to take care of it, on my own-- But, I'm being fairly quiet about it, because this is for ME, and not for anyone else.

I am absolutely not doing this to become more "acceptable" to those have already rejected me.  

I don't want them around me even after I have lost some weight, because they've already shown me what kind of people they are.

 I do NOT owe anybody an apology, or an explanation, for my weight.  Especially not to anybody who demands one.

I don't mind when someone is genuinely concerned and wants to offer support to me.  But more often than not, that isn't the case at all.  

There are appropriate things to say to me, but most have taken it upon themselves to say things to me that are NOT appropriate.

So perhaps you have a friend or family member that you're concerned about, and you really do want to know how to help them.  The purpose of this writing is for those people, who are actually teachable. 

The weightist bigots, obviously, will not be. 

And just so we're clear, as soon as I figure out that a person is so shallow, to tie the worth of a person directly to a number on a scale... my relationship with that person is done. 

So, I'll start with what you CAN say to me, provided that I KNOW you, and you genuinely want to offer support:

1.  You know, I found this recipe the other day for grilled fish with fresh herbs, and it was wonderful.  Here's the recipe.  I think you'll like it.

2.  Have you ever tried swimming?  It's great because it works out your whole body and it doesn't wear you out or hurt your joints.  I think you'll enjoy it.

3.  Did you know that massage therapy can help you?  That alone won't help you lose, but it will make you feel better and you'll be more likely to exercise.

4.  Have you ever tried walnuts and sliced peaches?  It's a great snack, I think you'll like it.

5.  I know the first time you exercise is the hardest, because you're so tired.  But I promise, once you start, you won't be so tired anymore, and you won't be so stiff, and you'll sleep better. 

6.  I found that playing the wii is a lot of fun, and makes the time go by a lot faster than walking on a treadmill-- I know that's a bore.

It's a short list; sadly, the supportive comments are much fewer and farther between.

There are also many comments that are NOT appropriate.  

Many people think that comments such as this will "motivate" the person to lose weight by shaming them.  It does NOT work-- and that's not their real motive anyway.

These comments are NOT a product of genuine concern, but of hateful intolerance:

1.  YOU haven't had BREAKFAST?  (in a catty, condescending tone)

First of all, I know you would never ask that question to someone of a normal weight.  

Second of all, it is NONE of your business what time of the day I eat breakfast.

2.  YOU already HAD breakfast!  (in a disgusted tone)

OK, since what I eat and when is obviously very important to you, I'll bother to educate you: 

 I cannot eat a lot of food in one sitting.  So, instead of three regular sized meals a day, I break up my meals into several small ones, about every three hours.  That's what I do; That is what works for me. 

So, yes, I did have a small bowl of cheerios three hours ago, and yes, now I'm having a half of a breakfast burrito.  

My eating schedule is not dictated by you, and neither is anybody else's.  Get over it.

3.  In a big hurry to get something to eat, huh?

Yes, as a matter of fact; I am on my way to WORK.  I will be driving an hour, to work a 16 hour shift.  When was the last time YOU did that on a Saturday? 

4.  You know, you COULD DO SOMETHING about it.

First of all, how do you know I'm not?  You assumed. 

Second of all, you COULD DO SOMETHING about being a shallow, bigoted jerk.  

The rest don't even deserve a response:

5.  There is NO WAY YOU could possibly be hungry.

6.  YOU could go a WHOLE YEAR without food and be just fine.

7.  Are you ready to eat?  I bet YOU ARE!  

8.  Hey, you didn't take ALL the donuts, did you?  

(Spoken to me by a man about 3 times my size).

9.  Not that you're THAT LITTLE!  (ha, ha)

10.  I don't want my tax dollars paying for your (fill in the blank) !!

Several people have told me this; one was a 15 year old, because "his tax dollars pay for it, it IS his business!"  Everyone knows how many thousands of dollars 15 year olds pay in taxes every year.

11.  Why don't you (fill in the blank) ??

Why don't YOU (fill in the blank)??

12.  You can't eat that!  That has FAT in it!  or, That has SUGAR in it! 

what doesn't?

13.  I would kill myself if I looked like you!  

Oh really?  Do us all a favor.

14.  You know, if you REALLY want to kill yourself (by being fat), I have a gun you can use... save yourself the trouble.

15.  Food is REALLY important to you, isn't it?  I can tell!

16.  Wow, you really can EAT!  

(Spoken as I was eating GRILLED FISH, of all things-- after I had been sick for two days!)

17.  Jesus was very bony and he didn't eat much.  You'll never be a REAL christian until you can go without food for a long time, like Jesus did.

(No, I'm not making that up.  Someone claimed it was a "word from God for me.") 

18.  Your therapist must not be doing her job, because you still have a weight problem.  If I was your therapist, I'd be focusing on that!

19.  I'm going to leave my McDonald's bag out and see if you dig in it!

(Spoken by a woman twice my size).

20.  You look like a (fill in the blank).

As a general rule, if you wouldn't say it to someone of a normal weight, you shouldn't say it to someone who is overweight. 

And I realize I'm preaching to the choir; The people who really need to be told this, will never learn. 

I guess I'm just hoping that I will help someone out, who honestly doesn't know what they should and should not say.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post! For years I heard comments, I didn't do anything probably because I didn't want to lose weight to give credit to the rotten people who made comments. When my Dad died I promised him I would take care of myself better as not to die like he did. It took me a year before I acted. The weight is coming off. I am near my goal. I don't update people on my weight loss and don't comment when they react. I didn't do it for them, so I can understand where you are coming from. I make a lot of recipes from I don't know her nor am I affiliated in any way. I like her recipes and they turn out pretty good in cast iron as well. Good luck and thanks for the post!