When you are obese you lose your legitimacy, you lose your voice.
Obese is not the same thing as being over weight and needing to lose a few pounds. Obesity is being completely out of the doctors range of acceptable weight for your height. The stage after obesity is morbid obesity. At the peak of my weight I was considered morbidly obese according to the BMI calculator.
I went from fit and social to fat and invisible.
My personal experience didn’t include anyone being mean, it just consisted of my involvement being pushed to the fringe of life instead of right in the big mix. Situations that used to consist of people listening attentively to my stories and thoughts became an awkward and distinct lack of eye contact or dismissal of my viewpoint. For someone that has always thrived being the center of attention, it was a death knell.
It wasn’t just that I hadn’t found my inner fat girl social mojo. It wasn’t. I had lost my legitimacy. I was no longer valid. I had no voice.
I don’t have any proof of why you become invisible once you become obese. I just know that you do.
I have a theory that disagrees slightly with the articles I’ve read. Most of the articles I’ve read like to paint the person that is obese as the victim and others as a cruel and discriminatory. Everyone is a victim these days. I’m nobody’s victim. I’m sure people can be hateful, but I think the cause is something else.
I think that being obese is an outward symbol to others that you have no control over yourself. How can you possibly contribute to the conversation, the group, the job when you are obviously out of control and can’t even help yourself. I don’t think these thoughts are spiteful and mean, I think they are subconscious conclusions.
I see a picture of fire, it means hot. I see a picture of an ice cube, it means cold. You get where I’m going with this.
No one has the time or inclination to dig under the surface to your medical, mental, and physical health issues. No one has the time to dig deep into your soul. You have seconds to make that fist impression and you just made a bad one. You are invalid. You are dismissed.
As recent as three months ago, I was in a discussion with a very slender health care professional. She has a medical degree. She casually dismissed weight loss as a simple math equation and people that can’t lose weight are stupid, lazy or truly don’t want to lose weight. I could have slapped her upside the head. Lady, you have no idea.
Everyone is in a struggle. It is just that the obese person’s struggle is on display for everyone to judge.
I don’t regret my weight gain. I don’t regret being obese. I don’t even regret losing my voice and validation. I certainly don’t regret my journey with Weight Watchers or my current journey being a gym rat.
I don’t regret it because I found a new voice. A voice that is deeper and rich with experience. I am ripe with knowledge and empathy. I found my fat girl social mojo and married her to my healthy girl social mojo.
I am legitimate. I have a voice.