Friday, May 27, 2011

Just a Big Ol' Girl

When I was growing up it wasn't a given that little girls would go to college and become anything they wanted to be.My father, in fact, forbid me to go to college. But, I couldn't remember a time when I didn't know that learning was my way out of a bad place.So, I schemed, and I worked out a way to get to college. See, my father was from a time when girls got married and had babies, he couldn't IMAGINE a world where girls didn't have a baby until they were in their 30's, or didn't get married until they were almost 50. But, I could.Other people's imaginations have nothing to do with your reality!

Sometimes I am my own worst enemy, we all can probably lay claim to that. I look at my circumstances, and I get frightened. I fail to see what others see in me, and so I occasionally need reminders that my reality is mine, and that even though things are hard right now, they won't always be this hard.

One of my issues is weight. Now I am just a 'big ol' girl'- as one of my four year old friends once described me. It's OK to be a 'big ol' girl' as long as you are working on being healthy. I am never going to be my cute little sister (oy, I can feel the email coming!) for one thing I am nearly a foot taller than her. For another, I have always been overweight, always. It is as much a part of me as my size 12 feet, my eyes that change color, and my blue fingernails-oh wait the fingernails is another story!

I do not have a major problem with my size, which I think you might have figured out from the title of my blog. I eat well, I exercise as much as I can, and I try to take care of myself. YES, I have some serious health issues, but not ONE of them was caused by my weight struggles.

I was thin one day in my life. It was June 28, 19mumble-mumble.The day I was born I weighed 5 lbs. 2 ozs, and was 23 inches long. A tall, s-k-i-n-n-y baby girl. My baby book lists my weight at my 3 week check-up as 15 lbs. APPARENTLY I got born and discovered that there are truly calories in the air just waiting for me to breath them in.

I have always been the Giant economy size in a trial sized world. Not an easy task as a child, but I got better at it as time goes by. I had to suffer through the well meaning mistakes of parents, friends, even doctors before I was able to decide things on my own. I remember being put on a diet at 6 years old. The doctor prescribed diet pills, which back in the 50's were as we all know,pure speed, methamphetamine. They didn't work, I stayed larger than the average child, but was very likely helped towards my abuse of drugs and alcohol a few years later.

Back in the 50's kids like me were an anomaly. I really was THE fat girl in my elementary school days. I was a giant compared to all of the other little girls, and there were some Moms in the neighborhood who would not allow their children to play with me. I was this freak of nature, and they were afraid that their kids would get hurt. I have forgiven them. My dad decided that vigorous exercise was not good for me, he was truly afraid that I might have a heart attack or something. Amazing the things that we didn't know then. My dad was honestly trying to protect me.

We have learned so much about nutrition and healthy eating since then. I remember seeing a Cook book from the late 1950's. In it was a chapter on dieting. It said you must never let the dieter feel full or satisfied. Honest, that is what it said. Apparently those of us with the genetic make-up to gain weight easier must be punished. Thankfully we have come far since then. Now we know that it is never about NOT eating, it is about learning to eat well, to come into a healthy relationship with food, and exercise to keep our bodies as healthy as we can.

So yesterday I went to my Weight Watchers  meeting. Now I am a long time Weight Watchers member, have lost over 150 pounds with the WW program and recommend it highly.You should feel free to look into it if you wish. I participated in the Weight Watchers 5K on Sunday, and posted here about that. So yesterday at our meeting, exercise was the topic.Actually the excuses we all use to not exercise was the topic. Towards the end of the meeting, my leader, the amazing Jenny, asked me to speak about my health challenges and why I thought participating was so important to me. Now, I am NEVER shy about speaking in public. [if you need a  motivational speaker, let me know!!] so I shared a bit. 

As the meeting ended and I  made my way to my car, several members stopped me and thanked me. They told me I was an inspiration. "Thank you," I said, "but I am just a fat lady with a walker." It is humbling to be told that your struggles inspire someone else.I have had a chance to think about what they said to me, and isn't that what a storyteller does? So, thank you, if I can inspire you to think about getting healthier along with me I am grateful.If I can help you realize that your reality is not limited by anyone else's opinion, or anyone's imagination but your own, then I am truly thankful. Life is one choice after another, and if sharing some of my choices, the good, the bad, the ugly, inspires someone else to think about the choices they are making, then I have the inspiration I need to continue sharing. I hope I can help you imagine a world where you are all you want to be.

This is me and my WW leader, the amazing Jenny at last year's WW5K walk. She truly inspires me, and I thank her for that often!!
Peace and Blessings,
The Fat Lady!


The Muse said...

I had this strange conversation the other day with Chris, I was talking about you and I said "I really love 'the fat lady'. Chris just looked at me like I had committed some insane atrocity. Which, is weird, because when I look at your pictures, I don't see "a fat lady". I see "THE fat lady"...I actually don't see fat at all, I see one of the most amazing women I have ever been blessed to know! You have an inner light that shines through.

The Muse said...

Does that actually make sense??? LOL

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