When I was morbidly obese there were several incidents where innocent children spoke the absolute truth about me. One time, I was standing at the appointment window of my oldest daughter’s pediatrician’s office when I heard a little child say clear as a bell, “Mommy, do you see the fattest lady in the world?”
I looked around to see who the fattest lady in the world was – and apparently it was me. The little girl had her finger pointed right at me and my big yellow floral jumper. I whirled back around and tried to pretend I didn’t hear or see her. But inside my heart started beating fast and I felt like I was going to pass out. How embarrassing to have that little girl say outloud what I KNEW everyone in the room must have already thought.
Another time I was in the church nursery watching the five-year-olds during the service and a little guy named Caleb said, “Miss Diane, why are you so fat?” I laughed and said I didn’t know. He then went on, “My mom says you must be fat because all you do is sit around and eat.” I stood there and looked at that little guy. I smiled on the outside but on the inside I was crushed. Did his mom really say that about me? Quite possibly she did, since kids that age often repeat what they’ve heard at home.
There were many other times kids said mean things to me unintentionally, but I’ll spare you those incidents for now. I feel like I reacted gracefully to those comments. After all, they were children and I know that my kids have said some things to other people I wished they hadn’t. So I wasn’t mad at the kids at all.
I was mad at myself. I knew those kids were right. I was fat and obese and every other proper or improper word you labeled large people with. But at the same time that I knew that fact, I felt helpless to change my path.
It was so hard to hear the truth and feel like I couldn’t do anything about it. Instead of running home and trying to workout to one of my Richard Simmon’s Sweatin’ to the Oldie DVD’s, I went home and made a sweet treat for myself. I tried to drown the truth in chocolate but it didn’t work.
I did learn that mean comments and remarks weren’t motivating to me. They didn’t motivate me to change, but instead motivated me to eat. I hope that you’ve never had comments made about you that hurt your feelings. If you have – I’m sorry.
Do snide comments or remarks motivate you or discourage you? Diane