My truth, my weight doesn’t bother me. It’s not that I’m fat, it’s that it doesn’t bother me. It’s supposed to, right?
As an elementary recess aid, I occasionally had to put a kid who had gotten too rough with another child at the wall. They have to stand there and lose recess time. While walking away angry I heard a boy mumble something about my double size shirt. The immediate response by the girls following me was, “Ooooohhhh, are you going to let him talk to you like that?! He just called you fat!” My response, “I am a happy, confident woman. It does not bother me, what he says.” The look on the girls’ faces was a mix of disbelief and awe. I will not soon forget it. That is a different voice than what they normally hear.
I walked into the doctor’s office slightly fearful and mostly out of a sense of obligation. It had been awhile since I had a check-up, and I knew I should have some blood work done. I am overweight, so I must have something wrong with me. Every feeling of sickness or muscle tightness, made me nervous, it must be my weight. Diabetes and high blood pressure do run in my family, and I was afraid to go and face that truth myself. Blood taken, results in, normal levels. My cholesterol is good, in fact my good cholesterol levels are high. My blood sugar is good, no diabetes. My thyroid is good. All signs on paper point to normal healthy levels. I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know if there are nuances they could see in the numbers that I can’t, but without my weight on the paper, you would just see a healthy person.
One of my co-workers and I were making small talk about the beautiful weather and beach season fast approaching. He mentioned how we should take advantage of this time outside and walk the perimeter of the recess area to get in shape. I could see him get slightly uncomfortable saying it, when he looked over and remembered who he was talking to, but he pushed through, and continued to say, “It would be nice to lose some weight before summer, right?” I just kind of laughed and nodded in agreement. What I wish I said, which would have been more truthful than my agreement, is that I am going to dive into my week at the beach and enjoy every minute of it, regardless of how I look. If I had only spoke up.
My husband and I have been married for 14 years now. Many stresses and four kids later we are here, getting through and continuing to grow together. We still have amazing sex, maybe not as often as we would like, but amazing. I was skinny, he was skinny. I was skinny, he was fat. I was fat, he was skinny. I was fat, he was fat. We’ve been all of those things. What we have not been is un-attracted to each other. What we have not been is unable to enjoy each other. It has been just as wonderful in every scenario.
All of my friends are skinny. They may not believe it, but they are. And all of my friends are also loving and encouraging. I am blessed that way. I am surrounded by women who build each other up. That includes a regular flow of encouragement about health issues, eating right, being green and exercising regularly. That exchange of information is good, and pats on the back for jobs well done are common. I wonder what they think about me? Have I just given up? Am I just lazy?
During indoor recess, while watching a movie in the school auditorium, a girl began to throw paper at another girl. By this time of year, I’d learned this girl does not handle correction well, but her behavior was not acceptable. As I asked her to get up and move, she yelled at the top of her lungs a couple swear words and called me a fat pig. Well, my boss came the rescue and took her off for discipline and a chat with the school counselor. A little bit later she came to apologize to me, and I got to speak with her for a minute in the counselor’s office. I thanked her for the apology, reminded her of the behavior I expect in the auditorium, and told her she was beautiful. I told her, her words didn’t bother me, because I am beautiful and so is she.
I play soccer with my kids, I hike with my family, I am active every day. I go to the beach and jump in the ocean and play in the sand for hours at a time. I spend time with friends. What I don’t do is worry. Worry about my weight. Worry what I look like. Worry if other people are staring. I spent far too much time and energy doing that during my teen years. I won’t do it now.
My truth, my weight doesn’t bother me. Should it?
Heather has been married to her wonderful youth pastor husband, Matthew, for 14 years. She’s mom to four active, fun-loving boys, homeschools her oldest, leads a seventh grade girl’s small group, and enjoys being a leader in the Brandywine Valley Baptist Church MOPS group of Wilmington, Delaware. Good or bad, her life is full of joy, and never boring!