Two weeks ago, I wrote about today’s society needing an attitude adjustment when it comes to people who are not your basic size 0 to 10. I stated that many people today look at a heavy person and immediately judge that they are slovenly, lazy and unhealthy and treat them with disgust and that I had allowed this type of attitude to rule my life. I asked everyone to take a moment and walk in my shoes. I truly expected some backlash in e-mails for being so frank and open but this truly is the way I feel and there were no negative responses.
Now it is time to address those who are overweight or obese in society. Unfortunately, I realize there are some who do send the message that we are slovenly and lazy. I am not criticizing, as I know that an overweight person’s self-esteem suffers immensely.
The mind of an overweight person is our number one downfall. It allows others to influence us in a negative way. Many suffer to a point that they no longer care for themselves at all. I had a sister-in-law who was obese. She was a very highly educated woman who was a professor at a college and a successful business woman. She dressed in suits and participated in community organizations.
Over the years, weight caught up with my sister-in-law and it succeeded in pushing down her self-esteem. She stopped wearing make-up, dressed in sweat pants and sloppy clothes. Her hair looked at if it hadn’t been combed in a week. She hardly went out of the house and barely moved off the couch. It broke my heart when her grandson visited me at the age of 6 and told me, “Aunt Sissy. You remind me of my Grammy. (I’m sure it was my size.) She used to hug me like you but then she couldn’t get her arms around me. I hope you can always get your arms around me.” I promised Cade then and there that I will always be able to get my arms around him and hug him tight. I firmly believe that my sister-in-law’s weight was the main cause of her severe depression and dependency on pain pills for a back pain. It all began with her weight.
My dear sister-in-law passed away in her 50’s. My regret is that I lived over 1,200 miles away and was not there with the knowledge that I now have with my own obesity. Maybe I could have made a difference.
If you are an overweight person, please know that you do deserve to dress up and look presentable. Do not give me the excuse that you cannot afford the clothing. Years ago we only had specialty shops to buy bigger sizes and it cost a fortune. Today I often go to Walmart or other discount stores and find very presentable clothing at prices anyone can afford. There is no excuse. Pay attention to how you look when you leave the house. I may be in sweats or shorts at home but you will never see me in shorts in public.
If you are an overweight person, please know that you have the right to go to a beauty salon to have your hair styled, nails done or a pedicure. If you go into a salon and they treat you like you don’t belong there, don’t give up. Find another salon. I once went to a salon where they made me feel like only the model, skinny types could go there. I felt the stares and no one made me feel comfortable. I kept trying until I found a salon that I was happy with.
When you are happy with someone, let them know. They don’t realize how an obese person feels in these situations. I called the owner of Cuttin Loose, Julie Nicotra, and told her that, as an obese woman, I am very insecure about going to places for personal services but her staff has always made me feel like I deserved to be there, and more importantly, that they wanted me there! That is the feeling you need to have because you deserve to be treated that way!
Finally, if you feel you cannot get out and exercise because people will laugh at you, you are so wrong! I used to panic when they would make me run in the parking lot at Boot Camp. I could just imagine people going by and laughing at the fat old lady trying to run. After starting exercising, my fears melted away. I am amazed at how many people tell me they are proud of me for getting out there and doing it. I now have developed a pride in myself for doing it as well.
Who am I to tell you? I am no one special. I don’t have all the answers but I’m learning by walking through this journey. I even decided to start wearing my beloved saddle shoes. I like them. I deserve to wear them. I was walking in your shoes last December until I decided to polish my shoes.
I am asking you to get up and try polishing your shoes. Seek out the treatment you deserve. Get off the couch and try at least one exercise to start with. Put on make-up women! Shave and put on cologne men! Get your hair done. Take stock of your wardrobe and make a mental list of what is more presentable in the public.
Polish your shoes and get out and show others how to walk in them!