Fat

Ok, I don’t normally talk about my weight/body online. I stay out of wedding gown sizing discussions and body issue talks because I get the standard “you’re thin, your opinion doesn’t count” responses. I get it. It’s hard to believe that someone who is your opposite (in your eyes) can sympathize with you.

But let’s get real.

I’m 5’7″, I weigh anywhere between 125 and 135 depending on the time of the month, and I wear a size 4. At my heaviest (in high school) I was 165 lbs. At my lightest (due to massive illness and EXTREMELY dangerous) I was just under 100 lbs. I recognize and acknowledge that I am VERY blessed to have genetics pre-disposed to keeping me relatively thin. People repeatedly refer to me as “tiny”, but then are shocked to discover my clothes fit them.

I don’t use scales, but measure my shape by if my clothing fits or not. And when my body decided it was most comfortable to sit 5 lbs heavier than it did when I was 23 I just rolled with it.

At the same time … I have heavy thighs and hips that will definitely help with childbirth. When I put weight on, I generally do so between my knees and chest. Whatever, it’s how I do. I’m not EVER going to look good in a pair of leggings or skinny jeans, and that’s ok.

My husband is a runner. He’s currently training for a marathon. I think he’s crazy, but running’s his thing. Enough so, that it’s inspired me to start. Anyone who’s been over here knows my plan is to build up enough stamina to run a 10k the same day as his first marathon. Right now I’m only at day 2 of my learning-to-run quest, so it’s mostly walking. 30 seconds of running to every 4.5 minutes of walking, to be specific. Over the course of 50 minutes, that’s 3 miles. Not too shabby for only being on day 2, hmm?

Last night, I was on one of three treadmills in the “fitness center” of our apartment building. Both of the others were being used (it was an unusually busy night). About 30 minutes in, another girl comes in. She’s clearly a runner (complete with some college’s track team shorts). She spends the next 20 minutes sighing and glaring at me. When I finished my workout and got off the treadmill she immediately came up to me and said:

“Look, you fat bitch. If you’re just going to be walking the whole time you don’t deserve to take up a treadmill for so long. Your fat ass can walk somewhere else.”

::blinks::

I’m sorry. What?!

The guy who’d been running next to me stopped his treadmill and looked like he was about ready to throttle her. I responded:

“Sweetheart, you don’t know the FIRST thing about me. I’d appreciate it if you’d just continue your workout without bothering anyone.”

She continued to get in my face, repeatedly calling me “fat” and “bitch” (she was barely 5 feet tall and probably weighed about 100 lbs). I shook my head at her, picked up my water bottle, and left.

And then cried telling the husband about it.

WHAT. THE. EFF. is wrong with people? Where is this sense of entitlement and I’m-better-than-you mentality coming from? Where have we, as a society, gone so far off the mark that people think it’s OK to berate someone for making them wait, or because of how they look? It saddens me that people seem to be lacking basic decency, and disgusts me that we have a society that will continue to tell those people they are right in whatever they do. Lord, look at Jersey Shore. These kids have made HUGE names for themself by having gaudy fashion sense and being asshats to everyone outside their little group.

I need to make clear here, I am not taking what she threw at me as the truth. I know that no matter how stupid I looked in those workout pants (heavy thighs after all), I am not fat. I cried because it was flat-out mean. And it’s made me a little skittish around people, for fear of another confrontation.

What people keep seeming to miss is that we’re all in this TOGETHER. With encouragement and support instead of ridicule and malice, we can get so, so far.

So, who out there can relate in some way? Let’s open it up. Weight. Fitness. Confrontation. Perception. Who has something to share?

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15 Comments to “Fat”

  1. I am so blown away by this that I don’t even know if I can say anything else.

    some. people.

    I wish i could retaliate for you.

  2. SERIOUSLY THIS IS RIDICULOUS WHAT IS HER PROBLEM.

    Sorry for the all caps, but this girl just makes me want to scream. It’s hard to deal with that kind of meanness (pure evil?) but I admire you for handling it the way you did.

  3. Unbelievable.

    It’s strange – I was overweight in middle school and high school, and somehow I got really lucky, and was never, ever picked on for my weight. I have no idea how it happened, but I’m so grateful to have come away unscathed.

    What upsets me about this isn’t that she called you fat, because you’re not. It’s like someone calling you blonde. It’s just sort of absurd. What’s so upsetting about it is that she called you fat because we intrinsically make judgments about fat that we don’t make about blonde, or green-eyed, or whatever, and so its become an insult instead of a description. She said it entirely to hurt your feelings, and there’s something so wrong about making a perfect stranger feel bad just because she didn’t get her way.

    People like that only make the world harder to live in, and it’s horrible that you know she lives in the same building as you. There’s no need to bring negativity like that into your homespace. (And, on a practical note, even though I would *never* say something that mean to someone, if I did, I probably wouldn’t do it at home. What if she gets caught in the elevator with you, and she’s having a fat day? That would just make her a really easy target.)

    Sorry you had to deal with that, lady, and I hope it doesn’t turn you off from running!

  4. I’m seriously in shock about this and cannot for the life of me understand why someone would do that. I’m… I’m…. I don’t know what to say. Sorry that’s all I have to contribute. Some people are appalling. Wow.

  5. I am so enraged just reading this right now. I just cannot believe that ANYONE would have the gall to act like this. Definitely with you on wondering what is happening to our society!

  6. “Where is this sense of entitlement and I’m-better-than-you mentality coming from? Where have we, as a society, gone so far off the mark that people think it’s OK to berate someone for making them wait, or because of how they look?”

    THIS. I think, and this is only after about 5 minutes of pondering, that we’re in a very strange place in terms of behavior and courtesy right now. Part of me kind of thinks we need to bring scrapping back. Not with weapons, obvi, but I dunno, as much as I admire your restraint, I think maybe that girl could’ve used a slap. I can’t even fathom what kind of indulgent childhood would teach someone that it’s OK to speak to insult a random stranger doing nothing wrong like that…but whatever it is, it seems to be becoming a growing problem. How do those of us who “know better” actually teach them a lesson without going against our own codes of civility?

    • Oh, she definitely could have used a slap. I’m pretty proud of myself for not. But yes, I agree. There was something so good in childhood about having an arguement that turned to a physical fight … you rolled around kicking and punching for a while, and then got back to being the best of friends.

      As for her … I’m actually glad I can’t understand it. It makes me feel better about my upbringing.

  7. I once had a random woman scream at me for an extended period of time that I was a fat c#nt who needed to move out of her way on the L in Chicago. It was so jarring, and she was obviously so irrational and full of hate that there was nothing I could do to make her stop. The whole train stared as she berated me and my fat ass and pulled about every swear word she could come up with at me. Afterward I was shaking, even though I knew she was gone and I was safe.

    I don’t really have any good piece of advice for dealing with these sort of people. Other than to say that you totally didn’t deserve that and that I’m sending hugs your way.

  8. Oh my god. This is awful. I would have burst into tears right in front of her, you did so well to hold it together. I’m completely shocked that anyone would behave like that!! I don’t have anything helpful to add, just that I’m so sorry this happened, and I hope it won’t stop you from going back down there and kicking ass on that treadmill.

  9. What she did was completely uncalled for. She should have just waited her turn, or come back another time, like any other sane person would have. For her to fly off the handle like that says way more about her, and obviously she has some image issues she needs to work on.

    I’m sorry she was so nasty to you. That would have shaken me up too!

  10. I’ve been thinking about this since yesterday and I have a few thoughts –

    (1) I once had a drunk girl yell at me suddenly, calling me a f*cking liar repeatedly, over winning a bottle of whiskey at a white elephant exchange. It made me cry (and I’m not a crier) because I was just so shocked at the whole thing. I was thinking – “But I’m not a liar! You’re making no sense! Also this is really stupid! How do I respond to this!?” Dealing with irrational people who don’t adhere to social norms (ie. yelling obscenities randomly at people) is really upsetting on a basic level. There’s probably some kind of sociology research on this, I bet.

    (2) It makes me really sad that there are people who think that “fat” is the worst thing to call someone. I mean, seriously? To me that reveals so much about the messed up things that are probably going on in that girl’s head. You clearly aren’t fat (not that it would be okay if you were) so to me, it shows that she has some really warped things going on inside her. Sadly, this reminds me of some people I know, who all happen to have a lot of self-loathing lurking beneath the surface.

    (3) The world needs to take note that #TBCB is on call, and we will come and punch you in the face if you mess with one of us : )

  11. I cannot believe this.

    I hate her and hope she gets syphilis.

  12. FUCK HER. This makes me blind with rage.

    I’ve never had the really blunt stuff happen to me. It’s all insidious.

    Carson has some of his best friends who get two beers in and then repeatedly tell him that he’s fat and they’re telling him this ‘for his health’. They also buy me gym memberships. Now we’re not top of the fitness, but we’re healthy and happy. They’re smart enough to never tell him this around me, because I won’t tolerate that for one hot second.

  13. People are jerks. Insecure, over entitled, rude, petty jerks. It seems to be the attitude that society encourages.
    Hopefully when I have children I will be able to beat in some good old fashioned southern manners, because if any child of mine ever acted that way I would be the one slapping them into next Sunday.

    I oddly have the complete opposite experience in working out. I get creepy amounts of over encouragement. I am not sure if I just look that lost and incompetent when it comes to working out, or if people are just impressed my fat ass is making the effort, but they are always super nice. Honestly it bothers me a little. Strange women on the elliptical next to me randomly telling me how good I am doing, or giving me tips on keeping my heartrate down (which is futile because I have a naturally rapid heartrate), or commenting on being impressed with the readouts on my monitor is a little unsettling. Not as unsettling as the really pretty muscular men stopping to correct my form while I am on the weight machines though. That is just a little embarrassing because I am hot and sweaty and obviously have no clue what I am doing, and they look like Adonis and are working out with Barbie.

    • It’s never ok to comment on someone else’s workout. I mean, I glance at people’s monitors, but only to check what speed they’re going (because I’m still trying to find a good speed) … and I’d NEVER say something about it to them. Offering help or encouragement is great IF I ACTUALLY KNOW YOU. If I don’t know you from Eve, keep your mouth shut. Nice or not, it’s uncomfortable.

      Clearly, you’re more diplomatic about this than I am. ::winks::

      I think the closest I’ve ever come to commenting on someone else’s workout was last night when I handed the guy next to me (who I’d been matching strides with, though he was running MUCH faster than I was, ah treadmills) my water bottle. He was running flat out as fast as he could, and looking longingly at the water cooler in the corner, not willing to jump off to go grab a drink. I may have been out of line, but he seemed grateful. And I DEFINITELY wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t been so obviously wanting a drink.

      And the Adonis and Barbie comment made me laugh hysterically. But it’s SO. TRUE.

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