Friday, January 4, 2013

Fat is not Failure

I am inspired to write this as I walk on the treadmill keeping healthy.  Just today someone talked to me about a weight loss contest.  Why are we so obsessed with weight?  Why do some define others by it?  Why are little girls on diets?  I would much rather have my 25 extra pounds than be super thin.  I am certain they would come in handy if I ever get sick, which seems to impact the "little" folk way more than it has impacted me. Wear clothes that fit.  Be proud. Be confident. Live life.  

Ever since I can remember people have said something to me about my weight. When I was young, adults in my family would call me fat. I prefer the term Shelley.  I am Shelley. If I ate 4 cookies it was going straight to my hips.  If I ate the whole can of beefaroni it was just packing on the pounds. But that was followed by "eat everything on your plate." WTF? If my clothes were a little tight it was time to look in the husky section.  Mrs. Hodonos and Mr. Karstens always let me know I could stand to "lose a few."  I have lost weight a few times, but was never committed to keeping it off.  My grandma teased me relentlessly about it.  God she was mean.  I wonder if she ever regretted the things she said when I was the one visiting her in the nursing home. Is it bullying if it is your family?  I was so ashamed as a child I never wanted photos taken of me.  I didn't wear swimsuits and I didn't go to the beach. What was I thinking?  What did I miss...

But this isn't a story of failure, this is a story of success.  At 46 I have become incredibly comfortable with who I am, extra weight and all.  I DO remember all the good stuff:  I got straight As.  I graduated with honors from college. I played many sports and have many trophies that show my talents.  I ran a 6.3 sec 50 yd dash - I was fast. I have been married to the same man for 24 years.  I have raised 3 amazing girls who are smart, confident, and beginning to do their own amazing things.  Weight does not define me.  I think it defines those who tortured me about it.  I am healthy. I am happy.  I have success.  To the cheerleaders who laughed at me during tryouts, yes, I would like fries with my drink.