Shades of Kindness

This week, I was reminded that I am still fat. It’s been a while since I was really out and about in public. With Covid’s stay-at-home orders and then not working outside the home now I really haven’t been going anywhere. And while I am an outgoing person, I am really more than fine with just staying at home. There is a certain stigma that comes with being a very large person. It’s something that I think you have to experience first hand to really know what I am talking about. All of us at some point in our lives have been discriminated against or thought less of because of something that may be different about us. We are seeing this play out on a large stage right now. What is happening, in regards to the violence and rioting, in my opinion, is in no way right or OK. And, in the same way, neither is the mistreatment of another human REGARDLESS of why it is happening . . . race, class, religion or otherwise. I don’t even know that what I have dealt with is considered a “thing” or not. But that doesn’t stop it from happening and from hurting a little.

Here is what happened. I went to Dollar General here in town for a few things. I couldn’t find paper towels on Costco’s website. No biggie. I decided to go to the store to get them. I also wanted to purchase a new bottle of fingernail polish. What I have is really quite old as I had been getting my nails done for about 18 months. My nails are terrible after not being able to get them done and then working as much outside as we have. Anyway, I went to the beauty care section. It didn’t take long as they had nothing to choose from. I picked up a couple bottles of this and that, you know, just checking things out. There were a couple gals in the aisle with me. This is really difficult to explain – not because it hurts or anything like that, but because if you’ve never had it happen to you, you don’t know what you don’t know . . . but I am going to try . . . there have been times when I have seen someone looking at me in a way that is not a “normal” glance or attentive, conversational look. I have seen people turn their gaze from my face in a conversation to my large upper arms as I raise my hands or extend an arm during a story I am telling (yes, I talk with my hands . . . ).  I have seen them look sideways at me in different situations. Maybe some of it is my perception. But I do believe it is more real than not. There are so many instances of these types of “looks” I really can’t explain them all. And in each of them I felt bad. Not just because I felt their judgment . . . in whatever form that came in . . . but because I always assumed it made me a bad person in some way who needed to apologize for the inconvenience of making them come to conclusions about myself and my size. Like if I wasn’t fat then they wouldn’t be condemning me for whatever it was . . . being in the snack aisle at the store because my husband asked for Swiss Rolls or getting a piece of cheesecake at our favorite restaurant because I had lost 100 pounds and was celebrating that or my standing in the larger clothing section of the store when a year ago I couldn’t have FOUND clothes that even FIT me in that store. You never know what someone is dealing with or has dealt with or what they may be going through. While someone is looking at me thinking about how big I am or that the choice of my dessert is the last thing I need, I was probably thinking at the same time how happy I am to have arrived at the place I am now and how proud I am at how far I’ve come. 

I am not telling you this because I want you to feel sorry for me. I am the one who gained all the weight I did. That’s on me. And I am fine with that. And I am taking the right steps to course correct. But I am telling you this in hopes that it inspires even more kindness in you. When I see a “person of size” anywhere I always feel a sense of sadness come over me because I get it. I get it. I want to walk up to them and tell them that I understand what they feel on a daily basis. I know what they feel when they wake up and hurt all over because their big bodies have overwhelmed their small bones and muscles. I know what it’s like to get that favorite pair of pants out of the closet only to have to “suck it up” even more than they did the last time they wore them and then make a mental note that they can’t dry them in the dryer anymore if they want to be able to sit in them. I know what they feel when they sit down to eat and have the thought that they shouldn’t eat all that’s on their plate but then the desire to do just that and the internal struggle they feel of “what will people think if I DO eat all that’s on my plate” vs. “I don’t care what others think” . . . I know what they are feeling when they have this overriding need to apologize for being a large person taking up space in a world that is not always as kind as it should be. Even the need to apologize for just existing and the perceived inconvenience they are. I know what they feel when they go to bed at night feeling like they aren’t even sure they want to live another day because they feel like they are incapable of making a difference in the lives of other people or impacting our world for good because no one notices them and those that do notice them for the wrong reasons. I know what they feel when they want to be healthier, smaller, better, but don’t know what to do or where to start. I want to tell them that they are as smart and capable and kind and caring as they want to be. They need to know that just because people bring along their own misconceptions of who they are or what their character is made of because they are big doesn’t mean it changes who they truly are. Yeah, it hurts, but it doesn’t define them. It’s these people I want to help. 

I have been/am on a mission to change my life and I pray that through these changes other people are inspired to change their lives as well. It’s not always easy. Real growth never is. I want to leave a legacy of love and caring and showing Jesus to a world that is hurting now more than ever before. My hope this week as I write this is that we all find kindness and compassion for others. Know that when we look at someone we are only seeing a fraction of their story. It’s hard not to jump to conclusions or make assumptions. But we just can’t afford to do that. It isolates people who are most likely already feeling isolated and alone to begin with. I know. I have been there. I don’t ever want to be the reason someone feels like they are “less than” in our world. I want them to feel accepted and loved . . . in whatever way they need. I believe that we can all make a difference in the life of someone who needs us. And I pray that we would want to. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

4 thoughts on “Shades of Kindness

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