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MY WORST "STEREOTYPE" FEARS CONFIRMED...

Monday, October 29, 2012

I typically will NOT go out of the house without hair and make-up done to my satisfaction. I feel incomplete without jewelry. And for me, jeans and a t-shirt (especially with a sweatshirt) is a sloppy day, even if each clothing item looks nice on it's own. I just like to look like a very put-together person. It's part of me. So, when I started working with a personal trainer earlier this year she asked me why I always wear make-up (and often cute little earrings) to workout. I assured her that I was not trying to impress her, nor was I trying to impress anyone at the gym. On the contrary, I was trying to avoid being judged. She's a very petite person who has never struggled with having to lose more than a few pounds, so she couldn't really understand where I was coming from in reference to being judged on that level. I told her that it was simple.

"FAT" and "SLOB" just seem to fit together. Fat people are often thought to be lazy and sloppy and not take care of themselves. I mean, if they did take care of themselves, they wouldn't be fat, right?

Danielle thought that my theory was silly and that no one was judgeing me based on my size and no one would ever think I was a fat slob. And to that I said, "That's because I always try hard to look well-dressed and well taken care of whenever I go out! I bet that would not be the case if I looked sloppy." The conversation ended there. She got used to the fact that I wore full make-up to the gym.

This past Saturday morning Joe and I went to bootcamp at our gym. It's an hour long and it's pretty tough. Good workout, though. I went, as usual, in my gym clothes - tight black spandex capri pants, a nice looking v-neck t-shirt and a zip up pink sweatshirt for afterward. I did wear full make-up and cute little opal earrings. As soon as the workout was done I took my hair out of the ponytail so it didn't make marks in my hair and surprisingly, my hair looked decent (even though it took a bit for my sweaty bangs to dry).

Afterward, I went grocery shopping. I stayed in my workout clothing thinking that I'd rather run my errands and then go home, take a shower and relax. Now, my major problem area is my stomach. The rest of me isn't small, but for a big girl I have decently shapely legs. Maybe I am dilusional about that, but I guess it's one feature that I think needs less work. So, I felt comfortable in my capris.

I'm at the grocery store and stopped in the dairy section, pulled over to the side and looked at my grocery list. Apparently, I was there too long because all of a sudden I hear, "Fat A**" from behind me.

I felt frozen.

I didn't turn around, I didn't move... I pretended not to hear.

But there were at least four other people in the aisle and I was mortified. I am certain at least a couple of them heard it.

So much for Danielle's theory that I am not being judged based on my weight. It happens every day, I'm sure. This man just had no class, but he did tell the truth. I do question if he would have said that if I had been in my gray dress pants and heels instead of spandex capris and a sweatshirt and running shoes.

The truth is hard to handle and sometimes can really pack a punch when you hear it. I am trying hard to get over that awful feeling, but I can hear his voice behind me, in my ear.

When it's hard to get up the stairs because of knee pain...
When I know how terrible I look running on that treadmill...
When I put on my clothes and see the size...
When I fold my underwear and they look so big...
When I get out of breath getting down and up from the floor to change my 2 year old's diaper...
When I look down and see my stomach just sitting there...
When I walk past skinny girls (especially the ones that claim to be fat)...
When I realize, once more, that I put myself in this place...

So, the truth is, I know that I am fat. But hearing the voice of a stranger say it in public was a harsh reality and confirmed that what I've always believed is true. I AM being judged based solely on my weight by total strangers. And what's even scarier is that I may be being judged by friends and family as well. They just have enough tact not to bring to the light the elephant in the room.

I hate being this way.
I am working toward change... it's just such a slow process...

On a positive note - I was encouraged by my hubby to make this little motivational project that I saw on Pinterest. They're called Motivation Marbles.



Twelve little pebbles moved so far, hoping for 14 by next Saturday.

"What defines us is how well we rise after falling."
Mentally, a bit fallen.
But physically - still rising...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CAROLFAITHWALKR
    Great motivational marbles, thanks for showing them.

    You said, " . . . but he did tell the truth".

    I have a problem with that. I grew up without social graces / social skills. I learned laaaaaaaaate in life, like 45, to screen your comments before you say them. And one important thing about truth telling, to ask yourself before you say it is, "Is it kind?" It must be true, ANNNNNNNNNND, it must be kind. Kindness is not optional. So truth is not enough. The fact that it is true, does not redeem it or excuse it or validate it in any way, shape, or form. Jesus would have NEVER said it.

    Truth is just ONE OF, not THE, criteria.

    I would have been mortified, too. In fact, that guy sounds like the old me - no social graces / no social skills, just stuck on his own needs to get through the store asap and POed at anyone getting in his way or slowing him down; i.e., being a *ITCH. Impatient, selfish, and rude.

    Covering up an inferiority complex, by exhibiting a superiority complex.

    Good for you for pretending not to hear it. No telling what he looked like, himself. Or smelled like. And even if he looked like the cover of GQ, even then beauty is as beauty does. Impatient, selfish and rude is ugly, not beautiful. When he acted ugly, he planted seed for a hundred-fold return of ugliness to be heaped upon him.

    I lost some weight with WDW but gained it back. The Step Diet and the No S Diet (neither of which are really diets), are what work for me.
    2901 days ago
  • NIKKICOLE83
    Sister, I am so sorry you had to experience that. You could have been dressed in a ball gown and that jackass still would have had a foul mouth. You are beautifully amazing. Don't let him stop your shine.

    I am with you. I rarely leave the house without "my face on" as my aunt Gwen says and my earrings. It makes me feel good. You will find that the more weight you lose and the more comfortable you feel with your body, you wont require as much to feel good about yourself.

    I have seen the marble idea on Pinterest and I keep forgetting to start it but now that it is fresh in my mind, I think I am going for it.
    2950 days ago
  • KATHY-FREDERICK
    Ooo...Love the motivation marbles. With my luck, my toddler would find them and they'd be gone.

    I'm sorry for the mean comment by that jerk. That's his issue, not yours. You're working hard, what does he know.
    2950 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/29/2012 3:46:29 PM
  • ZIRCADIA
    Those motivation marbles are cool!!!! :D

    I CAN't BELIEVE YOU RUDE AND MEAN PEOPLE ARE. UGh. Sorry you had to experience that.
    2950 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8634484
    The difference is that you can diet, and you've got a lovely nature and shapely legs now, whereas he'll always be an ignorent p***k!

    Excuse my language!
    emoticon
    2950 days ago
  • SHANSHE
    People are so rude and I have to question if this man might not call everyone a fat A**. Seriously, no matter their size, I have seen it done before and to SKINNY people, so I think i agree with everyone else, that people who have been hurt are the ones who hurt other people so viciously! I am so glad you are moving on though and Joe is awesome to encourage you in the marble project!!! I think I might do that myself!!! I LOVE it!

    Keep working hard Sarah, you are doing so well, let that remark FUEL you on to the greatness you already are!

    Love ya,
    Shan
    2950 days ago
  • PERFECTLY_LIFE
    All I can say is that you are moving your ass, and that person is a dumb ass and they will NEVER be able to change that!
    Great idea on the motivational marbles!
    Keep doing your thing!

    2950 days ago
  • ERIN1957
    Hurting people hurt people.
    The remarks he made to you are the reflections of him and not you. He didn't seek you out, you were just convenient. An easy target, what could you say, that would have taken his power away and empowered you instead? Cutting him to the quick would have only been bringing you down to his level of ugliness.
    Once I was faced with something similar in a small crowded post office. A woman called me fat and right to my face and very loud. I felt ill and so ashamed I wanted to cry, everyone looked at me as an audience would, awaiting a fight perhaps, maybe entertainment seeing if the fat woman would sit on top of the skinny woman. But something welled up in me and I replied " I know, you should have seen me before I lost 70 pounds, it has been hard, but because of your influence today I will try so much harder." The crowd applauded and cheered me on. It was a true moment of victory. But afterwards I felt bad, for the woman as she coward out of the building. Poor person she must have had such a cold heart, and had to have had hurt in her life somewhere. She had to have been abused to have slashed out at a complete stranger. Her life probable truly sucked and mine is OK. I know who I am and I am OK. You sound as if you are too!
    2950 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    That Motivation Marble project is so eloquently simple but powerful!!! Great idea.

    As for that man, well, all I can say is bet he wouldn't say to to his sister, daughter, wife, Mom, Grandmom! Try to let it go. I just always feel people like that feel so insecure in themselves, the only way they can "feel better" is by making someone else feel bad.

    I am short -- 4 ft. 10.5 in. and weighed at least 200 lbs. prior to joining SP. I was too afraid to weigh myself, but by the time I joined SP I'd lost @ least 20 lbs. My point . . . I was short and fat and nobody had to TELL me that . . . I already knew it very well! I just feel people who had to point it out to me were not even worth the time of day to respond to except with silence and walking away.

    Stay the path, honey. You will do it . . . you ARE doing it. You ARE awesome.

    HUGS and keep drssing and doing what makes you feel comfortable. I'm in your camp. Never EVAH leave the house not dressed as nicely as possible and at least with lipstick on so I don't looked washed out.


    2950 days ago
  • -POOKIE-
    You can choose to look at it another way.

    I know my ass is fat right now, and well, you said it yourself, yours is too.

    I was bullied a lot at college, one day on being called a fat cow for refusing to help one of my bullies on the stairs when he dropped stuff a teacher had sent him on an errand for...
    "fat cow!!

    "yup!" and I smiled sweetly and walked off.
    2950 days ago
  • SFREY217
    Thank you for being strong and sharing this story. Some people will judge you no matter what size you are. I once had someone call me fat when I was only 125 pounds. (that's fifty pounds less than now and almost 100 pounds less than when I started sparkpeople a year ago) I find the people who judge the most are the ones who are the most insecure themselves. So just consider the source, and keep up all the good work that you are doing.
    2950 days ago
  • REVIVED
    gosh, im so sorry that that happened to you. i know exactly how you feel with that fear of being judged thing. There's nothing we can really do about people's perceptions i guess. Its just awesome that you dont let it hold you back. You gotta start somewhere. I've lost 45lbs now - still have a ways to go- but i can definitely attest to the fact that i started to feel more confident the more i lost. So just keep your eye on the prize.
    2950 days ago
  • SWEETLIPS
    I appreciate this share as it is difficult sometimes to come to terms with things, BUT ( you should have know what that was coming, well, we don't know each yet, so I will let it slide emoticon ) What that man did is called abuse - and no one deserves that. I have adapted this and I hope it will help you as you grow into your glow - Don't let people with dirty feet walk through your mind. I am sure that if you chose too in that very moment, you could have dressed him down for his negatives, one of course was his mouth. That would not have been necessary and what I read is that is not you. Understand that people who make those unsolicited comments typically are unhappy people, overly sensitive and insensitive to others needs, wants and desires.

    You are beautiful, I see it in your writing, your family is beautiful and your husband and you love one another. Love you - the greatest gift you can give you is that, so today on my birthday, I give you the gift of love, for the strength that you have shown, for your character of integrity and most of all for your faith walk - it will see you through. I have been taught that on my birthday to give gifts and so I hope you like it. God Bless.

    BTW - I make soap - well not in a moment, but starting back up soon. Do you have a website?
    2950 days ago
  • HELLENACKERMAN
    OMG I love the motivation marbles!!! I'm so stealing this idea!! Ignore that ass in line behind you at the grocery store! My guess is, if you had turned around to look at him, he was overweight and slobish himself. And the others around you that heard it and were staring were probably ready to attack him but didn't want to stir the pot more if you were willing to move on.
    2950 days ago
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