Tears come from the heart and not from the brain-Leonardo da Vinci
Body shaming has come to the forefront of our society. I’ve been both guilty of body shaming and the recipient of it as well. The occurrences that happened to me took place when I was in the Army. “Pork Chop”, “Fat Ass” were just two examples of the shaming I bore the brunt of. Were the ones calling me names trying to motivate me to lose weight, or were they really just mean-spirited individuals, who found it funny to call people like me that were overweight hurtful names? I’ll never know, nor do I care anymore. Those names did motivate me to lose the weight, but, the slurs remained inside my head for quite some time. When I got out of the Army, they went away. I guess it’s because now I didn’t have to maintain a specific weight standard. I was free to live how I wanted. In the long run, it did not serve me well, as, here I am, AGAIN, working to lose the weight.
Back then, I don’t know if I would have been classified as “depressed”. I’m certain if I were, I could have been involuntarily discharged, and I didn’t want that. I was alone as far as nobody coming to my defense. Sure, I had lots of friends, but they chose to stay out of it. Some of my friends would volunteer to go with me on runs, help me to make better food choices. My friends helped me by supporting me. I was thankful for that.
Why do we as a society body shame others? Some people are just downright rude, to put it bluntly. I’m guilty of participating in such rudeness in the past. To me, I was “just joking around”, or at least that’s what I told myself. I guess I felt if I did, it would make me feel better about myself. I wasn’t fooling anyone but myself. Yes, I’ve joked in the past about my weight, because it was ME who was making fun of me, not someone else. Had that been the case, it may have made me depressed. Perhaps not in a clinical way, where I would need medication. Before I started on this journey, I was down. Down for a while. I didn’t want to do things like mowing the yard, housework, etc. My biggest complaint was “I’ll be sore from mowing” or something like that. I was letting my weight defeat me. Inspiration or motivation to lose weight can come from anywhere. Mine came from me, and my daughter-in-law and sister-in-law.
They both attend Spin classes. My sister-in-law teaches spin classes on occasion. My daughter-in-law goes to workout with me every now and then. I enjoy our time together. I hope to someday soon be able to attend and survive a spin class with them! We had a family get together for Father’s Day, and to hear them talk about spin class, and my sister-in-law talking about going out and running….it was amazing! I felt so proud of them! My sister-in-law plans to run with her oldest son’s cross country team this summer during their practices! Both of them have encouraged me indirectly to kick this weight in the butt!
My own self-determination has been a while in the making. Getting tired of not being able to tie my shoes without breathing hard because it’s difficult to bend over was one factor. Having discomfort and stiffness in my back were also a spark. I was getting tired of getting tired doing tedious tasks like tying my shoes. My weight will no longer defeat me! It’s a battle I’ve chosen to take head on! We all have our breaking point, and I found mine.
It is unnecessary to shame people. None, whatsoever! I remember a while back seeing a video of this lady talking about fat people. Some have said it was intended to be “motivational”. I disagreed. The words coming out of her mouth quickly made me mad, disgusted. Was she trying to be funny, or inspiring? I felt she was neither. I felt she was literally talking to me. I hated that video! My thought was that she was worse than the soldiers that I served with who used to say mean things to me. Some may have found her amusing, and that’s ok. After watching that video, it made me realize that shaming was a terrible thing to do. Everyday that I’m in the gym, I see fit people, and I see people who are in the same boat as me; working hard to get rid of excess weight. Kudos to them! I don’t know them personally, but I am proud of them. They’ve made a decision to take their life back!