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Old 12-27-2005, 04:39 AM   #1
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Angry Why can't people just mind their own business?

I have been going on nice long walks lately as part of my exercise. Two of the three walks I've had since I started this last week, someone has made some remark to me. Okay, I realize I weigh 300lbs, I'm an easy target. But , people! One guy asked me while I was sitting on a rock on a hiking path (after walking 2 miles on a treacherous path, mind you) if I was "having fun." I said I was having a great time. He said, "Yeah, right, just keep trying to convince me of that." I whipped around and said, "Well I think after two miles on this path every hiker knows is a hard one, I don't need to convince you of s**t." He looked at me funny and walked on. UGH. Then today while hiking another trail, I had someone look at me and say, "Don't worry, you've only got another two miles of this trail left. Hope you can make it!" And then laughed. Let me just say that I did not appear at all like I was struggling or anything. Because well, I wasn't struggling (until I had an asthma attack but that was much further down the trail). What, because I'm fat I automatically am not going to be able to anything? I suppose if it was up to these people, I'd be bedridden and placed out of society permanently.

I've also had total strangers ask me why I'm so fat. I've had people who I was having perfectly innocent conversations with about my professional field ask how it is that someone can work in the medical profession and still be fat. As I was searching for a response, they even went on to ask me if I even "bother" to eat better and exercise!!! I was about to punch that little but my name was called, as it was my turn AT THE SALON! Yes, a simple Fantastic Sams appointment brought about this stimulating dialogue.

I've had punk teenage boys yell "Fat ***!" and "fat *****!" to me more times than I can count.

I don't get it. I don't even LOOK at people anymore and give them the chance to speak to me. I don't make small talk anymore because i'm afraid it'll just lead to another insult. When someone attempts to chat me up in a line somewhere, I ignore them. I hate to be a ***** like that, but I'm completely defensive after putting up with years of crappy remarks.

I hate how being this size in this society makes me feel and the kind of person it turns me into. I don't want to be withdrawn, antisocial, and bitter towards people. It's not me... not the me that's buried under 300lbs of fat anyway.

Now I just feel like not even going out to walk again. Another side of me, who has a very " YOU! I'LL SHOW YOU! type of attitude wants to do them more, get this weight off me, and not have to live with the abuse anymore. On any given day, either one has a 50/50 chance of being my attitude.

Now that I have vented to you poor people, can anyone relate?
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Old 12-27-2005, 08:11 AM   #2
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Yes indeed, I can relate! It doesn't happen as openly as it used to, but it still happens. Obese people are the last acceptable "minority" to be openly discriminated against. Have you seen the "fat suit investigations" that have been going on lately--one was done by Tyra Banks, the other by a reporter from Entertainment Tonight? Google them and read it.....the results shouldn't surprise you. The thin women that were put in the fat suits now have a glance of the world through our eyes.

That all being said, I agree with your " 'em" attitude. People feel the need to be mean to others that are not like them to make them feel better about themselves. Remember, THEY'RE the one with the problem, not YOU.

I would do one of two things:
1. Arm myself with snappy comebacks (the one you did was a good one!)
2. Kill them with kindness. Give them a smile or a laugh. Show them that their words do not hurt you. If they see it doesn't affect you they will shut the heck up and leave you alone.

Do whatever works for you, but don't let the cruelty of strangers keep you from your goals. If you stop walking because of stupid jerks like the ones you've encountered, THEY WIN.
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Old 12-27-2005, 10:37 AM   #3
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I am not here to defend the morons who ask why you are fat, how you can be in the medical profression and still be fat, or the immature teenagers who clearly need a good knot yanked in their heads.

I do, however, want to offer another take on the comments made to you while you were out hiking. I've had similar things said to me while I was out exercising. It is still my knee jerk reaction to think I'm being attacked because of my weight. But, then I remember that I'm not actually fat anymore. My sister is skinny (not "thin", SKINNY) and the same things are said to her. I have come to honestly believe that in most athletic/fitness type settings people saying something like, "Having fun?" is friendly banter. When the guy said, "Yeah, just keep trying to convince me of that." he may very well have been implying that he knew it was a tough trail and HE wasn't having a great time trying to conquer it. I don't think these people are trying to be cruel. In fact, most people who are interested in their own fitness are almost always glad to see those of us who need it the most out exercising. The problem is that if they've never been overweight they have no idea how their comments come across to someone who is.

Of course, I can't know for sure the intent of the people you met on that trail. And I am certainly not trying to discount the feelings you had when you spoke with them. I'm just trying to offer a different perspective since I've had the same conversations as a fat person and as a thinner one.

At any rate, you are working hard and getting results so just keep doing what you know works and let everyone else out there think/say what they want. You are doing GREAT!
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Old 12-27-2005, 10:43 AM   #4
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Hey mad scientist....I totally agree with everything you just said. I don't think I have been so openly confronted with remarks, but one that does stand out in my mind is when my daughter came home one day from school and said there one of her "friends" and said to her...why is your mom so fat, she weighs like 350 pounds, now this remark had my daughter crying...now just think how that made me feel.

One come back you could use...though I know it is juvenile...is....
When someone says stuff like that..."your fat"...and such...you could look them square in the eyes and say.."yeah I am fat, but I can lose this weight if I choose, but unfortunately you will always be ugly, now have yourself a great day now..ya hear"...then walk off.

Or you could just say...."Your ignorant"...

Sigh....yes this is the last "minority" that it seems to be politically correct to verbally abuse.

The world is full of mean, abusive ignorant people hon,,,,,you keep that walking up though...you are sooooooo worth it...and piss on the ones who don't "get it", they don't count anyway.

Now perk up,,,(chin up)...and have a great day.

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Old 12-27-2005, 10:51 AM   #5
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Isn't Colorado the leanest state? I can see why if public mockery of the obese is commonplace there.

I am surprised people have that attitude with you when you are out there exercising. I could sort of understand them THINKING along those lines if someone my size elbowed them out of the way at an all-you-can-eat buffet, or they were wedged in next to me on a long plane ride and i asked for a seconf meal from the flight attendant, but I would think they would be a little more positive since you are actually out there trying to improve yourself. Don't let them chase you off the hiking trails.

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Old 12-27-2005, 10:55 AM   #6
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mad scientist....Hi - I like Jawsmoms outlook on what those folks said to you. And then the teenagers - well they are teenagers. I know when I was in my teens I did some pretty mean stuff (not calling anyone fat BUT)....
The really important thing is that you keep up doing all the right stuff and your payoff will show all the 'meanies' that you are a winner. The difference will be that when you are thin and see a overweight person on that trail that you will smile and say something really nice.
Don't let the flakes of the world get you down...just stay on trail...
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Old 12-27-2005, 11:18 AM   #7
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I've had that happen to me before too. I was walking my dog several years ago and some jackass yelled "Out walking your boyfriend?" When I say several years ago it was more like 10, and I still remember everything about that moment. I was crushed. I'm sorry it happened to you too.
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Old 12-27-2005, 11:22 AM   #8
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There are just too many people in the world that think that their words are worth hearing. I was referred to one day as the "girl that doesn't look like she needs a lunch." Sweet, she referred to me as a girl!
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Old 12-27-2005, 12:20 PM   #9
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When I was a kid, I got all the comments. Many kids were very cruel to me. I don't usually get them now, probably because I am tall as well so I am maybe not as wide, and also because maybe people around here are a bit more polite about that kind of thing. Anyway I know how you feel, and it's horrible. But don't let it stop you.

Yesterday I was shopping with my friend who is skinny as a rail and recently lost about 40 lbs. We were in the bookstore and she said to me "hey look, 'change your life in 28 days' is on sale!" as an offhand comment to me. I know she thinks I will never lose weight. I was thinking screw you, I've already lost over 20 lbs, you just haven't noticed yet! We can do this, we just gotta keep going.
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Old 12-27-2005, 12:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawsmom
"Having fun?" is friendly banter. When the guy said, "Yeah, just keep trying to convince me of that." he may very well have been implying that he knew it was a tough trail and HE wasn't having a great time trying to conquer it.

This was my thought too, upon reading about your hikes. The other stuff well that's cruel, or rude or both!
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Old 12-27-2005, 01:50 PM   #11
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I'm with the kill them with kindness crowd. Smiling sweetly and wishing someone well after you've been insulted always makes people more uncomfortable than showing they've gotten to you.

Lately though, I've realized that not all of the comments that I took badly when I was heavier had anything to do with my weight. Things like waitresses asking me if I want diet syrup. That used to make me feel terrible in a restaurant. But, it's so funny, people still ask me that all the time. It's a good reminder that it's not always about *me*
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Old 12-27-2005, 02:10 PM   #12
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I tend to agree with Jawsmom too. Although I don't know for sure, it doesn't seem like the comments you described were meant to be taken the way you did. That would explain why that one guy looked at you strangely after your retort. Do you think it's possible that it could have been an over reaction to what is clearly a deeply sensitive and personal subject? Just give it some thought, people can be stupid but they're not all a$$holes. Some people just have no business opening their mouths 'cause who knows what kind of ludicrous crap may come tumbling out?!

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Old 12-27-2005, 02:15 PM   #13
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Okay - here is the thing... we all KNOW that what other people say about you says more about them than it does about you. We know all about the not stooping to their level... taking the high road, killing them with kindness yada yada yada...

BUT - the simple truth is that while we take that attitude and WE know what it means the ignoramuses (or is it ignorami, LOL) who find it necessary to point out that we weigh more than is conventionally acceptable interpret that as an invitation to continue to walk all over us. SO - it is okay to be angry. Not violent of course. But you know what? If someone is going to say anything to ME they are just begging for a scathing reply. I try real hard not to disappoint.

One thing that is important to note - don't do it to yourself. DOn't isolate yourself or allow the negative remarks to dwell in your head. Later - when you are a smaller curvacous goddess - you will need all those skills. You will want to start practicing your strut and smiling at everyone. Remember that many times what you project out is what is read by others. You will want to stay positive and focus on what is in your heart - where you are headed. If you find yourself in a position where people are nasty - snap back - then wash your hands and move on - don't make others pay for the sins of the ignorant. Just be the best you you can be... To heck with those losers!

Oh and teenage boys - their opinions so do not count. Heck - they can't even keep their pants up - I mean seriously - who wants to see their undies, right?? LOL...
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Old 12-27-2005, 03:25 PM   #14
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Jawsmom-I would have written your post word for word except you did it better. I was a couch potato who weighed 220 lbs. I'm now 170 lbs. and a marathon runner and hiker. I can absolutely see saying those exact words as just sort of friendly-talk to people I met along the trail-meaning it was tough for me too. It could actually be a positive because if I was just thinking someone was fat, I would be very careful about my words. If I said those things to fellow hikers, it would just mean that I was thinking about how tough the trail was, not how fat the hiker was. I hope that was the case with the hikers you encountered.

BTW-I'm now a running coach for beginning runners. I am part of a fantastic running club with about 150 active members at any one time. I have never heard any of them make a negative comment about someone who joined us or was entered in a race or just out moving. BUT, I can't tell you how many people in my groups (who are overweight) say that people are giving them mean looks, etc. I promise, they really AREN'T. They are glad to have another convert.
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:42 PM   #15
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I agree with jawsmum and dianne, i tend to say "having fun" to people i see out and about. I say it because i tend not to know what else to say, i say it to skinny people and fat, it is just a comment. I think it is great you are out and hiking! at 280 pounds i was too self concious! and could hardly walk 50 metres without huffing and puffing.

Yesterday i went kayaking! and i had someone offer me a "steak", they were on a houseboat, and i just didn't know what to say! I laughed and said no!
I also had a guy leaning out of a car last week, while i was walking yell out "look there is another b***ch trying to lose weight! they are everywhere"

I know it is hard but most comments you need to take "like water off a ducks back" just ignore or let it go. People are cruel! very cruel! but if you let the comments get to you, you will end up not walking! and then you will always be down on yourself! Just think to yourself "your not going to stop me doing what i want" get out there and do it!

I find i get a lot of horrible remarks off friends and family now that i am almost to my "normal" weight. and that I hate, the two edged comments!
It gets worse the more you lose!

I love the saying
I may be fat , but i can always lose weight, nothing you do will ever make you grow a brain and teach you how to use it!

Keep your chin up, ignore the a**h**es, and keep up the good work!
Sonja
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