OK, of course I was reading on my new favorite blog, This Is Not A Diet, It’s My Life, and was moved emotionally by this post. Hopefully Kate doesn’t think I’m a crazy woman stalking her blog and being so inspired by it! I feel like it’s so hard to find someone who sees people are more than their appearances. I mean even the most beautiful people (by society’s standards), movie stars, are criticized when they gain a few pounds or have a breakout, or don’t dress in the most flattering outfit. We’re a society of criticizers. Psychology tells me people do this to cover up their own insecurities, but it’s so rampant, it’s hard to see past and it becomes the norm. Then you hear behind the scenes, in one of those VH1 specials that interview a former phenom, how much those scrutinies hurt them. Even with their near-perfection. And I’ll admit, sometimes I read these criticizing sites and it hurts MY feelings. I look at those stars and think how beautiful they are, then people are picking them apart (their hair, their noses, their “possible baby bump or just not hitting the gym hard enough”). One minute they’re God’s gift, the next they’re disgusting. It’s horrifying, really. So I look at the movie star who people are saying, “Maybe she should hit the gym before she wears those shorts” because of a tiny patch of cellulite caught in one awkward moment, and I don’t want to ever put on shorts. I don’t want to wear sleeveless shirts because even toned arms are criticized. It really can make a person start to believe looks are all that matter.

And that’s just Hollywood. Which isn’t even “real” to me!

Break this down to a more personal level. I’ve been up and down in my weight. I was very skinny as a child. Average in high school and most of college. Then “obese by BMI standards” the last year or so of college. The year after that I worked to get most of the weight off (and to become the strongest I’ve ever been). I went up half of that weight one time, then back down to my low weight. And now I’m back nearly at the top again. So I’ve seen the phenom she’s discussing. You’re thinner and suddenly you’re more worthy of having the door held open. I’m not saying no guy ever held it open, but mostly it’s older men when I’m at a higher weight. I’ve ONLY had guys approach me at bars when I’ve been at my lowest weight. And I frequent bars as much or less when I’m at a lower weight. I always dress myself in the most flattering outfit when I head out on the town, regardless of weight, so it’s not that I present myself any less appealingly (as far as effort goes). And the most infuriating thing? The thing that really got my emotions going for this post? I’ve never once had a friend or family member offer to set me up on a date when I’m at my higher weight. It doesn’t happen strikingly frequently when I’m thinner, but every single offer has always been when I’m at my lowest weight.

This hurts because these are the people I’m closest to. These are the people who allegedly know the real me and love me. I even have friends who will say to my face they wish they could find someone to set [insert guy friend’s name] up with, and I can tell my name never crossed their minds. Close guy friends will say, “There are no decent girls our age who don’t  have kids.” When I’m right in front of them. I know, I know, this could be because of the guy/girl friend barrier. When I’m thin, those same friends at least mockingly pretend to hit on me, though, so I know it crosses their minds then. Of course, will they get the time of day? Nope.

My mom told me once, “When it’s the right guy, he’ll love you for you, no matter what your size. But I want you to be healthy. And you should want to be, too.” I was having an emotional, probably hormonally charged moment talking about how all of the “nice guys” don’t notice me, and only notice the thinnest girls, even if they’re slightly unhinged. Or totally unhinged! Hey, it’s the truth. And I really, honestly don’t feel I need a guy in my life to be happy or complete. It’s just the slight of never being considered as a potential mate or as someone a friend would see as worthy of hooking up.

I am more than my weight. I have gone through college, graduate school, and am doing additional graduate work. I own and have owned my own home for almost 9 years. I have a good job, and have started a great retirement fund. I don’t have any emotional baggage and am not holding onto any old flames. I have worked hard to propel myself into my job and have been offered jobs higher on the org chart than where I currently set, and have had the pleasure of being able to turn down those jobs. I am constantly working on me. I have lots of interests, and am open to learning new things, and conquering new goals. I don’t need a guy to complete me, but I deserve to find the best guy, no matter my size. I deserve to be loved, not talked down to. I am not less of a person because I want to lose thirty pounds. I am active and can bike and run farther than girls sixty pounds lighter than me. I can lift weights and help move the heaviest furniture. I am independent and self-assured. And I will not let someone else’s judgement of my outward appearance make me feel otherwise. I’m choosing to lose this weight for me, because I want to be healthier. I want to have the energy and strength to enjoy life and play with my nieces and nephews. I want to be able to hike mountains in a beautiful area and lay confidently on the beach. Not because someone else is judging me, but because I can look at myself and know I’m using my body for all it can do. I want to fuel my body with the healthiest foods, and know I’m treating myself the way I deserve to be treated: with care, kindness, and compassion. And I know people are more than they appear to be on the outside. And I know how much potential I have, whether it’s making a trainer say, “Wow, I’m impressed by how far you can run” or impressed by my ability to lift weights, because he thinks I’m too fat to do anything. I will impress myself, I will push myself, and I will know that no matter where I am in my life, I will see people for more than their looks.

Everyone, even the “not real” people in Hollywood, deserves more than an outward judgement of their appearance. Maybe if we focused less on appearance and more on the person inside, there wouldn’t be so much hate and crime. There wouldn’t be as much self-inflicted harm like cutting and eating disorders. Maybe accepting people and making them realize they’re more than how they look, and they’re a person who’s important, smart, beautiful and a force in this world, less people would be burying negative feelings with food or isolation.

Judge less, love more.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. K8
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 17:53:34

    I definitely don’t think you’re nuts :) I’m very flattered and happy that somebody really seems to “get” what I’m writing about! I’ll take all the blog stalkers I can get!
    -Kate

    Reply

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