On a Journey to Wellness

Come with me on my journey to losing weight, getting healthy and going out to meet the world head-on!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Benefits of Growing Up Fat

Barney Lake
I went for a hike today. Eight miles of beautiful scenery. Half of the hike was spent getting to a place called Barney lake. The other half was just going back to the trail head. A traditional out-and-back hike.

I wasn't surprised that I didn't encounter anyone throughout the hike so I was a little surprised when I saw a man once I reached the lake. He was wearing a white t-shirt and khaki shorts. He didn't have anything else with him. He was a bit older; late 40's was my guess. I walked up and said hello. He said hello back and immediately started walking past me back on the trail. I was fine with that since I wanted the scenery all to myself.

I found a spot to sit, waded my feet in the icy water and I got to thinking about my mother. About how she would love to see this but how unhappy (and un-surprised) she would be hearing I'd gone out in to the wilderness alone...again.
Scared of what? This? No way!

That then got me to thinking about all the places I've gone alone. Things I've done alone. Situations I've been in..alone. Most of the time when I talk to someone about this I get the same phrases over and over again, "Weren't you scared? A woman shouldn't go out alone. It's dangerous." I could only imagine that they usually think it's dangerous because I'll get assaulted, or raped, or both.

I then wondered WHY I wasn't scared of these things. I've been fortunate enough that not much has happened to me in that department which I thank whatever higher being is out there for. I also realized that my weight had something to do with it.

I became fat when I started puberty. By the time I was 13 I was obese. This meant that my self esteem was low from an early age and to this day I've noticed mens attention toward me to be well... not much. I've hung out with many gorgeous "traditionally" thin and beautiful women many times. I've noticed how mens eyes turn and follow my cohorts around. I've watched men trip over trying to open a door for them or run after them to invite them to an after party. I've seen an acquaintance literally go down on his knees and tried to unclog a bathtub with out even asking for a glass of water in return. For the pretty girl. All for the pretty girl.

I'm not saying that no one has ever done a favor for me, or held a door open for me, or complimented me on a dress I wore. However, most of the time they're holding the door open as a common courtesy not really looking to see who they're holding the door for. Or the person complimenting me is a friend, gay, or both. LOL. I'd love it if I could make a man look twice. I'd feel flattered if someone ran down a hall to invite me to something. But I have also noticed things I would never want.

I've seen my "traditionally" skinnier and beautiful women friends get harassed at a park. I've witnessed them getting cat calls and hoots from a guy in a car. I've met women who weren't lucky enough to be left alone at a club, or walking back from a grocery store. I've learned of stalkers and men treating my skinnier gorgeous friends as if they were dumb and didn't take them seriously.

As much as I'd like to once or twice to experience the flattering attention from men I have also thanked my fat for saving me from the unwanted attention as well. Now I'm not stupid enough to think that how much fat my body stores will save me from being harassed or assaulted, but I admit the probability (so far) has been a lot less.

I'm unexpected. It makes me feel free. :)
Men don't see me as much of a point of interest most of the time and that fact has actually made me feel free.  I feel more comfortable and therefore more confident than my tall, blond, long legged co-worker to go out and hike for a whole day alone. Or go to a convenience store at night. Or travel through train stations and airports by myself. That (maybe false) sense of freedom has allowed me to do what many women don't do because of fear.

 My self consciousness is less and so I have no problems walking up to the middle of a dance floor and start the party. I don't care too much what the masses think of what I wear because as long as I feel good and I think I look good the rest doesn't matter. Everyone will see that I'm fat. Trying to hide it is futile. I love meeting my bosses and co-workers for the first time (remember I have many jobs in one year) and seeing their reactions. I NEVER look like what they'd expect. I don't fit the profile of an outdoorsy person. Active explorers shouldn't be a size 18. LOL

I want and need to lose weight. It's for my health, for my love life, for my sense of being. There are more cons than pros in this situation. But today, as I lounged next to a gorgeous lake, fearless and thankful for my life so far, I couldn't help but embrace the pros. Being fat hasn't been all that bad. I'm ready to leave it behind and maybe work on getting that neighbor to clean my chimney (lol) but for now a sense of self love is upon me.

I am me. Not everything has to be depressing and self deprecating. I could be thankful for the things I have and annoyances I've avoided (I mean seriously, having that guy trying to strike up a conversation at starbucks when you can clearly tell he's just trying to get in to that size 2's pants...bleh).  Today I was just happy to be me.

Just me.
As ever,


Doug said...

It's good to be a little cautious about hiking by yourself, not because the woods are filled with rapists (why would they be? Are rapists really patient enough to go to some remote location and wait days for somebody to stroll by?) as because if you break your ankle you're screwed. If you're going to do it you should think a bit about how to reduce the risk - might be anything from bringing a first aid kit to making sure somebody knows where you're headed and at what time to panic that you're not back yet.

Nanette said...

I suspect that you haven't noticed or allowed yourself to notice the men who have checked you out or shown interest... Because no matter the body type, no matter the BMI, someone is into it. I promise.

Keep rockin' that sexy curvy bod and being active.