This is going to be the second blog post in a row where I discuss a comment I overheard a coworker of mine make. I’m an observer. I don’t engage with a whole lot of people but I’m interested in people so I tend to make a lot of observations about how they act & what they say. This means that I often see & overhear things that make me want to bash my head into a wall. Instead, I come home and write about it. That’s the beauty of having a platform from which I can express myself.
This particular coworker of mine has been talking about her need to lose weight for several months. I couldn’t tell you exactly how heavy she is. I tend to be awful at that & I assume it has to do with my own body dysmorphia issues which cause me to lose perspective about size. If I had to take a guess, I’d say she’s about 140, upset that she’s not 120.
This coworker & I don’t talk much. She’s six or seven years younger than me so we really don’t have a whole lot in common. Tho one day she stopped me to tell me about her “weight issue.” It was odd since we rarely talk but I listened & was trying to figure out what it was the needed from me, why she chose me to talk to about this. I was with her until she grabbed her tiny bit of belly fat & said something to the extent of, “This is just DISGUSTING.” I’m larger than this girl so if she’s disgusting, what am I? From that point, I politely got away from the conversation before it got any more offensive. That was the last she spoke to me about it.
That was several months ago. This week I heard her having the same discussion with another coworker. Except this time the discussion not only focused on her but on how hard it is for her because she’s not that big. She went on to talk about how easy is is for larger people.
I can see where she may have been coming from if you look at just these two facts: 1, People with larger bodies have a higher basal metabolic rate so they can eat more calories than a smaller person & still lose weight. 2. People with larger bodies burn more calories during exercise than a smaller person because their body is working harder to move more weight. If you look at those two and only those two facts, then you might be inclined to believe that she is correct.
I started losing weight around the end of 2013. I’m not ready to discuss what my starting weight was but since then I’ve lost around 50 pounds & plan to lose more. For me, it has not been a straight & easy road. In fact, I gained back about half of the weight in 2014 & had to lose it again. It wasn’t easy the first time, the second time, & it’s not easy now. I’m not about to make excuses for myself. But if you think my accomplishment is lesser than that of a smaller person, I want you to understand a few things.
Larger people may need to break habits that they’ve had for longer amounts of time.
I’ve had to not only overcome some life-long habits but develop good habits that I never had in the first place like regularly exercising & counting calories. I was an overweight kid, overweight my entire life, to be exact. So clearly, “healthy habits” weren’t a thing I had as I entered into adulthood. I had to learn those. And break all of the bad ones that I did learn in childhood like drinking lots of soda. I’ve broken my soda addiction now but that was no easy task because I’m using addiction in the literal sense here.
Larger people may not be physically able to do most exercises at first.
Don’t get me wrong. There are some badass large people out there who are athletic & physically active. I was never one of them. I was embarrassed to even attempt to be one of them. Early on, I got made fun of in gym class, so to avoid the humiliation, I usually skipped gym class. And if I couldn’t skip it, I’d show up with the most minimal effort possible. In my mind, if I already wasn’t trying, people would be less likely to put me down than if I tried & failed.
On top of the fear of humiliation, I was also physically limited because I was born with asthma. Things like running were hard, especially when I was a kid & had weaker lungs. When I started losing weight in 2013, I remember being winded & miserable after running just a few minutes on the treadmill. Because of my persistence & now that I am in better shape, I can run several miles as long as I go at a comfortable pace & am prepared to do some coughing afterward.
There are sometimes emotional & mental roadblocks in weight loss.
I think I always knew that the majority of my overeating was emotional eating, a way to suppress my feelings rather than deal with them. I just didn’t really know how to fix it, especially when I was younger. Things got worse before they got better. By the last few years before I began losing weight, I had basically developed a full-blown binge eating disorder. Say what you want about the Dr. Oz show but I watched an episode of his featuring a mother & daughter who shared a binge eating disorder because they couldn’t deal with their emotions & I had an “ah-ha!” moment that allowed me to recognize & begin fixing my problem.
Losing weight is still a thing that I am working on & now that I am a smaller person than I once was, it is not any easier. I still fight tooth & nail to lose every pound. I still have emotional issues that I have to overcome every single day, old habit that I have to keep from coming back, toxic mindsets that I have to keep from falling into. I’m brought to tears more often than I’d like to admit. But I never give up & I never will give up.
If this were easy, I’d already be done & sending photos to Victoria’s Secret to apply for a modeling gig. 😉 Don’t belittle anyone else’s journey to glorify your own. You haven’t walked in their shoes & you never will.