You know how fat people are…

ferry seat

I don’t even remember what I was talking about with the woman at the store when she said,

“you know, it’s like when you see a fat person…”

I sat silently.

I was shocked but didn’t want to show it.

“They just look so gross, you know how fat people are,” she continued.

I didn’t respond.

I just changed the subject.

That exchange happened a month ago.

Today I am writing from the deck of the ferry that carries passengers from the mainland out to Martha’s Vineyard.

I’m so happy right now, in part because I’m with my band of brothers.

We are starting a weekend away one day early.

Our wives will be here tomorrow.

The other reason I’m so happy is that I fially fit in the seat here on the ferry.

I have been morbidly obese most of my life.

Ten years ago I was 430 lbs.

Today I am 244 lbs and losing.

I do, indeed, know “how fat people are”.

I am an expert.

We are the same as skinny people.

Everyone has an area of their life they want to change.

The thing we “fat people” want to change shows up on the outside for all the world to see.

The woman doesn’t know I’m a fat person.

I wear it on the inside now.

Make no mistake; I am still a fat person.

It took me 42 years to find the answer to why we can know what to do and still not do it.

It’s what enabled me to reclaim my life.

It’s what inspired me to become a life coach in the first place.

Though I may not look like a fat person anymore, I always will be.

It’s ok.

I honor that part of me by not judging him, forgiving him and by not trying to banish him.

He just doesn’t get to steer the ship of my life anymore.  But that’s for another blog post.

The woman does not know she is talking to a fat person and it makes me wonder what else people see and don’t see and what their perception causes them to say and not say.

An ancient mystic once said that “even a fool appears wise when he says nothing”.

But that only speaks to his actions and not his heart.

The heart is a great place to start.

10 thoughts on “You know how fat people are…

  1. Hi Jim –

    Your post makes me cry. I am a fat person too – inside. I run to eat. 🙂

    The hard thing about being fat is that everyone can see our weakness – but – we know that everyone is struggling with something, and most of those struggles we just cannot see.

    I’m proud of you and me for the desire to grow spiritually and change physically!

  2. Simply perfect. I am a fat person who weighs 210 pounds. In 2009 I weighed 310. Now, I wear L and XL clothes instead of 3X or 4X.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with how I feel.

  3. Sort of like hearing (for me) comments about teenage moms, or abused women or divorcees. It’s my past lurking around in here, hiding from view. But I think two positive things about that. One, I can celebrate the changes in me that have brought me to a better place, and two, I can open the knowledge door, and say, “Hey, you know, I was a teenage mom myself once. It’s a hard place to be, and this is what helped me get through those years….” Maybe by speaking up, we can show this person how to be a little more compassionate, a little more careful with their words.
    Way to go, Jim, by the way. Still remember seeing you in the ER years ago. You’ve come a long way!

  4. Two thoughts.

    1–I worked in plus size women’s clothing stores for years and it was easy to pick out the lady disgusted with herself because she used to be tiny–but then had a medical issue or a baby came along–and now she is much larger. She probably made comments like the lady in your story and then found herself becoming what she hated. Nobody is perfect…and the moment you think you are, you will be proven wrong!

    2–Being fat is the only prejudice people are “allowed” to have anymore.

  5. Hey there I am so grateful I found your website, I really found you by accident, while I was researching on
    Yahoo for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like
    to say many thanks for a fantastic post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

  6. “It took me 42 years to find the answer to why we can know what to do and still not do it.”

    I would love to explore this sentence with you some day!!! I am almost 45 and still struggling with it and dying a little more every day because of it!!!

  7. Jim,
    It was great meeting you… today. I came right back to work and looked up your blog. Nice work, you make a lot of sense and we all know how rare that can be sometimes…..

  8. Well said, my friend, well said. Judgment – whether about skin color, sexual preference, chronic acne or about another person’s size – are too often wed to intolerance and false airs of superiority. We all need to spend time in one another’s skin before we rush to judgment.

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