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Overweight people are not alone in being Judged!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hi Spark Friends,

I felt compelled to write this blog today because I want to share with you all something I have learned and I think it is something important that we all need to think about and try to keep in mind.

A lot of overweight people feel very judged in public. We have felt like people monitor how much we eat in a restaurant. People stare, people whisper, people can be pretty rude and judgmental because of others being overweight. A lot of overweight people tend to isolate because of the public ridicule they feel when they do go out. Instead of trying to understand that overweight people may be overweight because of many factors such as emotional eating, no self esteem or confidence, they have given up on themselves, settled for being that way, or even that they are living in denial. Maybe they are depressed or just are not educated in the risks of all the extra weight on their bodies. Whatever their reason may be for being overweight, they need to be educated and encouraged to live a healthy lifestyle. They need to be supported and taught how to get healthy and realize they are worth the effort it takes to do so. Not judged and ridiculed.

Now with that said, I think a lot of overweight people can feel all the ways I mentioned above but also be guilty of doing the same thing to others that they do not want or like done to them. That is judge and ridicule others. The people they do it to are thin people. Without knowing the person some overweight people automatically decide not to like someone because they are thinner. They think and say things like I hate her because she is naturally thin or look at her she thinks she is all that! They judge and form an ugly opinion of someone due to their weight. They may feel jealous because they think smaller people can eat anything they want and never gain any weight. They resent that. They do to them exactly what they complain about others doing to them.

I am here to share with you the facts. I used to feel smaller people were naturally lucky and jealous because they did not have to work at their weight. I never disliked anyone because of it but I envied them. Here is the truth as I now see it and have discovered first hand.

Just because someone is thin does not make them healthy. Healthy comes from living a healthy lifestyle. There are thin people that have some pretty serious health issues. Because they can eat all they want and not gain weight is actually a problem if they are not living healthy and taking care of their bodies just like overweight people have to do to lose weight. Eating anything you want but making poor choices of food will and can lead to clogged arteries, heart disease and a whole host of serious health problems. Some people who are thin cannot gain weight as hard as they try which can be bad for their health just like being overweight.

Thin people feel self conscious and ridiculed and judged just like overweight people do. So why would one group of mistreated people turn around and mistreat another group of people in the same position. I think it is because a lot of people judge others without knowing the life of the person they are judging.

I know this because I have recently met someone at the gym who is very thin and I envied how she looked and thought wow how lucky is she that she is so small and even thought wow I am working my behind off and she is too but she doesn't need to. Well after meeting her and talking to her I learned she needs to be there just as badly as I do. You see she has had a heart attack in the past at a very young age. She has always been naturally thin and so she believed she could eat anything she wanted because weight was not an issue for her.

Well, all that unhealthy eating and a lack of exercise clogged her arteries and she ended up having a major heart attack and subsequent heart surgery was needed and undergone. Her doctors told her eating healthy and exercise is important for everyone. It has nothing to do with weight. Being over weight is a result of bad food choices and over indulging. Having serious health issues can and does happen to everyone who does not take care of their bodies by eating healthy and getting proper exercise. She felt because she was thin she did not need to exercise or make healthy food choices. Her result was heart surgery. She learned this in a a very difficult manner.

As a result, she now exercises regularly, watches her calorie intake and makes healthy food choices. She really opened by eyes and I learned a very valuable lesson from her. I am grateful to have met her. We never know what someone else' s life is like or walked in their shoes. Therefore, it is wrong to just assume and prejudge anyone for being either overweight or thin. It is wrong to prejudge anyone for anything. People are so quick to form an opinion of others and it seems to always be an opinion based on envy, jealousy, anger, or other reasons. Whatever the reason, it is WRONG! Why not give others the benefit of all and any doubt and think the positive of and about them instead of stand in judgment of them!

Nobody likes or wants to be judged by others and assumed the worse of. I will NEVER do that again! You may remember in my last blog I mentioned the guy playing his air guitar and drums wailing his arms all over while working out? The day I went with my ipod uncharged and my pants on inside out.LOL Well, I did initially prejudge him as being a nut. Shame on me! Because I was at the gym today and I saw him again. I actually spoke to him and he is a VERY nice NORMAL person. He works out everyday and works a full time job. He also has a band and they are an Aerosmith imitating band. He sings and plays the part of Steven Tyler. One of the personal trainers told me he has seen him and his band and they are phenomenal! He just loves music and that gets him through his workouts. He was such a nice person to talk to.

So, I just wanted to share this with my spark friends because I know so many of us judge others unfairly at one time or another. We complain about being judged because of our weight yet, we do it to others. We find a way to justify it when we do it but it is unacceptable for it to be done to us. Not fair! How about we not judge at all! Lets give EVERYONE the same treatment that we want for ourselves.

SO, lets not wait for a serious health issue to force us into treating our bodies the way we should. Lets be proactive and continue this healthy lifestyle journey and keep moving to our goals. Keep exercising! If your not exercising, then START! Lets keep eating healthy and if your not START! We ALL deserve to be the best we can be and need to do our part to assure this happens. Be good to YOU! Be good to YOUR BODY! While we are at it Be GOOD to OTHERS!!!

Have a wonderful day my friends!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • HARMONISTA
    Very true! I grew up with a very underweight mother who couldn't gain weight because she has food allergies and most foods would give her stomach problems. Instead of helping her to figure out what was wrong with her (she only realized she had food allergies about 3 years ago), they tried to get her into eating disorder classes. It was pretty painful.

    And I remember when a good friend of mine, who is very petite, told me as a teenager she would sit down and chow down on mars bars every night, hoping she would gain weight because everybody always thought she was anorexic but she is just naturally skinny. It took her years to come to terms with her small frame and now she is happy with it. But when we went to the gym together her trainer wanted to give her a program to "bulk up" because certainly she wouldn't want to have such a scrawny body, right? She said no, thank you.
    4195 days ago
  • TOFUDEE
    Incredible blog! You have brought up some very important issues. People are often quick to judge others without knowing the circumstances of those people. My dad was blind and it never ceased to amaze me that when people found out that he was blind they would yell at him when speaking. We always had to point out that although he could not see, his hearing was perfect.

    My sister is in a wheelchair much of the time and when we go places people have the tendancy to ask me questions about her as though she is not even there or is too stupid to answer the questions herself.

    It is the same with weight issues. The same way that blindness does not equate with hearing loss and wheelchair is not equal to mental deficiency, obesity does not mean lazy.

    I do not know where or what makes anyone judge anyone else. Could it be that we have to confront our fear that it could happen to us? It brings to mind Susan Boyle and Paul Potts. Those of you who do not know who they are can find them on youtube.com You will be amazed and learn that you really should not judge a book by its cover.

    This is an excellent and very important blog. Thank you for posting it.
    4208 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5258678
    Very well put, thanks for posting this!

    Because I work at a weight loss spa I get to know many wonderful people who may be overweight or obese. Sadly, because society can be wrongly judgmental of them, they often assume that I will judge them as well. It's sad to think a person struggling with health or weight issues would assume I look down on them. The truth is, I often fall into the same pit, comparing myself to them in other areas. They're often hard working professionals in impressive fields who have worked hard for prestigious degrees in order to get there. If I let myself (I do sometimes), I'd feel dwarfed by them with my two year degree from the local community college. Everyone you meet in life will be superior to you in at least one area. Everyone you meet in life will also be inferior to you in some area. Most qualities or talents a person has are things you can't see just by looking at them. Weight is an instantly recognizable attribute, so a lot of people get hung up on it, which is not okay.

    And I totally agree that the judging can go both ways. I am judged sometimes, as though I don't have to work at the level of fitness that I have or weight that I'm currently at...gimme some credit! It's tough to maintain a healthy weight for many people, but many still do. Anyone who thinks it's not still going to be a challenge once they "get there" (whether it's their goal weight, or other achievement in life) probably won't stay "there" very long.

    It rocks that you have such a good outlook and can see both sides.
    4209 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/22/2009 3:47:20 PM
  • RENA1965
    Hi Needpeople,
    I come from a family of thin fat people like the lady you met at the gym.. The point that we all eat wrong brought home truths to me. I had a cronic bladder problem which was not as a result of my weight but partly a hormone problem like my son has issues with growth deficit with ADHD..
    People told me to loss weight which was great for my health, but 176lbs later the problem is still there and the doctors efter 4 years will now give me a operation needed to help the last part of the problem. I was judged as a slob, given the wide go around socially and refused a grant to help products even when living on close to no money caring for a dying husband.. This days people greese up to me, but I am still the same person with hurt feelings at 62 kgs as I was at 139.2kgs..
    The difference is I can tell people what butts they were towards me and walk away with a clean and peaceful mind.. The whole system screamed at me the usual lines, but the problem was not something I couldn't solve by lossing weight from. Lossing weight helped like 5%. It was because of a mid wife with no real education whom cut a locking muscle when I had my oldest son 15 years back. I now body build and know every single muscle and how to train it but sometimes man made problems need surgery to be corrected to give a person half a chance to a better life..
    I got a head doctors appology for being judged on face values, she could see things were wrong from all the tests that came back and will look at peoples histories more carefully before stamping everyone just too overweight!!!
    4210 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/21/2009 11:45:43 PM
  • no profile photo CD4228914
    Your blog made me think of something that happened recently that I haven't shared with anyone.

    There is a gal that had worked out at the gym on a regular basis. It wasn't unusual to see her on a cross trainer sweating it out or on a treadmill running. I was told she weighed 125. Her age was 55. Tomorrow will mark her being dead three weeks. She had a coronary and passed away suddenly. As far as stories go...it was being told in the steam room last week by someone that knew her, is that her cholesterol LDL and HDL were off the map. She had coronary artery disease and yet she did mega cardio everyday. The person telling those of us in the steam room that her diet consisted of fast food, everyday of her life. Thus, the reasoning that the cholesterol levels were through the roof and coronary artery disease was found on autopsy.

    Each one of us knows nothing of what is hiding under other's skin, or where that skin has been, or what that skin has done.

    I know myself, being 380 pounds at one time and now some 170 pounds lighter, I look at people who are morbidly obese and I empathize with their position that they are in. I know all to well the immobility that I had when I was 380 pounds and I wouldn't wish that upon anyone. Those that didn't know me 2 years ago have no idea what kind of transformation I've been through and I wouldn't necessarily go and reach out to someone that I don't know who is morbidly obese, but if asked, I would talk to them and offer them any advice, knowledge or encouragement I can without trying to be condescending.

    It's hell being in poor physical health. I don't want to be singled out by anyone as insensitive to anyone's health...whether they are thin or huge.
    4210 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/21/2009 8:17:03 PM
  • SPARKYCARLEY
    As usual, you've written an awesome & inspiring blog! I can relate to both sides of the fence on the weight issue.

    I've spent a portion of my adult life as an overweight person (maybe about 10 - 12 years or so). The rest of my life... my whole childhood all the way into my mid 20's, I was super skinny. Naturally, skinny. When I was a teenager (or even before, at the age of 12) my doctor told my Mom that I was about to get my first period... well that didn't happen until I was 16 and to this day I have issues with that area. I've had 3 surgeries on my ovaries, plus at the age of 42, I'm still not a parent... my one big dream for my life. My being so skinny likely contributed to my late menstrual cycle happening. At the same time my doctor told my Mom that I had to gain some weight. Well, I tried... it never happened. At the height of 5'8" (which I reached in the 8th grade & stopped growing). I graduated high school at a weight somewhere between 115 & 120 lbs. As a matter of fact if I had a picture of myself naked back then you'd see that you could actually see my ribs! You could count them. But I used to eat lots...as much as my 2 growing brothers. Of course I spent half my childhood in the hospital for bowel & kidney issues too. I also spent my whole childhood being made fun of every day for being so skinny and so tall, and it still affects me to this very day. It is the reason why I can't seem to make friends easily.

    Learning not to judge others is a difficult thing to do. You have to be consciously aware that you're doing it and you have to want to stop. It's a hard habit to break, but I've been trying for a long time because I don't want to have anyone think the kinds of things about me that I've thought about others when I've misjudged them.
    4210 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/21/2009 7:56:49 PM
  • MCLYMORE
    Awesome points! It is easy to judge others, when we should judge ourselves! Thank you for sharing.
    4210 days ago
  • IDEBORAH
    It is so easy to make judgments, forgetting the times we've been hurt by others' judgments of us. "Mind Stones" what a perfect expression. You, one of the kindest people I've met on Spark, are always reminding us to chose kindness. Thank you for this much needed reminder.
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    4210 days ago
  • BINEMELLES
    now that i read this i remember i KNEW this all along - my best friend from childhood days became skinny when all the rest of us girls started to become chubby beginning puberty.
    she just grew a lot and was very active, and i remember that everybody kept taking her parents aside asking if she was anorexic. kids started to pick on her because they thought she was weird.
    very thin people are often regarded more suspiciously as the "fat" ones, because it seems to be more unusual to be very extremely skinny than just "chubby".
    4210 days ago
  • MEALOHAOE
    I know what you mean. I have a co-worker who is very smart and capable. She has the same degree I do and does her job very effectively. But, because she is small (short and thin) and pretty, she does not get treated with any respect. The men think she can't do anything and the women don't want her to be able to. Very, very wrong.
    4210 days ago
  • no profile photo MEIRAH
    Ohh, I have done that in the grocery store, judged a very thin woman as she limited what she put into her grocery cart.

    Throwing "mind stones" at others, be they extremely thin, appear to look trashy, or whatever the case, is really about me trying to feel superior at someone else's expense. Sometimes it is hard not to be judgemental, yet I have learned the better I feel about myself, the more I see people and life without the negative vibes.
    4210 days ago
  • LITTLE_QUEEN
    Something to think about
    4210 days ago
  • LVNG4ME
    You made some good points. Thanks for sharing.
    4210 days ago
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