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#192: I Saw Her But I Didn't See Her

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Since being on SparkPeople I have read hundreds of blogs and profile pages. The ones that most often bring sympathy tears to my eyes are the ones with stories of members who do not go out to theme parks or restaurants or other public places because of the person's size.

I saw what could have been a perfect example of this at dinner tonight. Three adults and a child were to be seated at a booth adjacent to mine. One woman was very large. She looked at the booth, which does not have much room between the edge of the seats and the table, and shook her head.

The hostess asked if they'd prefer a table but the lady said, "No, I don't want to sit on a chair." Was she fearful of the chair not holding her weight? It was hard to tell. Finally, after the others sat in the booth, she forced herself onto the bench seat.

It looked to me as if she was uncomfortable. But at least she was dining out. A plus for her.

I admit that before I began reading so many blogs and profile pages on SP, I really didn't give much thought to such situations. Before I probably would have simply wondered why she didn't just lose some pounds.

But it seems I've been educated. In a good way. I saw this woman, but I didn't see her, if that makes sense. I observed her but didn't focus so much on her excess weight as having feelings for her difficulty. Because now I know how hard it is for many people to actually lose weight. I'm one of them. Too many medications that contribute to weight gain, too little beginning understanding of calories and nutrition and injuries that limit exercising.

Now, after six months here, I am more informed, not only about fitness and nutrition but also about the trials members endure every day.

Yes, I saw this woman tonight, but I didn't see her. Makes sense to me now.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD5178852
    There is power in education!
    4070 days ago
  • YATMAMA
    I am her. It's so much better now but still difficult in some arenas. There was a time when where we ate out depended on which restaurants had sturdy chairs without arms and didn't require me to sit in a booth. We've actually walked out of restaurants because I could not fit into booths. My husband was always very sweet and sympathetic, never put out and never sad. That almost made my humiliation worse. Wishing it was different never changed a thing. It wasn't until I acknowledged that I was the only person who had the power to change it that change began to happen. Thank you for peeking into our world and having compassion.
    4070 days ago
  • PEPPERLEAH
    A wonderful blog, Lou. I have seen people go through that same thing, and I have gone through it myself. I have witnessed a total lack of compassion and even common decency in the way that overweight people have always been treated. Thank you for posting this.
    4070 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    I am so glad to hear you say that. I have such a heart for large people that I just want to go to each and every one of them and tell them there CAN be a difference in life for them. I've been there so I totally understand them but I also know that I would never embarass them in public by doing such a thing. So I end up praying for them. The epidemic of obesity is of the enemy with the main promoter being greed. The food industry wants to just sell, sell, sell at the huge cost of a nation of obese people. No one seems to care. They find more and more ways to super-size things and push, push, push. All for their god the dollar. Will there ever be an end to it?
    4070 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/7/2010 10:02:16 PM
  • no profile photo CD5078271
    Hmmm.....profound. While I am nowhere near the end of my journey, I do remember being that woman. Now I see people like that and my heart aches for them because I know how they feel.
    4070 days ago
  • 3CATSLEP
    I've become more educated too. I love Sparkpeople! Love you too, Lou!
    4070 days ago
  • PEAPURRZ
    That is such a profound "a-ha" moment, isn't it? I notice things like that so much more often myself. Although my weight loss journey has been a lot less difficult then some (48 pounds since July) I still know how hard it is to struggle every single day with the temptations of our civilization of food - bad food easily accessible every where. There is not enough empathy in our society.
    4070 days ago
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