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#509: Are You Allowing Your Weight To Limit Your Fun?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Isn't it amazing how we can see something time after time without it seeming significant then one day while viewing the same thing once more we have an epiphany of sorts and gain a new insight into human behavior? That happened to me this afternoon.

I was at a local bowling center for a practice session emoticon. Afterward I had dinner and watched and talked with several friends emoticon during their league play. During this time a couple came in to practice. While the man is thin as a rail, the woman is, well, tactfully, a large woman. I have seen her bowl before but watching her today made me wonder how many overweight people allow their excess weight to limit their fun?

This woman is not skilled at this sport but other overweight people are extremely talented bowlers, a number of them national champions.

What they have in common is that they do not let their weight stifle their fun.

One of the bowlers I was talking with told of her overweight mother who was afraid of leaving her house for fear of being embarrassed, thinking others would make fun of her being fat.

Isn't that a shame? That she is allowing her weight to limit her activities?

Not like the woman today bowling with her husband. As I said, she is not a skilled bowler and didn't have a classic approach, just walked up close to the foul line, took a couple of steps and let the ball go. But when she made a good shot and the pins fell the look of joy on her face was a pleasure to see.

She was trying and having fun.

So why don't others, like my friend's mother?

We can understand embarrassment. But how do we convince people like her that they are not being judged? How do we convince them that exercising, bowling, playing miniature golf emoticon or other activities will be fun?

If you have an overweight relative or friend, encourage them to get out of the house and join you. Heck, take them bowling. All they have to do is stand at the foul line, swing the ball and let it go. And, like the woman with her husband, sometimes the pins will fall and put a smile on their face. emoticon

Above all else, convince them that most people are overweight -- just look around at people at a mall or any restaurant.

Is that a reason though to shut ourselves away from others and from activities we may enjoy?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    All of my life I have limited myself by my weight. It caused me to not stand up for myself in relationships, it caused me to not ask for what I wanted or deserved at work. It caused me to feel like I was never valued, and I am sure some of that was in my mind, but often I know it was for real.
    I never considered myself athletic and so I never tried to be good at any sports. The only time I really felt like I would allow myself to let go and not care what I looked like was when I was dancing and I always had other friends to do that with.
    So you are so true that many people limit themself almost to the point of being afraid to leave the house and it is really sad. Here I am 60 years old and I am just beginning to feel like I will be able to take charge of this prison I put myself in all my life.
    Thanks for the blog, and please always encourage people. You are an inspiration.
    3456 days ago
    Thank you Lou! Alot of my cousins are overweight and they still go bowling and have fun doing it. emoticon They also are pretty good at it. I think it is all in our minds how we perceive ourself. Some of us are to conscious of ourselves than others. Some of us think others are watching us do every little move. emoticon

    3457 days ago
    I love how you take a snipit from your life and make it a teaching moment! Great blog. Thanks.
    3458 days ago
    How indeed? I have been victim of attempting to get healthy... walking in my neighborhood... only to have people honk their horns and shout ugly things at me... "elephant on parade".... and other such things...... I've been victim of patiently waiting in the buffet line for healthy selections while others cut in line to grab up the food while muttering... "better get something before the cow eats it all" YEAH, how do we convince folks who are afraid that people will make fun of them that it's okay? How indeed? I feel self-conscious all the time. I exercise because my life depends on it.... but people still make snide comments & say ugly things... it's just something I have had to learn to live with. It still HURTS though. Love, Dawn emoticon emoticon
    3458 days ago
    I definitely have missed out on fun events in my life due to my own insecurities about my weight. Not that I would hide indoors and never come out, but just the same, I avoid situations that might be fun because of my weight... (because of myself). Bowling, is one thing that I have never let my weight get in my way. It is one thing that I am pretty decent at and I happen to enjoy. I never could excel at many activities but bowling was the one thing in my life I seemed to have control over and it was me, the ball, and the lane, and though I had fun with the people I bowled with, it still came down to me, the ball, and the lane.

    Lou, thanks for your insights! SO TRUE!

    :-) Kim
    3459 days ago
    I have a lot more weight to lose than most people, and spent a lot of my life ashamed of moving in front of others. One of the scariest things I've ever done was to get in a swimsuit in front of not only a class of women, many of them fit, but in front of all the college kids who instruct the water aerobics classes, all of them exquisite physical specimens. I did it, though, and thank God I did. Water aerobics has become the only form of exercise I do not hate and without it I'm sunk. Embarrassment could have held me back from that entirely. I am SO glad it did not!!
    3461 days ago
    I have read some blogs by spark friends who don't like to go out because people stare at them. I have also read blogs where they don't go out because people avoid eye contact and don't look at them. The common thread is allowing "public" behavior to keep you from enjoying yourself.

    When did public behavior gain all this credibility and become an authority?

    The message we want to get out there is go on out and enjoy yourself because you are missing all the fun and eye candy!

    3461 days ago
    emoticon to you, Lou! You always seem to see the kinder side of life! emoticon
    3461 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    I know that I have limited myself due to my weight issues - even now that I have lost weight;and it has been difficult to overcome this obstacle. Case in point: last Saturday I wouldn't dance at a the wedding of a friend's daughter because I am still to self-conscious; and I used to love dancing. Hopefully this will soon pass.
    3462 days ago
    I agree with you, Lou. Whenever I see an overweight person walking, jogging, riding a bike, I always think "ATTA Girl (Boy!)" for doing something good for themselves. We all need encouragement to get out there, try something new and to not be afraid when we don't excel at it (personally speaking I need that because I'm a recovering perfectionist).
    3462 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5223646
    Loved your post! I think at times we expect too much out of life... we expect that "when I lose the weight" my life will be better. We want life to be perfect, but it never will be! So enjoy those pins falling, and enjoy the feeling of a smile taking over your face. ENJOY LIFE! Thanks for the great reminder! emoticon
    3462 days ago
    3462 days ago
  • TEMPEST272002
    You make a great point. It's sad when we let our appearance limit our activities. Most people are really too self-involved to care much about what we're doing. Besides, I can choose what thoughts I project into other people's heads. I can make them my cheerleaders instead of my critics.
    3462 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5178852
    Great perspective! I'm glad that lady found her way into your epiphany. I haven't bowled in YEARS.
    I remember it being some fun. Just maybe I'll get out again and I'll let you know.
    3462 days ago
    I agree with you Lou. I once went on a couple of dates with a man that weighed about 250 maybe, but he had been over 400 pounds and bowled all the time in fact he collects and owns 50 bowling balls so I don't think his weight stopped him.

    I love the water and swimming and even have a picture on my page but I know of friends that are over weight that will not put a swimsuit on.

    I have a saying no one can steal my Joy because it is inside of me. Do you really know what JOY means to me?
    J-Jesus first
    O-Others second
    Y-Yourself last

    Linda emoticon
    3462 days ago
  • CHARMIN944
    I'm proud of that woman's self-confidence. I pray to have the same and strive to do so. Life is too short and sweet. I remember someone saying something about that if we knew just how little people were talking behind our backs, we'd be disappointed.
    3462 days ago
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