Whenever the “fat person” debate comes up or the “obesity crisis” gets mentioned I always want to shrink into a tiny ball. Being fat, this is exactly the opposite of what I can do, so instead, I have to quietly listen and smile and hope that no one notices I am one of those people screwing up the health care, or taking up too much room on the bus.
I would go so far as to say that being fat is a disability. At worst it stops you from doing things and going places for simple fear of things like, being unable to fit in a seat. At best it knocks down your confidence and makes you feel inadequate. Anyone who has been conscious of their weight has probably sat in corner adjusting their clothes in hopes that it might make them look smaller, or even avoided uncomfortable places like swimming pools, or gyms, for fear of total ridicule.
Despite having every one of those feelings, I embraced my inner exhibitionist and dressed up for the Fit By Design 80’s day. This is the day during the “Mommy Wellness Workouts” where people can pretend to be transported back into the days of Jane Fonda and dust off the neon/spandex. Although the dressing up is optional, there is no escaping the WHAM!, Kenny Loggins or Van Halen.
Horrified at the thought the first time round, I had to opt out of dressing up. In truth, I wasn’t able to find anything that would fit me. Second time around I was warming up to the idea but still couldn’t find anything in my size. Third time lucky! I was able to both find and fit into some truly ghastly 80’s attire.
I am never going to look back at the pictures and think “Wow, I looked good that day.” But I will remember what it took for me to go dressed like that. I will remember the achievement it took to get to that point. And I will remember how much fun I had in that red off the shoulder leopard print number.
Thanks to this group of supportive, fun women, I was able to find the confidence to challenge the negative self image I carry around with me daily. The next time I want to shrink into a tiny ball, I will remember that I am shrinking.. and with every workout I am getting closer to my goal.
One day I will be able to ride a rollercoaster, or skydive, or bungee jump without worrying about weight restrictions. When the day comes, I might not want do any of those things, but I want the option. .. and if I want to dress up in shiny metallic pants, I can do so with confidence, because I am the incredible shrinking woman!