Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Open Letter to People Who Think Fat=Undisciplined

So because I've been off living my life (aka, playing with my kids, keeping up with kids at placement and writing papers non-stop) this little thing passed me by

What's Your Excuse Mom via Jezebel

So basically, mom goes on a tirade as to why we don't all look like her after three kids and that people who are overweight are undisciplined. Now she's been banned from Facebook. I don't necessarily agree with the banning, let her say what she wants (however wrong) and let the chips lie where they fall.

But I'm sick to death of this tired old belief that fat people are lazy and undisciplined. I can wholeheartedly say that this is so patently untrue that is boggles my mind. Which right now is pretty exhausted after spending the day catching up on my neglected housework before doing a shift at a group home with 8 kids, 5 of them severely autistic and consequently getting good whack by one of them.

Darling, let me tell you something, I am not lazy. I am hard working and determined. However where my priorities lie are way different than yours. I'm sure you are a loving mother, so that much we have in common. And as a mother of three boys as well, I don't need to tell you the hard work I do. I have also had to negotiate a divorce and accommodate for the extra needs that has generated for my children. It basically means, giving them my all for the majority of time I have them. I took for granted the luxury of being on autopilot once in a while when I had them full time. That said, I'm sure we're both great moms.

Where we differ though, is that you put a lot of energy into your body looking a certain way. You can say it's because you're interested in being healthy, but I gotta say, I'm plenty healthy. I have made it so far through almost half the school year without so much as a sniffle. And let me tell you, working in a group home and staying healthy means I have the immune system of James Logan...aka Wolverine.

I'm a size 14-16. I'm healthy. I won't provide actual hardcore proof (lab reports and confidential stuff), so you'll have to take my word on that.

You see, outside of our commonality of family, I put a lot of energy into my education, my placement and of course my friends, whom I consider family. I have a 4.0 GPA. I'm very proud of that. It isn't easy to come home at night, play with your kids, cook dinner, do your chores and then write a paper. The other night I was up til midnight getting everything done, only to be up at 5:30 the next morning to get to school to do a group project related to fundraising.

My house while messy isn't a total disaster. I have help thank goodness, I don't know where I'd be without my angel helpers, but I do a lot of it too.

I have a placement, which means I spend a lot of time working with some seriously high needs kids. When coming home to a house of three young boys sounds like a relaxing vacation, you can get an idea of how much work this is. Not only am I dealing with complex neurological issues, I am also caring for these kids, showing them that I have a vested interest in them, When I'm not dealing with them, I'm working with kids who have had pretty rough lives and now live in a home with workers coming in and out. I am on, I am focused, I'm present and I am determined to show them that there are adults out there who care. This takes not only a lot of empathy and patience, but applied knowledge and skills and it's non-stop brain running action. I finally got to sit down 15 minutes before my shift ended to do paperwork.

I had a peer evaluation recently, in fact I've had several over the past few months and you know what? They were all great. The latest one I was near tears because my classmates had said such wonderfully kind things about me. And outside of the fact that my three little guys are awesome, this is something I am most proud about. I try to live my life so that people will remember how I made them feel, and for the most part, I want them to feel like I treated them well, that I'm caring, funny, supportive, respectful and hell, even nurturing (most of my class is 25 and under). Hearing that feedback really let me know I was on the right track. I can safely say that having gone through the weight loss, the plastic surgery, the high of reaching that target weight, none of that even begins to compare how good I feel when people tell me that I have treated them well. When you prejudge people based on how they look, you miss that boat, and for that, I do feel bad for you.

See and the crazy thing about that is that that takes discipline too. I get angry, I get annoyed, I want to tell people to stick their head where the sun doesn't shine VERY frequently. I can judge and write off people just as easily as the next person. I can look at a behaviour they are presenting and not take the time to look under that behaviour. But that's the easy route. Looking at someone who may come off as a grumpy, standoffish, arrogant and trying to see beyond that takes a lot of freaking work and discipline. Working as a co-parent takes a lot of freaking work and discipline. Getting a 4.0 takes a lot of freaking work and discipline. Are you getting the picture now?

We all have different lives, different goals, different experiences. While I love my flashy hair, my purses and increasingly eccentric style, forcing my body to be shaped the way you'd like it isn't a high priority for me.

It's not that fat people don't have discipline, its that many of us apply it differently. Yep, there are some fat people who abuse their bodies by putting junky food into it, just like there are some thin people who abuse their bodies by starving it, but just as I take the time and effort and DISCIPLINE to not judge a whole group of people based on their BMI, I would love it if others who claim I don't have any discipline to exercise theirs.

Many thanks!




Stacey Bourgeois said...

Excellent post. I feel the same way and that photo really bothered me in the same way it bothered you. Also, everyone's circumstances are different. She's coming from a place where she has the luxury to have time work out, the money to afford to go to a gym. She thinks anyone who isn't living her life isn't doing it right? It really bugs me when people judge.

Anonymous said...

You have kids? Then you have every reason to lose weight. This isn't about BMI. If you care about being around as long possible for your loved ones, you would lose weight. Study after study after study has shown a correlation between an unhealthy weight and risk of diseases that can cause early death. Stop justifying your laziness.

Joy said...

LOL I love the laziness factor. Tell you what, work with 8 children, 5 of them severely autistic for 12 hours, come home and run a family and your own home AND then do your schoolwork and see how lazy you feel. Oh and do this several times a week.

And for the record, pretty darned healthy thanks. Don't assume that fat=unhealthy and thin=healthy.

And for god sakes, own your words, its so easy to stand behind and anonymous and lash out.