Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Becoming Visible

Ran a 5K this weekend with my BFF Jessica -- In the RAIN!
When you're fat, people either stare with a snare, stare with pity, or advert their eyes and pretend they don't see you. It's hurtful to feel like a non-person.  Like you exist, but you don't.  To walk around life, and feel invisible.

The soldiers, for the most part, try to be polite by just not looking.  I could go anywhere around post and people just pretended I wasn't there.  (Unless they were secretly taking pictures of me to shame me online later -- which I didn't notice happening, and I'm really glad).  When I visited Ben at his office, the soldiers would smile and be kind and complement the boys, but not one... NOT ONE would look me in the eyes.

Ben overheard one guy poking fun of me once behind his back, and he shut him down so fast no one dared to speak less than favorable about me... at least when he was around.  And no, Ben didn't just come home and tell me what happened, he would never have mentioned it and I don't know what the soldier said, but I asked Ben once if the guys ever made fun of me, and my dear husband can't lie to me to save his life... he said, "Once... but I squared him away."  That is Ben's way of saying he probably made the kid pee himself.

But I didn't go visit him at work again after that.  And I refused to go to any of the military balls.  I was so afraid I would ruin Ben's career by being fat... I was afraid that his men would lose confidence in him because of his taste in women.  My husband said I was totally full of crap, because there are wives bigger than me, but I didn't believe him.  My weight made me feel so self-conscious I just couldn't go to Army things, even thinking of going put me in a panic attack and throwing up.

I know, I should of sucked it up and just did it.  But, I just couldn't.

Being fat is more than just physical.  It consumes a person mentally and emotionally.

When I first started seeing the weight loss doctor and nutritionist, they sent me to see a psychologist once.  No, I'm not crazy.  It's totally standard when going through the process I did.  They want to cover all the bases because being morbidly obese didn't just happen because it wanted to happen.  In MOST cases, people become fat because of events in their lives, many completely out of their control, and it triggers the bad eating habits.  I have meet many other morbidly obese people in my journey (support groups) and they tell me it all started when a loved one died, or they were abused, raped or molested as a child.  One women said it started when her parents divorced.  Another man started overeating when his wife left him... etc, etc.  There is a story behind each and every person that struggles.  I was one of the lucky ones, my journey was because of underlining health reasons.  I almost felt like an outsider in the support groups... but I learned so much about not judging, and being a little more kind and patient with people who struggle with this disease, food addictions, and similar disorders.

I was lucky, my issues weren't so bad that I needed to continue seeing the psychologist, but many, MANY others struggling with serious underlining issues NEED the help mentally and emotionally to get a hold of themselves and get in that place they need to be internally to get the weight off physically... or it will never STAY off permanently.


Back on topic...

I have felt invisible for a very, VERY long time.  I almost forgot what it felt like to be looked at, really truly SEEN by other people.

The best part about being in the Army life, is that we move so much... no one here at Fort Sill know I used to be fat, unless I tell them, that is.  I lost the majority of my weight at Campbell, so with each move I start fresh.  No one here looks at me and thinks, oh, yeah, she used to be fat.  Nope, just a normal woman now... and I LOVE that!  A fresh start ever couple years.  And now, when we move to Fort Bliss, TX (Yeah, we got orders last week!) in a couple months, I will just be that girl that runs with 5 boys.

Men are fickle, you know.  They say women are weird... but I'm telling you... they have this thing were they don't want to be too nice to anyone they don't think is cute because you know, we might get the wrong idea.  As if!  PAA.... LEEEEEASE!!  They think WAY to much of themselves.  I just want them to look at me politely when I talk to them... but apparently, their feet are way more attractive than I was.

For the last 4 years, my competition has been shoes.  And I got used to it.... so whatever.  But it was hurtful, you know?  I wanted so badly to look on the outside like I felt like the person I was in the inside.

Now, here I am over a hundred pounds later, and life is soooo different for me.  One would think it wouldn't, couldn't be too different.  Not now, living in a world where people SHOULD be more accepting and tolerant and loving and kind.... can you read my eye roll between those words??

I don't know when things changed really, the way people saw me.... I have been so focused on how I saw myself, that I guess I stopped thinking about what others thought.  It really didn't hit me until a couple days ago.

Sunday, I took a chance and tried on my old heels.  When I got fat, my feet got so big, I went up two sizes!!!  I couldn't wear heels because I was too heavy and they were too small.  But for church this week, I thought I would pull them out and give them a go.  They fit!!  Woo Hoo!!  The family was waiting for me out in the car, and I came out, and was totally strutting my stuff for my husband... because you know, who wouldn't right?!  When a bus of soldiers came around the corner... all heads turned and watched me as I walked to van.

Longest walk in the world.

"Do I have something stuck on my butt?"  I asked my husband, totally mystified as to why those guys were watching me.  He laughed.

"No!  They were totally checking you out!" He said.

"What?!  No they weren't!  Why?"  I am ashamed to admit, I was clueless...

"Because you're hot!"  He said chuckling to himself... "Yeah, I got me a sexy wife and now everyone knows it..." He snickered. The turd.

I seriously thought he was just teasing me and blew him off.  I mean, come on!  I am still about 60 pounds over weight.  So whatever.  Guys only check out skinny girls right?

Then this morning, Ben and I decided that after he came home from PT in the morning, I would go do my run while he got ready for work.  I just needed 30 minutes to get a good hard run in to start the day.  So I'm out there doing 60/120's to get my speed up (60/120's - interval training of 60 sec sprints and 120 sec fast walk) and it happened to be the time that the training convoys are going past... and all the buses transporting soldiers to and from breakfast are heading past me.  I felt suddenly VERY visible and self-conscious as they went by.  I couldn't even look at them, I was afraid they were making fun of the chunky girl running around.  So I looked away.  The couple times I did look, some of the soldiers waved and I thought, "Wow, people at Fort Sill are so friendly..."

When I ran around the corner to my house, my Garmin read 2.42 miles... I HAD to have an even 2.5... my little bit of runners OCD DEMANDED it.  So I ran around for about a min to round it out.  I started walking just as a mini bus came around the corner and the soldier in the front seat actually leaned out the window and called out to me waving.  My first thought was to look behind me too see who he was waving at.  Wait me? Did I know him?  No.... Was he flirting with me?  Impossible.... Right?!  I know... he was digging my striped compression socks... that's it!

I'm so blessed to have such a supportive husband who makes
me feel beautiful no matter what!
Has this invisible girl suddenly become visible??  I don't know how I feel about this?  It's new territory for me... Last time I was this size, I lived in Utah, and it was a whole different world.  Guys didn't smile and wave at me, they just treated me like a person, which was nice...but I was never skinny enough to be considered a hot mama....   Here, it's just different....

And I'm not sure how I feel about this... it's just so weird....  Maybe I just look cuter from a distance, because seriously, I've got like 15 years on most of these guys around here... I'm getting to old for this....


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