A Vignette

18 09 2009

Yesterday I stopped, as I usually do, at the Wendy’s in Augusta, near campus.  Class gets out at 6:45, and it makes more sense to have dinner BEFORE the drive back to Bangor, rather than ravenously devouring a Pop Tart or something ridiculous just past 8pm.  I always go in, because the staff generally isn’t used to someone wanting a Completely Plain Double Stack Yes That’s Right No Cheese.

So, anyway, I’m in there waiting for my food, and the slightly chunky young man who was operating the fryer was chatting to everyone.  The restaurant was pretty dead, seeing as Augusta shuts down at roughly 4:45.  He says, “You guys.  My doctor was SO mean to me.  He goes, ‘You’re fat.  You need your cholesterol checked.’ Just like that!  How rude is that?!”  So, I smirk and say, “Did you have it checked?”

“No…but he wants me to.”

I said, “Go ahead, do it.  Doctors do the same to me, but mine is normal, even low.  It shocks them!  If yours is in the normal range, he’ll be wrong and you can rub it in his face!”

He flashes this bring grin at me, and EVERYONE up front starts laughing appreciatively.  “Yeah, I think I’ll do that,” he replied.

I left in a pretty good mood.

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Bullying.

21 08 2009

Simple title for a simple subject.

This post was inspired by this post and its subsequent comments.  I wanted to share my story and opinions.

Is it, though?  Bullying should be open-and-shut, something school/after school program/daycare officials should shut down when they see it happen, or are informed of it happening.  In my experience, however, it never was.  Not one principal, vice principal, teacher, or councelor ever did anything about it.

(Commence navel-gazing autobiography!)

I guess I’ve always been different.  Growing up, raised by a fiercely (to me) independent, intellectual and successful single mother who actually took the time to rear me, I saw the world in a different light than most of my peers.  This translated to me dressing differently, acting differently and getting along well with people older than me, as well as adults.  I guess I also was a little off, socially.  I didn’t (and still don’t) pick up social cues too well, but excel in other departments.  In second grade, I was reading long “chapter books” when other kids were bumbling through The Cat in the Hat.  So, I had that working against me, but it wasn’t something immediately detectable.

I was big.  Not really fat (I surely was not skinny, though), but big.  I was always off the height and weight charts for my age, and by quite a bit.  I was the first person in my year (and the year ahead of me) to hit five feet, I needed a bra at nine, and I had to start buying clothing at misses’ stores at seven (and then Lane Bryant at nine).  I also had hard to fit feet, so I wore penny loafers instead of childrens’ sneakers.

So, I was a sitting duck for the usual things children tease about.  From second grade to fourth, it wasn’t that bad, and I would consider it within the realm of typical playground bullying or teasing.  Nothing physical, just kids on my case.  It hurt, but I guess it all does.  I could still exist within the social construct of elementary school without being too miserable.

When I got a little older, though, things really kind of went downhill.  Puberty came quite early for me, ten or so, and with puberty came weight.  I gained 50 pounds when I was ten (almost eleven), definitely moving me into the “chubby/fat” category.  This is when it got hairy.  I started to become ostracized by my peers, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world had I become invisible along with being shunned.  I didn’t, though.  I became sort of a scapegoat.  It didn’t help that I had recently moved from Ohio to Massachusetts.  I was an outsider in my classes, and as far as the other students were concerned, it didn’t matter if I was from Ohio or Iowa (one of the things they just couldn’t seem to get right.  I kind of laugh about that now).

In the interest of keeping this entry shorter than 10,000 pages, I’ll cut to the chase.  A number of things happened to me while growing up– 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade were really minefields.  I had large rocks hurled at me and my face, I was assaulted, a lab stool was thrown at me, hitting my knee and injuring me, and groups of kids would surround me and heckle, pinch and prod me until I left school and walked home in the middle of the day, without my backpack.  The last one happened several times.

Now, why didn’t I go to the principal’s office, you ask?

Because they wouldn’t do anything.  If anything, I’d get in trouble for walking out of class.  The infuriating part of this, for me, is that no one would help me.  Even if my mother came in to see them, the school officials would brush it off as “kids being kids,” and send us on our way.  When I would act out as a result of the bullying (I stole some things a few times), I got detention.  Now, I don’t refute the fact that I did someting deserving of punishment, but not once did anyone ever try to figure out why I was doing what I did.  When I would repeatedly come to the principal about the bullying, nothing was ever done.

To this day, I still become angered to see kids getting bullied.  When something happens that it goes to court (like the link talks about), and people are STILL hiding behind the old “kids will be kids” addage, I wonder, “WHAT does it take?”  It is no different then “boys will be boys” to justify rape.  Why is “kids will be kids” still an acceptable dismissal?  Bullying is an incredibly damaging thing, and is far and away different from “teasing.”  I still am working through the effects of some of the stuff that happened to me.  There have been people bullied worse than me, and I have to wonder what their adult lives are like.  Why can we not take this seriously?  How many kids have to become irreparably damaged before this is considered a real problem?

I’m sure this case with the anorexic girl will end up losing, but I hope it won’t.  I don’t know if bullying GAVE her the disease, but I’m sure it helped her along summarily.  I hope the case is taken seriously.





Friends and when they don’t help themselves

18 04 2009

My best friend is in a tough situation.

I’m not talking her dog died, or she got in a fender bender and was at fault…I’m talking real, deep, tough.

She was born and raised affluent– a Cape Cod family with old Cape Cod money.  Her grandparents were very wealthy, and kept the money coming in via a heavily-used plaza in town that they owned.  Her mother lived with them as well.  They all lived in one house, and my friend’s mother had never actually lived independent of HER parents– my friend’s grandparents.  My friend’s mother works a low-paying call center job for a ferry company, never having the enthusiasm to work her way up any occupational or socioeconomic ladder because she relied strongly on her parents’ money.  My friend, well, she ended up with the complacency that old, permanent money gives you.  Do what you want, when you want, no matter the the cost or revenue-generating potential.

Fast forward to 2002.  My friend’s grandparents sell the plaza as they are quite old (early and mid 90s), and keeping up with it is becoming cumbersome.  They divy the money up amongst various family members.  Things are still going well, they still have the family money.  In 2003 and 2004, the grandparents die (I miss them, too.  I was very close to them).  This is technically where the story really begins.  My friend’s father figure WAS her grandfather, and she was very close to him.  The grandmother and my friend’s mother were incredibly close as well, so both my friend and my friend’s mother spiral into deep, deep depression.  They burn through pretty much all of the money left behind, not knowing much about the world and how money works.  Why would they?  They had both spent their lives cushioned by the family “fortune.”  My friend racks up several thousand in credit card debt, and simply stashes the bills when they arrive, either refusing or not realizing she has an obligation to pay.  At this point, she is 19.  No one has ever told her anything about money, really.  Her mother is doing the same thing: racking up debt at an alarming pace.

The debts default, and crediters begin calling the house at all hours of the morning, day, and evening.  The house they live in is worth slightly over one million dollars, so the taxes are high.  My friend’s mother’s job pays roughly 19,000 a year, which, on Cape Cod is LESS than peanuts.  She begins drinking again, thus going from “recovering alcoholic” to “raging boozer.”  My friend is immobilized by her depression.

Fast forward, again, to 2009.  It’s been four and a half years since this started.  They are still living in that house.  It’s for sale, but my friend’s mother is doing nothing to foster the sale of the house.  She gets drunk every night.  My friend?  She still hasn’t paid her debt off.  She has not completed any schooling, and cannot (or will not) hold onto any job long enough to generate enough money to do anything.  She calls me, distressed, telling me she needs to get out of the town, and asking for help.  Her car no longer works, as well.  Her debt is God knows how high.  I’ve never been able to get a straight answer.

Now, to my point of this whole story.  Since the debt became an issue, my mother (financial wiz) and I have been trying to help her get through this, erradicate her debt, get through school and get a job.  My friend has had therapy and has since recovered from her depression regarding the death of her grandfather, but she constantly talks about how life “shouldn’t be this hard.”  The thing is?  Life IS this hard.  Everyone has to work for their financial independence.  Things are not just handed to you.  My mother and I have lined up all manner of methods for her to get on her feet– helping her with college paperwork, ideas about jobs, coping methods regarding her mother, calling to settle debt with the collections agencies.  She says she follows up, but I don’t think she ever has.  She still gets calls all day.  She went back to school, but quit when she got offered a job that she got fired from after a month.  She’s back to square one now.  And I, who grapples with her own very difficult (at this juncture) life, have nothing to give.

My friend’s mother has three summonses to court in Boston regarding her debt.  The house will either be lost in bankruptcy or reposession.  I find myself not even knowing how much lower my friend can go.  If she and her mother lose their house– where are they going to go?  When will my friend finally wake up and see life for what it is?  Is she even capable of taking care of herself?  These questions kill me: I have nightmares about it at night.  I feel that, sometimes, she wants my mother and I to offer her money or a place to stay.  That will never happen, mainly because she has shown no direction, no ability to get on her own.  We have tried everything, counciling her for countless hours– and she just sinks lower.

What can I do?  I’ve known her for 2/3 of my life.  We met when I was eight, and we grew up together.  I want her to enter the working, adult world as I am beginning to (I have a job…it’s temporary, but more on that another time), so we can continue to be friends and experience life together.

It makes me so sad.  All I can do is watch in horror.





Thoughts on 2009 and Resolutions

13 01 2009

Wow, it’s been quite some time since I’ve written.  I was out of town for over two weeks for the Holiday season, so things were just hectic.  This is honestly one of the first days I have had where I can sit down and really write– I’ve been back for some time, but the apartment really needed a good once-over, and I am STILL catching up on dishes.  All the while, my blog has been at the back of my mind, with a few things I’d like to talk about.

I know that around the Fat Acceptance blogs, New Year’s Resolutions are not a popular concept.  I know that I can barely make it through January with a sound mind, what with all the weight loss ads.  It’s gotten to the point that I have not watched TV for the past two weeks.  For the most part, I find the resolutions many people make to be self-damaging and almost doomed to failure.  People pledge to lose ten pounds, or to eat only salads, or what have you– why?  Most of the time, it feels like, the reason is so they can be considered more attractive, or that losing those ten pounds will fix their lives.  Fueled with post-holiday overindulgence, they sulk in their leafy greens at the company lunch table, saying things like, “Oh, I was sooooo baaaad at Christmas!”

Why do we do this to ourselves?  If people (women especially) were not constantly denying themselves things or foods they loved, perhaps they would not go so incredibly overboard on the pumpkin pie.  Actually, even if they DO have three slices of pie, the world is not going to end.  It may be a common sentiment, but I really feel that women as a whole could contribute so much more were they not bogged down with the pressure to diet and have a svelte little physique.

This all brings me to my resolutions.  Yes, I make them and I think the right KINDS of resolutions are not harmful.  I think resolutions that will truly better your soul or health (and no, I don’t mean “UR FAT UR GON’ DIE” health) are a great thing.  As far as health and what I mean by that, n example would be a diabetic pledging to test their blood sugar regularly to better manage it.  People who pledge to donate time to charities are also making good resolutions.  My resolutions?  Well, they’re small ones.  I would love to be in a position where I could be taking the time to give to charity, but right now, I AM the charity, I think.  My first huge resolution is to find a job.  I have decided to redouble my efforts, overhaul my resume and go door-to-door if I have to.  It’s been just over five months since I’ve moved up here, and the outlook is still bleak.  I’ve been fighting depression about it– it’s been getting harder to even apply for jobs on the rare occasion I see them, because I feel like I’ll just get rejected.  I have resolved to not let this get me down, and to keep on keepin’ on.

My second resolution is somewhat related to the first.  I’m trying to take better care of myself.  I tend to get angry about a lot of small things, which is probably not too good for me.  I’ve never been able to figure out if getting angry about smaller things has been a decent way to vent my anger, and thus making me less angry overall, or if I’m just stressing myself out for no reason.  I have always been somewhat of an angry person.  I get pretty bad road rage at certain things, and I’ll generally swear if I drop something.  So, I’m going to make a conscious effort to control my anger more.  Deep breaths, you know.  I’ve also decided to finally bite the bullet and go back to the gym.  I think the lowered level of physical activity has made me more jumpy, and I find myself itching to go out and do something.  Lastly, I’m trying to eat more veggies and fruit.  That one should be obvious.  I’m very tired of almost completely depending on multivitamins.

So, here’s to 2009 being a good year for everyone.





How I feel this morning.

20 12 2008

People talk a lot about medical studies, the ridiculous OBESITY HYSTERIA, and bigoted people.  This morning, I’m just depressed.  It all culminated while I was flipping through October’s Martha Stewart Living magazine.  There is a full page ad for Boar’s Head meats, which are delicious, but…

Two thirds of the page is a picture of a child, having just taken a bite of a donut, complete with rapturous facial expression.  Below the photo is a short passage used to create a sense of unease in parent’s minds abut what their child is eating.

“Do You Really Know What Your Kids Had for Lunch Today?

Did your daughter trade her lunch money for junk before she got to school?  Of all the good choices available, did she manage to find a bad one?  Kids are great at that.  And with all the talk about obesity and type 2 Diabetes, you have every reason to be worried.”

Of course they use a female subject for the advertisement.  Of COURSE.  I am not being over-sensitive when I say women are the subject of severe scrutiny for their physicality from pretty much day one.  Boar’s Head’s other advertisements (I found a few on YouTube) feature a more diverse group of children, but this particular one just cut me to the bone.  It has a strong sense of paranoia in its marketing, and almost a “SAVE THE VIRTUE OF YOUR DAUGHTER” feel as well.  You know what?  I had donuts from time to time as a child.  That’s not why I’m fat.  Growing up, I was more active than most children are now.  I was on the swim team, I played outside for hours (all day in the summer), and I didn’t own a video game system until I was in 7th grade.  I wasn’t allowed to have one until then.  I was still fat.  I was still made fun of for being fat.  Though, looking back now, I don’t think the kids had a problem with me being fat so much as it was an easy thing to use as a tool for punishing someone different.

Anyway, this advertisement just makes me so tired.  I love my body and who I am, but to get up every day and go into a world where you are regarded as disgusting and irresponsible is exhausting sometimes.  To walk into the Gap to look for gifts for people, and to be greeted with, “I don’t think we have anything in your size” gets old.  I know these sentiments have been echoed in many a blog, but I don’t think I have ever uttered these things myself.  I have always kept it inside, for whatever reason, and finally, today, I am tired and sad.  To the majority of this nation, I will never be attractive.  I have never had a local date/relationship, ever.  Almost every guy I have met who has been interested in me has been in some remote area.  At this point, it is irrelevant as I am in a long term, concrete relationship (which has been local in that we live together for the last 3 1/2 months of the 12 we have been together), but is it shallow to want to be attractive to others?  It might be against the feminist or size acceptance creed, but it’s something I want.

I am tired of being considered unnatural and awful for what I am.  It’s an awful feeling that no human deserves.





Winter 2008 Gift/Beauty Recommendations

5 12 2008

Instead of my usual righteous anger-type posts, today I want to talk about something pleasant.  The Holidays are here, in case you haven’t noticed.  It’s Winter, things are hectic and you probably have a list of people to get gifts for.  I love to shop (which is hard as I don’t currently have a job, heh heh), so talking about my finds seems like a natural result of my hobby.  In this little list of recommendations, personal grooming products abound.  Why?  Well, the reason is two-fold, really.  First off, Winter is a dry, gross season for me (I love the Northeast, but dang, it can get cold up here), so I have to find products that help me get through it without my skin cracking off and my hair turning into a big puff cloud.  Second, it’s fun to buy yourself something cute or nice while you’re out grabbing things for friends/loved ones/pets.  So, the list will be a mingling of gift ideas for others…and yourself!

Old Navy Scarf Cardigans, $36.50

on610799-00p01v01Sweaters are a natural choice for Winter gift giving.  Old Navy has a very large selection, especially if you/the person you are buying for is in the 18-22 range, size-wise.  Need a bigger size?  Fear not!  Old Navy’s Women’s Plus section has loads of cute sweaters, including the one pictured at left.  This sweater comes in sizes 1 though 4x, and in my experience, the sizing can be generous on these sweaters.  A 4x should accommodate anywhere from a 28 to 32.  I am a 28 on top and I frequently have to size down to a 3x with Old Navy’s sweaters.  Anyway, this particular sweater is a great item for this Winter because of the excess material up front, which is to be used as a scarf.  It’s nice, and kind of artsy, and a breath of fresh air when compared to the usual Fair Isle-style sweaters you see around this time.  Not that there’s anything wrong with Fair Isle!  This sweater comes in great cold weather colors as well: black, baby spinach, gentle fawn and crystal peak.  It remains to be seen if this will be a popular sweater or not, but I, for one, love it and it’s definitely on my wish list this Christmas.  Note: Old Navy Women’s Plus is only available online, and shipping is seven dollars USD.  They do, however, have free returns.  If you file for an exchange on the return slip, I believe the shipping is free for the exchanged size, as well.  As of 12.5.08, though, Old Navy’s sweaters are all on sale, so most of the prices I have listed are higher than the current sale price.  If you’re thinking of getting any of these, pounce sooner rather than later!

Other Old Navy Picks: Cashmere Scoop Neck Sweaters $79.50, Cable-knit Hooded Cardigans $39.50

The Body Shop Satsuma Perfume Oil, $16.00

The Body Shop comes out with fantastic seasonal fragrances every year, but Satsuma (a fruit known to many as Clementine) perfume oil is a standby for me.  I’ve worn it since I was 13 and would recommend it to anyone, especially in colder months.  Citrus fragrances generally evoke thoughts of Summer, but this warm, zesty, orange-like scent is very cozy.  Application of this oil to your pulse points allows the warmth of the scent to gently waft around you.  This kind of orange is reminiscent of Pomander balls more so than the light, airy orange Summer citrus scents.  As shown, the oil comes in a cute little glass bottle, and has a small plastic rod inside for dabbing/application.  It’s easily slipped into a small box for wrapping.  An added bonus of this product is that it can be added to lotions and some body sprays.  You could start with an unscented base lotion (there’s one on this list), or, you could add it to a cinnamon or gingerbread-scented lotion for a super holiday feel.  This product is available at any Body Shop (found at most major malls), or online.

Other Body Shop Picks: Zesty Satsuma Takeaways $25.00, Satsuma Body Butter $10.00-20.00, Cranberry Sheer Body Shimmer $20.00

MAC Lipstick, $14.00

MAC is famous for their lipsticks.  Why, you ask?  Well, their range of colors and finishes, coupled with their long-wearing comfort and comparatively low price tag on the department store circuit has earned them quite a following.  Each lipstick has a light, but not overpowering vanilla scent and flavor.  While there are literally hundreds of colors to choose from, for holiday giving, I like pale pinks.  Pale pink is a great color for this season, but doesn’t look out of place in the warmer months (if the giftee uses lipstick slowly) or in warmer climates (where you don’t always see an apres-ski look in December-January).  My current choice of pink is a color called Ahoy, there!  It is, however, discontinued.  MAC has loads of similar colors, though– for your very pale friends, Pretty Please is a good selection.  For medium tones, try Syrup.  Darker skin?  Party Line.  If pink does not suit you or the person you are buying for, try a beige such as High Tea or Viva Glam II.  Added bonus: all the proceeds from Viva Glam products go to the MAC Aids Fund, which has done a lot to support those living with AIDS.  The price of these lipsticks makes them great for groups of people.  The women (or men!) at work, friends, teachers– there are a lot of options.  You can find MAC in many department stores (Macy’s, Nordstrom, Saks), or in free-standing stores.  MAC has a very helpful find store section on their website.

Other MAC Picks: Tinted Lipglass $14.00, Kids Helping Kids Collection $6.00-$7.50

John Frieda Collection Brilliant Brunette Shine Shock Leave-On Perfecting Glosser, $6.99

My hair gets super frizzy in the winter.  No, who am I kidding?  My hair is ALWAYS frizzy.  It doesn’t matter what time of year it is– I’m the flyaway QUEEN.  This product, though, is very effective.  While my hair is still wet from being washed, I put a few squeezes of this in and work it evenly through my hair.  My hair dries to a high-shine, low-frizz moderate wave.  This was one of the first products I have used that has given me a good hair day!  I love this stuff.  It’s in a small bottle (2.4 oz/68g), but it’s worth the price for the effect it has on my ridiculous mop.  It works well with the straight iron/curling iron, as well.  It has gotten to the point that I don’t ever travel without a tube of this in my bag.  No, not my luggage– my bag.  It’s great to apply to dry hair as well.  This is a great item to include in a spa-inspired or pampering gift basket to a relative or best friend– I don’t know that I’d give it as a gift alone, for fear of implying something by giving it.  This is a great little something to get for yourself to try out.  You can find this product almost anywhere: Wal Mart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS.  I got mine at Wegmans, a grocery store in Buffalo, NY.  It’s everywhere.

Other Hair Picks: TIGI Dumb Blonde Conditoiner $22.99, Lush Godiva Solid Shampoo $9.25

Vaseline Intensive Moisture Locking Lotion, $6.29

Let me start off by saying it seems like Wal Mart is giving out free samples of this product.  Okay, on with my little review.  Before I moved up to Maine, I lived in Buffalo, New York for almost five years.  The water in Buffalo is notoriously hard, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about the winters.  My Cape Cod Winter-pampered skin simply could not take the harshness.  Until I moved to Buffalo, I NEVER needed to use lotion.  Suddenly, my legs were flaky and my elbows rough.  I somehow stumbled onto this lotion and it was love.  I still use it, even now.  This lotion is hypoallergenic– no dyes, no fragrances.  This is not your typical, watery lotion.  This is a thick, incredibly creamy hydrator.  This, like the last product, is not something I would give to someone as a gift, this is more of a winter survival item.  It takes care of crackly, post-summer feet and crackly, mid-winter skin.  You can find it at pretty much any major drugstore or big box store for a reasonable price.  I have used lotions far more expensive than this that don’t do half the job this does.  If I were to make a winter survival list, this would top it, hands down.

Other Winter Skin Picks: None!  This is my go-to.  You can use it sparingly on your face, as well, because the pump makes for sterile product inside the container.

Merrell Spirit Tibet High Boots, $130.00

I have the privilege of living but two hours away from L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport, Maine.  I have been visiting this store since my days in middle school.  My mother and I would drive up to Freeport from Cape Cod and stay for Thanksgiving.  It was always loads of Fun– Freeport is an outlet/shopping Mecca, for real.  Anyway, I was in need of good winter boots, so naturally I headed over there.  Pictures do not do these boots justice: seeing them in person, I was struck by their beauty.  They are quite expensive, but the warmth, comfort and style these boots provide is unmatched for me.  The suede outer looks and feels fabulous, and the grips on the bottom are perfect for slippery conditions.  This is an ideal gift for someone who lives somewhere cold (Maine, Buffalo, you know).  While a 130 dollar price tag seems steep, the craftmanship is undeniably quality.  Boots like this will last years, and look good to boot!  Hur hur, I said a funny.  They reach mid-shin on me, and are larger-calf friendly.  At the fullest point, my calves are 21″ or so.  These fit quite well, so they are a good gift idea for your muscular/larger-legged friends and family.  I believe other outdoor stores sell Merrill, but I choose to go through L.L. Bean due to their primo return policy.

Other Merrill Boot Picks: Puffin Mid-Height Boots, $100.00

Other L.L. Bean Picks: Maine Winter Socks $16.50, Bean’s Fleece Socks $15.00

Well, that’s all for now.  There is a possibility of a second part to this gift guide, if the spirit moves me.  I hope that a) people will read this and b) that it’ll help people find gifts for others!  The holiday season is a great time to share and express love and joy to others, especially through thoughtful gifts.  Please don’t lose sight of this amongst the throng of hysteria at all of the shopping malls and big box stores.  Enjoy the season.





Fatty Goes to the Gym

15 11 2008

So, in a week I’m off to Rhode Island to participate in a 5k memorial race.  It’s not competitive; I’ll be walking along with most of the people I know.  A 5k isn’t long as far as I know– Google told me it’s 3.1 miles, which I should have no problem with.  I don’t walk as fast as my (“normal” weight) acquiantances, most of whom live in Boston and simply walk a lot more than I have as of late.  A few months ago, my boyfriend signed me up as a “sponsor” at the U Maine school gym.  It’s a great deal: 25 bucks a semester.  A lot has been going on since I signed up, though, so I haven’t been able to make it out to do anything.  Now, of course, there’s a fire under my butt to start going.  I want the little boost of resistance and leg muscle to walk a little faster.  Thursday night, Kevin and I decided to go.  He’d do basketball pickup games while I waked on the indoor track and maybe hit the stair climber.

The gym was packed.  There were ten people on the (somewhat small) indoor track, and roughly 80% of the machines were in use.  Kevin said he’d never seen so many people show up for the basketball pickups.  We’re walking through the facility to find a place to put our stuff.  Looking around at the hordes of people, I realize: there is not a single female (possibly even male) that I did not outweigh by 180-200 pounds.  Yes, I had to be double the weight of almost every person in the place.  Not a single person even approaching chubby.  It was incredibly upsetting.  Now, I’m not really a self-conscious person.  I have no problem swimming at a public pool, ordering dessert after dinner, and I always go through the world as if it didn’t even occur to me that someone might think less of me because of the fat on my body.  Standing there, though, in that gym, surrounded by skinny girls and trim guys, I crumbled.  I was mortified.  I went to the car while Kevin played some basketball.

Sitting in the car, anger started to wash over me– at myself, at the gym.  I love being active.  I let myself deprive myself of that.  I started thinking, though– was it really me?  College girls can be truly awful.  If I got on one of the stationary bikes, surrounded by them, what might happen?  Could some of them be volatile enough to say something?  I really did not want to take the time to verbally rip them a new one.  I know that, when all is said and done, I have every right to be there, just as much as they do.  On some level, the assumption that I might be there to lose weight infuriates me.  I am not opposed to weight loss really, but I am not trying to and the concept of being misunderstood bothers me more than anything.

Too Fat for Fitness deals with this subject as well, sort of.  It’s hard as heck to be healthy and active when one can’t even go into a gym and feel comfortable.  Maybe a lot of fat people feel this way, and that’s why they don’t go.  In the summer, it won’t matter so much because it’ll be warm out, but it’s not like I live in Southern California.  This is Downeast Maine.  It actually gets cold here.  I guess I just don’t know what to do.