NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Fears

July20

It seems a lot of fatties have the same fears. I wanted to address this in a way that won’t get too serious and scary, but to just sort of start a discussion (Please feel free to comment).
I will admit to having to face my own fears in life. Spiders, for instance no longer bring out the scream and run reaction that they used to (I’m a big relocator of insects). Having gotten over this fear I realized that perhaps some of my other fears would be easily approached as well.

After beginning the Big Fat Summer Challenge I had to face some of my own fears. Going sleeveless in public was huge for me. I know I don’t seem it here, but I can be a very shy gal sometimes. I can also be a big mouth, but that’s a topic for another day. I had originally planned to wear a different strapless dress than the one I posted on this blog, but it was too big for me and it seems that the one I went with in the end worked out perfectly. I did bring a wrap, but only because the evening breeze in the East Bay can be unpredictable, and it ended up being quite chilly out.

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A few years ago my husband and I took a vacation in Hawaii. On the travel site I booked it through there was mention of a helicopter tour of Maui. I really wanted to do it, but I was terrified of heights. Airplanes are still tough for me even after years of business travel. So a helicopter? Yikes! But I saw it as the perfect opportunity to tackle a fear of mine. But then another fear arose: they weigh each passenger before boarding! OH NO! I didn’t know how much I weighed at the time, but knew I weighed more than whatever their limitations were. So I emailed the company, swallowing my pride, and explained my situation. They were pretty cool about it actually, but I did have to buy another seat. My husband was very supportive and excited for our tour. I also posted to fatshionista on LiveJournal to get a feel for what other aftties might do in my shoes. They, too were very supportive and encouraged me to go for it.

Well, you would have thought I’d have been a mess, but I was cool. I was a touch nervous, but who wouldn’t be? So, we boarded and I had to sit in the back with these two older ladies and my husband sat in front with the pilot. It was amazing and beautiful! I didn’t get sick or freak out. I had the time of my life! My poor husband however got very motion sick and was not a happy camper. But he did get some great photos! Ha-ha!

I guess my point is that we share fears as humans, but as fatties well, there’s just a lot more for us to fear in the world. Not just going sleeveless or wearing shorts. But doing these things in public is tough! And the beach seems so much more scary when you’re fat. Not just because of the bathing suits/shorts situation, but you’re out there, exposed for everyone to see/judge/appraise. YIKES! I get it! That is one thing I have struggled with, too. Not to mention the squishies and creatures one encounters while swimming in the ocean (although in Maui I managed far better than here in Cali). And then there’s sand! Oh sand, you seem so benign! But you are such a foe to those with extra flesh and folds. Even between my toes I don’t like sand. I pretty much hate friction I guess is the bottom line. Ha!

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As far as I feel that I have come in accepting myself, my size, my body, my shape, my pale skin…I still have those moments when my breath catches in my throat and I am not sure that I will survive whatever moment that has caused this reaction. Sometimes I am fully clothed and am hitting up a bar with some friends and suddenly twenty frat guys walk in rowdy and ready for confrontation. CRINGE!

Walking my sweet little pup each evening past oh so many beatiful houses in my neighborhood (I live in an apartment), I never know what I will encounter. Sometimes a car may pass by and shout at me or the wonderful time this woman screamed at me for five minutes about my pup pooping on her non-lawn (I was picking it up before she even pulled up) and continued to scream “Fat Ass Bitch” at me even though I was speaking calmly and rationally.

You cannot control the outside world. You cannot control your instinctual reactions. But you can control some things. Like when that woman was screaming at me and I smiled, took a deep breath and explained that I had already picked up the poop and showed it to her. Yes, I wanted to smear it in her face, but I’d rather not go to jail at the moment. When she was threatening me and sounding like a howler monkey I simply told her, “If you would like to talk to me like an adult, I am right here and I will talk to you.” (she was about 50 years old mind you.)

I think having that calm confidence is a great self-defense weapon. People don’t expect that from fatties. They expect us to cry and hide and be fearful. I’m not saying at all that we should use violence or anything like that. I am simply saying that sometimes it is so much better for ourselves to not even care what they think/say.

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What are your fears as a fattie or non-fattie? Do you avoid certain activities or things because of a fear? I want to know all about it! Thanks for reading.

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posted under DIY, fat, Fat Acceptance
2 Comments to

“Fears”

  1. On July 20th, 2010 at 7:09 pm Erin Marie Says:

    I nearly let being a fatty stop me from going to Kenya to volunteer for three months last year, but my heart of hearts I knew it was something I had to do.

    There were some mortifying moments. I was constantly stared at, poked, prodded and talked about. In Africa being fat is a sign of wealth, and not particularly looked down upon, but I took my western perceptions of it over with me and cried profusely when I was introduced to a group of people by a leader in the village who went on to say that I would probably lose a lot of weight from my work in the village. Oh, and getting on the back of a boda boda (bicycle transport) and hearing the locals laugh at the poor guy who had to carry me.

    But one of the proudest moments of my life occurred when I was over there. On an R&R weekend we went to a national park in Central Kenya – we had to ride bikes there and would then ride all the way through the park and back again. I hesitated, but knew that I would regret it if I didn’t go with the rest of the group.

    On the 7km ride to the national park from our hostel I cried five times, threw the bike down three times and decided to turn back once. When we got to the national park I sat in a corner and cried, hating myself for half an hour for being fat and holding the team back and just generally not being good enough.

    But my teammates were fabulous and encouraged me to go with them – even though there was a whole lot of riding ahead of us.

    What followed was one of the most amazing, but gruelling experiences of my life. I rode a bike through the African savannah – giraffes, warthog and zebra right there on the side of the path. We went on what was supposed to be a ‘hike’ but ended up being a rockclimbing expedition. Then we had to ride all the way back.

    It was hard. It was bloody hard. On the way back I cried a whole lot more and ended up having to walk the bike most of the way.

    But it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life – I had been terrified of holding the group back, but I didn’t. Those who didn’t want to stick with me didn’t. But I was never short of someone who needed a break and stuck with me.

    I went to uni for five years and spent another year working to be qualified as a lawyer. The day of my admission was the proudest day of my life … until I walked back into camp that day to the sounds of clapping from my team and a swell of pride in my heart that I had faced my fear of doing something really physically challenging and winning.

    Since then, nothing stops me anymore. I did a high ropes course three months after getting home – climbing (and falling from) trees and ropes and generally getting hurt but loving it. I don’t care about how I look on the beach anymore, because my body is my vehicle, and who cares about how it looks to anyone else.

    I’m not saying that it changed everything – I do still get self-conscious – aeroplanes, buses, back seats of taxis. But in terms of getting out into the world and enjoying myself, I try not to let it bother me anymore.

    (Sorry about all the really lengthy comments! Your posts just evoke such strong feelings and memories in me that I can’t help but want to share! Let me know if it’s too much! Love your work!)

  2. On July 21st, 2010 at 8:48 am Not Blue at All Says:

    First, I LOVE long comments. Write me a novel, doll! Ha-ha!
    And I loved your story. I know when we are physically tired, too our emotions seem to take a stronger foothold and can kill our self-esteem. I can’t believe you did all of that and came back in one piece! I am in awe of your accomplishments! I can relate on a smaller scale, but nothing like your incredible adventure. Giraffes & zebras? Holy wow!
    When my husband and I went on our honeymoon in 2005 (1 week in Italy, 1 week in Paris 1 week in Ireland) I wasn’t sure what to expect from Europeans upon seeing my fat body. I honestly had no troubles at all with travel, but when we were in Paris trying to find the Dali museum I hit a wall at one point. We were directed to go all over the place and ended up at this empty subway station. To get out it seemed we had to climb some stairs. No worries I thought and went for it. But it was a spiral staircase straight up into an abyss it seemed (turns out there was an elevator we’d missed). I had to keep stopping, it was terrible. I felt like I was wrecking the whole trip with my jet lag and dietary issues, so this struggle on top of it was just so sad to me. When we finally made it to the top I felt like I had triumphed. Until that is I realized that we also had to take this street straight up for about a half mile. I was winded. I couldn’t do it. I tried and then I would stop and cry. It was terrible. I finally gave up and we went back to the hotel for a long to bath. The next day? Made it to the museum, but stayed on the subway one more stop and ended up walking down a hill to the museum! Upon entering, it felt like the greatest thing ever. To have worked so hard to see this artwork” It was a magical moment. I try to push myself now and then, too. But what you did amazes me.
    I am so proud of you and me! We are strong ladies! We set our minds to something and even when our minds wanted to throw in the towel, we kept at it!
    Thank you for sharing this story. It is so powerful!

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