Weighty Matters

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Like Nobody’s Watching

on April 2, 2013

I always hated feeling like people were watching me and judging me on my appearance and weight.   It’s one thing if you’re a performer of some sort and you’re out in the public eye because you want all eyes on you.  That’s okay.   In the course of your day to day normal life, when you’re obese, it’s easy to become incredibly self-conscious.

Depending on the degree or intensity of the self-consciousness, you can learn to live small.  It’s a protection and a safeguard.  If you don’t put yourself out so that people notice, they won’t have the opportunity to judge, to make inappropriate, if well-meaning comments, to give you those looks that you immediately interpret to mean, “Oh, she’d be (fill in the blank).  What a shame she’s so fat.”

Marianne Williamson reminds us that playing small doesn’t serve the world.  It doesn’t serve us either.  I work in public relations/marketing/media.  I can’t do my job if I play small.  Honestly, I’m naturally an extravert.  For much of my life I’ve been able to put myself out there externally, even if I wanted to shrink and tremble emotionally.

I also know that my weight didn’t only effect me.  It couldn’t help but have an impact on the family and friends who love me.  I regret the years of upset, pain and worry.   I can’t do anything to restore the time to them.  The only thing that I can do is move forward with my healthier lifestyle and choices and know that I’m not creating hurt and concern for them anymore.

I know how fortunate I am.  In my job, I sometimes need to represent our organization on camera.  I don’t remember how my boss and I got caught up in a particular conversation — it didn’t start out to be about me — but it gave me an opportunity to acknowledge my gratitude for the support of my work family.  Through the years, they never said, “We can’t have her doing interviews, she’s too fat or she doesn’t look right.”  That is just not who we are as an organization.  However, I am still grateful and I’m glad that I got the chance to express this.  In the same conversation, I also had a chance to acknowledge and honor the concern that they had for me through the years as well as the phenomenal support they gave me when I made the decision to have the surgery.

They continue to support and encourage me now, while they cheer my progress and recovery.

I’m rambling a little, so let me get back on point.  I’ve been thinking about how much better it feels to now have my internal emotions in synch with my external activity.  It’s not that I’m more confident, but that I’m so much more relaxed and at ease.  I no longer worry about what people are secretly thinking about me when we meet or when they see me.   I’m much more free to simply be.

In a few weeks I’ll reunite with many friends at a fun conference that includes several dance parties.  I’ve always loved to dance and have usually managed to block out the worry over what other people thought about my big body moving around on the dance floor.  I did my best to dance like nobody was watching and just have fun.

I think this is going to be easier now too.  I’m living my life without worrying what people are thinking or how they’re reacting.  If I’m not dancing like nobody’s watching, at least I’m dancing as if I don’t care that they are.

2 responses to “Like Nobody’s Watching

  1. Hope says:

    I love to dance like a goofus, but I hate it when people notice me dancing. :p

  2. Mary, I so get every single word you’ve written here. Thanks!

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