November 25, 2013
There are not many things I’m sorry about in life, but recently I’ve been feeling a deep sense of sadness within me. After being blocked on Facebook and reading the Yahoo article explaining the ban, I feel completely misunderstood. While I speak strongly about making one’s health a priority, the very last thing I intended to express was any level of shame. No one should be ashamed of who they are, at the same time, in order to desire something greater, you have to –at some level – be uncomfortable with where you are at. When we normalize being unhealthy we create complacency to positively change.
In our fast-paced world of news media, it’s easier to categorize someone as a ‘fat-shamer’, a ‘hater’ or even a ‘bully’, without understanding the full story. Somewhere in this social media frenzy, I have been called all of these names after using a popular catchphrase on a motivational fitness poster and now for my vent on our obesity crisis in America. I understand the deeper issues because I grew up with it. I witnessed the abuse of prescription pills that helped alleviate symptoms but didn’t provide the cure that living a healthy lifestyle would’ve done. I experienced a hateful relationship with food that triggered several years struggling with Bulimia. I sensed people creating environments filled with comfortable people and comfortable personal expectations that encouraged their poor habits.
I feel a lot of pain.
I felt it when I tearfully prayed my rosary while driving to the hospital because my mom just had a heart attack following her kidney surgery. I felt it when I saw people lose their legs and eyesight because of Diabetes. I felt it when my parents weren’t present on the day of my wedding.
November 27th is our wedding anniversary. Unlike many brides, I don’t like reflecting back at that life moment. All I remember was the morning phone call stating my mother was in the ICU for an infection and my father would walk me down the aisle, but would leave soon after to be by her side. Besides feeling emotionally lost the entire evening, a part of me felt resentful, because whether realized or not, I felt these unfortunate circumstances could’ve been prevented if she lived a healthier lifestyle. Any personal challenge, especially in dealing with health – takes its toll on the entire unit, not just the person itself.
Many put off what is important for tomorrow because of the short-term stressful or satisfying moments they experience today. Maybe one doesn’t feel their weight and unhealthy habits are taking a toll now, but it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ your organs, bones and overall body succumb to the additional pressure you are applying to it. Maybe you won’t be able to run with your children. Maybe you will miss out on special events. Maybe you might not witness your child’s wedding day…
I don’t want any child to cry over their parent’s hospital bed hoping they will wake up.
Because that’s what I’ve done.
I was caught off guard when my new father-in-law offered to dance
with me to “In my Life” by the Beatles, a song I chose for my first dance
with my father. It was the hardest moment of the night. Up until that
point I tried to keep it together but I cried so much wishing my father
was present and that my mother was healthy.
I get choked up every time I see this picture of my youngest sister, the baby of
the family, Angeline. Obesity effects a family, not just the person.