Recently, I was in a meeting and witnessed people making judgements about others, who they didn’t even know. I kind of called them out about it and asked “Do you know her?” The 2 people both acknowledged that they’d only met in passing and didn’t really know much about the person that they were making inaccurate assumptions about.
One of the things that always made me feel worse about myself than I already did at the time was other people judging me. When I was close to 400 lbs, people assumed that I was stupid, lazy, sloppy, didn’t care about myself and more. Even my own Doctor at the time said to me one day “Yes, I know,,, you get depressed and so you just sit and eat.” I screamed NO!!
I hated that people judged me, solely on my size. What I learned though, after starting my journey in 2004 and losing 60% of my body weight, now living in a fit and healthy body is that people STILL judge me based upon appearance alone.
A couple of years ago, I was the speaker for a group of young girls who were incarcerated at a juvenile detention center and I spoke of my past and the thought process that I used to move from that person and to the person I have become today. After the event was over and I was walking to my car, someone stopped me and said that they never knew about that side of my life. This person had simply looked at me, saw my body, saw my car, saw my now confident attitude, instead of the reserved insecure person I once was and they judged. They said to me “I thought you had it all going on.”
What I learned that day was that people judge…period. I’m not saying it’s right, but people do and I wish that people would take the time to get to know someone before they judge them. Someone who did take the time to get to know me when I was 400 lbs once said to me that I had the biggest heart and that those people who I wished I could look like, probably had the smallest heart. OK, so maybe she was judging those other people too, but she was right. I did have a big heart AND I still do. Sometimes, too big for my own good, because I give of myself so much, to help others. Do I have “it all going on.” No, I don’t…just like everyone else, I have good days and bad days, I have good weeks and bad weeks, which seem to drag into months. What I do have going on is the mindset of looking forward, moving forward and taking every step in a direction to where I want my life to go. Of course, you know that direction is on the path of helping others change their lives and improve their lives, to help them onto their journey…achieve their dreams.
The moral of this story…don’t judge people based on the outside. Get to know them, find out who they are, the person who lives in their heart and then you can decide if you like that person or not. Here’s an interesting article from the Huffington Post of how women see other women: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-wheeler-johnson/overweight-women-thin-glamour-survey_b_1476335.html
Standing in my mothers kitchen back in 2004, just before leaving the abusive relationship that I was in, my mother asked me “What do you want out of life?” It was the most honest, open conversation we had ever had in my life. My answer was very simple “I want people to stop judging me for the outside and to see me for who I am inside.” I am grateful for the people that I now call friends, they see me fore who I am inside and I am loved. I cherish their friendship and am blessed by it.
The next time you see someone that you don’t know, perhaps in the grocery store, there is an overweight man or woman pushing the cart. Don’t look at the food in their cart and judge them, we know that you are doing that and we can see you shaking your head and judging us. It makes us feel horrible. I can’t even count the number of times that happened to me in my life and I would always leave the store crying. What people didn’t know is that food in my cart might not have been the healthiest of choices, but it was all I could afford to buy. And when I was trying to diet, I thought the food I was buying was good, because it was fat-free.
Please…If I have taught you anything, don’t judge others.