Should we call these people out on their weight? What should we think about them? Should we judge them and say: "Why can't they just loose weight?" If we see them in the grocery store and judge them for what they put into their cart. "You really should not be eating those chips or drinking that cola." Maybe we should go up to them and say "You should really lose some weight" or give them diet advice. Even if we do not say it, are thoughts just as bad as actions?
As a person who was teased for the majority of his elementary school and all of his middle school years for being fat, I feel ashamed to think the same thoughts that my bullies thought when they saw me.
The thing that bothers me with these thoughts are that they are so automatic for me and society in general. Pictures of fat people on Facebook continue to pop up, and the reaction is usually mixed. For example, back in the summer, the above picture of a man falling off his automatic scooter as he reaches for a pack of soda made the rounds on Facebook and the inter webs.
Comments were all over the place from "What a loser" to "What has America become" to "He[?] is so pathetic" and finally "Why doesn't he lose some f-ing weight!"
Honestly I did not know what to think when I saw this picture. My emotions were mixed and torn between "Wow, I am glad I am not like that" to "I hope he is alright."
I thought about my reaction to these situations and I realized why they occur. For me, I think that they pop up so automatically because seeing those pictures or people makes me feel insecure about myself. I am still afraid of becoming like that or like them, that I put up this wall of humor and ridicule to separate myself from that pain as much as possible. I create an illusionary "self." They are different from me; I am somehow better than they are. Both of these statements are obviously not true.
They suffer just like I do. They have feelings just like I do, so instead of seeing their differences, I should greet them with compassion and an open heart. That is all I can do to help them. Criticizing whether in my own mind or to their face does nothing but build walls between me and them and inflates an artificial ego.
My initial reaction of disgust is not the problem until I begin to nurse and entertain these thoughts further instead of simply letting them go. Hopefully in time and with mindful practice, I will eliminate my own fears of being overweight and with them, these thoughts. Then, I can remove at least that F word from my vocabulary. The other f word is entirely fair game though...but thats just my two watts.
I would love to hear your comments on this, so message me, leave them on facebook, twitter, or below.