Fatty, fatty, two by four, couldn't get through the bathroom door.
Okay, so I never really heard this when I was heavy. Not literally. I am, however, surprised by the subtle ways I was discriminated against when I was heavy. I didn’t fully appreciate it until I got on a BART train headed for my new job downtown at over 100 pounds thinner than I was the last time.
It is physically much easier to sit on the seats in BART, and I don’t have to worry about sitting next to someone as large as I was. What really caught me off guard was how people aren’t hesitant to sit next to me. When they do, our hips don’t touch, which is a huge personal relief. I don’t feel the barely concealed sneers and judgments I used to feel. Men look at me. I suppose if I found that important, I’d be happy about it. Now, it just feels like a weird sociological measuring device that I could easily do without. I surprised myself most recently by hiking up BART stairs because of escalator repair and not having to rest at the top.
I was at my heaviest when we lived in
Connecticut between 2006 and 2008. I got up to 340 pounds, and back then I
applied and interviewed for more than four good jobs in New York City, which is where you had to go
to get decent pay. I came very close on
several of them. Leslie is convinced my
weight was a barrier, a thought I didn’t want to consider too seriously then
for obvious reasons. Beyond that, had I been hired, my weight would have made
commuting to the city extremely difficult.
I’m convinced I wouldn’t have this job if I was heavy. My client contact is a nice enough guy, but he is nervous, too. He’s the kind of fellow who would be uncomfortable with a very heavy woman no matter how experienced she was. In my interview, it took him less than five minutes to announce he loved me, a decision he made based on first impression.
If I was fat?
I am working very hard to get used to working full time again. I’m tired much of the time. How much harder would this be if I was heavy?
Sure, it’s a person’s right to be fat. I felt that way when I was. But back then I didn’t feel I had a choice. Having a choice, and making a decision toward better health has made a positive impact in my life.
I see that quite clearly.