Don’t Assume

So in my last post, I gave away the fact that I’m passionate. Italian and passionate. The two go together like hand in glove. So when someone starts telling a friend of mine that the key to her happiness is more exercise and a better diet, because so much of rural living is unhealthy, my feathers get ruffled a bit. I feel judged before I even walk outside my front door – the front door of my home set in rural America.

What will you see if you look at me on the street these days? An overweight woman in her forties, whose gait isn’t always the most steady or most proud. And I know I’m being judged by that gait, and my size, even if it’s just a “poor thing (or the ever popular ‘bless her heart’), if she’d only lose the weight she wouldn’t be walking funny.”

And their assumptions would be so wrong.

I used to be active. I used to hike. I used to ride horses. I used to run and dance and even tried my hand at martial arts. I am the mother of one, and we used to go to the park all the time when the weather was nice. I wasn’t *always* like this. But then again, I wasn’t always sick.

But I’m being judged anyway. By people who have no idea who they are looking at. They didn’t know me before, they don’t know how much weight I’ve lost already, they just assume I’m popping ho-ho’s all day long. In actuality, I dare any of those people to write down what they eat in a typical day and what I eat in a typical day. Hands down, I can tell you I put more whole foods in my diet than they do. Why? Because I already *know* that my diet effects my health. I know that if I indulge in a half cup of ice cream my pain levels are going up the next day. I know that sugar increases inflammation, and I avoid it. I also can’t take anti-inflammatory drugs like they can when they are achy because those drugs wreak havoc on my digestive system.

So, dude. I’m glad that you’ve changed your diet and you visit the gym and that you feel so awesome you just want everyone to know all about it. But before you even begin to tell another person what they need to do to get healthy, I’d like to see your qualifications. And then I’d like you to sit down and take a medical history of the person you’re preaching to. Obesity is a complicated issue. It’s not always as easy as cutting back the calories and going for a run. And happiness isn’t just about weight.

Hops off soapbox

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