Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chubby Commuter

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.

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