Have you ever felt invisible? Felt that you aren’t being seen or heard? That your existence doesn’t matter? Well I have. And it hurts deep into the depths of my soul. I have also experienced the opposite, feeling accepted, being heard, having people want to be around me. Being around people that make you feel loved and wanted is one of the best things in the world!
Right now I am, once again, Mrs. Invisible. I recognized this a few months ago when I attended a block party to meet new people in my neighborhood. I’m a very outgoing person so I know it wasn’t from a lack of trying. I wanted to attend, I wanted to make new friends, I wanted to put myself out there. But one thing changed everything. I’m fat. Yep, I am here to testify that being the huge elephant in the room makes you invisible.
I am one of those people who has been on both sides of the fence. I was skinny as a child and as a teenager. I was the thin, cute, young mom who everyone loved and wanted to be around. So I can really feel the change in attitudes when I put on weight.
When I moved to Texas I became depressed and because of the abundant changes in my family I coped with life by eating. Eating was one of the only things that felt good to me, so I partook, and partook, far more than I should have! After the holiday season I found myself the heaviest I have ever been.
Being new and not knowing anyone was harder being fat than thin. Meeting new people and going out was a challenge. I noticed right away that people didn’t want to have to look me in the eyes. I would be at Walmart in the check out and only spoken “at” not “to”. I went to church and only one person reached out to me. I later found out that she had lost 100 pounds and had suffered from her own struggles, losses, and had overcome.
I think that being heavy and then losing the weight, or even just having weight issues makes one very accepting of people. Instead of having judgmental thoughts towards someone, or not being friendly, or even worse yet–acting like the fat person isn’t there, we take people for who they are at the core. Now that I’ve had experience being fat I am more compassionate and understanding. I feel that there is a depth there that wasn’t before. Because, like it or not, once being thin and then getting fat, changes who you are inside forever.