Blending in

June 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Today I went to Starbucks

This is a big deal for me

Because only in the last few months have I been able to go IN a Starbucks

AND SIT

Have you ever noticed Starbucks is small?

And the spaces are tight?

This is going to sound silly

But for the longest time I’ve just wanted to be able to walk inside

With my laptop

And sit there

Like everyone else

Such a simple thing to do

But it was ruled out

Because of my size

Today was different

I packed up my laptop and walked into Starbucks

Ordered my coffee

And sat at a little table in a little chair

Amazed by the fact that I was there

Fitting in with the rest

BLENDING

Do you know how long it has been since I blended in anywhere?

No more people with wide eyes giving me looks of shock when I walk through the door

Because they’re not used to people that big

Evidently I blended in so well that a woman waiting for her coffee struck up a conversation with me

About a baseball game she had been to

Where she was “forced” to sit next to a “disgustingly huge” woman

“….And this woman has to ALWAYS sit in that section at every game…She insists on coming…”

“…And it just ruins the whole experience for me…”

So she is going to have to change where she sits

Because “anywhere else would have to be a better view”

And when she was saying this to me I was thinking

“Is she really saying this to ME?”

But then she put her hand on my shoulder, shook her head, and said “You know what I mean? I just hate it when that happens!”

Two things popped in my head

One–I look  normal to some people

Obese–yes– but not shockingly so

I can blend into society again

And second—wow….I can’t believe what a jerk this lady is!

Because she didn’t say she wanted to move because the woman was taking up too much room

She said it was the view

THE VIEW

The very fact that this woman existed

And was within her sight

Bothered her

Disgusted her

At first I felt angry

Angry at people who feel this way

Because I know how much courage it must have taken for that obese woman to go to the baseball game

And this woman standing before me said the obese woman “insisted” on coming

Insisted 

In other words, everyone else could show up and it was fine

But when this woman showed up she referred to it as “insisting” to be there

Like someone who doesn’t belong and shouldn’t have come

Like the lepers from Luke 17:11

Who were not allowed in the village

Exiled

When Jesus walked by, they stood at a distance

Because they had been told by society that they did not belong

That they had no right to be there

And Jesus’ response?

He healed them!

After all they had been through

No hope in sight

They were healed

But out of ten lepers only ONE returned to say thanks

So as I was sitting there drinking my coffee

Wondering why this woman was such a jerk

I was reminded of the lepers

The ones who had lived in a world of hurt

But suddenly were healed

And distracted by their new life

Did not even bother to say thanks

I thought “Let me not be like that”

For I too am being  healed

I’m sitting here in a Starbucks blending in

To the point that a woman I don’t even know makes a comment about a super obese woman TO ME

Because in her mind, I’m NOT that

And I thought to myself

Let me be grateful

Let me not ever disappear into my happy new life and forget to turn back and see those who are still sitting on the outside of the village exiled

Still suffering

Still waiting for someone to heal them

I had no idea who the obese woman who “insisted” on going to ball games might be

But I wanted to cry for her

And then my anger suddenly changed

And I asked myself “Could this ever be me?”

I would never judge an obese person because I’ve been there

But where haven’t I been?

What haven’t I experienced?

Are there times I pass judgement because I just don’t know?

Because I haven’t traveled that path?

Or walked a mile in those shoes?

Let me scour my conscience right now and INSIST on never doing that again

And then I was thankful

Thankful to that woman standing in line waiting for coffee

Because she taught me two things

Don’t judge what you haven’t lived and can never understand

AND…be thankful for every pound you’ve lost

Be thankful every second of the day you aren’t obsessing over food

Be thankful for every day of healing you’ve received

And don’t forget those who still live outside the village walls

Exiled

Waiting for someone to bring them hope

Because they need it

Don’t we all?

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna June 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm

What an amazing post!!! This really spoke to me today, knocked me to my knees in fact. Thank you.

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Ronnie June 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I’m with you! I really dislike when people comment to me about others’ weight, I know I look normal now… but I’m still a big girl at heart. I was the person people rolled their eyes at when I walked into a room or talked. People who’ve never been obese don’t understand that!
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Amanda June 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I admit I become very indignant when people make comments to me about other people being fat. I think “KNOW your audience!” Who are you talking to? And then I remember that I probably look pretty normal by now and they don’t mean ME. Yes, I do hurt for those people. But then there are some that just annoy me. The ones that *itch and moan about their weight and never take any steps to correct it. I know it isn’t easy and I hate that I find myself judging but I do. Something to work on.
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Rae Rae J June 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm

FANTASTIC post. It’s been a real struggle for me internally to decide whether to blast people who make fun of the overweight TO ME or keep quiet.
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Laryssa (Mrs. O) June 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Beautifully written. We often feel sympathy for someone suffering something we’ve been through but it’s often so hard to have empathy when we don’t know what that other person is feeling. Your experience with this woman at Starbucks is a lesson for all of us. Thanks for sharing. (Though I’ll admit I probably would have told this woman “That lady you’re talking about? That was me … X months ago” and hope it led to a learning experience for her.)
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Angie Mizzell June 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I love going to Starbucks and I take that simple act for granted. Also, I love the saying, “you’re responsible for the energy you bring into this space” and she failed to see that her energy is toxic… to herself and to others.

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Caron June 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Wow. What great observations. Thank you. 🙂
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jennxaz June 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I hate when people bash on fat people..its just them being a bully and a jerk. I wonder what I would have said to her, if anything?

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Elizabeth June 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm

See, that is where you are letting Jesus shine thru your actions- It would have been easy to come up with a remark about your previous size and relating yourself to the woman she was speaking about and make her squirm and feel like she wanted to crawl into a shell never to come out till you left, but you didn’t. You allowed God to be her judge, you held your tongue and thru it you were blessed and Godly wisdom covered you. You are an amazing woman, just to let you know! 🙂
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Brenda June 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I’ve had that happen to me too in a Starbucks. Someone commenting on someone else’s weight. I had to look around and make sure she was talking to me. It really offended me. Personally. And for that woman who was BRAVE enough to get out, something I would not have done. Because I was scared. Of what others would think or say. There is so much judgment. So sad. All we can do is be an example to others to not be judgemental. I am proud of you for holding your tongue.
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Ducky June 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

It is truly a blessing to be able to turn that situation into a lesson and thought process that makes YOU a better person. WOW…just WOW!

And I don’t frequent coffee shops in certain areas of town because of people like that. Yes, that is judgey, I admit and accept that. Even though I should not be, I am stunned at the gall of people and strangers at that!
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Liz June 27, 2012 at 8:48 pm

That’s really disgusting. I myself am guilty of judging people, I think we all are. Skinny, obese, short, tall, doesn’t matter, I’ve judged. But I have never seen some one where I thought to myself “The audacity of this person to sit where I can see them, to breathe the air I am breathing.” Never. They have as much right to be where ever it is we are as I do. And to know that there are people out there that really think that just because some one is different that they shouldn’t be at a ball game is truly sickening.
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Katie June 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Thank you! Your journals are amazing!
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Staci June 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Oh wow! I am a chatty Cathy. I don’t just go up to strangers and start saying horribly rude things to people, but I do say “things” to people. LOL I wonder how many comments I might’ve made to someone who has been thru what I am ranting about someone else going through??? Does that even make sense? Lol. Anyway, great post, Holly.
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Sheila June 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Another beautiful and thought-provoking post. This goes right along with anyone who has ever sat by and listened to someone tell an off-color joke, WHAT DO YOU DO? What do you say? Clearly we can’t always enlighten the poor souls who take delight in putting others down, and sometimes the best thing is to just pray that someday they see the light and the error of their ways. We can always hope for a positive outcome. 🙂
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Lady Amanda June 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm

AWESOME post! Love it! Soo true! And I think people are becoming more and more open about their thoughts and not even caring how it effects other people. People just seem to say whatever they want. It is crazy. GREAT post!

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Trish @I_am_Succeeding June 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm

We hit upon this a little at the WLS support meeting I attended. Sad really. I feel sorry for that woman who was speaking to you because apparently she has set herself up to be harshly judged.

Bravo to you for seeing a lesson in it.

XoXo
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Kody June 27, 2012 at 11:01 pm

It’s those small victories that keep us moving forward congrats it must have felt amazing to be in there, except for the stupid person you had to talk to!!

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tz June 27, 2012 at 11:37 pm

As always a beautiful post!
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Adelyn June 28, 2012 at 1:33 am

Once again, you are amazing. I like how you take situations and then turn them back to “what can I learn from this?” or “in what why might this be me?”. You are doing such hard work and the progress is inspiring.
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darlene June 28, 2012 at 3:00 am

Wow, I dont think I would have been able to listen and not say something! People are so thoughtless sometimes!

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Steelers6 June 28, 2012 at 4:27 am

Welcome home!

I liked; “where haven’t I been; what
haven’t I experienced?” Good point!!

I can’t even believe someone would
utter those words!! ? Or even think
them quietly, for that matter, but
SAY them? Out loud? Really?!?

Wow.

Chrissy

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Tina June 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I have just caught up on your blog and I have to start with: I am so sorry you lost your Nana. I know that is hard. When I lost my Nana (lol that we call them the same name), I had to mourn what she was never able to be for my father and all the subsequent damage that did to him. Such a mix of emotions. On the Starbucks experience, I am proud of you. It took a lot of restraint not to try to change her mind but to learn and grow from it. Thank you for sharing all your experiences!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Thank you Tina!! I remember you telling me that we both called our grandmothers ‘Nana’. That’s cool to find someone else who has a Nana too!! I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your Nana as well. And you’re right we have to process all those tangled emotions. Thanks so much for sharing, Tina!!

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Julie Rayner June 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Wow – this post was amazing. I just recently found your blog and am an ADDICT. I’m addicted to your wonderful energy, your strength and your words. Today, I just felt like making sure you knew you had one more huge fan 🙂 You’re beautiful inside and out!!

P.S. – I jotted down a few of your words on a sticky note. They’re my “brain food for the day”!!!!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Oh my goodness!! That is SO sweet. You are such a wonderful person to take the time to encourage me like this today. Thank you!!!

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Holly June 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Oh gosh, Holly! People are so thoughtless sometimes. You are much better at handling that sort of thing than I am. I’m not sure I could have kept my mouth shut. I get a little nutty when people pick on others. 😛

You are such an inspiration. Keep on being awesome you!
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Amy June 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm

WOW. I’ve said this before, discrimation on obsese people is deemed accecptable by society and no one is doing anything about it. Why do people think this is accecptable to judge a person. We shouldn’t judge based on color or sexual preference so why is weight any different.

I am amzed you choose not to say anything.
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me June 30, 2012 at 6:12 am

ONE DAY I’m gonna visit and NOT CRY! LOL!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Oh!! You crack me up!!

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