Tag Archives: Utah

Fit Shaming My Inner Fat Girl

Standard
Fit Shaming My Inner Fat Girl

I am a teensy bit obsessed with weight loss shows. I literally cry every time I watch The Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss. I follow the coaches and many of the contestants/participants on their social media and I feel like they are my friends. I feel like I can relate to them, having been overweight for many years. So imagine my delight when The Biggest Loser’s Jackson Carter announced a fundraiser 5k on the Ogden River Parkway, one of my favorite go-to running spots.

I have struggled with my weight most of my life. When I was around eight, I plumped up a bit. This in itself wouldn’t have been so traumatic except I was now bigger than my older sister. Being only a year apart, people often referred to us as the “Rabino Twins,” and at one point in time someone told me the only way they could tell us apart was that I was “the bigger one.” (Thanks a lot, ass hat. Almost 30 years later and that still haunts me.)

In my 20s and early 30s, my weight yo-yoed. At my heaviest I weighed more than I did when I was nine months pregnant, pushing pretty close to the 200-pound mark. Luckily I began running when I was 31 and my weight has been relatively stable, aside from my last pregnancy.

My 20s were not kind to me...

My 20s were not kind to me…

Today I guess I would be considered pretty fit. I try to exercise five to six days a week and eat relatively healthy. But I certainly allow myself indulgences every now and then. (Let’s just say I would not be a pleasant person without chocolate and wine in my life. Even WITH them, I don’t think anyone is going to accuse me of being the sweetest person they know.) I recently went to North Carolina for my BF’s wedding and South Carolina to visit my old childhood stomping grounds of Goose Creek and Charleston. Of course I had to indulge in all of the southern delectables I can’t get in Utah. Even when I did, though, I couldn’t fully enjoy the splurges because I have a super naggy inner fat girl. And she can be very loud and obnoxious.

I don’t wear the battle scars of my weight problems externally, but I know what I have been through and what a struggle it is on a daily basis to do the right thing and make good choices. So imagine my surprise when I showed up for Jackson Carter’s fun run and I ended up feeling FIT SHAMED. (I had to Google that to be sure it’s a real thing. It is!)

One of my many many ups and downs with the scale.

One of my many many ups and downs with the scale.

There were probably about 100 runners for the event. It was a chilly morning, but everyone was in good spirits and having a good time. Since it was October, many participants were in costume, me included. (Hey, I was hoping to snag a prize with my Ace Ventura costume. It was not in the cards. I just looked like a crazy lady in a tutu.)

The run was a quick out-and-back. I am not fast by most running standards. In fact by serious runners’ standards, I’m downright molasses. I have run five full marathons, but there’s no way I’m ever qualifying for Boston or anything. On that day, however, I was one of the fastest and fittest. To these other runners and walkers, this was EASY for me. Because it was an out-and-back course, I passed people on the way back as they headed to the turnaround point and I headed for the finish. I smiled encouragingly, gave thumbs up and high-fived as many of them as I could. “Good job. Way to go. Looking good. You got this.”

Everyone gathered at the finish to cheer in the last two people. I could tell that for the man and the kid with him, they had just achieved a huge accomplishment. I had goosebumps and felt so happy for and proud of these complete strangers. The magic of the finish line is just that feeling of camaraderie: “We did this. Together.”

Later I was chatting with a lady, making small talk about Jackson, The Biggest Loser show, the event. I made a comment about how great it was to see all these people, especially those who were working toward their weight loss goals. She looked me up and down and said, “Well yeah. But you’re a runner, right?” I swear, if there had been a cartoon bubble over her head, the word runner really would have been italicized. And in bold.

It was so weird, that accusatory tone. I’ve had people call me a runner and say it with awe. Some say it with the tone that lets you know they definitely think you are cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. But I’ve never been called a runner and felt guilty about it.

Is that how they saw me? I wanted to explain that, no- I used to be overweight. I have been where you are. I am proud of you and I don’t even know you. You are awesome and amazing and inspiring. I have journeyed your journey. Because there is a part of me that is The Biggest Loser. But there is also a part of me that is the coach.

Advertisements

autism, endorphins & why I don’t spank my kids

Standard
autism, endorphins & why I don’t spank my kids

I hadn’t intended on jumping right in with my two cents on autism, but after reading this story today I just had to.

Jillian McCabe Was ‘Overwhelmed’ Before Autistic Son’s Fatal Plunge

RIP little London. 😥

Ummm. Hey, Jill. (Is it okay if I call you Jill?) Parenting overwhelms the best of us. You can’t just go throwing your special needs kid off a bridge. Take a break. Read a book. Go for a walk. Talk to a friend. Do some yoga. Go for a run. Have a good cry. Drink a glass of wine. Hell, drink the whole bottle. I have those days, I totally get it.  I don’t know, do something, but for crikey’s sake DON’T THROW YOUR SON OFF A BRIDGE.

There are tragic stories all the time about parents killing their kids, and each one is devastatingly heartbreaking to me. But when I hear the ones involving special needs kids I am even more saddened to think of the lives lost. I am a protective mama bear to all of my kids, but I have to admit my Haiden has often needed a little more protection than Mia & Eli. It hurts my heart to think of him being hurt, and I can not even imagine being on the giving end of that.

I am not a spanker. On the few occasions I have lost my patience to the point of hitting one of my kids, I have been so consumed by guilt I could not let it go. Prime example: When Mia was three (she’s almost 19 now, just to give perspective on how long I’ve held onto this) I was a single mom, working full-time and going to school. After a particularly long day, as I was bathing her, she splashed water on the floor, and I lost it. I pulled her up and smacked her naked bum. A welt immediately appeared. But the worst, the absolute worst part, was the look in her innocent tear-filled brown eyes. Those sweet eyes were full of sadness, hurt, and the heartbreaker: fear. I caused that. I decided that night to quit my job as a restaurant manager and find something less stressful, because I knew I could not take pent-up work emotions out on my child.

Last year, we had a bunch of people over to our house. Haiden has a hard time when there’s too much going on, if it’s too noisy, and especially if other kids are messing with his stuff. So it was no surprise to me that he had multiple meltdowns. And usually I can diffuse him pretty quickly, but that day I couldn’t. By the end of the night I was absolutely out of patience. As he was throwing an epic fit, I took him into the bathroom, flailing and screaming. I remember the instant so vividly- as I raised my hand up, right before it made contact with his butt, his eyes flashed that same set of emotions I had seen in Mia’s eyes 16 years ago. Sadness, hurt, fear. But it was too late. I couldn’t take it back. He looked at me, shocked at what had just happened, and then he said something I will never forget, as he sobbed and gasped and fat tears rolled down his cheeks:

“Why? Why would you hit me? Only bullies hit because bullies are mean.”

I choked back tears and pulled him close, hugging him tightly and apologizing profusely. Because he was right. He was telling me exactly what we have always told him. And here I was, The Bully. Worst heartbreak ever. I never want my kids to feel that again.

Haiden has taught me immeasurable patience. And I’ll admit, I am “lucky” that his ASD is on the high functioning end of the spectrum. I can’t imagine if he was non-verbal (although I have days I wish he was. I kid, I kid. But seriously, the kid can talk for days. On high volume. Think megaphone.)

But no matter the circumstances, I can’t imagine hurting my own children. And I’m sad for the kids who end up hurt at the hands of their parents. And I feel sad for parents who are so far gone that they even had this thought process that would lead to the end result of killing their kid.

I’m also lucky that I can run. People ask me how I got into running. They tell me how they hate it and they wish they could love it the way I do. I am lucky that I found my joy in running. I began running in 2008. Haiden was diagnosed with autism in 2009. The timing couldn’t have been better. Maybe in some ways running found me.

So the moral of this story can pretty much be summed up in a quote from “Legally Blonde”:

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” Except fill in “Happy people just don’t kill their kids. THEY JUST DON’T.”

And that is all for this one.