The One Who Hates My Journey

One of the things that convinced me to get my ass in gear to get healthy was an event that took place in September of 2007. My extended family on my maternal grandmother’s side decided to have a family reunion. So, that weekend, my mom and I headed to my parents’ hometown. One of my mom’s sisters tends to have a very, how can I put this nicely, overpowering personality. When you get to know me, I can be one of the most outgoing people you know, but when I’m around certain family members, I grow quiet. Enter Wallflower April. One of the first things I noticed was my aunt grabbing my mom’s camera making herself official event photographer.

It didn’t take me long to figure out why she took such forceful charge of the camera. She was staying out of pictures. She’s battled with her weight most of her adult life, and despite being very outgoing, she’s very insecure. So, this was her way of not having to see herself in pictures. At the end of the reunion, we realized that we needed to squeeze an extra person in my aunt’s car. So, my aunt puts her arm around me and proudly announces to the rest of the extended family that she and I would take the front seats because we needed to face it that we were the fat ones of the family. I was mortified. And pissed. It took every ounce of my being to not blow up at her right there. I didn’t want to ruin the day for the others. So, we got back to my grandparents’ house and I went quietly to my room (yes I have my own room there), and took the camera with me. I reviewed the pictures and saw that she had taken quite of few of me at not so good angles. Is that what I really looked like? With tears streaming down my face, I erased those pictures leaving only ones of me that weren’t so bad.

I’d like to say that immediately I got all of the puzzle pieces together and a couple of months later, I lost a lot of weight, but that’s not true. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint, and it took me a few months to learn and get all of the tools I needed. Now, I’ve lost a lot of weight, and my aunt hates it. She has tried over and over again to make me feel bad about losing weight. And while yes, it hurts me to still be insulted when I have so much to be proud of myself for, it also makes me sad. She’s hurting. While it’s wrong of her, that’s her way of dealing with it. So, I take the insults or just stay away. I will not play her game. I will not let her make me feel bad about something that I have worked so hard for. She even told me that she quit caring and is just going to be happy being fat. Problem. She was just diagnosed with diabetes. What hurts me the most is that I know I can help her. I have the key, but she won’t take it. And until she seeks my help or figures it out on her own, there’s nothing I can do for her.

So, I guess my point of all of this is that some of you may have people in your lives like this. You each have to figure out how best to handle it for your particular situation. Just DO NOT let them get you down. Whether you are at the beginning, middle, or the end of your marathon, you have a lot to be proud of. You’ve decided to make the change and live healthier lives. And that, my friends, is awesome.

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Christy said...

It's so hard when someone is so down on your weight loss. I hope your aunt comes around and learns to be happy for your success. Hopefully one day, when her mind's in the right place, you'll be able to help her along with her journey to weight loss as well. I think she'll really benefit from your insight and the success you have.

Enjoy it girl! You've definitely earned the right to.

Jessica said...

I'm inspired by your ability to see past her hurtfulness and still try to reach out to her. It is a shame that the situation is what it is, but don't let that get you down about all you've accomplished! You rock, sweetie!

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I'm a walking contradiction. While I love to draw, paint and read, I also love all things gadgets, science and even science fiction (I know). My animals (two dogs and two birds) are my heart, and if I could figure out how to legally own a giraffe, I would. That all said, I have my BS in Mathematics. :o)


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