I’m a pretty good student. Actually, I’m a stellar student, and today I almost threw that out of the window to walk out of class. I attend an amazing university, and I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be here.
One of my classes this semester is focused on exercise and nutrition. I was looking forward to this class because I’m so interested in health and wellness, and I feel as though I have a pretty good grasp on it.
Sadly, I’m not enjoying the class at all. It’s not because it’s difficult, nor is it uninteresting. It just fees horrible to be silently judged due to my size. It happens at times, but I can count on it happening every time I enter this class.
It’s hard to imagine that people still believe that obese people must eat fried chicken, Cheetos and Oreos for dinner after they spend the day being completely sedentary. Seriously, I know that stereotypes exist, but this is a class filled with bright minds. How can they possibly believe that all skinny people are healthy and obese people are lazy?
Being obese increases health risks. I get it. I’m not saying that people who weigh 300 pounds are healthy, but as someone who lost a sizable amount of weight, I know that I have decreased my chances of having a heart attack or stroke. My blood pressure is perfect, as is my good sugar and cholesterol. I exercise several times a week, and I eat fruits and vegetables. I rarely spend more than a few minutes sitting on my sofa watching TV, and often times, I take the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator.
I eat more than I should if I want to lose weight, but I treat my body with more respect than many people I know who are smaller than I am. I know that it’s not a competition between me and anyone else, but when I sit in class listening to average sized people talk about the obesity epidemic while they eat Doritos, I get a little indignant.
It’s annoying to be judged so quickly and harshly, but it’s reality for those who weigh more than average. I know this better than most, yet I still find myself amazed and disgusted.
Are you/have you ever felt awkward because people were stereotyping people your size?