Dear ‘Fat’ People, (AKA Everyone)

Flickr / Kyle May
Flickr / Kyle May

We are all fat.

In some way, shape or form we all carry something a little extra.

It may not be “weight” that we are holding on to, but replace the word with an adjective that reveals something about yourself that makes you self-conscious. Maybe you don’t even share this trait with your loved ones. It could be depression. Anxiety. Regret. Dishonesty. Whatever it is, it’s that thing you’d like to change or heal but have no idea where to begin.

Imagine if your “word” could somehow take physical form and be seen by everyone. If you were depressed you’d walk around with a raincloud over your head. When you have panic attacks, flames would surround your body for the world to see. If you’re dishonest, well, remember Peter Pan? Here’s the thing … for those who are “overweight” they have no way of hiding it.

Whatever internal struggle they may be experiencing isn’t revealed as nerves, fear, loneliness, etc. To passersby it’s just “fat” because that’s what we see with our eyes. We don’t walk down the street saying, he’s scared, she’s suicidal, he’s guilty, she’s resentful. But we pass those people every day. And sometimes, maybe a lot of times, we are “those people.”

We don’t know what hides behind a smile, behind the clothes, behind the make-up…we only know what is presented to us. And even then, we may be hesitant to speak the words that convey our deepest feelings; especially if our downfalls are being stereotyped or made the brunt of a “joke.”

There’s this Deepak Chopra quote (which I hope I don’t badger too badly) that both explains why people poke fun as well as why we may not be ready to face our obstacles. “People do the best they can from their level of consciousness. When they know better, they’ll do better.”

The path to doing better may start with opening up. Whether to a person, a blank canvas, an empty journal. Put your insecurities in front of you … sometimes those thoughts and feelings that are replaying themselves are doing so because they want to escape. Set them free. If you do so, maybe you’ll inspire another to do the same.

Which brings up another smart habit: genuinely ask someone how they are and if there is anything you can do for them. Find a way to inch them toward vulnerability. Even if they do not voice their struggle today, they know they’re not alone.

You are not alone.

WE are not alone.

We may be different types of fat but we can all lose weight the same: by giving away a pound of courage, a pound of understanding or a pound of compassion. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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