July 19, 2012

Pride & Prejudice

This writing was inspired by something a friend wrote...

I'm a 30 year old disabled girl.

When you look at me, you might see a very overweight 30 year old girl but you will not see anything to indicate disability.

I'm one of the lucky ones with the invisible disabilities: I don't look sick, ya see.

I don't look sick, but I do look fat and out of shape.

And when you don't look sick, people come up with their own explanations of why you can't do a lot of physical activity.

And when you don't look sick, but you're over weight, people come up with even more fun explanations of why you can't do a lot of physical activity.

To many, fat = lazy. It's a judgement. And it's one I am paranoid about because I'm a prime target of such thinking.

I believed that about myself for some time too.

When I started to get sick, I was a slim girl. My disabilities and my weight both went up together for various reasons.

I was only moderately active before I got sick. Now I struggle to do the simplest things. Some days it's almost as if I'm perfectly healthy and other days I can barely get dressed. I never know which I will get.
 Most of the time, it's somewhere in between.

But the judgement that I am just fat and therefore lazy is sad and untrue.

If I were slim right now, i would still be disabled. I would still have days where I could barely move. The only difference would be less weight on my joints but as I've found out, that only helps to a point, it does not cure anything and it has no bearing on my Fibromyalgia.

It took me a long time to learn some important things and you know what? It isn't about weight, it's about lifestyle.

A skinny person who eats horribly and never exercises, is not healthier than a fat person who eats horribly and never exercises.

A skinny person who eats horribly and never exercises is not healthier than a fat person who eats well and regularly exercises.

It's about lifestyle and biology. My mum has Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis (and Borderline Personality disorder for that matter), and I was lucky enough to inherit these things by the time I hit age 20.

The reason this topic is heavier on my mind right now is because, after waiting a really long time because my ego was too proud to give in, I got a walker.

Without anything to aide me, I can walk extremely short distances and not without being in a lot of pain.
Because my lifestyle has been like this for the good part of ten years, the lack of physical activity has made me out of shape, which is a contributing factor in the pain I feel when walking.

With the aide of a walker, I will be able to actually go out and walk somewhere. I will not be so trapped. It will change my life. And it will get me walking, which will help me build up some strength.

My hope is that after a while of using it, I will be able to walk longer distances WITHOUT it, thus getting me into better shape.

I want badly to be stronger. I hate so much feeling trapped in this limited body. I hate having to plan so meticulously how I'm going to get somewhere just in case I'm caught stranded. I hate feeling left out of certain activities because my body won't cooperate.

But I was really afraid of getting a walker. I was afraid it would mean I was somehow giving up. But I know it is actually the opposite.

I was, and still am, afraid of the judgements: I am a 30 year old, overweight girl using a walker. People will look at me and think "that girl is so fat she needs a walker to help her move." But they have no idea. That's why judgements are so dangerous - you just never know.

Anyway, I'm gonna try to use the darn thing as much as I can. Hopefully the part of my brain that just doesn't give a fuck what others think will kick in more lol.

P.S. Judging is bad, mmmmk?

<3 M

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Thanks for reading <3