Not sure what day it is, but I'm alive and kicking and have so much to say! Thursday-Sunday was spent in Baltimore for FitBloggin‘ and Monday-Wednesday were spent in Montana for work. I made it home last night around midnight and cannot wait to catch up on sleep this weekend. Not complaining at all though, I'm incredibly thankful for all of it. I'm just an introvert (this may surprise some of you) and usually need quite a bit of quiet time in my days.
Anyway, I wanted to share a story with you from FitBloggin'. This particular story surrounds an awful experience, and my reaction to it.
Saturday morning, I got up to do Zumba with the amazing Sue (Mrs. Fatass) and Samantha (@simplifyingsam). I hadn't done Zumba since before my ankle injury over 1 year ago, and I loved it so much. It's really one of those activities that doesn't seem like work, because I smile and am happy the entire time. Maybe this is what runners feel like? Who knows.
After Zumba, I wanted to hop in the shower so I could be ready for the sessions later in the day. I stepped into the elevator with a couple other girls from FitBloggin' and there was another guy on there from a different conference at the hotel. I was chatting away about how awesome the class was, and the other girls got off on the same floor while “Mr. A” as I'll call him, was riding up a few more floors to the same one I was headed to.
As soon as the girls got off and the door shut, this is what happened:
Mr A: (eyeing me up and down). I'm with the health and fitness conference downstairs [NOTE: a different conference than FitBloggin']. You have GOT to get your thyroid checked. Something is really wrong with you and normal blood work won't show the problem. I'm telling you…
Me: I've already lost 113 pounds, so I…
Mr. A: It doesn't matter, you need to get it fixed or you'll never get better. Check [insert XYZ enzymes he rattles off]…
Me: I don't think I asked for advice.
[Elevator opens and we step out]
Mr. A: Well, you don't know my background. [Storming off]
Me: And you don't know mine either. [Shouting behind him]
Mr. A: Well, if you don't want to listen… you don't know… [turns corner towards his room]
[I turn the other way towards my room]
Before I could reach the end of the short hallway and get the key in my door, the tears were streaming down my face and my cheeks were flush with a mix of anger, embarrassment, shock, and pain. I went to the desk chair and just sat there, sobbing. I just let “Mr. A” (A for ASSHOLE) take away all of my sweaty Zumba joy. The crash was extremely jolting, and the ugly cry and complete hatred of myself that resulted was enough to shake me the rest of the conference. It's still shaking me.
Just one night earlier, I had been talking to Kenlie about receiving negative comments about my size and how I was surprised I don't get more and that I'm really thankful for that. Then of course the next day I'm slapped in the face with a reality check of someone's ass-holery.
I asked myself a lot of questions:
- Why did I just let him steal my Zumba joy?
- But wait, what if he was right and he has “the answer”?
- Why am I so gross to other people?
- Is this how it is always going to be? Losing lots of weight and still getting shit from people about my size? I know I'm still big, but no one has argued back to me after telling them I've lost over 100 pounds.
- Why are we so judgmental towards other people? Not just with weight, but with everything?
- How am I going to face the rest of this conference?
- Am I just a fraud who is kidding herself that she's okay how she is?
- Is this really what everyone else thinks of me but just doesn't say it?
For a brief second, I did give myself a pat on the back: I talked back to him. I didn't stand there and smile and nod my head and take it. I talked back and stood my ground. For that, I am proud.
Still, my whole world felt like it was shaken. Here I was, in this great city with these amazing people in what is the closest thing I'll ever have to a support bubble. FitBloggin' is an extremely non-judgmental place, where we share stories that all help each other and dole out lots of hugs. I felt like my bubble had been infiltrated by a giant dung beetle who just shit on my head.
I cried a hard, ugly cry for at least 10 minutes until my roomie and bestie Alan came to calm me down. You know you've got great friends when you can snot on their shirt.
He went back downstairs and I attempted to calm down for another 10 minutes. I just felt rocked to the core.
Several days later, I still have this situation fresh in my mind and while I'm not glad it happened, I am glad that I stood my ground and spoke up. I write here and share the messy journey of finding health in hopes that my voice is heard. I used my voice with this naysayer, and it just affirms that I need to continue using it so it continues to get stronger.
Thank you for helping me find my voice.
Oh, and awesomeness is getting to re-find my Zumba happiness by watching the video from the class here. Seriously, look at the grins on everyone's faces!