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May 30, 2012 at 4:18 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Missing out on Life?

By Jeany Miller More Blogs by This Author

I think one of the biggest obstacles faced by overweight women – and men for that matter – is a general feeling that we’re missing out on life. As a rule of thumb, for instance, people with a few extra pounds usually don’t go hiking, jog along a river, or bicycle over rough terrain. And missing out on the beautiful scenery, fresh air, and general feelings of well-being these activities can afford is an unexpected minus in life.

At the Park...

Overweight people also tend to miss out on or enjoy less than average the usual outings that require some physical effort. This year, for instance, my friend and I went to a nature park for a quiet walk in the sun. Before long, however, I was out of breath and had to take a break. Compared to the other visitors, particularly those who were jogging and roller blading, I felt absolutely terrible. Not only was I physically unable to really enjoy this walk, but I couldn’t hold a candle to the other people there. I was waiting for somebody to yell out, “Hey, lady, why’d you bother coming here at all? The rest of us can hack this, what’s your problem?”

At the Beach...

In this same vein, I don’t really enjoy walking my dog, who suffers as a result, and I don’t enjoy outdoor activities the way I should. Going to the beach, for instance, used to be one of my favorite things to do, but now I’m to the point I’d rather stay home. To begin with, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a bathing suit and seeing the free-wheeling style of others who are thinner than I just makes me uncomfortable.

With the Kids...

My friends with children often complain they don’t have enough energy to keep up, such as when their kids want to visit the park or roam on the playground. And this makes these parents sad, because they feel they aren’t living up to their children’s expectations. Of course, they also feel like they’re missing out on important aspects of parenting.

At Amusement Parks...

Another sad and altogether embarrassing part of life that overweight people have to endure is at amusement parks, when the rides don’t accommodate certain weights. In summer 2011, I went to Cedar Point for the first time in 10 years, and I was appalled to find that I barely fit into the roller coaster cars. This situation left me feeling distinctly humbled, and all I wanted to do was go home where I could hide behind my own four walls.

Among Others...

Less visible, but equally crucial, I think overweight people often miss out on acceptance from the rest of the world. By this I mean that curious glances from others often make us feel like we’re doing something wrong, when in fact we’re merely humans like everybody else. We just don’t fit into the cookie cutter molds everybody has created and accepted without question.

And on Our Own...

And being overweight means a person often does battle enough with him or herself. Questions tend to ping pong within a person’s mind when he or she is chubby:

Should I start a diet?

Do I need to exercise?

Are my friends embarrassed to be seen with me?

And the answers to these questions aren’t as concise as they should be. So, perhaps the rest of the world should quit its thoughtless stares and instead remember that no matter how we look on the outside, we’re absolutely the same on the inside.

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