Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Burden of Weight

I've been working on my health, weightloss, and fitness in one way or another for the better part of my adult life. There have been moments where I've given up and done nothing for the sheer exasperation of the task at hand. I call it fighting the good fight for a reason. It's a battle every single day. It's mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. I've realized that I cannot expect to make lasting change without binding all four of those aspects together. For those of you who have never struggled to lose a substantial amount of weight, (50 or more lbs) allow me to paint you a picture.

A few years ago I still belonged to a globo gym. It was the only kind of gym I knew and I was still putting in hours every week working on losing weight and getting fit. I had gotten into the habit of going to the gym after work, getting an hour and half workout in before I went home. I was in a nice little routine when I noticed this group of guys making fun of me. Young twenty-somethings, openly mocking me as I labored through my workout. I complained to gym management, but they did nothing. So these guys continued, laughing, pointing, mocking every day for weeks. I could only take so much, and one day I finally just gave, and left in tears. I changed my workout times to the mornings, but I had grown so discouraged it lasted only a few more weeks before I just stopped going altogether.

In 2008 I bought a beautiful bicycle. Her name is Lulu. She's pretty and purple and I love her. I bought my bike and rode to work every day until the weather got too hot. Once it cooled off again in the fall I rode my bike again. I kept this up for about a year because my car was dying and I really wanted to minimize how much I drove it. During my bike commute to work I experienced people openly swerving to mimic that they were trying to hit me, people rolling their windows down to yell insults, and at one point someone threw food at me. Betcha that wouldn't have happened to a thin woman.

I've had doctors mistreat me and call me a liar. I've been mocked, bullied, yelled at, and passed by as if I'm invisible. I even had a roommate in college refuse to shake my hand or eat anything I cooked (even though I was on WeighWatchers at the time) because she thought fat was contagious. I've had people tell me I'd never get married or that it's a shame that I have such a pretty face. It's interesting. The human condition is such that we are in constant comparison and competition. We seek to rank ourselves against others and judge our worth. Who does what best, or where you rank in your class, or how much you make, or how good you look are different types of barometers that we use to see how we stack up to the competition. And discriminating against those who fall short of a given standard isn't new to humanity. Be it class, race, gender, or weight it's still discrimination. The thing that non-heavy people don't understand about the overweight is that we are keenly aware of our shortfalls. It would be extremely rare to come across an overweight person who isn't aware that they are, indeed, overweight. Pointed and/or passive aggressive remarks are not required. The burden is ever present and so much more complex than what you could imagine. And it's painful. Even if we do our best not to show it.


Today's warm up was like a WOD all by its onsie.
10 reps of each for time: burpees, box jumps, sit ups, push ups, pull ups, toes to bar, dips, wall balls, walking lunges... I didn't list them in the order we did them, but I finished in 7:49

And then on to the AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) for 10 minnutes

5 Squat Snatch @ 45#
21 box jumps

finished 3 full rounds plus 6 reps.

Went to CrossFit this morning with the beginning of a migraine, this may have not been the best idea I've ever had. I also suspect it's a cluster migraine because this is day three of this blinking headache. Makes me want to crawl into a dark freezer and stay there.


Breakfast: the last of the baked egg cups, salsa, and bacon. PS: couldn't eat the egg cups. So bacon and coffee for breakfast.

Snack: Protein shake

Lunch: Turkey breast, avocado, and tomato. I offered to call it the AT&T lunch and Rob just rolled his eyes. TAT is more appropriate anyway. Mineral water.

Dinner: Salmon, with steamed broccoli, maybe some other veggies

I have shared these experiences with only a few people in my life, and now I am putting them out there for everyone to read. The goal would be for people who have never had this struggle to understand a little more and maybe have a bit more compassion for the people in your life who do. Perhaps, maybe even extend grace to the people you don't know and pass on the fat jokes from now on. I needed to get this off my chest so I can work on forgiving and moving on. I don't want to carry the weight of this hurt anymore. It's just too heavy.

Thanks for reading and your support.




  1. I'm very proud of you, Kendra! It is a very hard road that you have walked and continue to walk. You are beautiful, inside and out! Keep up the good work!
    --Christie Lynch

  2. Kendra you are beautiful. Period. And not only that, but you are taking on challenges and embracing a healthy lifestyle that few are brave or ambitious enough to go after. And you, lady, are rocking it and here inspiring all of us to be better people and not give up. So thank you.

  3. That was so beautifully written, I have tears in my eyes. You are so gifted, and such a terrific writer! God bless you for sharing this and helping people understand. The stories about the gym and the bike rides....absolutely horrendous. I hope those people got it right back somehow. (is that terrible??)
    I would never assume to pretend that I understand your struggle. I resonated with many things you mentioned, though, even as a person who has weighed 'only' 180 lbs. at my heaviest. I'm not comparing--I'm saying, YES, it's very human and we all have our silent struggles and can relate to it somehow--which is why I wish we'd all be gentler with each other.
    I remember when I did lose weight at some point, a coworker of my dad's said, "You look so good! You were a little chubby before." Um....thanks...?? I know what she was thinking when I gained that weight back later!
    I've been a six 6 to a size 16 and during ALL of that time, people have commented that I was too big, too thin, have asked me if I'm pregnant, and have lamented that they wish they could be my size (even when I was overly thin because I was too stressed to eat!) and a variety of other experiences that left me thinking, "I can't win!!" There are thin girls who would love to be more voluptuous and big girls who'd love to be naturally thin--it's not unlike the curly vs. straight hair thing! (I'd love your curls, by the way.) Why can't we be ok with how we are!?!?
    As women, it's hard to be women. Add to that the societal pressures of looking a certain way and being a certain size and behaving a certain is maddening.
    You are one of the most beautiful women I know, inside and out. I wish more women could embrace their struggle, own it, and say, "Can we all just support each other and help each other be our best selves??" Thank you for spreading that message, friend. We all need to hear it--and live it--better.

  4. You are my beautiful BFF. And I love you.