It's interesting that Jennifer Livingston got such a similar comment as the *many* I have gotten since I dared show my fat ass on TV.
The email she read is almost word for word like soooooo many of the emails and voicemails I got. Sadly - I'm 99% sure that her commentors are not mine, nor are they related.... unless by stupidity - and then they are most certainly first cousins at the very least (and probably the kissing kind, too).
I, like Jennifer - am *not* a size 2. Again... to all the Dr. Obvious-A-holes.... thanks for pointing it out.
I do *not* know Jennifer Livingston - but as many of you know, I got HOARDS of emails that said the very same thing as the one she was sent. At least in her case they didn't have her phone number... lol
I think her issue is - why point it out? Why do people FEEL the need to point this out as though a persons weight means that they are not capable of doing their job or being kind.... or being a good wife - as was alleged in my case.
I would like to - at the very risk of being flamed... make a teeny-tiny point. I know quite a few people who do not eat food - whether it comes from McDonalds or not - they don't eat. They drink a lot of coffee during the day and a lot of wine at night... and they snack off and on during the day - but... eating? Not so much.
I eat. Cleary - too much for what is considered an acceptable BMI for my height by the medical community. I happen to love donuts. Donuts and diet Coke. In fact, there better be a Winchels in Heaven, or I'd rather be in Hell... lololol. I have never - to this day - had a drink, smoked, done any kind of drug.
Wait... that's not *entirely* true. When I was living in Glasgow I had only recently moved there and my boyfriend at the time had a "welcome to Glasgow party for me" - mind you, most Scots will look for any reason to throw a nice party. Anyhow.... it was a busy party - lots of musicians and artists - in fact, our friend Richard brought us tickets to the launch party of another friends band who was releasing their single EP on Electric Honey Records - a band called Polar Bear. A few months later the band were sent a cease and desist order from some guy from Jane's Addiction who had a band by the same name. So, the band changed their name to Snow Patrol... for the record - I was very much against the new name - I didn't understand it all at - what did a few boys from Belfast want to name a band so many names having to do with Arctic things? I can't remember the other options on the table at the time... but - I voted no on Snow Patrol and lost. Now they are mega stars... go figure.
Anyhow - at said party there was a guy - and I sh*t you not, his name was Cosmo. He was sitting next to me on the couch and offered me a 'cigarette'. I thought it was a herbal cigarette... because I'm dumb - really dumb when it comes to drugs and stuff. I didn't know what hash was - I'd never seen it in America - but I guess there was hash in that 'cigarette' because I woke up at 4 in the morning ranting and raving about having to move out and I was fraught with all kinds of fear - which at first my boyfriend was more than a little freaked out about - until he remember me sitting next to Cosmo and asked me if I had 'smoked' anything with him......
He made fun of me for that for years - and we all learned a lesson that night: on drugs I do not relax - I go the total opposite direction and it was made clear to everyone we knew never to give me anything again. lol
So that's the truth - that one time along with at least a zillion white cake sprinkle donuts have been the only kinds of 'drug' I've ever done. I don't even drink coffee - though one could well argue that the Diet Coke more than makes up for that.
When El Capitan let it be known that Yoga Girl and I had shared the same 'fun stick' - I made two calls that Monday morning, one to a Mediator (for the divorce) and one to my doctor. He ran every test known to man - STD, tested my blood for EVERYTHING - liver and kidney function, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetese - you name it - we ran it. I knew I woud lose my insurance and I wanted to make sure there weren't any hidden health issues that would require immediate attention.
Everything - and I do mean EVERYTHING came back clean. Inspite of my weight - my Shamu-sized, Shallow-Hal-Needs-A-Gal, double-wide-weight.... I'm - healthy? huh? WHAT?
DO I dare suggest that my weight is *not* in fact the medical concern it should be according to oh so many, kind and thoughtful emails and strangers......?
Am I saying that being heavy for a lifetime is a great idea......? No - but - what I *AM* saying is - DO NOT ASSUME that I live an "unhealthy" lifestyle simply because of my weight.
One can achieve a GREAT body by eating healthy, exercise and taking care of ones self and that person is probably pretty healthy.
One can *also* achieve a GREAT body by starving themselves, living on coffee and wine and carbs and running... a sh*t ton. And guess what.... THAT is not healthy. I promise.
A size 2 jean DOES NOT mean you are healthy.
Looking "good" does not mean "healthy".
Now. Having said that - I *have* lost over 30 pounds - ... why? Because I never planned to stay heavy - like most woman this has been an uphill battle since after The Boy was born - and one that I have lost over and over and over - though, efforts are usuallythwarted by working 40 hours a week while raising kids and running a household... it's an excuse for sure - but still a hurdle I have yet to make my way over.
I read through a lot of the comments on Jennifer's various stories and you'd be SURPRISED how many people think the person sending the email was justified in what they did. My point would be -if*you* were really concerned about someone's health then why not offer to HELP? There's no mention of help or suggestions... though I would dare say that's an innappropriate thing to say to a stranger......
My point is this: if someone had sent me an email saying, "Dear Elle, I saw you on TV and I'm impressed with you courage and sad for your current situation. I also noticed that it seems like you have struggled with weight issues like many people - and I want to reach out to you as a trainer/nutritionalist/whatever - and offer you my services to help you *if* you are interested in losing weight. blah blah blah....."
I would have welcomed such an email. I would have welcomed such an offer of help and yes - while it would be a bitter pill to swallow - I've never said I LIKE being heavy - but I'm not going to pretend I'm not and I'm *not* going to make appologies for it.
Being heavy didn't make me LESS of a wife - and it doesn't make me less of a friend or a mother or anything.... and I'll be really really really honest: my weight was not the reason El Capitan left.
It's a 'reasonable' excuse that some people can use to explain someone else's catastrophic actions - but that doesn't make it TRUE.
Jennifer Livingston makes the same point I've been making for months: Your children ARE watching.
What if the daughter of one of these men who writes/emails/calls me - grows up to be twice my size and remembers her adoring Daddy making comments about some stranger he saw on the TV. Will that girl wonder if her Dad loves her.... will she NOT have issue's with self-love and acceptance? Probably.
Oh.... and BY THE WAY - I have NEVER driven home Donut-Drunk. Funny.... I don't see or hear of ANY of these 'concerned citizens' running into their local bar and spouting off about how the decisions made by the people downing their alcohol could lead to DEATH, liver trouble and ..... it's known to destroy family after family after family......
Thus far, while my weight *is* a concern for me- but it's not somethign my kids will need to attend an Al-Anon meeting for just yet... so what about that?
So, I guess as I look *good* while I'm doing the things are bad for me - like drinking too much, starving myself, doing drugs, etc.... well then - f*ck it - party on!!!! If, however, I look like *me* then it's a national epidemic that's going to cost tax payers millions and billions of dollars and HOW DARE I do it!!!!
Shame on me.... right?
More to the point... Jennifer Livingston is right: the bullying has to stop.
I'm a big girl... as we all can see, but more to the point, I can handle my sh*t. Lots of people cannot. Really - if you were me and someone was sending you these horrible emails and they would arrive in your inbox during your WORSE hours of life - could you have handled that?
There are graveyards FULL of kids killing themselves because of other people's WORDS. Not because their gayness or obesity or blackness or brownness killed them..... but BECAUSE of someone ELSES WORDS.
I can't *wait* for the studies in years to come about the COST of burying these people, the COST of therapy for people bullied for WHO THEY ARE and the affects on their families... what about *THAT* epidemic?
Huh? What about the FACT that people's WORDS cause other people to HANG THEMSELVES.
There are WORSE THINGS than being FAT or GAY or BLACK: It's called being an A**HOLE.
Don't be the reason someone cries themself to sleep tonight.
Don't be the reason someone throws up their dinner because they don't want to fat.
Don't be the reason someone cuts themselves because they are ashamed of what they look like.
Don't be the reason someone hangs themself from a rafter because they like boys instead of girls.
Don't be an A**hole.
Instead, be the change you want to see in the world. Answer the call of obsesity in children in the inner city who don't have access to healthy foods - and work at a food bank and donate healthy foods for distribution to those families.
Get in touch with GLAD or PFLAG and learn how you can be apart of acceptance and change.
Get a job as a personal trainer and offer your services at a discount for overweight people who want to lose weight.
There is a HUGE difference between being *truly* helpful and being a bully... and guess what - not *everyone* wants to lose weight.... some people are - wait for it... wait for it: Happy the way they are. It's a truly shocking concept I know - but one *some* people out there need to get used to and accept.
Be kind, use your WORDS for good.... because the wrong words will do more damage than bullet ... or a cheeseburger. Just ... don't be an a**hole.