Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Subway... and I don't mean the Sammich

Hey everybody,

I had a rough kind of day today, and rather than pretend everything is hunky dory, I thought I would share it here.

I was on the subway and had sat down (it was a 2 hour subway ride and my feet hurt). And as people filled up the train, eventually, I got up so an older gentleman could sit down. Another man offered to let me sit next to him, and slid over to make room. Ok, so subway seats for Asians are just about big enough for half of me. So I smiled and pantomimed "big hips" and "no thank you" and everyone was really smiley about it. When a spot opened they said to sit down, which I declined, and they were talking about me, telling the new person who had just entered the car about me and my big hips. I know this is what was said because the teller copied the pantomime I had done. They were all good natured about it and friendly, and I detected not even an iota of malice toward me. Just a simple acknowledgement. (Like how Latinos call people Gordito - which means Fatty - but it's very affectionate and no malice there either)... well... after a couple of stops, I moved further down the car and found myself crying.

I felt like those people didn't see me, they didn't see a friendly foreigner. They saw me as fat. And that just cut right to the quick. *Now, I know they also saw the friendly part and they saw me being respectful to an older person, and in that way I was a good will ambassador, but something about the interaction just kind of broke my heart. My face was flushed in shame and my tears actually dripped off my face.

The weird thing for me is that I almost never feel this way. I know I'm a big woman. I know that I have a thyroid issue. I know that I'm pretty healthy - eat mostly really well, exercise daily (not as much as before, but HEY, I'm working now). I know that people love me, are attracted to me, I'm a sexy, sensual woman...I usually feel ok about my body - I love it... or at least I enjoy it. But something about today and those tiny little people, and my big hips. I felt like a beached whale.

Because the people on the subway were 100% pleasant and positive and kind even, I can not say anything bad about them - I was not a victim of cruelty or mean spirited ribbing. Every bit of shame and upset that I had came from inside me.

I don't know if this is me "bottoming out" as they say in AA, or whether it is just a singular incident in my life, but this much I do know. It was 3 p.m. and I hadn't had lunch. I finished the errand that had taken me on a 2 hour subway ride, and decided to get some lunch before I left to face rush hour traffic (you don't know traffic until you are stuffed in a kimchi smelling subway, unable to move because of the press of bodies against you... ahem)... So I walked around - Japanese Restaurant NOPE, Korean restaurant NOPE, McDonald's HECK NO, and then I saw a place that was a coffee / sandwich shop. It was called Momma's Diner or something like that. So I went there, got a strawberry banana juice, a turkey sandwich (on amazing black bread) and ate my meal. I drank some water, and I ate the pickles and salad that came with the sandwich, then I read my book for a bit. I relaxed.

Dinner was some soup (I've caught a cold), and a bit of humble pie I suppose.

That was my rough day... in the midst of eating generally really wonderful, healthy, yummy food, I needed to be reminded to stop and take care of myself.

My shame still lingers around the edges, 5 hours later. I still feel sad, but I know that tomorrow morning I will go to my gimbop shop (where I have an account now!), and I will have a healthy breakfast of gimbop, soup, and two veggie dishes and a liter of water. I know that I will go to work, and I will eat a healthy lunch in the cafeteria like every day. And then when I return home, I will get some apples and yogurt at the store (I just ran out a few days ago), and I will continue on as I do. There is some comfort in knowing what will happen tomorrow, and that I don't have to beat myself up for some presumed failure on my part.

But this I commit for just 24 hours. No sugar. That is all.

Love to you all.

*map is (of course) from the internet


  1. You are not alone in the daily battle with the weight issue. It helps me to remember that this is a problem that is complex and biological and does not and should not be related to your worth or value as a person. It does make life more complicated and one does begin to wonder why me?

  2. What a beautifully open and honest post. Sometimes we all need to step back and remember to listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us. We're complex individuals with bodies that are equally complex.

  3. A couple of months ago you wrote, "I have learned that I am pretty darned fabulous... and worthy."

    When those little self-sabotaging demons start to whisper in your ear, close your eyes.... visualize sticking a pin in them watching them pop like a bubble laughing gleefully at their demise!

    The people on the bus DID see a friendly, kind person with a smile as bright as the sun, a heart of gold and a sense of humor to be able to laugh at herself!

    Your radiance and energy overflows onto everyone who crosses your path. How blessed I am that you crossed mine!

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself! I love you!