- By now I would assume you have heard or seen the video of Jennifer Livingston. She was the woman who received a condescending letter attacking her character and her role in the community because of her weight. Her husband posted it on his Facebook page and it received a ton of nice words for Jennifer, which is should have. She then went on the news and spoke about the letter, bullies and her weight. Just in case here is the video……..
I will be quite honest with you. I hated her response. I love the fact that her husband posted the letter on his Facebook page. I love the fact that she got the courage to fight back and I thought the initial letter was ridiculous and it needed to be addressed because no one deserves to be belittled for their appearance.
But in her response she called herself fat. She said…..
“The truth is, I am overweight. You can call me fat — and yes, even obese on a doctor’s chart. But to the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don’t know that?”
Truth is when I saw the video…I did not think she was fat. I am not saying that to get brownie points. I truly did not think she looked as she said “fat”. Why would she say she was?
She then said……
“Now I am a grown woman, and luckily for me I have a very thick skin, literally — as that email pointed out — and otherwise.”
Again another reference about her weight and a jab at herself.
I take things like this personally. When I hear about people who talk about obesity and bullying…..to things I have dealt with a lot in my life, I think of the movie Half Baked. I think of this scene where Thurgood went to rehab for his use of marijuana and then realized he was not that much of an addict after all….
So let me tell you about being fat.
Being fat for me was when size 58 pants would not fit anymore. When I was no longer physically able to have sex. When I was not able to stand to go to the bathroom and I was only able to use a handicap stall. Fat was driving my car with my stomach because it hung over the wheel. When my seat belt was not able to go around me. When I was only able to shop at Casual Male in the biggest section. When scales said ERR and when I would drop a five dollar bill but could not get the energy to pick it up. Fat was when booths were a dream and socks were rarely worn. When I would not tie shoes and I would take medication like candy for my blood pressure and cholesterol. Fat was when I would eat in my car because I did not want others to know. I would get food and then become sad because I realized the food would be gone soon. Fat was Fat was coughing up blood. Fat was having my arms go numb all the time. Fat was a death sentence for me, just waiting for the day.
Jennifer is not fat in that video. If she wants to help prevent bullying, she should start with herself. In her video, I am confident I weigh close to what she does. Yet how is it that I do not even look or consider myself fat. You can call me fat……right after you workout with me for a couple of hours and eat the way I do.I am not fat. I would never call myself that and anyone who says it is wrong. That is the confidence that I have. That is the confidence I need.
I do not have thick skin. I have loose skin. Loose to show me about the selfish decisions I have made my whole life. I love it. I love it because my goal is to never make it tight again.
Maybe I am just tired of the same politically correct answers people give to get likes and views on social media. For me, bullying starts from within. It means nothing if I tell my son to love everyone and then he sees me hate myself. I did hate myself at one time. Before my son was born. Before I realized I can be strong. Before I realized that maybe if I realized that food was not as important as life I can change.
My son sees a man everyday that will not call himself fat. You can BMI me all day long. I know what fat is. I am not fat. My son will never ever hear those words come out of my mouth no matter who says it to or about me.
I wrote on Facebook today that if you want to stop bullying then you should start in the mirror. Words hurt…..but do not be fooled. There are things that hurt a lot more than words.
The video has close to 10 million hits now. She was on Ellen, Good Morning America and other news outlets. I think that people who watch the video will be inspired and some will not. There will be very in between, just like there is in all “fat” debates.
But I will tell you, she said…..
“I am not defined by a number on the scale”
I remember the day when I cried because when I went on the scale it actually gave me three digits.
Jennifer Livingston…..you are not fat.