September 30, 2010


Dear man in the passenger seat of an SUV,

Thank you!

You know, if you hadn't yelled anything out your car window, I would never have known that I'm fat! I mean, there are all the mirrors I see myself every day, and the thousands of clothing stores I can't shop in, but I never knew what it all meant. For the record, yelling out your window "Miz lady, do you know where a good milkshake's at?" several times is not only grammatically incorrect, but it's quite unoriginal. I'm afraid a boy named John beat you to it in middle school when he said his friend Sara was hungry and could I share some of my Twinkies with her? Of course, I didn't have any Twinkies in my backpack - I had never even tried one at that point - but that was hardly what mattered.

Sir, today I have eaten healthy, well-balanced meals. I went out with friends and managed to make great choices - unsweetened tea and one madeleine! I climbed thirty-two flights of stairs, and when I got home, I continued to choose to eat well as I prepared my dinner, and then I worked on the Wii Fit for over an hour. I don't officially weigh myself until Fridays, but as of yesterday morning when I woke up, I have lost over forty pounds - about twelve percent of my starting body weight - in the past two months. I'm eating well, I am exercising regularly, and for the first time in my nearly twenty-four years of life, I am trying to develop a healthy body image. But I still have a very, very long road ahead of me, so thank you also for helping keep me focused.

When I got home from work tonight, I dropped all my things on the couch, took off my sneakers, and collapsed in my bed, sobbing. I'm sure it affected me more than usual because I'm having an emotional week, but still, I hate that people like you have so much power over me. It's very difficult to have to live with this glass-half-empty society. My forty-two pound weight loss is unknown to you; all you notice are the one hundred sixty-eight I still have to lose.

I don't want to point fingers and blame anyone, but maybe something happened to you in your life that made you think it was okay to be mean to other people. I hope you don't say things like that to the people in your life, and I'm not sure what makes you think it's okay to say it to a stranger. I'm someones daughter. I'm a sister and a friend. I'm a teacher. And I'm a human being with problems and challenges that you are completely unaware of.

Plato once wrote that people should "be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Sir, please know that every single day is one of the hardest days of my life. And it's like that for a lot of people. Maybe even for you! I don't know. So my parting words will be a little advice for you. It's simple advice, but effective. Please know this: if you don't have anything nice to say, you really shouldn't say anything at all.



il faut que je parie tout


Life as a Caterpillar said...

Mary, you are an effing rock star, and i love you for being so brave to write this. I hope it helped you.
What can i say about that guy that you haven't already said so eloquently? I am very sorry this happened to you and i'd like you to know i am on your side and cheering like heck for you. 42lbs and 12% is such an awesome achievement, i am almost jelaous, but i know i'll get there soon


Jessica said...

I wish this could go on the front page of an important newspaper.

I am so sorry this happened to you. Keep Stong, Keep Fighting!

Anonymous said...

Oh, this breaks my heart! It's a sad, sad thing that some people can't feel good about themselves without making someone else feel bad. You're on your way to accomplishing a bigger and better thing than this small person has probably ever accomplished - and you're gonna do it!

Amy said...

Wow... what an asshole.
I'm so sorry you had to experience that. And you're right, stuff like this can be a motivator for you... fuel!

You're doing an amazing thing and have remained on task without slipping at all - you're such an inspiration to read, and it's really sad that you even had to endure such a mean thing.

It's a sad reality that there are a lot of mean people in the world.

Keep on doing what you're doing, because it's working!!

Joy said...

I am sending you a thousand hugs!!!

My friend, don't let this discourage you ~ Let it ignite you!! Get more fired up!! Rev up the momentum...get this thing done. You can totally do it!!!

But also this feels!!! When you see someone who is where you used to be...encourage them. Use your words to build them up ~ help ignite them to begin their journey. You can make a positive difference in people's lives. Words are powerful!!!

Keep up the great work. You're doing awesome!!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations for acknowledging faults in the person who said those things to you as opposed to downing yourself! There will always be someone out there that will want to say things to you because it makes them feel better about themselves. You are working hard and busting ass and I'm proud of you as are a lot of people! Just know that it's okay to get upset and cry but don't let it get you down. Use that frustration and anger and put it into action and use it as a motivator.

You were the rockstar yesterday and you are doing everything exactly as you should.

Ann (-50 lbs in -60 lb challenge) said...

When rude comments come my way, I always feel sorry for the rude person. I do.

Hey, I'm fixing my problem, but "mean" and "bully" are harder problems to cure. The poor, unhappy slob probably is too ignorant to even get that he has issues.

And he is unhappy, because misery loves company ... why would he go out of his way to hurt a stranger if happy, right?

And it worked. The unhappy guy made you ... unhappy (even if temporarily).

It isn't Thanksgiving yet, so don't pay attention to the turkeys! FORTY POUNDS and counting?!! I mean, come on, you've got this!

Ann (-50 lbs in -60 lb challenge) said...

Mary - completely unrelated topic:

Where did you find that piece of art pictured in today's post? Can you tell me the name of the artist? I like it, and would like to see what else s/he has done. Thanks!


Ann (-50 lbs in -60 lb challenge) said...

Okay, Mary ... the hidden "arteest!" What medium did you use? How big is it? And do you sell any of your art? What other things have you done?

Inquiring minds want to know! :D

Mary said...

Ann - it's acrylic on a 22"x28" canvas from Dick Blick (the paints are from a discount store in my hometown that sells a fairly inexpensive box with a variety of colors - my mom brought me five boxes when the fam came out to visit me in May!). I work at a university teaching French - painting is just a hobby. It's very relaxing!

The name of my blog actually comes from a painting I did - I had a dream where I unzipped my skin and my bones went for a walk, totally weightless and unburdened. The symbolism was pretty obvious, and I keep the painting (also 22x28) in my home office to keep me motivated! There's a (unfortunately small) picture of it here in my first entry of this blog!