Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nice comment

Anyone who's looked at my profile pic will know that I'm overweight. Not dreadfully so, just a bit of an extra layer all round. I don't look really bad, but the weight does show.

One of the problems with being overweight, apart from the obvious, is that people pigeon-hole you. If you're carrying a bit extra, you "obviously" eat badly, never exercise, spend too much time in front of the TV, etc. Show most people a picture of someone who isn't normal size or slender, and ask them if that person likes to play sport? The answer will almost always be "probably not".

I'm overweight for a number of reasons. I started gaining weight after the hand injury six years ago (which barred me from even the most gentle exercise for nearly a year), and continued to gain steadily until I went to Sydney, after which I gained a lot in a short time. There were two main contributing factors to the rapid weight gain - first, I comfort eat if I don't concentrate on stopping myself; and second, I ate too much of the wrong sort of foods when I was struggling to cope in Sydney. I was also on medication when in Sydney, which didn't help, and a series of injuries and a lack of money have stopped me from getting into sport with any regularity.

My weight hasn't gone up since I came back from Sydney, so I've now got the eating under control and I've been exercising more. I've even managed to lose a bit, but I'm still overweight.

Anyway, today I had a two-hour class on how to teach various phys ed strategies. I was nervous about it because I'm so chubby and un-sporty-looking, and because as an unpopular child I was always picked last for teams no matter how good I was at the sport. Despite that, and despite a dodgy hand and ankle, I put in my best effort today, and really enjoyed it (although I'm sore now!). I was the first to volunteer to demonstrate the triple-jump step, and the workshop leader got the class to applaud me for demonstrating how to dribble a soccer ball. I got my partner to make a W by balancing together, despite the fact that she was really nervous and didn't know how to lock her arms and legs straight; and I managed to muster 12 people into making the word FITNESS with their bodies. Among other things lol.

After the class, the workshop leader was standing near me, and he turned to me and said "I can see the sports in your background, you must have done a lot". That was SUCH a nice moment, as I realised that he'd seen past the fact that my tummy jiggles when I run and my thighs are enormous and I have a double chin if I hunch over. He'd seen the skills I was demonstrating, not the body that was demonstrating them. It's really, really nice to have someone see past the weight and appreciate something more important, especially when it's something that contrasts so strongly with the image of an overweight person. *happy*

I did do a lot of sport as a kid - between the ages of 5 and 17 I was always participating in at least one extra-curricular sport, and sometimes several at once. I never stayed in any for more than 2 years at a stretch until I was a teenager, but I acquired decent skills at all of them. Off the top of my head, I did ballet, gymnastics, soccer, tennis, calisthenics, jazz ballet, acrobatics and karate. I also went to a primary school (ages 5-12) which had a proud sporting history, and we did weekly sports that cycled through a whole range of activities, including athletics, cricket, hockey, volleyball, netball, basketball, soccer, AFL football, rounders/longball, softball, tee-ball, ballroom dancing, folk dancing, gymnastics and swimming lessons. And last year I did ballroom dancing lessons for most of the year. So I've got quite a bit of experience and skill in sport - despite my physical appearance!

It's nice to be recognised for that.


"calisthenics" ~ could you translate that into Canadian for me :)?

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