Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Swore at the Airport.

Before I tell you all my airport story... three things:


1. I got a comment today from Quillaume202 telling me about this blog post he wrote about me. I love it so much, I'm bookmarking it.

2. Why is it every time we go on vacation, bed time is instantly three to four hours before our normal bed time? And I'm always still awake, 'cause... hello... I've only been up for twelve hours and I'm not tired yet? Am I impervious to jet lag?

3. I love my job. If I don't say it enough or make it clear, I love, love, love my job. I need to tell you all one day about my OLD job, and why therefore I love my current job so damn much.




Okay. Here's the meat and potatoes, and I don't know if I'm going to piss some of you off with this, but it's coming, so... I'm just gonna throw it out there.

Dan and I flew out to Denver today for our little vacation back home. Well, it's MY home. He's from Milwaukee, but he did live here in Denver with me for a little over three years.

Anyhoo. We were waiting in the security check line to strip down to our basics and get wanded, when we saw the "special" line open up next to us for the Airline Personnel. You know... the Pilot, Co-Pilot, Flight Attendant Steward-folk and such. No biggie, that's a normal thing. Of course they get to cut in line, 'cause they're manning the plane.

Then. Just as Dan was ducking to his right, being super cute, trying his best to avoid the nice, cool airflow from the giant fan in the corner, we saw the "special" line open up again. This time it was some very nice, smiley ladies who worked for the airport. There were two of them, each pushing a woman in a wheelchair. One of the women was an old lady. I mean, she had to have been in her 80's, and couldn't get out of the wheelchair at all, even to walk through the metal detector. The other woman being pushed in a wheelchair was a very large middle aged woman. The third person to walk through behind them was a middle-aged guy, also pushing a large middle-aged woman in a wheelchair.

I began to get angry. I was looking at these middle aged large women for any signs of illness that could really cause them to not be able to walk. You know... bandages, casts, slings, whatever. I wanted to see what injuries they had. Show me stitches or something. But no. They didn't show me stitches. They didn't have casts on or any other kind of visible injuries. What they had was fucked up knees or ankles, or whatever. These women were not older than my mother. They were just unhealthy and fat. You guys, I got seriously annoyed. I was so angry at these two women.

Now hold up. I wasn't angry because they were cutting in line. We had precisely three more folks ahead of us, and a bit of waiting after that before boarding. I could care less about the line situation... I'm a fairly patient gal.

I was angry because their lives had amounted to this. Being wheeled around in frickin' wheelchairs because they had let their health dwindle to crapinabag. And some of you might be thinking, or ready to comment "Wait, maybe they had surgery and you just couldn't see the stitches under their shirts" or "maybe blah blah blah." Okay. MAYBE. But, DOUBTFUL.

You've all seen the ladies and fellas wheelin' around the grocery store or the Wal*Mart (shudder) or wherever. You know that all the fat folks not walking from aisle to aisle are not surfing the motorized carts because they are post-op. These folks are doing it because they've let their joints melt down to mashed potatoes and gravy. Their health is shit. They have pain when they walk. Their muscles are disintegrating. Their lives have become seating room only.

I just stood there and watched these women get up, walk through the metal detector, then sit back down in the wheelchairs on the opposite side and go on about their "push me further, Betty" business.

I looked at Dan and said, "Honey. I swear to you. I will never be that. I swear to God, it's never going to happen."

And I swear, I swore true. There's no amount of macaroni and cheese or Ritz crackers in this world to let me miss out on being independent, capable and strong. It's not worth it. I want to be able to run and play with my children, to walk to the park with my grand kids, and foot it through the airport.

I hate going through security, but dammit, I'm glad I can do it on my own two feet.

~Jenn

61 comments:

Frannie said...

No reason to think people would be upset at you for that. I, personally, think it all the time myself, and it pisses me off, too.

And I've told my boyfriend the same thing... I may be fat, but I will never let myself get to the point that I'm helpless and dependent on others.

Enjoy your trip!

This Little Girl Dreams... said...

Ewwwwwie I hate people like that! Have they no dignity ? And then they want you to feel sorry for them, some nerve they have! Sometimes I just feel like saying "It's survival of the fittest here and I am sorry your body went into major overhaul obese crap, not my problem!" Toodles.

Azaad!! said...

I agree with you completely.. Junk food and a careless attitude about our healths is the main cause for this... I'm not saying stop eating junk completely; but the least anyone can do is eat in moderation and ensure that they get a little bit of exercise done in order to stay fit! :)

And as of today, I swear too! :)

gem192 said...

Yeah, some people may take offense to that.
But I completely agree with you. It is scary, seeing these people who have let it go, SO MUCH, that they've lost their basic independance. We've all let it go at some point, but part of being a healthy, functioning, higher brain function possessing lifeform is that WE CAN PULL IT BACK. And plan, and organise, and work through our issues...not keep eating and being inactive.

I do feel sorry for them more than angry though. They obviously have some serious issues that would allow them to continue their lifestyle. I feel angry at myself for being able to see this lack of discipline in myself and not having stopped it yet. Because really, it's a slippery slope.

xx

The BreakUp Coach said...

I had a similar experience/thoughts/judgements about 10 years ago and then found out the person had MS. For your own well-being it's important to not imagine you know all about a person by looking at them. Because you really just don't know, seriously. But--like you very clearly did--you can use the emotional reaction you have from seeing those strangers to clarify what you want for yourself. To me it sounds like the experience helped you define what fitness means to you: being independent, able to run and play, etc.

dragonfly said...

I'm new to your blog, and this is the first post I've read thus far (I will be reading more). My mom is one of the ladies you saw in the airport. She's not at the wheel-me-through-the-airport stage and doesn't use the grocery store thingies, but she could be there any time. She is a very heavy woman and suffers from knee pain. It started with a fall that injured one of her knees. It was painful, she catered to it, slowed down and became more and more sedentary (she wasn't that active to start with) and things got worse- she gained weight, hurt more, became depressed, more sedentary... You see where this is going. This summer her 90 yr old mother got out of the car & into the grocery store before she did - with a walker. Wake up call. 

As you swore, I swear I will not be like that either, though I struggle with weight & depression. And I'm not going to let her keep spiraling. My mom's been there for me through thick & thin, and now it's my turn to rescue her. How will I do this, you ask? Why, it's simple- I'll make her think SHE is helping ME. She's an angel who will help anyone in need, it'll totally work.

Anyway, on behalf of my mom, I'm not at all offended by your post. I want her life to be richer, better, healthier. I want her to walk with me, with her grandchildren, with her grouchy old dog.

I'll be reading more of your blog. I like that you got angry at these women and for these women. Whoa, long comment, sorry!

Quincifer said...

I know what you mean! They really annoy me, not only for their dis-regard for their own health but also for the way it makes genuinely injured and ill people look!
My dad walks with crutches but uses an electronic scooter for further distances.....but he has been wheelchair and crutch-bound since he was 19 as he has an actual disability. It kills me to see the way some people look at him because he doesn't look all twisted or unable to breath or something....and that is because of all the lazyass people out there who give his actions a bad name!
Also, this is totally something to keep you motivated with your diet and workout - picturing those people really does make me wanna get off my ass and quick!
x

Runnergirl said...

I know exactly where you're coming from. I get made when I hear people asking for the seat belt extenders and vow that I will never be that big. But it also makes me want to go and shake these people and tell them it's not too late to change and be healthier and really get the most out of the rest of their lives.

PinkPanthress said...

I think that would be the moment I would cut my wrists.
Damn, I bet these women even have breathing problems when they use the loo!

"4 oz" said...

I'm more aware of my joint-health right now. My doctor keeps telling me that I have early signs of arthritis in my knees and that freaks me out. I'm convinced that the knee pain is due to the marathon. That'll mess up a perfectly healthy knee...I took a risk and I guess I have to live with the consequences now.

But I can understand how you felt. Kudos for being able to walk through on your own. =)

Alex said...

Okay, my two bits worth...we were in Vegas a few years ago and was totally freaked out to see the amount of people on ventilators, wheelchairs, playing pokies. Seriously? Kinda creepy.

All these people eating crap and poison all their lives then decide they need frickin' wheels to get them around. Sad, so sad.

Karen said...

I know what you mean about seeing people on those little motorized scooters that really should be walking around and burning off excess calories.

What irks me is this- my mother recently received her second knee replacement. She's overweight- has been for years- and destroyed her joints due to all that extra weight. I think these doctors rush to replace joints, before the person has lost any of the weight that caused the problem for the joint in the first place. Why is that? Shouldn't they work on fixing the problem, instead of just putting a bandaid on the gaping wound and wait until a new bandaid is needed?

A friend of mine told me just yesterday that her 300 lb mother just got her 4th knee replacement. Crazy!

I just wish health care was more focused on getting healthy.
Karen

Dissolved Girl said...

On my last trip I witness several people being wheeled around because they were just too fat. One of them was no older then me. When I voiced my displeasure to my friends they thought I was being a bitch. I am so glad I am not the only one that thought this way.

Drama Queen said...

Amen. Well said. I totally agree with you.

Great post!

Raine said...

Preach on! ;)

Sharon said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you. It's a sad existence not to be able to walk, or even use the toilet without humiliation. I'm with you, Jenn. I refuse to let myself get to that point. And God willing, I never will.

Jennifer said...

I love this post. I think everyone needs to have moments like this. I worked at an amusement park (Cedar Point) for 4 years and there would be men and women who couldn't ride things (I'm not talking coasters with teeny tiny seats- I'm talking about the Ferris wheel or train) because of their weight.

There are also people that get the scooters and you KNOW its not for any other reason than they cant walk for long on their own. THAT'S the point I will never let myself get to. Thanks for sharing!!!!

Sarahf said...

Jenn, you're so right. I'm scared to think it's becoming the norm to be so big special arrangements have to be made. What kind of life is that?

Addie's Mommy said...

Ok, so I really enjoy your blog and I have always laughed histerically at your rantings and ravings until today. My mom is overweight. I, by the grace of genetics from my dad, am not. I have watched my mom battle with her weight all of my life. She has tried every imaginable thing to help her, but to no avail. She is an amazing, beautiful and strong woman, who does her best to eat right and exercise but nothing works. Therefore, she is one of those women who uses a wheelchair at the airport if she has a long walk. Not because she is lazy and she wants to....she is embarrassed at having to resort to such things to help her with her pain. I aplaud you for determining that you will be healthy and thin and fit. I think we should all strive to be that, but please keep in mind, that the men and women who are obese out there, not only are someone's mother, father, daughter or son, they also have hearts and feelings and more than likely have a very real pain going on behind those pounds. Thanks for listening.

Denise said...

I feel your pain sister! People like that make it difficult for fatties that REALLY need to be in a chair for a short time...

Like spraining an ankle or something...

And it makes you wonder:

Are they in a scooter cause they are fat or fat cause they are in a scooter?!?!

Lauren Ashley said...

I don't think anyone should get mad or judge you for your anger. It's understandable. We only get one body and it makes me angry too when people abuse it.

Yes there are people who have to be in wheel chairs because of an injury or disability. But is it not belittling to them when someone has knowingly destroyed their body to that condition?

Like you were-we all need to be observant and aware of these situations each day to remind ourselves of our precious bodies.

How ever temping certain foods might be.
Keep up the good fight sister!

Fab Kate said...

Sure... you're just going to ASSUME that the reason those people were in wheelchairs is because they're fat. Not that they might have gained weight as a result of being in a wheel chair. You can't see arthritis. You can't see Lupus. You can't see MS. You can't see some of the liver diseases that make taking a single step painful.

And yet you're willing to look at these people, see that they're overweight, and assume that they're just fat and lazy.

Sorry, that's pretty judgmental.

I suggest you go to this site and learn more:

http://butyoudontlooksick.com/

It may be that you'll learn something and change the way you look at other people.

Apryl said...

I see that a lot too. Those people who have become enslaved by their own bodies and are like those you see on 48 Hours specials on TV.

It starts with the motorized carts, and escalates to the point they can no longer wear human clothes and are bedridden by obesity.

NO amount of illness, mental or otherwise should ever allow people like that to become a thing of pity. They got themselves there one mouthfull at a time, and then want to get on disability and welfare because they can no longer function.

And their families and friends? They sit back and WATCH this happen. I am sorry, but if I see a friend going down that road, I am hosting an intervention.

Tucker said...

I am with you on hating the fat wheelchair people. I can understand if you have a real medical condition or something but seriously...if you cant do it on your own they make gastric bipass for that.

That being said, I did get to use the "special line" in the airport once for a really stupid reason. I was post opp after my shoulder surgery and I had this really fancy sling that was insaine velcro on every surface then it wrapped around my body like 10 times in different ways...but I could walk. I could take the sling of to get dressed in the morning and shower and what not, but at check in they took one look at my sling and decided that I needed a wheelchair, and no amount of protesting on my part was going to get me out of it. Finally I thought about it from the airlines perspective, if something was to happen, like another rushed traveler bumped into me and I fell down, I could have ripped a stich or busted one of those lovely fake tendons they put into my arm or whatever, and then I could have turned around and sued the airport. and I am sure at that point in time there were plent of people looking at me getting rolled around (there was no way I could push myself with the stupid sling) and thought there is nothing wrong with her legs, why is she in a wheelchair...so the airport might have looked at these ridiculous women and thought well we cant have them sue us cause they had a heart attack cause we made them walk...its still ridiculous. Oh and they didnt want me to take my sling off, so if you ever need to smuggle drugs through an airport, you could always disguise them in medical equipment.

Salina Lyn said...

HALLELUJAH SISTA!!!! OMG, if that bothers you, you should meet my mother-in-law. She's the most pathetic case of a lazy fat lady that I ever could imagine. It's a long story. Maybe I'll tell it on my blog some day soon.

jeniszen said...

It's visual reminders that can kick our butts into gear, right?

I think it happens slowly. One binge at a time. They never start out with the goal of getting wheeled around the airport. But it happens to them.

I think of all the psychological crap that made them that way. Not that they are victims. I absolutely believe in personal responsibility and accountability and taking charge of destiny and all of that stuff.

My heart aches for these people. And I also want to go yell at them to give them a wake up call. I want to scream at them that it's never too late, that they can turn this around, etc. I want to shout at them so that they will take some initiative and save their own lives.

We're each on our own track.

And it's frustrating to watch someone veer off course.

I get it.

Excellent post.

Ann said...

This is the best read I've had in a while. Why? Because YOU WERE IN MY HEAD! I feel exactly the same way Jenn. And WalMart (shudder), I love it! hahahaha. I avoid that place at all costs

Keep writing, I love your stuff. I too will never, ever be wheeled around because I let myself go to jello. I want to be like my 74 year old dad who hikes circles around everyone!

Cheers
Ann

Heather said...

Right on sista! I see these people and think the same thing as you. I never want to be like that!

On the other side of the coin, my thin grandmother had emphysema and asthma in her last few years which required her to use a motorized chair or wheelchair. She could walk for short distances, but couldn't handle a mall or the grocery store.

She was a smoker who didn't stop until I started imitating her with my crayons. Part of me realizes that her actions brought along the health problems, but the other part is sadden about the whole situation.

I feel the same tug of war when I see obese people using wheelchairs. Sadden about the situation, but angry/"they deserve what they get" about how they got in that situation.

My name is Erin. said...

Here, here! It is a pitiful tragedy to allow such degradation to happen to your own self.

Mitzi Green said...

i'm with you. totally.

a long, long time ago, when i was a skinny smoker, i was standing outside my office puffing away when a dude approached me and said "those cigarettes are going to kill you, ma'am." never mind this guy weighed about 300 pounds and was carting a rather large bag from wendy's. and it didn't smell like a salad, either.

Bobman! said...

First of all, I totally see where you're coming from, and would of been quite in agreement.. Until yesterday.

which is when i found out that I have rheumatoid arthirtis, yeah pretty standard when you sixty, not when you're SIXTEEN.

Now i'm not heading off on some kinda sympathy hunt, i can deal with it, its painful and god knows how it will end up, but it wasn't my fault. It just happend to me. Kinda opened my eyes that maybe not everyone can help what they end up like, same way as I always used to think that most fat people use " I have a gland problem" as an excuse for being fat, until i google'd it and realized that some people do actually get it, and thats the reason that they are fat. Lol, Sorry i'm losing my point.

Anyhow, love your blog and your doing great with the weight loss! :)

I would of judged other people for not taking care of themselfs better until it happend to me too,

Bobman! said...

CRAP.
Musta missed the bit about it being fat people. SORRY.. If i knew how to delete my comment i would take it back, lol :) x

Tonja +Jere + Kids said...

i am not upset, i get the same thoughts too, just never thought to blog about it;-) great post.

Christy in Seattle said...

Until you've been in someone's shoes, Jenn, you never understand what it's like to be them. Assuming that you're correct and that those people were in wheelchairs for being overweight (which is a big assumption, by the way) you have no idea how they came to be that way. Maybe they gained weight after their bodies already betrayed them in some other way. Maybe the overeating started because of clinical depression, which is a very real phenomenon that people usually can't just "get over" without help.

What if that woman had been raped repeatedly and viciously as a child and put on weight as an unconscious attempt to keep her safe from men? What if she had been put down her whole life to the extent that she couldn't see any other way of being? Such a woman is deserving of compassion, not hatred and contempt.

For all you know, maybe these people were TRYING to lose weight and just couldn't YET walk through an airport without throwing out backs and knees. Maybe that's unlikely, but you can't say whether it was true or untrue without asking them about it.

When I have an extreme reaction to something I see, I usually turn some questioning on myself. Maybe in this case, you need to do this as well. Just WHY do people like this disgust you so? What does their weight have to do with YOU?

Carrie said...

I like your blog, because you say the things that people think, but wouldn't say out loud to the world.
We were recently in Vegas and I was disgusted by this fat women who was riding around by the pool with her motorized scooter. I wasn't disgusted because she was fat, I was disgusted that she got a massage and rode her scooter 10 feet to the massage station. I wanted to tell her that you have to start somewhere and 10 feet sounds like a good place to start.

Lyn said...

Compassion is a virtue. You cannot know what any one person has suffered to put them in that situation. Having a binge eating disorder is agony. Not that I know what put them in the chair any more than you do... but even if your assumptions are correct, some compassion might be in order. The pain of "joints turned to mush" and the humiliation of losing one's mobility is not something one trades for "macaroni and cheese." It is so much deeper than that.

I hope someday you understand and grant these people some grace.

(Not angry, just saddened for you).

M Denise C said...

You are so right on. I am glad I began Nutrisystem this week. I went to a Sam's to buy some veggies and saw a lady on one of those things and I thought, "Why don't you just walk and then you wouldn't be so big and get some exercise." She had a mean, defiant expression and I thought she must be really sad deep down. I have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and admire your honesty.

Sara said...

You're definitely not alone in your anger, that's for sure.

It's easy to get angry at the morbidly obese, to shake your head at their swollen bodies and dismiss the condition as the culmination of a lifetime of poor choices and laziness. I don't blame you for your anger, because there's no reason for you NOT to feel that way. Since obesity is one of the last conditions that is still viewed as primarily as a character flaw by both the medical community and society at large (or small, as the case may be). Science has found a way to declare nearly every other choice-induced malady on earth as a syndrome or an illness, but fat isn't extended that kind of understanding--or even the scrutiny to someday foster it even.

We want to believe that everyone on earth could achieve massive weights if they just stopped caring--because then we can good about how much more in control we are than the woman who's obesity is so severe that she can no longer walk. We need to believe that what happened to them isn't worthy of compassion or study or anything other than exasperated finger wagging because that way we can be thankful for how much better off we are for not being as weak. We see in them our very worst fears, what losing control might mean for us, so that we can be glad that we've averted that kind of disaster--because we're stronger than ritz crackers or mac & cheese.

The world looks at a 72 pound woman who is starving herself to death and says "Why does she do that? How can we help her? How can we combat this complex disease she suffers from that surround something as simple as food?" The same world looks at a 372 pound woman and says "Why can't she put down the pie and get her fat, lazy ass on the treadmill already?"

There's a disconnect there. Obesity isn't simple. It isn't easily managed. It's rarely ever meaningfully conquered. And yet even knowing the odds against beating it, we still insist that it can be done if the fat person just got their act together like everyone else does. My obesity is a condition I'll fight every day of my life...no matter what I weigh. I extend compassion to those who can't find the strength to fight it, and also for those who can't see themselves in what they despise.

Brian Woz said...

Fat or diseased, it makes no difference. The root of the problem is still the processed garbage these people are eating and the total neglect they have for their own bodies. It's amazing to me how ignorant people are when it comes to personal health. Trust me, those obese women in wheelchairs didn't get that way from chomping on carrots and celery sticks. Assumptions, like stereotypes, are often right on the money. Ask yourself this: where are you most likey to see an obsese woman on a scooter, Wal-Mart or Whole Foods? I'm sorry, but it's hard for me to find sympathy for these people, especially when they get a free pass in the security line!!! Great Blog!

Jennifer Q said...

I get so mad when I see that too! I always fuss at my mom about it. I also hate that the plus size sections in dept stores are called "Today's woman". It's almost like saying its okay to be a size 30. You are a woman of today.

And I'm not saying if you are a size 2 then you should be able to buy clothes. Lord knows I would be running around naked! I just wish stores wouldn't make it so acceptable. No woman should accept her body being unhealthy.

Nicole said...

I had a somewhat similar experience while I was out of work waiting to have brain surgery to have a tumor removed (I'm 26). I was not out of work by choice but rather because I had a seizure and dislocated my shoulder while at work and I think they didnt want to be liable if I got hurt again at work...so we went to Boulder ( I live in Aurora) to get me out of the house and feeling happy. Twice I had a bum ask me for change and I forced myself to bite my tongue. I thought that "If I still want to work, what's your excuse?". Frustrating stuff. Here's my blog: nmsanford@blogspot.com

StepherB said...

I COMPLETELY agree with you! I think that WalMart is the top contributor of these lazy, always in your way, entitled to take up the whole friggin aisle because they are too fat to walk and need an electric WalMart scooter, people! Yeah, it is sad that they let themselves get to that point and what a crappy life they must lead and are probably depressed and sad that they cannot participate, but I am like you, I have sworn that I will NEVER get to that point and have made my husband promise that if I do, he will put me down!!

Jim said...

While your initial reaction is (somewhat) understandable, I have to agree with some of the other commenters, you have no idea what else might be physically wrong with them. Ten years ago, I was going through airports in a wheel chair because any walk of more than 20 feet resulted in excruciating back pain. Yes, I could walk through the scanner, but then it was right back into the chair. I eventually had surgery and am much better today, but as a result of the back pain, I was unable to exercise and my weight shot up (about 50 pounds) before I got it under control. What is visible in those 30 seconds at the security line is not the whole story.

Miss Marilee said...

Oh goodness...who cares if some people are offended? It's the truth! It makes me sick to see people thinking they need the motorized wheelchairs at Wal*Mart just because they are either too lazy to walk around the store of physically can't. It's sad that America has come to this.

I agree. I refuse to get that bad. Even some of the girls that I run into at the bar or at work bother me. I know that it's their bodies and they're free to do whatever they want to it, but I have this odd feeling I'll be stuck paying for their medical bills.

Loser Girl Jess said...

To agree with many and disagree with many, let me first say that it is great to bring your reactions back to yourself and implement them into your life. For example, seeing large people and thinking: I will never be like that, and then changing your life to achieve that goal. I also admire your strong personality and sass in this blog.

But anger? You have a job you love, money for healthy food, a life-partner, seemingly healthy family relationships, enough money to live a decent life, and you judge people just by looking at them. Not everyone is as blessed as you are. You have no idea who these people are, what their lives are like.

To echo Christy in Seattle, where does this anger come from?

Chuck said...

Jen,

I have been reading your blog since I stumbled on it as a Blog of Note.

I have spent time reading tons of your posts. They are so great and entertaining I just can't look away. Our personalities are very parallel.

I have two favorites, and one has become an obssession of sorts...The Punch Brothers How To Grow A Woman From The Ground video has wrapped itself around my brain and made me an addict. I hum it all day and listen to it every night when I get home. Considering my normal range of music is from Led Zeppelin to Green Day to Metallica, it was quite a change.

Secondly, the cheesburger song is hilarious. Stupid, but hilarious. Good pick-me-up when life gets ya down.

I am sure many of your readers and followers are women, but I am comfortable enough with my sexuality to openly admit to you I am a follower.

I am also intrigued by your photography. If I had to do life over that is the field I have the most passion about.

I was born in Green Bay so I am sure if Dan is into football he must be a Packers fan.

I love my wife but I am now officially pronouncing you my "internet wife". Oh by the way...you can leave the Ex off of Hot Girl...you are way hot! And a lunatic.

Take care, enjoy the vaca...

Chuck

Clare and Gary said...

Hi there...my friend is here again from England this week and we will be going again to Disney on Thursday...her pet hate is seeing the people in the 'Disney' scooters. There are not people who have come to the park with their own medically required wheelchairs, but people who simply decide that it's going to be too much trouble to walk round, god forbid they should burn some calories, and hire one for the day...I'll count how may we see, it's a real eye opener...

amy said...

ok, so I'm going to be the only one to be commenting to say HOLY COMMENTS. I find these just as interesting as your post Jenn. You've created a really good form for some eye opening beliefs and feelings. I think many of us can relate to your thoughts and many of us can think of someone in our lives that would have had a very valid reason for being in that chair. I like the comments from The BreakUp Coach.. it's really our emotional reaction that's the important part- did it make you angry enough to keep on your diet, to join a gym, go to a spin class etc.. and that's the important part. YAY comments!

Sandy White said...

I never thought there'd be an up side to standing in the security line at the airport, but you found it! Thanks for making me see the bright side of this oh-too-frequent situation(and other situations of why-the-crap-am-I-carrying-all-this-stuff or why-do-I-have-to-stand-here-for-so-dang-long).

Jennifer said...

I completly agree with you on this one. I live in a somewhat small area, and everytime I go to walmart I see the same fat people in the lil scooters. What Im wonderin is how they got in the store! Buts maybe somethin I should blog about. lol I once had to use the scooter cus I put my back out, and I never wanna use it again!! I felt fat and lazy for using it, but I had to get my essentials. I was soo ashamed, I went on a diet. and have lost 14 pounds! I feel exactly how you do. I never ever wanna be confined to a scooter!!

keepingitonthedownlow said...

I love someone like that,and it is terrible. For some people it isn't about the food its a mental illness. I'm with ya, I have made a promise to myself,my children and my husband to never let that happen...ever.

Sandra said...

I felt a similar sense of rage once when I saw a couple on their motorized scooters, not older than fifty, cruising the streets and puffing on cigarettes.

No, I may not understand what they are going through, but dragging on a cigarette when you're already kicking around (or not kicking, as it were) in a scooter? PLEASE!

If I ever end up so fat that I waddle like crazy or I get out of breath going up 2 stairs or taking two steps I hope someone does me a favour and shoots me. I might as well be dead at that point anyway.

*Tracy* said...

hi, well i came across your blog and have enjoyed reading thus far but after this post, im just not so sure anymore. i think your being way to judgemental wich is fine you can say what you want...... i just no i use to judge people and look at them and be like whats wrong with them why are they riding on that scooter thing or wheelchair etc. i changed my tune once i became sick, i have polymyositis muscle disease were my immune system attacks my muscles and makes me weak and was for quite awhile unable to walk with out aide or do any of the simple things we take for granted everyday. i havent resorted to a wheelchair when i go out or other things but have wanted to because it was and can be challenging for me. i look like theres nothing wrong with me and thats my point, you cant always tell whats wrong with someone just by looking at them so u should keep that in mind. i do agree though that alot of times there is nothing wrong with that person they just are lazy or want attention.

angellopezphotography said...

I'm so on your side with this it's insane. I think similar things about people like this every time I see them hogging up half the sidewalk downtown. Every time I look at my own gut and think about how hard I have and am trying to get rid of it and of the things I want to do with my life it makes me a little sick to see people who have just given up on themselves to that point. I understand that some have actual medical issues but it's almost impossible to tell just by seeing them out and about and I do not believe for a second that the number I see all have those issues. Some are just fat and lazy.

Ramon said...

I can't say I'm overweight. I'm actually skinny, w/ only a slight stomach bulge. But as one of the commentators said, being overweight is not necessarily the issue. There are a lot of overweight people who are much healthier than I am. Subsequently, your use of the word "fat" is disturbing. My wife would kill me, almost literally, if I wrote what you wrote. As Dragonfly hinted, the condition you saw was not directly the result of being overweight, though weight seemed to have been an issue w/ Dragonfly's mother in the past.

I think the real issue is being active. I started living a fairly sedentary life a few years ago as well, and have been experiencing some problems that I've never experienced before. Like when my back went out on me while shoveling snow in January. (My back was fine a week later, but since then my back has been a bit weak.) That was a wake-up call. I think it's because I don't go a walks and ride my bike and exercise as much as I used to. But every now and then I chop some logs, do sit ups, and go on a nice walk w/ my wife, who then makes fun of me that I get tired after walking 3 blocks.

I agree with your basic premise though. As part of a younger generation, we should catch ourselves and make sure our bones don't turn into mush. Being active is the only way to do that. With that said, I should stop typing (as I have wrist issues - my wrists have gotten too much use), get up from the computer, and move around. That's pretty hard these days, as I run a website, kenacubed.com, where I try to publish "meaningful news." Good luck on being active. Go on walks w/ your husband and enjoy nature as nature intended.

CinciMom11 said...

You must have some serious personal issues that need to be resolved to cause you to be so judgmental. Your post made me cry for you. Good luck in resolving your personal issues.

justjuliebean said...

I agree with Fab Kate. You don't know if these people have debilitating diseases that put them in this wheelchair, thus making them "acceptable" to you, rather than just fat and lazy and disgusting, and all the other nastiness bursting from the comments. I hope all of you who are so self-righteous about this have no weight problems yourself, if you did, you should have a bit more sympathy. After all, it's only a matter of degree, and there's someone skinnier who thinks you're disgusting at your size.

Rebecca said...

True beyond words.

I'm a medical student and had the "pleasure" of caring for such individuals on more than one occasion. It is frustrating beyond belief. Let me just say that not being able (or in many cases willing) to walk is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems some of these folks have.

Sure they may not have a cast, but there is a good chance that they can't feel their legs due to the peripheral neuropathy they are suffering secondary to years of uncontrolled diabetes. They may have resting angina that limits mobility due to debilitating chest pain from something as simple as getting up and walking through security at the airport.

Am I justifying what you saw? Absolutely not. Everything I've described and all that you've seen is a direct consequence of poor choices. They have literally brought this on themselves. The saddest thing to me is that so many of them are unwilling to do anything about it.

I applaud your willingness to say what you are thinking. Being overly sensitive to the "plight" of others has made these kinds of things socially acceptable - and unbelievably hypocritical. Were you to have posted a blog talking about how much you hate to walk through a cloud of smoke every time you enter a public building, and how people who smoke are puffing themselves into an early grave I doubt there would have been such an outcry from your readers. Everyone acknowledges that smoking is unhealthy, but I think people tend to overlook how unhealthy it is to be overweight because it hurts people's feelings when you tell them they are fat, and yet nobody feels guilty for telling a smoker that they stink.

I think its an interesting double-standard.

~Kristen~ said...

I couldn't agree more with you Jenn. Once again, you're hitting it right on the head and I love that you're so comfortable being blunt. Love you for being that way!!!

Being that I am a nurse and work in an acute cardiac unit I see many examples of people who are being admitted younger and younger due to them letting themselves become "those people". No one hesitates to tell the crack addict that they need to stop smoking crack or their heart is dead but they pussy-foot around the subject of weight. If people have trouble with their weight because they are a "food addict" then why aren't we doing interventions with them too?

I, being a person who's over my BMI and struggle with it every day, got pissed when my doctor was filling out paperwork for my move and my future doctor. I got the paperwork and he listed "obesity" as one of my problems ... but has he EVER talked to me about my weight or tried to help me with finding why I can't lose the damn weight? NO!!! Yet if I was a smoker he'd have no trouble talking to me about what that's doing to my body. Since moving, I have started my weight loss journey again with some mild success ... and I am loving that and celebrating that but I know it's going to be a long, slow journey.

In a world where there are now reality shows about people struggling with their health and weight we know it's something people are dealing with. And I, for one, really have to bite my tongue from telling people I care for to "do it themselves" when they are those kinds of people who have others do everything for them.

I have made an oath numerous times to never be "one of those" and I will do everything in my power to keep that promise.

justagirl said...

I'm ashamed to admit I have had these thoughts too. It gets worse the harder I work to achieve health. Mainly I see this in Wal-Mart with the motorized carts. But I guess there was a time when people would probably get really frustrated mentally with me for making excuses. I have to remember this and then I get really humble. But yes, it's hard when you have changed to accept that another chooses not to.

XSarenkaX said...

I'm so disappointed, Jennifer, but not very surprised. I probably used to feel the same way before I realized how many invisible illnesses force people to use wheelchairs and scooters, and sometimes to get fat. I have an invisible disease, and, although I'm not fat, I am coming to grips with the very real possibility that I may not be able to walk unassisted. It's not my desire to sit - my body forces me to after very little effort.

I understand that looking at people who are fat can be motivating - there's nothing wrong with that. However, don't assume anybody wants to be carted around because walking's for suckers.