Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Woman Without A Country


When I was a kid in Vacation Bible School we sang a song, "I've Got Peace Like a River."  I've had it in my head, with some slight lyrical modifications all week.  It goes something like this:

I've got snot like a river,
I've got snot like a river,
I've got snot like a river, in my nose (in my nose!). {Repeat into infinity}

I've been humming it, whistling it, dancing to it & singing it on repeat as it is clearly the anthem at our house.  Just as one of us gets over this goopy gloppy cold, a new one of us picks it up. 

Thankfully I got to feeling better just in time to share my story for an open house at my local Weight Watchers this afternoon.  I was incredibly flattered to be asked & was looking forward to pushing my boundaries a little by talking with my mouth rather than my keyboard.  What I wasn't anticipating was how much I would get out of the experience. 

For a while I've been struggling with the idea of being "a woman without a country."  No longer enveloped in the camaraderie of overweight women, but an oddity (or worse) to those for whom weight has never been a struggle, I've felt pretty isolated.  Likely, the root of the issue starts in my own head, but it's a nagging feeling that I just don't belong--an outsider no matter where I am.  I'm so extremely grateful for how far I've come, but I wasn't prepared to feel lonely because of it.  *sigh*  I sound like a melodramatic teenager.

Today, at the open house, I met TWO beautiful women who are part of my country.  Ridiculous as it may seem, chit-chatting with women who have lost 100+ lbs gave me a feeling of companionship.  Even though I don't really know them, I feel like I know something about their story...
  • Maybe they struggle with lose skin or drastically whacked out body image or shame about how they let themselves get "that big" or shame for feeling shame at all. 
  • Or maybe they have put on a shirt & wondered if it was appropriate/attractive for their current bodies or been confused about what their current bodies actually look like because of all of the crazy changes. 
  • Or maybe they have felt that moment when someone that used to be kind is suddenly cold or a warmth from someone that was previously distant. 
  • Or perhaps they've been confused when someone gave them compliments & qualified every thank you with "but I still have a long way to go."  Maybe they have felt guilty about that, too. 
  • Maybe, sometimes simultaneously, they have felt the glory & the burden of their accomplishments & wished that it could just be "easy"...whatever that means.

On multiple occasions I have tried to capture my thoughts about being "country-less" without sounding cold or callous or ungrateful or shallow or uppity.  Today, emboldened by my unknowing countrywomen, I feel just brave enough to acknowledge that I probably sound all of those things, but I know I'm not alone.  Surely someone else was thinking it...I just SAID it. 

And now, as a celebration of my bravery, I'm off to wipe some more snot from some more noses.  Thank goodness, too!  Nothing like a little hard, cold reality to get my head out of the clouds & back into the bio hazards.

1 comment:

  1. Sara, It was so wonderful and amazing to meet you today. I had tears in my eyes as you shared your story with all of us. I was amazed at how eloquently you put into words why it is you started your journey and what it means to you and your family. This idea of opportunity makes me so incredibly confident that you will in fact not only succeed with this journey, but certainly conquer all you have set out to do and more you aren't even aware of yet. I work for Weight Watchers to inspire others with my story, but today I got back inspiration from YOUR story. Thank you so much for that!
    Katy H.