I have grown up with issues with my feet. I probably didn’t help myself by buying and wearing cheap, fashionable shoes, but there was no way in hell I was going to wear sensible shoes in my twenties. So, I paid the price for those choices and have learned my lessons. Heels are not a part of my life.
I’m a sensible flats, with orthotics, kind of girl.
I know, boring!
Why am I talking about my feet? Well, the other day, I was walking to catch the subway, and I caught sight of a lady walking beside me, and realized that it was my reflection in a store window. I was sort of taken aback by it.
Do you ever find yourself thinking that you’re 20-something, and then somebody can’t relate to what you’re talking about and you’re reminded that you’re actually 40-something? Do you ever think of yourself as looking one way and then you look in that 20x magnifying mirror, and realize you have wrinkles or unwanted hair and shake your head and are reminded of your new reality?
Well, I think sometimes I do that with my body. I think I look one way and then catch a reflection in the mirror, or window, and I realize I look different.
Let me be clear. I know I am not a supermodel. I never have been. I’m a plus-sized mom of two. My husband loves my body and for the most part I don’t put much stock in the importance of being thin. I am confident (most of the time), and try to teach my girls it matters what’s on the inside.
However, I am unhealthy. I know I need to lose weight. But between my daily commute, and the issues I have with my feet (bone spurs and achilleas tendonitis), it means I can’t wear a shoe and my back is sore from being unable to wear my orthotics in all my boots. So, I can’t really can’t work out.
I did go see an orthopedic specialist a couple of weeks ago, and after waiting four months to see him, and two hours in the waiting room, I finally was looking forward to hearing how he could help me. I was open to anything, but my options are a walking boot or surgery. He talked to me for about six minutes about the treatment he wanted to try, and then spent the next 17 minutes talking to me about how fat I was.
He so nonchalantly recommended intermittent fasting, saying he’s lost 30 lbs. by doing it. I should do it, because I need to lose weight. I was sort of in shock.
Again, I’m not oblivious to how I look, but I didn’t expect to be lectured about it by a complete stranger. When he said, “I know I’m not a dietician, but this works. I tell everyone to do it.” I sort of snapped out of my shock and told him that I have lost 30+ lbs. twice before, by watching what I eat. I don’t think this fasting is for me. He basically dismissed me.
I left that office feeling so judged.
I felt judged and sad and then I instantly remembered how I felt when I realized that my reflection was actually me, and I just about burst into tears in my car.
I allowed myself to feel judged for the drive home and then decided that he doesn’t have the right to do that. And you can mark my words that I will tell him so on my next visit.
As a foot specialist, he should understand that it is the pain I’m in that stops me from doing any sort of physical activity. I can’t swim, do Zumba and yoga is hard because of the angles I would put my foot/ankle into. I can’t wear running shoes, and so walking is even hard. So, the only thing I can control is my diet.
I’ve already dug through my things and found my notes from when I saw a nutritionist. I know what to do.
But I would like to make it clear that I’m not doing it because he called me fat. I’m doing it because I know it will help with the treatment, and I need to get that sorted first. If I don’t, it will make things so much harder for me going forward. I can’t afford that.
I also can’t afford to be unhealthy. So, my focus will be on getting back to being healthy. And that doesn’t mean skinny. It means healthy. Eating healthy, portioned-out meals.
There is a saying I’ve been hearing a lot lately, and that “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” And it’s true. People are quick to comment or judge someone who is overweight, not understanding why, or what their journey is.
I am guilty of it too. I judged my reflection before I was slapped in the face with the reality that it was me. So, I’m going to stop worrying about what some loser foot specialist thinks about me, and focus on working on myself.