Honesty…the best policy?

Today was a typical gorgeous South Florida day.  After coming back from a cold and rainy week in Pennsylvania, being outside in the sunny warmth was exactly what I needed.  When Logan woke up from his afternoon nap, we changed into our swimsuits, packed up the stroller with towels, balls, goggles and his life vest and headed off to the community swimming pool.  The pool is fantastic; beautiful Mexican tiles line the sides while most of the areas are shaded by large royal palm trees.  A lite rock station plays quietly from hidden speaker rocks on the ground (once every hour you can hear a rocking instrumental version of  Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville”) while you float along in the heated water whose temperature is kept just below lukewarm. I LOVE THIS POOL!  When we strolled up there were already three little girls playing in the pool with their exotic looking mothers, so Logan promptly jumped in and started to make new friends.  I kept myself occupied on the side of the pool doing leg kicks under water to get a mini workout in.  In making some small talk with the other mothers I was told they were from Brazil (thus the exotic looks) and that they have only been in the States for a couple of years.  I was halfway through my second set of leg kicks when one of the girls shimmied her way across the top of the pool to me.  I glanced over at her and smiled…she just looked at me with a queer look on her face.  Then, with no reservations or pause, said “You are big and fat.”  I stopped kicking, and asked her to repeat herself, figuring that since the girl had a bit of a lisp, maybe she was trying to say something else, like “I have a big cat.”  But nope, there it was again… “You are big and fat.”   Then, just since I must really like to hear someone, especially an innocent three year old, say something so…honestly mean…I asked, “What did you say?”  “I said…. you are big… and fat!” she practically spat out for the third time, rolling her eyes dramatically.  Her mom looked over with a horrified look on her face and started yelling at her in some sort of language.  Then in broken English, “Becca, you tell sorry to her now!” Then she turned to me,”Aaa…I so sorry, she not know what she say!”  For a split second I was completely mortified…my face flushed bright crimson and I started to look for the nearest ladder out of the pool, but then I took one look at this little girls innocent face and just started laughing.  All I could hear in my mind was “From the mouth of babes…”  I didn’t even remember the rest of that statement, just those five words kept circling around in my mind, over and over again.  I said “No, its okay…Becca, you are right, I am big and fat.  But you want to know a secret?”  I lowered my face closer to her big eyes and said quietly, “I used to be bigger and fatter.”  She tentatively smiled, “Really?”  she asked.  “Yup, I was!  And I’m trying to get smaller every day.  Thats why I’m kicking my legs like this…because it makes the muscles in my legs work really hard.  You want me to show you how to do it?”  I asked her.  She smiled and nodded her head.  So we spent the next couple of minutes kicking and splashing our legs together, and soon all was forgotten.  Her mother tried to apologize again for her daughters, ahem…frankness, and thanked me for being so understanding.

For fatty Andrea, that comment would have made me so ashamed and embarrassed.  I would have promptly left the pool, changed into sweats and an over-sized t-shirt, and found the nearest cookie/cupcake/chocolate bar around in an attempt to help me ignore the bad feelings that were creeping up.  To be honest, I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t react that way…maybe it is because she was so cute and young and really didn’t know any better.  Honestly, how much English do you think is spoken in her house?  I think the reason I laughed was just the brutal honesty…it’s not like the little girl was trying to be malicious and mean, she was merely making an observation.  I am big and fat.  I’m still a big girl, I have another 60 pounds to lose to get to my goal weight.  I have lost a decent amount of weight so far (45 pounds) and shrunk two sizes, but I still have a lot to go.  But I’m also really happy with where I am right now…every month the scale is showing less and less, and as long as I keep the downward pattern, I can’t complain.  Although at this pace, it will take me two years to get there, but dang it, I’m a patient person!  I really think that lifestyle changes have been made that never were there before.  I no longer need dessert after every meal, I only buy whole grains and lean proteins, I enjoy the feeling of breathlessness and stiff ribs after a long run, and I love whenever I’m too sore from weight training to tie my shoes the next day.  There is a confidence that comes from making up your mind and changing your life.  It’s a feeling that I want to help more people to experience.

And because it’s always fun to see how far you’ve come…nothing like before pictures!

My family in Orlando, April 2009...Rob and I are second and third from the right...YOWZA!!!

That Orlando trip was horrible!  All I remember when I look at this picture is timeshares and Krispy Kreme donuts.  It should have been fun with everyone who was there, but all I remember was Rob and I being so broke at the time that we did four Timeshare tours only because they paid you a “monetary gift” at the end of them.  We spent 6 hours in pushy, rude sales presentations for $400 in order to pay for our own expenses on that trip.  Then, feeling defeated and disrespected, we would look eagerly for the “Red-Hot” neon sign at Krispy Kreme on our way back to the condo.  Thank goodness that is not our life anymore!

I got this email last week from my best friend, my cousin Heidi.

“I wanted to share a photo I found of you the other day.. I’m sending it to you because I can’t believe how far you’ve come in your weight loss.
So, you might not like this picture. But it is just amazing seeing the difference – Who you are today. So proud. :)”
Thanks a million Heidi, for this gem!
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2 thoughts on “Honesty…the best policy?

  1. Andrea, you are an AMAZING writer! Keep it up girl. Now you need to look into getting your short blog stories published in some magazines …like Good Housekeeping or something? Seriously, I LOVE reading the short stories like this. I love you sweetie….and miss you! Hugs & Kisses, Eileen 🙂

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