Saturday, March 20, 2010

When Compassion is Lost With the Weight

I have always felt that the person I am on the inside is what matters and that valuing or judging people by what is on the outside is not only wrong, but an indication of a weak and immature character. I realize that it is our animal nature to judge by appearances, but we are not simple animals. Humans, unlike animals, are capable of reason, restraint, and morality. Humans also are far less enslaved by their biological impulses than animals. While an animal in heat may copulate, a human who is filled with sexual desire may choose not to act on those desires.

So, I have never accepted the excuse that it’s okay to judge people based on what they look like just because it’s what we may do by nature. We act against our nature in the interests of intellectual, spiritual, and psychological growth all the time. Why should this be an exception to transcending our nature, particularly when we all know that beauty is transient? Few die beautiful if they are lucky enough to survive to a reasonable age.

One of the things that I think has been a psychological struggle for me in terms of losing weight is that it is, in essence, “giving in” to society’s judgment of me. They have been telling me for years that I’m a blight and now I’m finally going to agree with them and change my appearance to one they find more in line with their sensibilities. I don’t agree with those sensibilities, so why am I complying with them? There’s also a sense that I’m giving into all of the bullying I’ve endured for years.

So, if appearance doesn’t matter and I should stand my ground in the face of aggressive people who try to force changes upon me, there is quite a block to overcome mentally. For those like me who very deeply believe that looks are not that important (and I really believe that) and that it is character that matters, this is something that has to be set aside in the interest of doing what it takes to improve health and strength and to reduce stress. Let’s face it, being loathed by society every time you step out the door is immensely hard on a person.

For others, there is another path to pursue. That path is becoming what they once hated. As they find themselves physically merging with the ideals of those who once tormented and judged them, they join the other side. They now judge others for not being able to lose weight and talk about things like others “not wanting to lose weight” or “not being willing to do what it takes”. How soon those folks forget that they themselves were once hopeless and helpless in the face of weight gain.

Many of them at one point in time put on 5 pounds then later 10 and later 15 and then possibly up to 50 or even a 100. At any point on that continuum, did they think to themselves, “I just don’t want to lose weight” or “I’m unwilling to do what it takes.” No, at that point, they were thinking what every suffering fat person thinks. “I want to lose weight, but I can’t manage it.” I try to make changes, and fail and keep gaining.” “I’m enslaved by my desires when it comes to food.” The people who were once overweight and are now thin who judge people who remain fat disgust me, and I frankly think that there’s a lesson that they need to learn. Since I believe in karma, and that lesson can be learned by once more becoming fat and developing the compassion they never had or have lost with their weight, I’m figuring that there may be a reason people who lose weight gain it back beyond never developing proper weight maintenance habits.

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