Monday, April 20, 2009

Muffin Top(ple) Monday

It's week 3 of Operation Muffin Top(ple) and I'd love to say I've had huge success but that would sadly be a big fat lie, which would match my big fat ass.

I have done relatively good though. I've been eating more healthy and exercising more, but still have no real weight loss to speak of. I'm sure it didn't help that I ran out of my thyroid medicine and didn't get it filled until over a week later. Nothing puts the kibosh on dropping pounds quite like an under active thyroid. But as far as actual pounds lost, it just hasn't happened.

Matthew and I did a bit of a juice fast. We stocked up Naked Juice and had that for breakfast and lunch, then did taco salad for dinner. Saturday afternoon we walked to an art festival in downtown Mobile. It was 1.3 miles each way, plus we walked around for about an hour so I figure I got in 3 miles of walking this weekend. I'll blog about the festival later.

I'd planned on doing the 30 Day Shred this week until I left for vacation on Thursday but in the last block home Saturday I twisted my ankle so now I will be taking it easy instead. I plan to do a butt load of walking up and down the beach in Puerto Vallarta and I'd rather not limp the entire time.

So that's it for the diet & exercise update. Now we're going to talk about something else.

Saturday afternoon as Matthew and I were getting ready to leave the Arts Alive festival to come back home we ran into two old friends of his from high school. The guys were twins, dressed alike. Apparently they were freshman when Matthew was a senior so that would make them 21(ish), still entirely too old to be matching. But that's just my opinion.

Anyway. They guys and Matthew were super excited to have run into each other and did the "OMG wow it's been forever, it's so good to see you, how've you been" thing. Matthew introduced me to them (as his girlfriend *giggle*) and they chatted for a few minutes more.

You may be wondering what in the world any of this has to do with Muffin Top(ple) Monday. Just stick with me, we'll get there.

There were lots of Awesome! and Super Great! going on from the twins. These two guys were way uber exuberant, to the point that it was making me uncomfortable and I was on the verge of telling Matthew we needed to get going. I don't believe I've ever seen any one person so intensely excited to see another person before in my life, much less two. They finally wrapped up and Matthew and I started walking home.

Well when we got a few blocks down the street I asked him, "uhh honey, what was wrong with those guys?".

He looked at me, confused. "What do you mean what's wrong with them?".

"Well, are they, like, you know, slow, or something? They way they were acting was just weird. Not... normal."

Turns out one of the guys was valedictorian of his senior class. They were super smart, super friendly and apparently always super excited about life.

I'll cut out the nasty parts, where I imitated *read - made fun of* his friends and he got pissed at me, and I ended up walking home alone and skip to the point of this post.

Something about the way those guys acted bothered me. And for some unknown reason I felt the uncontrollable need to imitate them. At the time I wasn't thinking of what I was doing as 'mocking' or 'making fun of' them, but in reality that is what I was doing and my honey, defender of humanity that he is, called me out on it. The result was not pretty.

I didn't consciously intend to make fun of his friends, and him calling me out on doing exactly that had the effect of making me feel like a big steaming pile of pewp. For years I've always gotten angry when I heard people making fun of someone for the way they looked, or dressed. Making fun of the mentally handicapped is sure to get me steamed and I will call you out on being an ass. So for him to call me out on an action that I so intensely disliked from others struck a nerve.

Then on the way home karma had her bitchy way with me and I tripped on an uneven piece of sidewalk and fell flat on my face, scratching my hands up and bruising my knee.

In spite of me being a total jerk, when I came in crying Matthew went right to the medicine cabinet and proceeded to gently doctor me up. Then he held me while I sobbed my little heart out because I felt awful about being a jerk. God has truly blessed me with this man.

So how in the world does this tie into Muffin Top(ple) Monday?

Let me tell you..

When I first signed up for Operation Muffin Top(ple), I was directed to this
blog post. For the purposes of this post, I want you to scroll about 3/4 down the page and look at the picture of women who are exhibiting obvious signs of Muffin Top malady. I'll wait for you.

When I saw those pictures and read the post I reacted in two ways.

1. I thought - man someone should tell those poor girls they're wearing the wrong size.

2. I thought - people probably think the same thing when they see me.

What I didn't do, in spite of thinking how similar my full length photos look to those, is think how wrong it was. The incident this weekend brought me back to those photos. And THAT is where this all ties in together.

I'm not entirely certain what it was about those two guys that bothered me so much. I have no idea why I felt a need to make fun of them, however unintentionally, but what I do know is that poking fun at the expense of another is never ever EVER OK.

To be as huge as it is, the Internet can at times be a very very small place. What if those women blog? What if they happened across the blog where their photos are plastered all over a post as a 'motivation tool' to diet and exercise so you don't end up looking like them??

How would they feel? How would I feel? How would you feel?

I know I'd feel horrible. I may act all tough but my self-esteem is more often than not only a few flushes away from being in the crapper. Seeing my picture on a blog emphasizing how someone didn't want to end up looking would result in some pretty severe self-depreciation.

So what is it about things that make us uncomfortable in other people that lends to thinking it's ever ok to make fun of them? Now you may be saying "Aw come on Mollie, it was just an example, it's not like anyone is really getting picked on. It's not like those chics know their pictures are on the web being used as an example of why not to eat Twinkies".

But what if they did? And even if they don't and never do, so what. Why does that make it OK? It doesn't. I was so horribly disappointed in myself when I realized that regardless of what I thought I was doing, I actually was making fun of those guys. I can't stand those kinds of people, so to have it smack me square in the face that I was being one - not OK.

It all comes down to self-image. Those guys were super excited to see my boyfriend. But instead of being happy that my man is so fantastic that after not seeing him for four years someone would be that stoked to run into him, I was bothered by their exuberance. I am a fairly calm, mellow, laid back kind of person. My passions run deep, but they run deep quietly.

During our argument about my, to quote @iamdiddy, 'bitchassness' behavior Matthew made the comment "Well they're my friends and I accept them for who they are". So why couldn't I? I actually said something along the lines of "Well I just wouldn't be able to hang out with someone like that".

Like that?

Like what? Happy? Full of joy? Loud? Not normal?

Who the hell am I to say what's normal or not? Most people think I'm not normal because I play life so close to the vest and am usually entirely too serious. But that's just me. That's how I am. Loud and boisterous is how those guys are. Overweight and wearing too small shirts is, at least at that particular moment, how the women in those pictures were.

I think I've strayed a bit but the whole thing just really got me thinking.

"They're my friends and I accept them for who they are."

Is the reason we have such a hard time doing that to people who we view as odd, or different, or whatever kind of characteristic that stands out to us as not 'OK', because maybe we don't accept ourselves as who WE are so we point out the flaws in others to compensate?

It's definitely something to think about.

Someone who points out and pokes fun at the differences in people is not the kind of person I want to be.

When I told Matthew he shouldn't be with me, that he deserved someone better because I wasn't a good person, he said this - "You're as good as you want to be". Then he told me was with me because he WANTED to be, regardless of whether I thought he should be or not.

So I guess the next step is figuring out just how good of a person I want to be and start working on getting there. Then thank God each and every day for blessing me with such an incredibly wonderful man.

1 People who coughed on a furball:

Clever Elsie said...

You're posing some interesting questions. I agree that the root of teasing--maybe I should use a stronger word like harassment--is insecurity. As social beings, we instinctively try to protect and better our position in the group, so we harass others to deflect attention from our own perceived defects and increase group cohesion by excluding those who are different. I think we constantly need to guard against this dark side of our human nature that automatically wants to ostracize outsiders. Some people, like your Editor, seem to either lack those destructive impulses or have overcome them entirely. The world is a better place for people like them, and I think we could all learn a lot from their example.