Kathy Sebright

Writer. Speaker. Believer. Runner. Truth Enthusiast.

“She put on a lot of weight”

377 Comments

I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a couple of years on the fourth of July. It was hot and humid here. My sweaty hair was stuck to my face. My brave little boy was in my big yellow double running stroller, the strap tied a bit too tightly around my arm digging in. My oldest son was running behind me with my husband. I was surrounded by an amazing group of people out there representing the church we attend, showing love for our community by passing out a few thousand popsicles in the parade. My face was flushed red from the heat and the exertion of running to keep up while pushing a nearly 100 pound load and simultaneously handing out popsicles with one hand while the other steered the stroller. I handed this person a popsicle, smiled, and offered a short, but enthusiastic, “Hey there!” As I turned away from them to continue, I heard ever so faintly “she put on a lot of weight.” I felt my face flame up with embarrassment. My pulse quickened like it would for an impending physical attack. I was stunned for about half a second before I realized there was no time to dwell on this. I had to keep moving and stay with my group even though I wanted to know so badly if there was going to be more to this conversation about me. FB_IMG_1436225638817

I sat with it for 2 days. I didn’t say a word to anyone about it, not even my husband, because I was embarrassed. Because I felt ashamed. Because most of all they were right. I mean yes, they were right. But in those short few seconds they saw me, they didn’t really see me. They chose to see just one thing. My weight. Not me. They only saw my weight.

I wanted to go back and tell them. All the things they didn’t see, that is. All the things they couldn’t even begin to understand. All the things I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. All the things I have overcome to be here today, standing in front of them happily offering them a popsicle. All the times I almost didn’t make it. All the ways I have struggled and failed and got back up again anyhow, refusing to let that be the way it ended. So yes. Yes. I have gained weight. And it would be so easy to make excuses and justifications. This is what insomnia can do to you. This is what it looks like when you watch your heart and soul – your child suffer from unimaginable pain. This is what long term, chronic stress and worry looks like. This is what someone that has been on the edge one too many times looks like. But it wouldn’t be the whole truth. The whole truth is I have done this to myself. That’s the whole and embarrassing and painful truth. I have struggled and I have done the very best I have been able to over the years and this is where I have found myself. I have tried and tried and tried. I really have. And when all else has failed, when I have prayed and ran, and wrote and read, when I have cried and screamed and still felt the world spinning out of control in front of me, I have turned to food for comfort. And just because I have put on this weight does not make me any less of a person. It does not mean I am not worthy, not interesting, or not important.

I wanted to go back and tell them more. Like how I just ran 100 miles two weeks ago, for the third time. And while some would attempt to diminish these accomplishments because I was not “fast”, I stand proud knowing the truth of the matter. It takes a level of endurance and grit I never knew I had to run for a day and a half straight. It takes a hardened will, a determination to go forth despite the burning pain, the deep ache that settles in all of your bones, the beaten down body, and the discouraged mind. It takes dedication and passion. It’s all about heart. It’s a feat of strength, not just physically but mentally. And just because I have put on this weight does not mean I am weak, out of shape, or unhealthy.

I wanted to tell them all of this and more. I wanted to make them see how much more I am than someone who has put on weight. But the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it seemed. Why does it matter? Why do I care what these people think of me? Why do I look at myself in the mirror more critically after a mindless comment someone made by the side of the road? Why do we let people do this to us? Who is anyone to judge you or me that way? Why do we dismiss a compliment so easily but let an insult stick to our ribs?

So I came to a realization and that is I need to be a better friend, to myself. The next time I look at myself in the mirror before I leave, I will not throw in a biting comment about how I look. The next time I am discouraged that I cannot zip up my favorite pair of jeans, I will not berate myself. The next time I hear a less than flattering comment about myself,  I will not let it take root in me. I will not give it the satisfaction. I will dismiss it the way it should be. I will love myself more. I will look at myself the way a friend would. If I would not say it a friend, I will not say it to myself. As we all should. I will cut myself some slack and acknowledge that I really have done the best that I could. I will believe my own words. I will know that I have not failed anyone and that I am not a failure myself.

I will honestly and truly treat myself like a friend would. That’s what I want for you too. I want you to see yourself for how amazing you are. I want you to see that it does not matter if you are a few pounds heavier than you want to be. It does not make you any less beautiful. What makes you beautiful is you. Who you are. Not some arbitrary number. Not the way your critics may see you, but the way the ones that love you see you. What an amazing thing that would be FB_IMG_1430562952849– to finally see ourselves the way our loved ones do. The way we should be seen. That is the hope. That is the goal.

377 thoughts on ““She put on a lot of weight”

  1. I wish I had your confidence and attitude. I have always been heavy, but a few years ago I got very active and lost some weight and loved being active. But it wasn’t enough. I lost a job I loved more than anything because it required physical exertion and because of underlying health problems it wasn’t safe for me. The health issues have gotten worse and so has the weight. I am so hard on myself and have no hope for ever losing weight and getting some activity back. I am so happy for you and others who have succeeded. Congratulations.

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    • I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles. We are often the very hardest on ourselves and that’s not how it should be at all. Although I can’t speak to your health issues or limitations caused by them and what is safe for you, I like to think there is always hope, however small or different it looks. Maybe not the weight loss you are looking for right now or the activity you really want to do, but maybe there is a variation of something which could give you the confidence back? As I’m sure you know, it’s not always about the weight but feeling comfortable in your own skin and that’s hard to do at times if you don’t love yourself first. So maybe start with being kinder to yourself, it actually helped me. I’m actually at the highest weight I’ve ever been so I need no congratulations 🙂 But I’m trying to be ok with who I am now. I have to be because there’s no other way.

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    • i pray, i am not how my relitives and friends see me!!! how horrible ( and probably true) that I am over weight. no excuse. things get hard, i put on weight for a lot of reasons none good enough to justify it. 3 weeks ago an acquaintance said i looked like id gained 50lbs… ouck.. ( not that it matters any. but im 5’5” and 165, this girl is probably about 5’1. and weighs more then me) when i told her id lost all my baby weight and a bit more she looked shocked. maybe i should be flattered she thought i was so thin before……..

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      • Oh that is a kick in the ego. Sorry! Thank you for reading and know that what you think of you is much more important than what anyone else says.

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      • It sounds like you are in highschool or college. Everyone is more critical, judgmental and just plain mean then. Ignore them. You sound like you are at a good weight for your height so I don’t know what that person’s problem is. I am overweight at 170 and I am 5’3 and 3/4. I can’t exercise as I have degenerative disc disease and it causes me more pain to exercise. The only thing I can tolerate is to walk a little. So I walk 2 blocks every day with my dog. Usually once a day. Sometimes twice. By getting a dog that forced me to go out and walk a little (I started with half block, then a block and now after 2 years I am at 2 blocks) to most people that is nothing but for me it’s extremely difficult. I have also drastically cut back the soda that I drink. I was having 3-5 a day. Now I limit myself to 1 a day. I try go completely without unless I go out to a restaurant to eat then I get it there. But if I want one at home or work I won’t do more than 1. I have something else like ice tea. I have lost 20 pounds in the past year just by doing those 2 things (walk in the morning every day 1-2 blocks, and reducing soda). I plan to keep it up. But I am doing this for me. For my health as I know that the more weight I carry that is more pressure on my back. But I try ignore people that make stupid comments like you and the article mentioned. They don’t know what is going on in your life. And a lot of being overweight is just genetics. People are naturally different shapes and sizes.Do what you can to make YOURSELF feel good. Ignore the people that make you feel bad.

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    • Hi Rick, I believe I can help you! You sound like a very caring person who would like to change. I am not a miracle worker but I have a product that would be very benifical for you! If you would like to learn more. Check out my website: http://www.mydoterra.com/4946. These are natural products that actually works! I would love to help you out. Contact me at 208-390-3583. I have an essential oil that can change your life! Give it a chance! You will love it!

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    • Hi Rick, I’m so sorry you are going through this! Your worth comes from the fact that YOU are made in the image of God! There is always hope, because if you still have breath in you, then God is not finished with you!! I have struggled with weight also and my heart goes out to you. Through my struggles, I have found there is only one source of peace & strength and that is in Jesus Christ! You might already know Him and if you do, I encourage you to lean completely on Him! Study His Word daily. If you have not experienced this peace, there is a website that can help. PeaceWithGod.net You are welcome to contact me as well. I wish you peace and many blessings!! -Ashley

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  2. When i was 15 years younger and so clueless and ignorant, i had a conversation with a couple of friends about one of our mutual friends. She had put in some weight and we were discussing this with incredulity. “How could you let that happen to yourself??”

    Fast forward fifteen years later and i myself have put on 65 pounds due to massive amounts of stress (and a lack of ability to cope with such stress), depression, and Hashimoto’s. I am mortified to see anyone i know when I visit my home state. True mortification. And when i get together with those old friends all i hear in my head is, “Wow, she’s put on a lot of weight.”

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    • I’m so sorry. Being mortified is not anyway to go through life. If these old friends really love you, then it won’t matter to them either way and they’ll just be happy to see you, not judging you. If these old friends are mean and judgemental, then maybe they’re not much for friends. If you start saying nice things to yourself, even if you don’t believe them at first and make it a habit, it may help. It sounds kind of cheesy, but it really does make a difference (for me at least) when I stop constantly saying and thinking negative, degrading things about myself. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it.

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  3. It really is a shame that people pay more attention to surface level images instead of the heart of an individual. I had an eating disorder six years ago caused by a very stressful time in my life. I have recovered, but I always pray that biting comments like the one you experienced will never send me back there. Words can be so painful, and if you want to hit a woman where it hurts: get on her about her weight. I am at an age where all my friends are having babies. Some have lost the weight, others haven’t. And it infuriated me to see people (even their own family members) giving them such a hard time about their pregnancy weight gain and embarrass them in public. It’s not like these women let themselves go. They were creating life. It’s awful the way women treat each other. I wish we would all see people the way God sees them.

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    • Yes! “To see people the way God sees them.” I wish the same thing. Prayers for you and your continued and successful recovery. Thank you for being brave and telling your story. ❤

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  4. “weight is my own business and no one else’s”. Maybe, or maybe not. Because of their medical burdens, everybody pays the price with increased medical insurance premiums, the same goes for smoking. Everybody has a choice regarding what and how much they put into their bodies. The same goes for drugs and alcohol. They also affect more than just the user. Those that have loved ones who are obese know how much happier they would be with a healthier lifestyle. And it has nothing to do with looks. From joint replacements to diabetes, most of these are preventable with some dicipline knowing when to cut back a few hundred calories a day. Water is free and better for you then pop or sugary juice drinks.

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful response. I just believe that we never know what someone is dealing with just by looking at them. I want to treat others with the kindness and compassion I’d want from them.

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    • So Edward, when was the last time you gave birth to a human being, starved and exercised yourself into illness to try and lose weight and still could not?
      Just curious, because your smug remark smacks of someone who somehow thinks that this is a character flaw, lack of discipline or weakness.
      I can guarantee you that this woman (and many others in her position) could kick your ass in the endurance of physical and mental pain. As for her character, you would do well to emulate, because at some point in your life you are going to be brought to your knees and wish you had even a tenth of her fortitude. If this were a self discipline issue, most people would have lost weight and kept it off.
      Kathy, you are too nice by half. I read your blog as a facebook post and really wish to commend you on your accomplishments.

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      • Self dicipline is part of every vice. Along with many other variables. Too many people justify their vices because of “stress”. Yeah, sorry for your stress, everybody has it. Stress may be one of the REASONS but shouldn’t be an EXCUSE to ruin your health. Just like someone who irresponsibly rides a motorcycle without a helmet. You may not care about your life but what about your spouse and kids, they are the ones who will suffer when you are seriously hurt or die prematurely.

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      • Edward, I guess someone else has to say it too because you obviously just don’t get it. You’re judging someone who you know boing about, you don’t know her struggles, her circumstances, or anything else. You don’t know if she’s unhealthy. You don’t know why or how. But you still think it must be some problem with her, that she doesn’t have the discipline, that she doesn’t care, that being overweight for any reason is a character flaw. And that makes it easy for you to judge, doesn’t it? When you don’t know. But you don’t care to know, do you?

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    • I totally agree. Everybody has stress, some definitely more than others. But dealing with stress through drugs, alcohol, or food is the wrong way and these people need help through support, counseling, and sometimes medication. Some deal with stress by working out too much and not eating enough. Which also can bring on poor health. Everybody is different. Nobody wants or plans to be obese forever, but just like drugs and alcohol and tobacco, food is addicting and abused. The first step is realizing you need help, and setting goals with a strong desire to change. Then be patient for results that will not only make you feel better but could actually save your life!

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    • How insightful you are! And perfect I’m sure. Oh and about YOUR costs don’t forget about all the illegal immigrants your paying for, and the unwanted babies, and welfare mothers and uneducated oh and the old, they should know better than to live past 65. It’s not about looks. That’s hilarious. It’s YOUR shame. I hope you never need a helping hand from anyone. You don’t deserve it.

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      • Exactly, Obesity is a burden to the medical system the same as all of the other problems mentioned. Does that mean they are all unavoidable? It’s really not about looks, a healthy weight means more quality and quantity time. There is too much good information now a days on dieting and exercise not to be successful with it.

        Gwen, starving yourself is the worst thing you could do to lose weight. Educate yourself with the same Internet that you are using with this blog. And put that mental endurance to good use.

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    • I wish it were that simple, but some of us just can’t lose the weight no matter what we do. Do you have hypothyroid or another condition, Ed?

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    • Wow! I hope you don’t live in a glass house! I am proud your burdens have been such you have dealt with them. Try taking 80mg of prednisone a day with immnuocomprimising medication and see if you stay perfectly thin and in great spirits. Prayers for you and the author of the blog and the commentors. They had the courage to boldly step out into vulnerable space. Thank you for holding them/us with arms of love and encouragement.

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    • Self discipline can also mean holding your tongue when you know your remarks can be offensive and serve no positive influence.

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  5. This gives me permission to be confident.

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  6. this appeared on my FB page through a friend. Thank you for writing this, and speaking to my heart

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  7. At camp, a little boy said a “you’re mom is so fat” joke to my son, who’s 7. He repeated it not ever dreaming it would slice through me like a knife. I don’t know and never will know if it was about ME or not. If he said it to the next kid who’s mom is thin as a rail. But I decided to forgive him, forgive myself, forgive it all. I feel better now, but I am SO very much with you.

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  8. You have put into words my own feelings. While I wish everyone knew WHY I have gained this weight after years of being fit, How 3 c-sections have devastated me, etc…..I still don’t know WHY! this was a great read and I appreciate you sharing!

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  9. On a side note, I want everyone to look up the word, obesagen, and read what it says on Wikipedia. They are deliberately, intentionally, adding these chemical compounds to our food and medicine to deliberately make us fat(ter). Knowledge is power. Recognize the enemy, it’s not us, we are the victims of this culture, the food choices easily available, the types of jobs available, a lot of our culture is based on sitting on the butt. And, yeah, my kids have gotten the fat mom jokes too, and one of my kids gets bullied at school for his weight… uh, yeah, sorry, he had two major surgeries on his foot and has been in a wheelchair and walker for months… kids don’t care. A lot of grownups are mean so they raise mean kids.

    Thanks for calling attention to the mean lady. Just because she’s been able to stay slimmer doesn’t mean it will always be so. We all need to love each other and encourage and educate each other. May God bless you and yours and everyone with peace and strength and lots of time and energy to work out more and learn to love salads. (-:

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    • Thank you Michelle. I haven’t heard of that before, I will look it up, I’m curious. I appreciate your kind words, God bless you and your family as well! And prayers for your son recovering from his surgeries!

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  10. People say the stupidest things sometimes.
    It is possible she was referring to someone else. Perhaps her comment had nothing to do with you. And if it did, well, what others think of us is none of our business.
    Finding personal satisfaction in our bodies is a hard thing. They do so much for us. 100 km? I’m in awe.

    Embrace your body for what it can do.
    I

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    • Thank you. Yes that’s what I’m trying to do is see all that my body can do for me instead of what it doesn’t look like. Thank you for that reminder and thank you for reading!

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  11. Thank you for writing this. I have a genetic disease that causes tumors on the endocrine glands. Part of my weight gain is due to this, but some or most is due to my own actions or inaction. I hope people see me, the real me, the woman who has accomplished so much while battling cancer. But in reality, people see the physical me, not the real me, at least not until they get to know me. I am am big believer in the fact that we should be kind to everyone because we have no idea what their struggles are.

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    • Yes, I am a believer in the same thing. Everyone struggles with something, which is why we could all stand to be kinder to one another. The real you sounds like a beautiful human being full of compassion. ❤

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  12. My sweet friend said to me the other day when I was discouraged, I think you need to think of yourself as the 2.0 version and stop beating yourself up. I was so grateful for that comment. New and improved, and it doesn’t have to be only about appearance. I’m working on that but the funny thing is I’m probably more conscious of healthy choices now than when I was younger and much thinner, but there is SO much more to me than just my appearance and I shouldn’t let myself get caught up in just labeling myself my that alone. What a discredit to everything I have become.
    Thank you for your encouraging post.

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  14. We so have to move away from this constant weight obsession. I for myself try not to take part in food and diet talk, in weight talk and I never comment or ‘compliment’ people on their weight. I have worked hard to understand that weight gain doesn’t have to be negative and weight loss by no means equals positive. I wish as a society we could move on and focus on more important things, such as empathy and compassion and stories of life and feelings and truth etc.

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    • Exactly Britta. There are so many more things to focus on and be passionate about than someone’s weight, however much it may be. Thank you for sharing!

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  15. Im am overwaight as my health has deterioted thus gaining waight which deppresses me terribley i can not exercise due to my bad health im sick of ppl telling me pull ur socks up and do exercise it upsets me dailey at pppl having a go at me for been overwaight some days i refuse to go out thru it some ppl need to have a look at the full picture befor insulting anybody im tryin very hard but everyday is a struggle for me

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    • Zoey: I hear you. It’s an endless cycle. Bad health leads to weight gain, which leads to depression, and then more weight gain, and then more bad health. I’m right there with you. People who make insulting comments would change their tune if they were in the same situation. Until someone has been in a situation like that, they have no idea how hard it is. Keep your chin up, and be proud of yourself for what you can do.

      Liked by 1 person

    • A lot of people make broadsweeping generalizations, not understanding or caring that there are other factors involved. When we stop seeing people as people, we are the ones losing. I’m sorry you have to deal with this. Hang in there and know that you matter.

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  16. This is incredible timing. Only the other day I was sitting in a cafe in a foreign country with a friend when a lady came and sat with us that my friend knew. She obviously had a few mental health issues, no teeth, smelt of cigarettes and didn’t speak English. She asked my friend something that I didn’t understand and my friend dismissed it and said we were going. I asked her what she said but my friend wouldn’t tell me. After a lot of pestering she admitted to my husband that this lady asked how to say in English ‘She is fat’
    I, like you felt that heat of shame and embarrassment rise. I dismissed it with my hubby but for 2 days I could think of nothing else. I could barely look at my friend out of embarrassment for her and me. Like you I thought ‘this lady only saw, fat.’ Not my nice eyes, smile, personality etc. I know I am overweight but not obscenely so. It ruined the rest of my holiday. I simply didn’t know what to wear? The thought that this is all this woman saw must be what everyone else sees. How could I have been so arrogant to think I looked ok. I know the rational side of me knows that my life is infinitely better than hers and I shouldn’t care but it hurts. An insult is an insult. Thank you for reminding me that I am more than just pounds and kilograms. I am a wonderful mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and that is all that matters. In the words of Emerson ‘to know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!’

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    • Thank you for sharing your story with me. I don’t understand how people can see past all the good in others to focus only on what they don’t like about them. As if they have any permission to speak into our lives about it. You sound like a beautiful person. I hope you see yourself that way!

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    • Personally, I would not pay attention to a toothless woman who smells bad. Or anyone. There are too many busybodies doing their best to make other people as miserable as they are.

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  17. I’m over weight and most my clothes are beginning to not fit me. I haven’t be to eager to walk, sense my exercise partner moved away. I am always being told by my mother you need to lose weight you’re getting to fat. It hurts so much every time she says it and I get more hard on my self. I make excuses of I can’t go for walks because it’s to hard when you have 2 kids. One in a stroller and the other walking with you.

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    • I’m so sorry you have to hear that on a regular basis. That makes me sad for you. You do what you can, if you want, when you can for YOU and only YOU and try not to let her insults get to you. Sending you love ❤

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  18. You write beautifully, fully enjoyed reading this. You obviously are way more than an arbitrary number, look at all of the lives you are touching from this simple post, mine included. One wrong thoughtless comment, given to the right person to make a difference. Please KEEP writing. 🙂

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  20. So beautifully said!! Thank you for sharing this.

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  21. I just finished a song I haven’t recorded yet whose chorus reminds me of this post. ” What’s on these bones is children who nestled in my skin, the struggle and the worry lines of where my heart has been. And each and every fold and wrinkle has become a home as I have come to love what’s on these bones.”. Just went rock climbing for the first time with my son in law. The harness was not big enough to fit me in easily, but I told myself to persevere because my granddaughters were watching and I wanted them to know I was not embarrassed by my size. I am always so saddened that we do this to each other…thanks for writing this….

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    • Thank you Char for sharing. I’m proud of you for setting a good example in being proud of yourself for your granddaughters. I am saddened that we do this to each other as well. The world needs more compassion and kindeness.

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  22. A friend posted this on Facebook– wow. What an inspiration you are and I love the truth you spoke. It touched my heart. Keep running. Keep writing. Keep going!

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  23. The weight gain and outward appearances are so easy to see, and people often comment on those visual images without thinking. I know this, and I fear this because I am in the same position as you. All kinds of factors have led to my current weight – mostly related to depression. This is a depression most people do not see. Each day is an inward struggle with food. I can’t explain that to every person, but I can certainly have anxiety about seeing people I have not seen in awhile because I know some of them will leave with the thought that I, too, have put on weight. After reading your post, I am going to do my best to leave that anxiety behind. I am going to be kind to myself. That is so difficult right now, but I am going to make every effort to achieve the goal. Truly, those people who make those ignorant comments are not the people we should be concerned with. They are not our inner circle. They are not those who love us as we deserve to be loved. Those who love us would not think or say those things. Rather, they might say, “She’s put on weight. I wonder if she’s all right.” My favorite part of your post is the idea that we shouldn’t say anything to ourselves that we would not say to a friend. I am going to be a better friend . . . to myself. Thank you. You have helped me.

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    • I am sorry you have struggled so much. I do hope you are kind to yourself and say things you’d only consider saying to a friend. I’m no expert here as I’m attempting to do the same thing, but there is a lot of power in the things we tell ourselves. You are brave. You have struggled and you have overcame. That’s beautiful as are you!

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  24. It is hard enough in our culture to feel good about ourselves as women. Period. I hope those women figure it out someday. Because if they weren’t struggling with their own body image issues, they would not care about anyone else’s weight, or feel the need to talk about it.

    Women put on weight for so many reasons. I put on 20 pounds while I was battling my second breast cancer. As a woman with a history of anorexia, this was difficult to accept, but between the medications and the 6 months of inactivity and the comfort eating, I couldn’t be surprised by it. And it took a while for me to get to the point where I was willing and able to do what I had to do to drop that weight in a healthy way. I still struggle with weight and body image. It’s so much easier to gain weight back once you’ve had it. Our bodies create fat cells, and we can “deflate” them, but they never go away, so it’s really easy to “reinflate” them.

    All of that is irrelevant of course, because I survived my cancer. And you and Emmet are surviving his condition as well, which is much more important than what you weigh, or what other people think about what you weigh.

    I totally understand your original desire to explain to those women what has happened to cause your weight gain. And you are right that ultimately, their opinions about your body mean absolutely nothing. The only person whose opinion matters is yours. Being our own best friend is the kindest way to care for ourselves. I learn this lesson over and over and over. Thank you for the reminder. And I pray that your son’s journey gets easier.

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    • Thank you for sharing. You are right, there is so much more important things at play here than weight. You have survived cancer! My son has survived when they did not think he would. This takes precedence. And I’m working hard at being nicer to myself. Thank you for your insight!

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  25. I have been fat my entire life, and I suppose the one upside to that is that I’ve not had to deal with the “She’s gained weight” comments. Thank you for letting me see another side to the continuous ways we are oppressed for fat.

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  26. Hi Kathy – your post is inspirational. I wouldn’t call myself fat although my doctor would disagree. But I am going through a period of judgment from others. I’m lucky to have a good support system, mostly via Facebook. Intellectually I know to be myself and not take on others comments…it’s their pain, not mine. But emotionally that’s not always easy. One thing for sure – you are an extremely talented writer and your gift of introspection and openness with your heart and mind are touching and helping many folks. That includes me. Thank you.

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    • Thank you Kat. I appreciate your kind words. It’s so hard not to take it to heart when you hear these awful things others are thinking or saying about you. Stand strong and know that it really is their problem, not yours. So hard to do though! Thank you for reading!

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  27. This is beautiful, thanks. I wrote not long ago about letting go of my shame over my weight and being seen (http://www.itsnothingreally.com/life/we-should-stop-hiding/), but this really hits on the point that those people haven’t earned the right to judge you, nobody has, even you… We all deserve acceptance, from ourselves first.

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  28. Thank you Kathy. I could have wrote this myself (but never would have said it as well as you)— it just hit so close to home for me. I have been hiding from people for years for fear of the reaction you described, knowing they have no idea what I have been through. I am a positive person and trying my best, and will continue to do so. I will hold your words close in my heart to help me get through the fear, and treat myself the way my loved ones do. xo

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    • Thank you for sharing Jill. I know it’s hard to do, push aside the judgements others may have about us, but you deserve it. Treat yourself with care! ❤

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  29. When I was a child, I was horribly thin.. My mother had to make clothes for me because nothing at the store would fit me. I was teased until I was about 10 years old for being a skeleton. Puberity hit and I gained some weight and got heavily into sports and even weight lifting, I bulked up… I was extremely tone and muscular, and harrassed daily for the way I looked. I wasn’t like the other girls so what I was, was wrong. Skip forward a couple years and a car accident that put me down for almost a year. I put on some weight, I got depressed, I put on some more weight because I couldn’t do all the activities I loved to do anymore… I went from Skeleton, to Dyke, to finally Fatty.

    I got even bigger over time, I am 6′ tall and my highest weight was 350lbs. I heard “you need to eat better and less.” No one ever knowing that I barely had an appetite, I ate once a day and I never was one for fast food or boxed food. I heard, “You need to get active.”, and despite the pain, I pushed myself. I started eating more often and attempting a mile walk a day and I did lose a hundred pounds. I felt great, my job kept me active and busy, until I developed carpal tunnel from the work I did. The Workmen’s Comp Specialist followed me around my job and couldn’t even manage to do the things I did on a day to day basis even with my hands being swallowen 3 times larger than normal and had the audacity to tell me, I had carpal tunnel because I was fat. My physical therapist said there was no way it was because I was overweight, as my arms and hands barely have any fat on them.

    A few years later I developed Type 2 Diabetes, right after losing my mother to it. I was terrified… I was told not by my doctors, but those around me that it was my fault. I let this happen to me, because I am over 200lbs… And despite my medical records that say otherwise, that’s what people think. I have diabetes because I am fat. My cholesterol? Is better than most. My blood pressure? Is perfect. I eat vegetables and fruit, I don’t eat a lot of meat, I excercise daily, I don’t eat junk food or drink mass quanities of sugary drinks… I am still overweight.

    I have learned that no matter what weight you are at, how healthy or unheathly you may be, people are jerks. Judgemental and think they know your body better than you do. Some people gain weight with stress, without ever changing their diet. Some people gain weight from NOT eating… I have seen big girls who work out constantly and can never shed a pound, and have seen skinny women eating the worst food imaginable and sit lazily on a couch all day every day and never gain a pound.

    Every body is different, so to sit here and read this blog and the comments that come with them… Who are you to cast stones? Who are you to know what’s better for that person? To tell them they don’t have an excuse? Yeah, you need to go sit in a corner and actually think about how to be a better human being.

    To everyone else, don’t ever feel ashamed of who you are or how you look. If God meant us to be all the same, he wouldn’t have made us so extremely different from one another. Your weight is only a number, if you want to lose some to make YOU feel better, than do so.

    Thank you Kathy for sharing your story and being a beautiful person,

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  30. I’ve gained a bit of weight recently and find it hard to diet while also eating in a way that controls a chronic health problem I have. (I need to eat very often or else it flares up.) At first I was very hard on myself for my new flab and double chin. But then I kind of just decided to not feel that way any longer. Since the weight loss is very difficult right now, I realized I was going to either be sad about this or change my attitude. So I just focus on my new curves, instead of allowing my eyes to focus on my stomach pooch. I read somewhere that we often only see ourselves as our least favorite body part, because our eyes so often focus on that part when we look in the mirror. (Think about when you have a pimple, how your eyes are drawn to that and you think everyone is staring at it!) Other people see us as a sum of our parts. That helped me realize that where I focused my attention made a big difference on how I felt about my body. Hope this helps others dealing with body image issues (and aren’t we all!).

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  31. This could have been a story written about me. I KNOW your pain because I have been there, am still there, unseen unheard. I am so happy you have found your strength again and can move forward. God bless you!

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    • Thank you Lesa for your kind words and support. I’m sorry you are unseen and unheard, I know how that can feel. You ARE worth being seen and heard even if others aren’t doing so. ❤

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  32. I just found your blog and this post via “The Huffington Post” Healthy Living section and all I can say is WOW, thank you for putting into words so eloquently what so many people experience each and every day! I have since read a few other of your post as well and am officially a fan of your blog! Will definitely keep you and your family (especially Emmett) in my thoughts and prayers!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-sebright/she-put-on-a-lot-of-weight_b_7765902.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

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    • Thank you Janie! I appreciate your kind words and support. It really means a lot to me to hear your positive words and prayers for our brave boy. Thank you ❤

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  33. I could have cried when I read this. I just began blogging and seeing a nutritionist. Your words are so inspiring and true. Beautiful 🙂

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  34. Thank you SO much for sharing this part of your story. It must have taken incredible strength and courage to write it. I needed to hear this, every single word of it. I have never overheard anyone comment about me putting on weight, but I do fluctuate. I have put on about 60lbs in the last year and a half. I had worked so hard before that to lose 80lbs. I, too, am an emotional eater and when things challenge me in my life, that’s where I turn. This summer I am trying to change my relationship with food. I have felt so fat and unattractive since gaining back the weight (I have struggled with body image my entire life!!). Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom, it inspired me. You are enough. 🙂

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  35. OK girls, I know I will get a backlash for this but, let’s get real here. Obesity is not a race such as being black, Asian, Hispanic, or white. It is actually something that you can control. Compare it to drug abuse, people are predisposed to it and it is very difficult to overcome. Would you tell an alcoholic to just be comfortable with it and accept it? I doubt it, because that person will live a miserable life affecting his friends and family, and will not live very long. So it is with obesity, fight it as if your life depended on it, because it does!

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    • At no point did she say that no one should try to lose weight or make improvements in diet or exercise habits. She is talking about evaluating people based on their appearance. Some of the nastiest weight comments I’ve heard have come from heavy smokers and drinkers; they are proud of themselves for LOOKING good, and it has nothing to do with health. It is also the case that while morbid obesity is dangerous, moderate excess weight is not, and you are fooling yourself if you think rude comments are limited to those who are carrying a hundred extra pounds rather than fifteen or twenty.

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    • “It is actually something that you can control.” Maybe for you. Diet advice for the past few decades has had society eating like ruminate animals. We did not get thinner. People who ate what the experts told them would make them healthy, found themselves fat…and perhaps diabetic, too.

      People DO actually have endocrine problems. That can make you fat. Perhaps someone has arthritis, sore feet. That can make you fat, and very disinclined to exercise. Perhaps you have insomnia? Exercise and wise eating choices can be almost impossible.

      If you are fortunate to get medical help that actually helps, you may be able to work your way out of this. But control? Not everyone has the means. It’s not always “calories in, calories out”.

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      • You are right, it is not always calories in and calories out. But over 90% of the time it is exactly that. War prisoners have the most emotional and physical stress of anybody, and do you see any of them overweight? Because they hardly get any food to eat. Sorry, if you have sore feet and then eat better. Good financial advice means don’t spend more than you make. Good weight advice means don’t eat more than you expend. Don’t get mad at the facts.

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  36. Thank you for this beautiful article, and your inspired insight into a difficult topic for so many. Over the last year, I’ve adopted a new attitude for myself that has helped me whenever I’m feeling that I’m not quite where I want to be (whether it’s my level of fitness, or in some other area of my life). That attitude is summed up by the phrase, “I’m a work in progress.” I’m not finished yet! There is work to be done, and I’m doing it in the order that is best for me, here a little, there a little. The truth is, we are ALL works in progress… learning, growing, changing. Being kind is our way of acknowledging that others are also works in progress. What we see today is just one step on their journey, not their final destination. You can’t go wrong by being kind!

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  37. Thank you. When I read your blog via Facebook through Huffington Post I thought who the hell has put my thoughts onto paper as tears streamed down my face. I do not have a child, yet I can relate as my husband has multiple organ transplants with no traditional family close by. The struggle you mentioned I can relate to on another level as a caregiver, wife and friend. You have given me courage and hope. As an introvert I have few yet strong friends and they are the silent warriors that give me strength. In reading this article about “she’s put on weight” you are a goddess for recognizing the light and given me the courage to continue also. This lead me to read your other blogs in my sleepless state which made me cry tears of happiness because I and you are not alone. Thank you for having the courage to write this, run and never giving up. Keep up the light on sister.

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    • Thank you Rena. I am so sorry you know this struggle too. The life of a caregiver, watching someone you love hurt so very much, it’s not easy. It’s incredibly hard. I’m so glad you have your silent warriors to build you up. Remember to see yourself as the amazing person you are. Thank you for your insight and hang in there friend!

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  38. This made me tear up. I’m so sorry that someone was so small and petty that she felt she had to make a comment like that. I’m so sorry that you heard it. Your strength and confidence is amazing. I quit running years ago b/c when I left the Army my knees and ankles were shot; have no intention to pick it up again. That said, I walk 2+ miles every day and feel better now than I’ve felt in months, years even. We do what we can. We are our own best advocates, cheerleaders. At the same time, we can be our own worst enemies. It is a choice. i choose to cheer. Kudos to you and thanks for sharing!!!!

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  39. Pingback: Gotta trust my body. | Mommy Rhetoric

  40. wow can i relate. ive spent the last 4 years living in a developing country….ive traded my attention to myself for helping save other peoples lives. Ive put on alot of weight and aged alot. Ive come back to my canada for a few weeks and there is spoken and unspoken “wow shes put on a lot of weight”. What you said resonated with me and gave me some encouragement to hold my head higher.

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    • Thank you for sharing. You should hold your head high regardless of what others say but I know that’s not the initial response for many of us, myself included. Hang in there and keep loving yourself!

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  41. BRAVO to you Kathy for writing this, and for being a friend to yourself. I see alot of myself in you and always think what people say matters. I love what you said about being a friend to yourself. I am so much easier and nicer to my friends, why not to myself?! I teach my girls that you need to be beautiful INSIDE. That is what counts. I need to believe it in myself too. Thank you. I love this post, and would like to be the person next to the mean lady who said that. I would have told her three things: 1) if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything 2) you have no idea what your opinion could do to her if she heard you and 3) you have little children all around you. If this is what they here they are going to think it’s okay to talk like this. Oh and 4) shame on you.
    Sending hugs xo

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    • Thank you Adria for your kind words. Yes being a beautiful person on the inside matters so much more than the world recognises. You sound like you are raising wonderful compassionate girls. ❤ Thank you for reading and keep being a friend to yourself!

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  42. Wow!! This was a great article and went straight to my heart. I was the target of every perverted man in my life and so as time went on, I put on weight as a defense. What I discovered over time was that perverts are not governed by that. Even at my highest weight I still had men bothering me. Being heavy has become like a friend though and I can’t seem to figure out how to let it go. I am a very confident person most of the time and don’t let what others think of me bother me. I like the person that I am and I am a kind loving person to those around me. If people reject me because I am fat, then do I really want that person in my life. We used to have some friends and I always knew that they were judging me for being fat. To them healthy = skinny. So I ask her about it and she assured me that it was not a problem. However, I was told later that they think fat people are disgusting and they can’t stand to watch a fat person eat. So one day they just cut me from their life and said that they never wanted to speak to me again. It was tough, really tough!! However, I looked back and realized that our relationship was based on me doing for them and they didn’t contribute anything to my life. They were never there for me but I was there for them. They never helped me or my family but I did help them. They never reached out to me but I constantly reached out to them. So really the only people that lost anything in the ending of our friendship, was them. So they don’t like fat people, well, I don’t like hateful, selfish, rude, cruel, self absorbed idiots. Looks it worked out for both of us 🙂 Thanks for this article!! We all have to remember to love ourselves!!! Shalom everyone!!

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  43. I just want to thank you for writing this. I’m reading this at the thinnest I’ve ever been and in my early 20s knowing it will not last. Looking toward the very near future and having kids and the whirlwind of stress/ the unknown that comes with that has been scary for me as a woman because I know that my body will not be what society says it should be during all of that and after. It’s so much stress that I’ve considered not starting a family. You are so inspiring and so beautiful and I hope that when I have a family of my own that I can have the same strength you have. How sad is it that we value ourselves from what we look like on the outside? In this day-to-day life that is so stressful and so hectic, I find peace and strength in the strangers who still emit love toward others. By posting this you are emitting that same love, not only for yourself, but to other women. I have to remember to pray for those who say ugly things and think ugly thoughts, because I know they are battling something within. I also pray that as a fellow woman I can support and show love to others. It’s amazing how damaging a few words can be. Stay beautiful and strong. You and your strong words are a blessing.

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    • Thank you for your amazing words of kindness. You sound like a beautiful soul who no doubts makes her corner of the world a more loving place! A woman that builds other women up – that’s who I want to be myself. That’s who I want my friends to be. That’s someone I want everyone to know. That’s someone like you! Thank you for the encouragement ❤

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  44. Reblogged this on Barefoot and Breathing Deep and commented:
    This is so wonderfully written. She has hit the nail on the head my friends. I can relate to this so well, can you? If so, drop by her blog and give this mama a like :0)

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  45. I really needed to read this today. I quit smoking almost 2 years ago and put on 35 pounds, just this sunday, someone asked me if I was pregnant. I haven’t stopped crying since.

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    • Oh I’m so sorry Robbie! Congratulations on quitting and staying strong. Look at yourself in the mirror and only speak the good a loving friend would. Acknowledge your challenges and what you’ve overcome, and remind yourself how awesome you are! ❤

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  46. I am so proud of you. You are so right about liking yourself too. I am hard on myself as well and don’t really know how to love me. I am more content and confident with me and eho I am, only when I have list the weight. I admire you and your strength to not sweat the mean comments. I could only wish… I do try…. I am a much better friend to my friend than I am myself. I’ll have to work on that…

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    • I’m still working on it myself. It’s not always easy to treat ourselves the way we deserve. We are so often so harsh on ourselves that we forget the power our own words can have on us! Hang in there ❤

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  47. Thank you Kathy for so eloquently putting me on paper! Love the pain to perspective to truth!

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  48. I like when she says “lf I would not say it about/to a friend, then I should not say it about/to myself.” This article reminds me of the saying that goes something like this– Be kind to others because you never know what battles they are going through.

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