“Safe!” Shouted as a runner gets to a base, shouted as you reach the goal in kick the can, this word is a happy one. It means you made it to a place no one can harm you. It reminds us of our childhoods with wide laps and warm beds and somebody always there to brush away the tears. But how many of us really feel safe in our own skins?
Ever since the cries of “fatty, fatty, 2×4” and the comments about “letting yourself go,” and the fact that you have, “such a pretty face”, have you ever really felt safe? Do you feel safe, knowing that a perfect stranger feels justified in yelling things at you from across the street? Do you feel safe knowing that any time you go to a doctor or dentist or even optometry shop (not kidding here) some professional who is supposed to be helping you may launch into some body disparaging nonsense rather than giving you the help you’ve been asking for? If you don’t, it’s no surprise. It can be especially hard feeling safe in a fat body.
It’s enough to make you never want to go out of the house. It’s enough to make one want to snuggle down, with your cats and doggies and put a blanket over your head. It’s enough to make you not want to dare anything.
I know that I’ve done a lot of work about moving ahead in my life. I no longer want to wait until I’m thin to do the things I want to in my life. I imagined what I would do if I were thin, and started doing them anyways. I started teaching exercise. I became a writer and a producer. I made a DVD and I wrote a book. I’m proud to say I’ve done a lot. But I still find myself in a stuck place. I still find myself shyly dipping a toe in the water instead of holding my nose and doing a cannonball into the pool. I still find myself wanting assurance that I’ll be safe.
But here’s the thing. Safety is relative. There is not one person anywhere who is completely safe. Safety is mostly an illusion that we build for ourselves. So I’ll keep trying. I’ll keep building the strength I need to slay the dragons I meet along the glory road. I’ll go out the door with my head held high and my wits about me. I’ll not be a simpering princess sighing in a high tower waiting for somebody to rescue me. I’LL rescue me. Wish me luck! Love, The Fat Chick