Clara heard them, she saw their looks. The tweenies standing in the middle of the subway car, whispering to each other, laughing and looking at her. She knew she was taking up more than one seat, but it was the end of a long workday. She was too exhausted to stand. Besides, no one would want to stand close to her anyway. It is hard to not stink when you are fat. She could feel the sweat between the rolls. At the end of a day she would always smell, no matter how much deodorant she used.
“Why don’t you go by bike, fatso? Then you will get slim and we don’t have to look at your fat ass!”
The group of kids erupted in laughter, admiring the tall girl who had dared to make fun of the middle-aged woman.
Clara looked out the window even if all she could see was her own reflection. No, she saw more than her own reflection, she also saw the reflection of an older man. He was looking at her, searchingly, as if he tried to remember where they had met.
At the next stop, the group of kids went out, shouting more insults as the doors closed. The man who had looked at her stood up and walked to her, gripping the pole to keep his balance.
“Clara? Clara Miller, is it you? I’m Arthur, Arthur Anderson, remember? We were neighbors when you were a child. “
Clara looked up and saw the man from her childhood. Grey hair, stooped, but she recognized him. How could he recognize her? She had been a small, slim girl then. Not a middle-aged obese woman. For some reason, tears welled up in her eyes.
Mr. Anderson sat down next to Clara. He put his wrinkled hand lightly on her knee.
“I should have done something then. I guess I understood something was wrong in your house, but I was too busy with work, my own family… I should have done something Clara. “
Clara blinked repeatedly, her stomach turned, her hands trembled.
“I still see the beautiful little girl in you; she is hiding underneath all that blubber. You don’t need to hide anymore girl. You can be safe and beautiful. I promise, you can be beautiful and safe now.”
In As a man thinketh, James Allen writes:
"Change of diet will not change a woman who will not change her thoughts."
Do you have a fat colleague? An obese friend? A neighbor with fat rolls? Do you ever wonder why they don’t just get their act together? Change their diet and move more?
Chances are they have thoughts and experiences that make them unconsciously choose to stay where they are.
Your judgement will not help them. Your compassion might.
Maybe that fat person who is unable to change is you.
Or maybe you are the procrastinator, the one who never concludes things or the one who is continuously late?
Don’t judge yourself. Be kind and find the real reason for your behavior. Only then can you change it. Choose compassion - also for yourself.
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