The thought of an invisibility cloak whisks me away to the fun and exciting world of British author J. K. Rowling…
In times of trouble, the gang from Harry Potter would pull out the trusty invisibility cloak and hide from the monsters lurking in the halls of Hogwarts. Harry, Hermione and Ron always got the best of the beast in those novels; at the end of the day the cloak came off and the kids continued on their carefree and happy way.
The truth of the matter is, invisibility isn’t quite as funny when its forced upon you as a reaction to a societal stereotype. In this case, we aren’t talking about that cloak that was featured in the movie, but instead an unvoiced and subliminal ‘You don’t rate’, or ‘you don’t matter’.
Most of my life, I’ve been thin and healthy. I know what it is to walk into a dress shop, try on anything that I want and feel frikkin awesome. I know the awkward feeling of walking into a crowd and having other wives check to make sure their spouse wasn’t checking me out… as if I was a husband-eating pariah on the prowl to break up happy marriages. (No thanks!) I know what it’s like to have people open doors for you and make eye contact with you as you pass them by. I know what its like to ‘be seen’.
I’ve also been overweight, I’m embarrassed to say that, because it was totally of my own doing. I was uneducated/misinformed and not making good choices for myself. I know how it feels to go into a regular clothing store to find that nothing fits. It truly hurt seeing the clerks gave me the quick up and down, dismissed and silently judged me because of the shape of my body…because I didn’t fit into the cookie cutter mold.
I remember how my loving husband didn’t get it, when I asked him to get us extra servings at the buffet. I didn’t want to be the fat girl carrying our meal, knowing all too well it would cause simultaneous heads to turn with looks that seem to imply…
‘Tsk tsk, she shouldn’t be eating THAT at the size of her’.
I know the embarrassment of smiling in acknowledgement at a person, only to have them look past me as if I didn’t exist. I was but a mere shadow of the person that I used to be. I got used to opening my mouth and having other people talking right over my own words, condemning them (my words) and me to scurry off to the corner where the unwanted creatures live.
Through the wonderful world of Ketogenic living, I have started to turn my life around. I now know the reality of a shrinking body and its downright mind boggling realizing as I become a more socially acceptable size, doors are starting to open for me again. Its not only that am I able to walk away from plus sized clothing and into regular stores, it’s so much more than that. People are looking at me in a totally different manner.
Its like I’m emerging from my cocoon as a brand-new butterfly. As though I’ve stumbled out of a fog/mist and are now stand in full colour for the world to see. Men are nodding at me in acknowledgement of my reborn curves (Sorry, I only have eyes for hubby). Acquaintances who for years, walked by me as if I was wearing Harry’s cloak, are now eager to engage in a conversation..suddenly spell bound.
Alas, I was there all along. I was hiding behind my own invisibility cloak and I just got too comfortable with that. I got comfortable hiding away from the world and from my own life.
This reawakening has been truly eye opening for me. I am the exact same person, but because the outer shell of me was not perfect, somehow I was reduced to less of a person. It really made me stand back and look at the world as if I’ve finally found a slight tarnish in its silver lining.
In case I need to point it out for you, this article isn’t about me at all. Its about our fellow humans. It’s the overweight girl who walks onto the bus on a hot summers day looking for a seat, while others avoid eye contact. They don’t want that big girl taking up all that space next to them. She just wants to sit down after a 12-hour shift- before she gets home to an untidy house, uncooked supper ,and kids calling out ‘Mommmmm, can you…’.
Its about the man who sits with his head hung, begging as the subway passengers pass by on the way to their train and then their warm homes. Most don’t have the time or the humanity to look past the wrinkled clothes and see the person. Most likely, all he wants is a dollar so he can get a warm coffee to help keep the cold at bay.
Its about the new family who just moved here from a far away land, possibly a war-torn country. They are avoided because they don’t look the same, with different customs or different clothes…but mostly because they’re ‘outsiders’. Take the time, you would find out how scared they were to leave everything that was familiar to them and move to a brand-new place where they didn’t even know the spoken language.
These are all people. Fellow humans who, for the most part just want to get through their day. People who have feelings, family and dreams, just like you and I.
The moral for me, and hopefully for some of you, it to never judge a book by its cover. I’ve always been a ‘live and let live’ type of person who doesn’t judge my fellow humans. But this shrinking/re-emergence is opening my eyes to the people who walk the earth and are not seen. Invisible. Lonely.
Its not just the overweight people, it’s the people who are not what society deems to be perfect: people with religious or racial difference, varying social classes, people with disabilities. Anyone who is not ideal, physically perfect or the same.
I will not be invisible any longer and I challenge you to walk with me. Let’s step up our game and to go out of our way to treat all people with decency and respect. No person has the right to judge or condemn another. We all deserve the basic respect and kindness that we would like bestowed upon us. We ARE all equal.
“One love, one blood
One life, you got to do what you should
One life with each other
One life, but we’re not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other
“One” by U2, Achtung Baby 1991
Sometimes all it takes is a smile, or a nod. Sometimes it’s a quarter in a cup and simply asking someone if they’re okay. Other times it giving up your seat to allow another to sit. It’s about respect and kindness. It’s really not a lot to ask.
I promise, whatever your colour, size or shape. I will see you, and I will smile.
I ask you to do the same.
That’s it for this time! Thanks for joining me for another East Coast Keto Life Lesson. There’s still a lot to learn and we’re glad you’re along for the ride!
Keep Keto-ing with one foot in front of the other. Keto seconds lead to keto moments, Keto moments lead to keto days. Keto days will take you on a successful keto journey life time. We’ll meet you THERE!!