Cathy is a loving and creative mom of two amazing boys. She currently works for the Provincial Government of BC as an Adjudicator for Specialized Services. In her spare time, you can find Cathy in the cheering sections at all of her son’s community league games and practices. She’s also served as the communication officer and fundraising coordinator for her son’s baseball team. Cathy is the secretary of the Obesity Canada Victoria Chapter, making a difference in her community by advocating for change regarding weight bias and helping others to achieve their goals. Cathy and her husband Kelly recently presented a talk about how obesity has impacted their family life that can be seen here. Read Kelly’s post here.
I am a fat mom. Growing up, I was larger, but when I would dream of being a mom, I always pictured myself to be a normative body type, minivan-driving soccer mom. Instead, I am a larger-bodied (or you could say fat), disabled, SUV-driving baseball mom. I was in a car accident 21 years ago that left me with mobility issues and the battle of fighting chronic pain. However, I wasn’t going to let being disabled or larger-bodied define what I could do and who I am.
I live an active lifestyle, which I am sure may surprise some. I ride my bike to work every day and go for walks on my break, since I have a sedentary job. I go to aqua size with my family, and we hike, bike, swim just like the a normative-bodied type family does. But, for those who don’t know me and see me, I know the judgement is there.
I have decided for my children’s sake that we will be active. I won’t let my size hold my kids back from experiences that I think they should have. This means extra planning on my part. If we are going on a hike or to the beach, I have to plan to manage my pain. This means, I take a deep breath and pull on my swimsuit, and, I go and play with my kids. It means I have to be strong enough to ignore the looks and stares and maybe even gasps when I walk by on my way to the lake.
I’d love to tell you that I don’t care, but that would be a lie. It is my human nature to care.
When I can feel the judgment in the air, I hold my head higher, look people in the eye and give the brightest smile I can and say, “Isn’t this a great day! How amazing we can all enjoy it together.” This usually brings them out of the judgment trance, and they respond accordingly.
I also become the loudest cheerleader for other larger-bodied people who are out there living their life. I cheer for them when they ride by on their bikes, or I see them at the beach or pool with me. It always makes me think, “Yeah! We’ve got this. We are doing great”! Go Team Fat Momma!” Of course, I don’t say that. I just think it with a big smile.
We are all just trying to do the best we can. Let’s celebrate one another for who we are and embrace all our differences.
That is the human experience, and I’ll be cheering for you.