Friday, February 5, 2010

Glasses can be reveling

Wow- two posts in a single day ! Must be a red letter day or something !

Today I was making lunch and found that my glasses were really bothering me. I am technically
in need of bi-focal lenses, but for several reasons I refuse to go down that road. For the record,
it is not an issue of vanity, but one of a rebellion against glasses and the entire medical industry
in all forms. Eyeglasses were the first concrete proof to me that things were not as well as they
were cracked up to be in a way. I sat there cursing my lenses, and then asking myself just what was it that made me hate the darn things so much. Slowly, methodically, my thoughts were brought back to that long ago time when they entered my life , and with it came a flood of feelings.

I did not discover I had a vision problem till I was 16, and the vision test required for a drivers license revealed that I could not read signs. A visit with an optometrist further revealed that I had absolutely no depth perception without corrective lenses as well. He was amazed that I had lived so long without noticing this fact- forgetting that when it is something that you have lived with forever, you have nothing else to compare it with. He speculated that my birth mark may have been a factor in this , due to the vascular flow , but nothing was pursued about it . He simply wrote a prescription for corrective lenses, and I learned how to live in a world where the floor and other objects were suddenly jumping up to meet me. I walked away hating the addition to my life , hating the act of driving, and adding it to yet another thing that was not identified about myself . One thing seemed to universally lead to these, and that was my weight.Fitting a large stomach behind the steering wheel and then having it be inhibited due to rubbing against a stomach does not make driving enjoyable in the least- or inspire a feeling of confidence. Driving also meant the discovery of a visual issue I had all my life but now would have to learn how to walk on 3D surfaces, and if I had been an average sized child my complaints would have been taken seriously.

How does my weight enter into this ? Let me explain. I have been overweight since I was 18 months old, and whenever any factor with my body came into play (with doctors, teachers, instructors) I was seen first and foremost as a fat girl. The general attitude about those who are obese is that they are lazy, stupid and therefor non required to take seriously. I state this from my own life experiences, and not due to some written statistic. In school I would do A level work, but if another in the class did the same work and was thinner, they were publicly congratulated. Every single doctors visit from the time I was 5 began with a lecture on how I must lose weight, and my current ailment was a result of my weight. Did you know that Obesity causes chicken pox, mumps, measles, ear infections, tonsillitis and broken bones ? Must be true- so sayeth every Doctor I have ever visited. In school when I had difficulty reading the board I was told
it was because I was lazy. My sister who was 18 months younger than I mentioned problems and the school urged my parents to take her for an eye exam, and she was given glasses at age 7. She was an itty bitty petite child, and therefore could not possibly be lazy.

So I was led to believe that my vision problems were a result of sloth, and I simply learned to live with the problem. I guess you could call it my first lesson in mind over matter ! As I cleaned off my lenses, I was reminded of so many other events in my life that were weight related , and I began to wonder if anyone had ever written about the experience of being an overweight child. Many seem to blog about the problem beginning in their teens or after marriage and motherhood, and those insights are valuable. However, the experience seems to be much different when it begins as a very young child. And it makes one question a lot of the current belief about childhood obesity.

I was born in 1958, walked to and from school every day, played in sports, watched 1 hr of TV per day, ate 98 percent of my meals at home and they were cooked from scratch and contained a healthy ratio of carbs, veggies and protein, rarely ever ate fast food, had no electronic games, had 2 loving parents and a lot of physical chores and activities, yet I was a fat child. Very fat. I weighed 200 lbs on my first day of school and archived the weight of approximately 310 pounds in my adult life. I am the oldest of 5 siblings, all of whom ate larger portions than I and ate many more sweets, and they all were of normal weight.

Something tells me there is a great untold story in all of this.

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