MayBelle Gets Labeled {On Being Called “Obese”}

IMG_1913MayBelle was proud of herself for figuring out how to sign up for her doctor’s web-based information system, so that she could schedule appointments online, request prescription refills, and access all sorts of other helpful materials, like maybe how to get rid of night sweats and hot flashes you’re still having some three years after being told you’ve “gone through” menopause. (Can you say “vaginal dryness,” anyone?) So imagine her disappointment when she logged on today to arrange a follow-up visit and found the following in her file: “Mildly obese.”

MayBelle quickly double-checked to make sure she hadn’t accessed another hapless patient’s account, like, you know, someone who is, well, fat. Still MayBelle.

Now MayBelle is keenly aware she needs to lose a few pounds but deliver me, she said, looking around the room to make sure no one else had seen those two life-changing words.

“Those doctor’s office scales always seem to weigh me heavy,” she said, pulling in her stomach and sitting up just a bit straighter.

For a minute or so, MayBelle thought about going to buy a pie at the farmer’s market, or eating some cookie dough she just might have stashed in the freezer.

“Mildly schmildly,” she thought. “I’ll show that doctor from obese and move right up to ‘moderately.’”

Apparently once you’ve been labeled “obese” you don’t place much import on qualifiers.

But MayBelle knows that’s not the proper, or healthy, reaction. So instead she logged off, took a deep breath, and texted her trainer.

{A Middle-Aged Goober’s Week in Review}

Last Monday night, it was a homeowners’ association meeting, in which people who supposedly live in community talked over one another and complained about the color of the flowers in the bed at the entrance to the subdivision. They’re blooming, so they look fine to me, but apparently a handful of people are horrified—horrified, I tell you!—that the colors aren’t different from last year. The fact that anyone remembers what the flowers looked like last year gives me pause, but I was so busy trying not to jump out of my skin that I didn’t have the energy to whisper a snarky remark to my neighbor sitting next to me. Martha would be proud.

from istockphoto.com
from istockphoto.com

On Tuesday night, it was twenty people who were strangers to one another a month ago in my pastoral care training class at a local hospital, in which we listened to one another and came together on issues much bigger than a pansy palette.

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Wednesday was meditation group, led by a husband-wife team, in which the wife is dying of cancer and living out her last days with us in such a state of grace, acceptance, and peace that I can scarcely speak of it. Being in that sacred space gives me hope and lessens my fear. {Insight Nashville}

Thursday brought time with one of those friends you don’t have to see often to love much. {Hey Louise!}

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On Friday I was thanked for doing nothing more than listening with intention, and Saturday found me writing with eight wise and tender souls. We call it the “magic table,” in reference to all the great stuff that’s created around it, but it’s not the table, of course. It’s the risks these women take with me, month after month.

Last week ended with pink peonies and a puppy named Hiram. Who knows what this week might bring?

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