Tuesday, July 19, 2016

When someone calls you fat: Bucket Fillers versus Bucket Dippers

I can remember the first time someone called me fat. It was elementary school and this bully told me I was a whale. He also told me my new bangs made me look like I had cancer so clearly he didn't know what he was talking about. Of course, I cried about it for days. I think I was mostly upset because I had a crush on him. Thankfully, that never worked out.
I can remember the first time someone referred to me as "fat" as an adult.
It was two months ago at the BMO Vancouver Marathon
I was having a tough race that day. Not only had I dropped down to the half, because my injury had cut into my training, but I had also taken a nasty spill on the course and was bleeding from my forearm and hand. 

I was also struggling with body image. 

A few months prior, I began to gain weight at a rapid pace. No one knew why and, despite my best efforts, nothing seemed to be able to stop it.
So, I ran the BMO Vancouver Marathon twenty-five pounds heavier than I normally am.

None of my running clothes fit anymore so I made my mom take me to Walmart to buy a new pair of shorts. When they tell you not to wear new clothes on race day they mean it. I picked up a cheap (17 dollars) pair of Walmart-brand biking shorts and figured they would be okay.
They were awful.
I spent the entire race pulling them down. They slipped under my belly and they rode up over my thighs. I failed to apply any body glide and my thighs were chaffing so badly they were bleeding.
I just wanted the race to be over.
That's when I saw it.  A giant sign a girl was holding that said "Chafing The Dream."

I put my head down and tried to pick up my speed a little. She was standing with a group of people and I didn't want to draw any attention to myself but I felt like I had a giant spotlight on me. I was wearing headphones but wasn't listening to music at the time. Of course, they didn't know that.
"Sarah, perfect sign for that girl!"

"oh my god, look at her fat thighs."

"Let the thunder thighs roll."

They dissolved into hysterical laughter and I could feel the tears burning in my eyes. I was happy I remembered to throw on my sunglasses that day.
It made a tough day even tougher.
I spent weeks thinking about what they said. I even lied about the pictures that were taken that day, by on-course photographers, and said they only grabbed one of me. They didn't. I just couldn't look at the rest because all I could hear were those comments and all I could see were the horrible things they said about me. 
A part of me wished I would have gone back and said something; held my head high and felt proud for what I was accomplishing rather than embarrassed for the way someone was trying to make me feel. 
Now, I look back and I just feel sad for those people.
I'll never know why they felt the need to make fun of me. I'm a tough cookie though. It won't change the way I am, the way I treat others or how I feel about myself in the long run. But, that may not be the case for someone else who was mocked that day or in the future. 
At my son's daycare, they teach them the difference between Bucket Fillers and Bucket Dippers.
Bucket Fillers: fill people's bucket with kindness. They say and do nice things.
Bucket Dippers: take away people's happiness. They're bullies. They don't share, they hit and they make other's feel bad about themselves.
So, to the group of bucket dippers who felt the need to make fun of me that day.
I love my thunder thighs. They're strong enough to help me run marathons.

I love my imperfect belly. It grew a beautiful baby boy and has the scars to prove it.

I love my hips and the way they stick out the perfect amount to accommodate my growing toddler who always wants mama cuddles 

And, yes, I won't wear new cheap shorts to run a half marathon every again.

I am beautiful. I am strong. I am a bucket-filler.


  1. I know you aren't looking for this but I'm so sorry. Those girls are jerks. Funny they are holding the sign, making mean jokes while watching others bust their asses running 21km. I'm glad you are a tough cookie, and haven't let it get to you too much. Your beautiful and strong my friend, always remember that!

  2. I can't even believe how rude people can be. Seriously. And to be standing at a marathon race, making fun of people while they are STANDING, not running. ugh! Makes me angry for you!

    You are strong, beautiful, and kind, and I'm glad to call you my friend!! XO

  3. I know you know this, but their comments are only a reflection of themselves and their own insecurities, not you. You look fabulous and strong and fit in that photo and always. <3

  4. Bless your heart. I am so sorry those mean girls felt the need to deflect their own insecurities on you. You are beautiful, string, a great mother and friend to many. Way to go for holding your head high mama!

  5. Bless your heart. I am so sorry those mean girls felt the need to deflect their own insecurities on you. You are beautiful, string, a great mother and friend to many. Way to go for holding your head high mama!

  6. This made me so sad to read. I can only imagine how you felt actually experiencing it. I am so sorry that happened to you. I know it's hard but often the people who say and do mean things are actually talking more about themselves and their own insecurities than they are about you. You know your own worth and have people who love you and know it too!

  7. I was going to say exactly what Bri said above! That has to do with them, not you, but you know that. This was an incredible post and I wish everyone had the tenacity that you do. You're strong and beautiful and I absolutely love how you ended this post. The bucket fillers and dippers analogy is so simple and effective - I love that too! xoxo

  8. This made me tear up! I can't even believe that those girls said that. Not cool. Love you so much!