My Pod

KillerWhalePodImage credit – Starfire Tor

I’ve been living under the impression that over the last four or five years I’ve grown a thicker skin, that the thousands of dollars spent on therapy and more antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs than I can count, have counted for something.    I thought that I genuinely believed myself when I said that it was none of my business what others said about me even if they said it within earshot (although we all know that when people gossip about us, we’re rarely, if ever fortunate enough to be face-to-face when it happens) I’d get over it.  Move on. Brush it off like so much sand on my feet after a walk on the beach.   I thought I’d come to the conclusion that people are going to make fun of people like me; fat people, obese people, grotesquely physically unappealing individuals of massive girth.    I mean, it’s not like I haven’t spent the last several years working on my own emotional issues that lead me to eat, and in doing so, I’m getting control over the food rather than letting the food control me.    After a decade spent over 300lbs, and at one time, dangerously close to 600lbs, I’m finally under that dreaded 300lb mark . . .barely;  I’m still in the 290’s.  Yes I know, that’s still considered super-morbidly obese.

I know this.

How can I get you to understand that I  know this already?

I get it, I’m physically unacceptable.  My weight is somehow an outer display of my internal shortcomings.

I’m slovenly.  I’m unworthy of  praise or pride.  I’m socially less than because I am physically more than.

If you know nothing else, know this one thing . . . I get it.

Back in late 2007/early 2008 I went through something that no other human being should ever be made to tolerate.   The thing is, I can’t talk about it.  Initially I vaguely wrote about it after it first happened, but then as things sometimes go, I sought help, the kind of help attorneys and courts can provide, and now all I can say is that I can’t talk about “The Very Bad Thing”, the case has been settled, blah blah fucking blah!  I dislike being so vague but it is what it is.    I mention it, in all it’s vagueness though, as a marker of how far I thought I had come.   There were in fact days back then,  when I was in the middle of dealing with all of that and I’d binge so severely and then end up purging for hours in order to get rid of everything I’d put into my body.  Hours.

Then when I grew tired of binge-purge cycle, when I grew tired, period, I sat in a bathtub full of ice cold water and held a razor blade to my wrist.    I was so tired of the endless cycle of feeling bad, feeling worse, binging in order to bury the feelings of ugliness and self-loathing, and then the grossness of bringing it all back up so that it didn’t add to my already monstrous frame.   I was tired of feeling bad, feeling tired, wondering at what point the medication was going to kick in and I’d start to feeling better and less like some freakish monster.     I held the blade up to my wrist and pressed it against my skin then suddenly stopped when I heard what I thought was a door slamming, which meant Meg was home early from school.    Gaby was in Montessori at the time, because I was too sick to care for anyone, let alone myself.   It wasn’t Meg coming home, rather the cat getting stuck trying to navigate the baby gate at the top of the stairs.   It’s a good thing I stopped when I heard the noise because it gave me pause to think  . . . no, it didn’t give me pause.  It scared the shit out of me, actually.  I had a horrifying mental image of Meg finding me in a bathtub full of crimson stained water, dead.   I couldn’t do that to her and I couldn’t leave Gaby without a mom.   I was still rebuilding my relationship with Matt and Zach and I knew if I did anything as stupid as what I was on the precipice of doing, they’d be left with nothing but hatred for a woman they were trying to build a bond with, and to them I’d be a woman who didn’t think it was worth sticking around in order to make sure she stayed in their lives.   This is the same kind of thinking that pushed me to let my former husband have physical custody of my three older children when we initially divorced.  So, there’s a pattern of feeling bleak enough and like there’s no hope, to the point of letting go of the things that mean the most to me.

Thankfully I didn’t follow through with it, and instead wrapped the razor in foil and then took it outside to the trash bin and buried it pretty deep within the bags of trash so that no one would find it.

From that moment forward I made the effort to start the hellish climb out of the abyss and try to live amongst the living.   I clung to all of the anchors in life, family and friends who I knew I could trust, and let them help keep me afloat until I could handle treading water on my own.  There were a few people within the blogosphere that I had been reading for ages, and were anchors of sorts too.  Some became like family and others I still admire and look up to, knowing they’ve been in the abyss and made it out.   In a way, all of these people were the collective light at the end of my tunnel, everyone holding little beams of brightness, making sure I always knew it was there.   My “anchors” combined with the right medication, intense therapy, and time, so much time, have helped me get to a place I thought I was safe and secure.   While I know there are still assholes in the world, and there always will be, how I deal with them is completely within my control.  I thought that I was better able to deal with these assholes whenever I’d encounter them.      There are a million other sayings, some cliche’ and some quite powerful, that I could insert here, but I think you get the gist of what I’m saying when it comes to responding to things that cause me intense stress or pain.

So, fast forward a few years and while I’m still a work in progress,  I’ve always thought I’d never let what someone else says or does undo me so completely,  I’m a little shocked to find myself with one leg back in the abyss after an odious man and his son made a churlish comment to me this afternoon.

I was walking into Best Buy in order to pick up a printer that I had purchased online and then had them pull and hold for me at the store.    I couldn’t find the model I wanted online via Amazon Prime, which is my preferred way to buy stuff like this, and I didn’t want to wait, so I just decided that once I’d dropped Gaby off at dance this afternoon, I’d take Kennedy and head to the mall and pick it up myself.

I do realize that I am not pleasing to look at when I walk, from the front, or if you’re unfortunate enough to be behind me.   I limp pretty severely due to the damage the RA has done to my ankle, and combined with what I perceive as a waddle (I don’t feel like I waddle, but I know that at some point, your size affects your gait), it’s probably very unflattering.   Then there’s just my physical size.   Plus,  there’s all the snow and ice we have, and I live in abject fear of slipping, in public on all this damned ice!  All of that combined,  I assume that for the average passerby, it’s all quite unappealing.

As I’m walking through the doors into Best Buy, with Kennedy babbling a million miles a minute, a man and his (I’m assuming) teenage son stop and look at me and say,

“OH MY GOD!   That woman is so fat she probably has a pod instead of a family!”

I stopped for just a second and looked down at Kennedy.  I’m not going to lie, those words hurt, hurt more than I’d like to admit.   I took some time to fiddle with Kennedy’s hat and gloves, acting like they were coming off, so I made a show of straightening them out and assuring they were still where they should be, and that’s when the first hot, tears slipped out from the shadows of my eyelashes and and ran down my cheeks, making what I was sure were audible “plops” onto my jacket.   I grasped Kennedy’s hand more tightly in my own, turned around and went back to my car,  fastened Kennedy into her car seat, got in next to her in the back seat, where the blackout windows are, and sat there and cried into my own gloves and hat until I was exhausted.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened.    It hasn’t happened in a while because I’m still more of a recluse than not.  The pain I’m in sometimes prevents me from leaving the house, especially when I know I’m going to have to do a lot of walking.  For the most part though, despite whatever emotional and physical progress I’ve made when dealing with my depression and anxiety, I’m just more comfortable at home.   I know I shouldn’t care about what people think of me, but I do.

I posted on Facebook when it happened and now I wish I hadn’t.  It’s not that people didn’t say nice things and remind me that assholes are assholes and they have the problem, not me.  But can we all just take a minute to acknowledge a universal truth?

Fat people are seen as obscene, undesirable, unworthy, socially unacceptable, ugly,  and just about every other negative adjective and vituperation you can think of.   We are devalued as human beings because we’re seen as being selfish, choosing to consume more calories than our bodies need, while others around the globe, and even in our own neighborhoods are starving.     We’re viewed as being morally repugnant because of our lack of self-control.

We are the last class of people where it’s legally acceptable to openly mock and even discriminate against.

I’m not making excuses for allowing one’s self to become obese . . . after all, the majority of us did this to ourselves with no medical diagnosis as a means of justification, and society feels that we just aren’t made of strong enough stuff, or lack any willpower whatsoever, to dig ourselves out.   I don’t condone the “Healthy at Every Size” movement because you can not physiologically be healthy at EVERY SIZE.  Period.  That said, I don’t care how you got there, no one has the right to morally condemn you for being fat.   Even well-meaning friends of mine have said (it’s usually via social media) that there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of shame when trying to get fat people to acknowledge the problem and do something about it.

I’ve said it once before, but it bears repeating . . . if shame is such a good thing, then why are there still so damn many obese walking the earth?   The rate and depth of the shame leveled against us is enough to bury the planet.  Answer me this, if you think shame is such a useful or motivational tool against obesity, why isn’t it producing the results you claim it can?    Society has deemed the obese as flawed individuals.  I don’t know if this flaw is genetic or something environmental, but this “flaw” is reaching epidemic proportions and while I don’t suggest we go around being proud of how fat we’ve gotten, I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m OK with your moral judgments on my “flaws.”   In order to suggest that all obese people are flawed, you have to accept that obesity is now a genetic defect, and not a character flaw, and I don’t think society is ready to go there.   It’s far easier to just make the case that we’re all bad people instead of looking at why we’re all getting/already so fat!

After I posted about it on Facebook, people showed a lot of love and support in droves, and I’m grateful for it.  I really am.    Most people who commented know me, or have known me a very long time, and know that despite  being fat, I’m not a bad person.   Yet, society is hell-bent on making it seem like fat people are bad people.  Otherwise why is so much sheer, unadulterated hate thrown at us?   So as much as I want to take all those words to heart, and “shake this off”, I just can’t seem to.

A lot of people who commented didn’t even understand the comment the man made.  For clarification, a “pod” is what a family of whales is called.   Apparently fat people don’t have run-of-the-mill families . . . nope, we have pods.

I’m not a very confrontational person when it comes to instances like this.  I’m really only confrontational in family situations, so for those wondering why I didn’t give as good as I got?  I’m not that kind of person.  Had someone made a snide remark about my family, or one of my kids, I probably would have said something in return and hoped I didn’t get my ass kicked, but when it comes to me?  Well, I’m not even sure there’s a comeback for that sort of thing,  something which wasn’t immature or inflammatory.  It was easier to take the sucker punch and walk away.    I’m just grateful that it was Kennedy who was with me and not Gaby, because Gaby would have completely understood what the man meant and she would have felt awful.    There were other people milling around, coming and going, when the comment was made, but no one said anything, and honestly?  I didn’t expect them to, if for no other reason than it’s perfectly acceptable to get away with something like this.    Besides, how often do you see a complete stranger confront another complete stranger when they’re being made fun of for being fat?   I’d be willing to wager the answer to that is, “Not very often, if at all.”

I’m still licking my wounds, as it were, and turning to the people I trust the most to reassure me that I’m not so flawed as to be valueless, and those people I trust the most?  Well, they are my pod.   See, I don’t want to go back to that bathtub full of ice-cold water.  I’m still working to erase the image of sitting in that tub, from my mind. I’m trying as hard as I can to turn this around and not see it as a net negative, although I know that’s what the intention was, and to focus on the fact that pods of whales are beautiful, familial and social groups who protect one another and travel together, hunt together and migrate together, usually for life.   They also take a wounded animal into the center of the group and protect it from further harm, until it’s well enough to fend for itself.   I’m going to let my pod envelope me in whatever it is I need in order to get back to the point where I can let things like this roll off my back and not leave me feeling completely defeated and destroyed.

While I might not be the outward picture of of beauty as defined by society, I am infinitely blessed that the pod which surrounds me is beautiful in every way . . .

Gareth, Gaby, and me – December 2012

Family picture 2012 UTO WM

My children, Matt, Meg, Zach, and Gaby – December 2006

My kids Christmas 2006 UTO WM

My twins, Matt and Meg, August 2009

Matt and Meg on whale watching cruise UTO WM

Meg, my beautiful, fearless daughter, serving her country in Kuwait, Winter 2013

Meg in Kuwait and Meg at BNAS AS

Kennedy – October 2013


My son Zach – August 2006

Zach at Two Lights UTO WM

Matt – 2011


Gaby – August 2013

Gaby at A and W UTO wm

Matt 2006

Matt at Higgins Beach UTO WM

Meg and Kennedy – October 2013


Me, Meg, and Kennedy – October 2013

Me Meg and Kennedy in Maine Oct 2013

Gareth, Kennedy, and Gaby – October 2013


Kennedy and Gaby – October 2013


Me and Gaby – November 2013

Gaby and me on my 45th UTO

Gareth and me – December 2004

Me and Gareth christmas at Stephies



I’m Audrey, the voice behind Barking Mad, a freelance writer and photographer, and owner of Barking Mad Media, LLC. In another life, my “voice” (they call it “air talent” nowadays) could be heard on Clear Channel and Entercom ( KISW, KJR, KHMX, WCOL, WNCI, and several other large-market commercial radio stations) radio stations around the country. I'm married to my lifelong British pen-pal, and have 4 beautiful children. I hope you’ll join me as I embark on a poignant personal journey to lose 225lbs and in the process, gain my life back. I also write about surviving the loss of my 2-year-old son, Joshua, coping with the subsequent depression, and morbid obesity.

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  1. Hi Audrey,

    I so love reading your blog and don’t have the time to visit as often as I’d like. Your writing speaks to the depths of my soul. While my own reasons for struggling with depression may be different than yours, I relate to you just like so many others do.

    I want you to know there is One who CAN heal your wounds and deliver you out of the never ending cycle you’re in trying to beat it through your own strength and will. When we turn to Him, who loves us more than we could possibly ever imagine, and ask Him to take over because we just can’t do it by our own strength any longer…He will!! What an amazing gift to know I don’t have to rely on *my* strength, that I can boldly go before Him and ask Him to take my pain from me and heal me, and He will.

    If I may and if you are so inclined, I encourage you to look up the following verses which are just 2 examples of the promise we are given, if we choose to accept.
    Psalm 147:3
    1 John 5: 14-15

    Love & prayers to you

  2. I’m so sorry you had to hear that from that unwashed cretin!
    I just wandered over here form the blog spotlight over on “Mommy’s busy, go ask daddy”.

    I’m fat. “Morbidly obese.”
    I guess lucky for me, I can also be quite intimidating. When I hear someone make a comment like that, I walk right up to them and ask them to repeat themselves. To my face.
    If they have the cojones to do that, I say something like “Thank you, I just wanted to make SURE you were as much of an asshole as I thought.” Most of the time though, you get the “Umm… uhhh… i uhh..” response.
    Screw ’em. People suck. :)

  3. Phyl Argento says:

    OMG I could have wrote this myself. All I would need to do is change the location and a few words. I’ve been told I’m too ugly to live, that I should wear a bag over my head, and if he had the chance he would throw me into an animal pen and let the animals feed off of my because I’m so fat. I believe every word that people tell me. And I think I deserve all of this and so much more for being so disgusting. It’s punishment for not being good enough. It’s a war that I will never ever win.

  4. I love you.

  5. Shari dally Ulrich says:

    Audrey, this post is heartbreaking and I’m sorry you have to live being scorned and shamed by people who don’t know you. That man at Best Buy is an awful human being and he’s teaching his son the same values (none). I applaud you for caring about your health and for making an effort to lose weight so you’ll have a healthier and more enjoyable life. I have a 50 year old cousin who also is morbidly obese. I can see how people look at her and judge her and it makes me want to shout that she’s beautiful and smart and a good mom and that she’s loved! I went to stay with her after her heart attack last year. She had nothing in her refrigerator but organic fruits, veggies, eggs, yogurt etc. her pantry had brown rice, grainy breads, gluten-free crackers, etc. She taught me how to make a smoothie and she showed me how to juice. I came home from her house inspired about how I could make easy and healthy changes to my diet! I’m a size 8, my weight fluctuates between 144-150 pounds and when I’m nearer to the 150 point, I feel horrible about myself. I can’t stand the way my jeans are too tight and the stuff hanging over the top is just unbearable. When I get back down, closer to my lower weight, I feel better. This is so screwed up!! I have never been “overweight” and my family members aren’t overweight. I guess society and the media has helped any woman who isn’t a size 2 to feel bad about herself; we just can’t ever be good enough. I know there are greatly varying degrees, I just wanted to share with you that even those of us in the “normal weight range” beat ourselves up, too, although most of us will never know or understand the pain you felt at Best Buy. I think you’re a beautiful woman, you have a precious young daughter and fantastic big kids and here you are, stepping up to take care of your darling granddaughter! Keep on keeping on and carry a big stick to beat down the a-holes who try to steal your happiness and self worth.

  6. We have been on this journey together for more than 10 years now and our words were a part of each other’s journey for years before that. I have been there with you through some nightmarish downs, but also through some amazing ups. I remember well every step of the “Very Bad Thing” and how it’s impact is still being felt. However, you have come a long way since then. You have worked hard to make things better and that is exactly what you have done … you have made things better.

    What this insensitive, petty and spiteful person said was wrong, hurtful and has no place in a civilised society. What they fail to realise is that you have dealt with far worse and come out the other side a stronger person. I know that words have power and these words hurt, but you are already in a better place than you were when the “Very Bad Thing” happened, so don’t let the words of a complete stranger haunt you now.

    What you need to realise is that while this person’s words’ intent existed only at that one point in time, this, your response, will remain available to everyone. Their words had power in the life of one person, you, for a moment. Your words will have power, and positive power at that, in far more people’s lives for far longer.

    You are beautiful, inside and out. I consider myself the luckiest man alive, because you said yes, when I asked you to have dinner with me. I have seen that beauty and generosity of spirit work it’s magic since then. This was one stranger, someone you’ll probably never meet again. Let them go and send their words with them.

    Love you, always


    P.S. Cetaceans live in pods. Cetaceans are intelligent, have strong family ties, are loyal and look out for each other’s. I am proud to be a member of your pod

    P.P.S. Orcas are cetaceans who live in pods. They work as a team, and their power is multiplied when they do so. They can seem scarily smart when they are hunting, teaming up to make their own waves to wash seals off ice floes. They are the apex predator in Earth’s oceans. They hunt sharks. They are badass. So are you. Remember that.

  7. we’re all flawed, Audrey. But we all are NOT cruel. THAT asshole at BB clearly needed a 20 minute tongue lashing, hopefully his wife has learned he’s an ass and left. Nonetheless, I cannot make up for his incivility, but I can tell you, that YOU are beautiful! Inside and OUT. Beauty isn’t gauged by weight or height or color or anything else the mags say it should be. I love you sister. I really love you. And I wish that I could slap those words back in the asshole’s mouth from whence they spewed.
    Take the time you need to get over this. Then I want you back with a vengance. Screw anyone who don’t like it! <3

  8. I’m so sorry that rude people can’t keep their comments to themselves. I know it’s no comfort when you are their target to know that most people think they are a**holes. But for what it’s worth, I think you are a wonderful person with a wonderful family, and if the Apocalypse hit it would be people like you I’d put my faith in for survival, because you have what it takes. Those rude people will probably suffer heart attacks just from knowing their world isn’t perfect anymore. You have every right to be angry.

  9. I’m sorry that happened to you. You are absolutely right — people are terribly mean about obesity, and it’s important we point that out. I’m often shocked at friends who would never say something about a person of another race or ethnicity popping off about someone’s weight. It’s wrong, and it’s got to stop.

  10. You hitthe nail on the head with “I know.” Because I know. I know I am fat. I know I am unappealing. I know it may be affecting my health. I KNOW. But what THEY don’t know is that there is no one who is more critical of me than…me. Anything they sayor think about me, I have said or thought worse. They just prove to me that I am right about myself. I have been thin, fat, and in-between, and people DO treat you differently when you are fat. I am sorry you were hurt by one sad man. And I think you are beautiful.

  11. Words are useless here. I actually fantasized about slapping the man across the face, but again, that wouldn’t really help. I’m so sorry that there are so many people in this world with the shame and self-loathing it takes to put others down because of their weight, race, sexuality, or other ridiculously shallow and natural things. It makes me even more aware of the things we need to teach our children. People come in every size and color, shape and creed. Maybe someday there won’t be such hatred. Big hug and love from Pittsburgh!

  12. People who are in a good place don’t make comments like that. He is more to be pitied than feared.

    And you’re right, shame doesn’t work. For me, the only thing that worked was deciding what I wanted to do with my body (hike and dance) and moving toward that, instead of away from a body I hated. By most standards, I am still a large woman, but seeing myself in the mirror jump and dance hard for an hour several times a week makes me feel great. I’m 52 and in better shape than I have been in 25 years. THAT is why I keep doing what I do, not to escape shame.

  13. I love you for being brave enough to share what so many people hold deep inside. I’m sharing this. Everyone should read it. Everyone.

  14. You’re right. Your “pod” is one amazingly beautiful family, including YOU. These pictures are ALL so very lovely…not just because that’s one pretty family, but because you all look so much in love with one another.

    The harsh language you use about yourself breaks my heart. Would you allow a friend to speak about herself that way? And yet, I can totally understand it. How can you not internalize the cruelty of other when it’s so in your face? And that part makes me MAD.

    Just keep looking at the pictures above and see that love. You can’t go wrong with that!

  15. What they said was bad enough but there’s an extra layer of horror added on because they mocked you in front on your sweet daughter. CRUEL. Boundlessly cruel.

    This October, I was in that bathtub with you. I cannot express how sorry I am that you had to have that moment. xoxo

  16. wow…you put into words feelings I didn’t realize I was still feeling! Girl, you are amazing! (hugs)

  17. I saw this post shared on FB and had to read. Don’t min typos as I’m typing from iPhone because I couldn’t wait to comment for when I go into my home office. I would like to tell you to shrug it off, that I see beauty in your pictures and reading your words shows me a strength that maybe you don’t see all of the time within yourself, but having knowledge of I have of human beings – it’s not easy to just shrug off and we can’t always just ignore te mean people out there. I can say this – my sister and I suffer from different levels of emotional eating, I have relatives who were obese – I think of my two aunts, who practically raised me and while one passed away when I was 5, she was extremely obese – she still to dthis day was the most loving woman ever, alongside her sister my still living aunt who is now getting her weight under control but it took many years. I believe over eating is more psychological in most cases and honestly I prefer to look at a persons facial expressions and listen to their words to judge them as a person, not judge but I think u know what I mean. From reading your words and seeing your pictures, I see you as a kind loving, beautiful woman who simply wants to live her life, love her family and enjoy those friendships that matter. It’s so ignorant of people to be mean and flat out rude, clearly their parents never taught them manners. A class is with sarcasm may be in order for u, so you can be quick witted in a snide reply lol (I have always wanted a class like that for when people judges my sister or my bipolar son … Oh to be quick on my toes instead of non confrontational). I see you as strong! Even if you don’t at this moment. Keep writing, it’s therapy for me when I write and I hope it’s similar for you.

  18. Audrey… this is so beautifully written. I wish I had the right words to make you feel better. So grateful you are surrounded by such an amazing, loving ‘pod’. Sending hugs. xoxo

  19. What a powerful post…I am so sorry that people can be so hurtful. Your ability to write about your feelings is a gift and has helped me to understand more about obesity which God knows I need as a social worker and a nurse. I deal with the psyche and the physical body and sometimes it is not “pretty” but I always try to remember that there is an entire person in front of me which is more than the psyche and physical appearance. I try to put myself in their shoes and you have now helped me do just that.
    Many blessings to you and thank you for helping me by sharing your painful experience.

  20. I can empathize, I know the feeling well. It’s easier to say when it happens to someone else, but that guy has deep problems, and I am so sorry that he let that spill onto you. You are truly beautiful and loved.

  21. Thank you for sharing this very moving piece.

    Shame is never, never a good tactic or a good idea. It’s so harmful and detrimental. We’ve all been shamed and getting over it is one of the hardest things a person can do.
    I’m enjoying learning about Shame and Shame Resilience with Brene Brown. Check her out on YouTube. It’s amazing stuff.
    You are a brave woman. You are loved and you are enough.

  22. Wow.
    Your writing is so powerful.
    And, you are so loved.

  23. You’re gorgeous.

  24. I wish I had the right words to give you a sense of calm or to help you build a wall to save you from such cutting words…but I don’t. What I can do is stand next to you and offer a (virtual) shoulder for support. Lean on it. Lean on us…your many new fans.

  25. Audrey, I am saddened by the pain those hurtful remarks caused you. The toughest part of me says, “F**k ’em!” But that doesn’t deal with your pain. The truth is, you are so much more than what your scale says you are. Those idiots don’t know Audrey the writer, Audrey the photographer, Audrey the loving mom and sweet nonny, Audrey the good and loyal friend, Audrey the woman who fights for causes she believes in, Audrey the woman with the wicked sense of humor, or Audrey the wife who adores her husband. Those two idiots don’t know you. They made stupid remarks about you without knowing anything about you. How pathétic is that? I pitty them for making a judgment about you without knowing anything important about you. But because they hurt you, I’ll just return to the crude and cryptic, “F you, you morons. Your stupidity will be a whole lot harder to lose than the pounds Audrey WILL lose. And your cruel words will not derail the progress she’s made.”

  26. That was really hard to read. Not because I relived some of my own pain and experiences (much different than yours) but because I look at your photos and I see a very beautiful woman inside AND out. I know that we’re often our own worst critics and I’m not nearly as eloquent with words as you are but I hope that someday you’ll be able to see the beautiful woman that all of us do.

    P.S. I know I’m a jerk for thinking (and saying) this, but I hope karma caught up with the guy and he got ran over by a bus walking out of the store.

    • I ditto all of this comment. The beauty. And the karma.

      I am sorry you heard that, Audrey. No one deserves to be talked to/about in that manner. Covering you in love.

  27. Oh my friend, I am sobbing reading this. I understand, I know you know I understand. My heart aches with pain for you. I wish I could take it away. I care. I really do

  28. I wish I had the right words but anything I say can in no way convey what this post means to me. I am sending you all of the love and support I possibly can even though you don’t know me. I hope you can feel it.

  29. Oh how I wish you were wrong, but 30 years of being fat means I know you aren’t. Be proud of your “pod” and know that it includes the people that stand behind you too.

  30. Major Bedhead says:

    Oh, Audrey. I’m so sorry you had to hear that. You are so much more than your weight. It’s obvious that your kids and husband love you, and that you are loved intensely. I envy that. For whatever it’s worth, I think you’re gorgeous and a completely lovely person.

  31. I just want to wrap my arms around you and give you the biggest hug a friend could give.

  32. I feel ya, girl! Right down to the bathtub and deciding that’s not where / how I wanted to be found! I don’t know if it helps but you are not alone! Hugs!