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The Amazing Invisible Older Woman

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Such irony!

At a time in our lives when many of us have accumulated a treasure trove of experience, wisdom and unfortunately, often a few extra pounds, we seem to actually become less visible in society. Of course, that is only true until the weight climbs to a point where EVERYONE not only notices, but also feels compelled to acknowledge it and comment. So when, by every measure, we should occupy a greater presence in the world, we find ourselves increasingly unnoticed, unheard, walked around and often walked over.

At last year's Earth Day street fair, I noticed a dealer with some electric vehicles on display. I stood at the side of a car patiently waiting for the salesman to finish talking with a young couple at the rear. As they completed their discussion and walked away, I smiled at the salesman as he stepped toward me. He proceeded to STEP AROUND me, approached the crowd cheerfully calling out, "Anyone looking for a great Green car?"

Surprising? No, not in the least. I had had a similar experience several years prior when actively in the market for a new car. I did make a point of stepping up to the representative at the table to inform him they had just lost a potential sale to someone who would be buying within the week. Female friends of a similar vintage have a plethora of such stories to share, and not only in the automotive sales realm. It seems to fester in every nook of our daily lives out and about in the world.

Since invisibility IS a reality we encounter, it seems worthwhile to probe deeper. Just how might this downside of aging as a female also play a role in our weight challenge? Perhaps we should consider some of the following:

> How significantly is my appearance affecting this interaction? Is it simply a matter of being an older woman, or is there an additional weight bias burden?

> How much am I allowing this negative interaction to impact my self-esteem, sending me to food for comfort? Am I subconsciously reinforcing their view of me, initiating a destructive, downward spiral?

> What steps can I take to proactively assert my worthiness to be an equal partner in the interaction? Failing this, how do I best handle the situation in a way which will not leave me feeling disempowered and with a lowered sense of self-worth?

> How do I set realistic measures of who I am and my progress on the road to the person I aspire to become?

As if the journey to lose weight and maintain isn't hard enough, we also are tasked with dismantling the predominant, long held ageist, misogynistic mindset. However, this could be one of those chicken or egg moments which, if properly addressed, would help lead us to ultimate success.

Food for Thought - at least this one comes without calories!

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