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Less Than

by Kathy Ohtola

lady2

Are you more than me? Am I less than you?

Let me size you up,

not to judge you, but to judge me.

You're thinner than I am, so you're points ahead

and I will need a lot on my side to make up for your superior thinness.

Let's see, I'm smart and kind and a good friend,

will that make me more than you?

Or am I still less than you because nothing makes up for being fat?

I look at your long, lovely, thick hair.

Mine is thin, as fine as a baby's, and hugs my scalp.

Fifteen minutes in the sun and my scalp is bright red, so little hair to protect it.

Years of teenage dieting have left me with more hair on my legs than on my head.

Are you more than me? Am I less than you?

I'd better not invite you to my house because you will see my walls that need painting,

my kitchen floor that needs washing, and my hand-me-down furniture.

Your house is probably big and beautiful and shiny clean.

Are you more than me? Am I less than you?

I look at you with your children and ask God why he hasn't given me any.

It must be that I don't want them enough,

or that I am not worthy.

You are a mother and I am not.

Are you more than me? Am I less than you?

Does your husband love you more than my husband loves me?

Is your diamond ring more carats than mine?

Does your job pay more than mine does?

Are your clothes designer labels?

Do you have your nails "done?"

Have you met your parents' expectations?

Do you drive a cute little red sports car?

Are you more than me? Am I less than you?

I see you looking at me.

You're probably thinking,

"Boy is she fat!

Why doesn't she do something with her hair?

Doesn't she know she shouldn't wear red?"

But if I could read your mind I'd know that you are thinking:

Are you more than me? Am I less than you?

More than, less than, what does it matter?

The measure of our worth is within us, not outside of us.

We're different, not more than, not less than, just different.

Are you more than me? Am I less than you?

The answer is...no.

Reprinted with permission of the author.

Kathy Ohtola is a resident of San Jose, CA, and teaches study skills at DeAnza College. A fat-acceptance activist (and sometime fashion model), Kathy has been a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance for 10 years, and has been following the Overcoming Overeating approach for three years.

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