Thursday, February 11, 2010

Race, class, and size

Sorry y'all, yesterday's post wasn't very clear.  Here's what I mean to say:

I come from a heavy family.  Weight was one of the first issues I was aware of.  I learned to embrace my size, and not to trust people whose lives revolve around weight and how you look.  Fashion and size felt forbidden in my house, yet simultaneously obsessed over.  My mother has dealt with this problem by getting weight loss surgery.  I have dealt with it here, on this blog.

My father, while economically middle class, is a working class person at heart.  He makes fun of yoga and pilates, and any other typically middle or upper class calisthenics (or, come to think of it, lifestyle).  He has a gym membership, but only uses the pool.  He runs outside, and he thinks that outside is exactly where everyone's gym should be.  Not in a classroom bending in awkward positions.

While I'm VERY proud of the 55 pounds I've lost - and my family supports me in this effort to loose weight - I also feel shameful at being the person who goes to the gym before work.  But it's not only that.  In my (wonderful) pilates class yesterday, there was one African American and two Asian women in the class of about 25.  A ratio like that makes me feel uncomfortable.  I live in the very diverse city of San Francisco (our bus announcements come in THREE languages!), and I dislike it when that diversity is not reflected in the activities I do.  Which is ironic.  Most Jewish community events (my day job/life) deals mainly with a white, but internationally diverse, audience.  (There are many Jews of color, but they are not well integrated into the organized Jewish community).

Of course, this shame is something I simply must overcome.  And it's wonderful that I have the opportunity to overcome it with a series of exercises I am loving - pilates and yoga.

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