Weight has never been an issue with me. I like myself the way I am and I’m comfortable. Sure, I get periods of insecurity but I think it’s generally agreed that all women, in fact, all people, that we suffer lapses of self judgement. We are, at times, our own enemies, our harshest critics, but we can also be our own best friends and at times, we are all we can rely on. So, growing up, I never wanted to be anyone else, physically. Mentally, as some of you may know, I’ve wanted nothing better than to trade minds with someone else that seems more stable, more like they’ve got their shit together and figured out.
Yet, I’ve nearly always held my physical appearance in high regard. I try to eat well, balanced, and I like to keep myself on the go. I go through periods where I may not eat much, out of stress, or eat more than I normally would, out of stress; and I may not do as much exercise, due to work as I find it stressful, or I may do lots more exercise because I’m trying to procrastinate against feeling stressed. This leads to a kind of yoyo effect in weight. The changes aren’t usually that great, up to half a stone recently but it’s enough for people to notice. I don’t usually notice a difference in appearance, except for what the scales say. What I do notice, is how I feel. Sometimes, when I’ve put a couple pounds on, I’m really really happy and nothing could get me down. Recently, I’ve been fucking miserable and I’ve lost quite a few.
People don’t think about this though and it’s frustrating. It’s my understanding that when someone makes the comment of ‘You’ve put on weight’ that it’s meant negatively and they are insulting you. Likewise, the moment someone says ‘You’ve lost weight’ they are being positive, or trying to be, and are trying to pay you a compliment. I’m having trouble processing this right now, because I can be feeling most confident about myself, when someone has the nerve to pull out the ‘You’ve put on weight’ card to knock you down. And it does knock you down because what it feels like they’re really saying is ‘You look fat and ugly today’. Fat, for some reason in this society, seems to correlate with ugly. And God forbid anyone on this planet should be deemed ugly! What would a person have left? Their intelligence? Personality? Strength and speed? Kindness? Skills and talents? Let’s hope that no one should be afforded a compliment based on these merits! Let’s instead compliment someone’s ability at losing some of their body. What frame of mind they’re in doesn’t matter, they must be happy if they’ve lost some weight! And likewise, they must be miserable if they’ve put some on because who could be happy when they’re fat and ugly?
It makes me feel sad when I hear people base their worth out of how much body mass they, or a person that they are looking at, has. There is much more to a person than their appearance. There is so much more that one could compliment, or criticise. A person’s appearance is temporary. It is never fixed because it can not be. It is dependent on the individual’s internal processes and the environment in which they live. These things change. You will change. Why is such importance based on something that, in this life, in this world, does not really matter. How many people, in history, are remembered for being slim? For being big? For being ugly? Beautiful? History does not care. Why do we?
I’ve been brewing this one for a while. It makes me feel sad when I hear the ones I love worry about their weight and how they COULD look in the future. We do not live in the future, we live in the present. Of course, look after yourself today and you SHOULD feel better for it tomorrow but what is the point in wasting your life, focusing on something that, for some, is unlikely to ever happen. I find that the people most conscious about weight, their own and that of others, are those that really have nothing about getting fat to worry about (underweight-lower healthy weight) and may not ever have anything to worry about. For some people putting on weight is impossible, a challenge. And for others, it can be easy, a challenge not to.
It’s a hard frame of mind, I’m sure, to break out of, judging the worth of yourself and others based on the size, weight and shape of a person’s body and I feel a degree of sorriness to those that feel that they have to criticise, or turn to something meaningless and temporary to compliment or insult. How about instead complimenting the size of their smile? Their healthy habits when you see them? The things they’re good at? Things that matter? This is why I can only take judgements and comments about weight as an insult. The person clearly doesn’t know me well enough to make a comment about something that actually matters.
I get that loved ones can be worried about health which is linked to weight. That’s understandable. A person can’t love you if they don’t worry about you from time to time. HOWEVER, My bones aren’t popping out everywhere. See this as a sign that I am eating well. Compliment that, if you’re really struggling. I can move freely. I can breathe. I can run fast, if my life depends on it. I have no disabilities due to obesity. Compliment my ability to live.
I had this conversation (kind of) with a loved one recently. It was a touchy conversation but after some thought I realised that this was all I wanted to say. I’m not upset about someone worrying about my health. I’m in a bit of a pickle, mentally. But, a person IS going to be aware of their health. Only they know what they are eating (or not). Only they know how much exercise they are doing (or not). If a person is in a deep state of denial, then maybe a doctor should be involved. However, generally, a person knows their own truths. If you’re worried about someone ask them subtly. ‘Do you want to go for a run with me tonight?’ or ‘Prawn pasta salad for dinner?’ is much nicer than saying: ‘You’ve put on weight.’ This is a tip for those reading that know that this applies to them. I hope this helps you. Making a comment isn’t going to make a person more determined. If you love them, you’ve got to get involved with them. Complimenting their soul will make them feel so much better than complimenting the outer shell that’s only going to die in a few years any way.
Cheers guys, thanks for reading. I hope this has helped. It feels good getting crap off my chest. x