Why is it that you can be merrily going through life thinking that you’re doing well, that life is good. You’re healthy, your husband is busy, the cat’s have stopped that “fighting for their life” thing they do. You’re finally feeling like your weight is coming under control, not there yet but improvements have been made and friends have started to notice and comment on how good you are looking, then WHAM! An “Older Relative” hit’s you with “well it’s good to see as you’re getting older that you’re more comfortable in your body, big is beautiful these days”. And all you want to do now is come home and eat a pint of ice cream…prailiens and cream, please.
I have struggled with my weight for years. Since I’m tall, all through highschool I was a size 10 and when I started gaining a few pounds it wasn’t as noticable, however for the past 10 years it has been and I did blossom up to a size 18 at one point. My mother was a very petit woman and thought that I should be the same weight as her, she was 123 lbs for most of her life, but I’m quite a bit taller and built totally differently than her and 135-140 was my highschool weight and for the beginning part of my 20’s. She used to obsess about my weight and how fat I’d gotten and decided that I needed to hear that on a daily basis.
Now, I’m not telling you my current weight, truth is I don’t know what the actual numbers are, they’re high, I’ve begun to go by how my clothes fit and this summer is the 1st one in a long time that I’ve put on clothes from last summer and they are lose on me. Unfortunately, they still fit but they are definitely looser than last year, at any rate it’s the 1st summer in a while that I haven’t had to buy whole new wardrobe because of a size fluctuation. I’ve really been trying for the past few years to loose the weight that I’ve gained (physically, emotionally and financially) and I’ve been feeling pretty good about my new approach to doing this. I’ve been taking yoga 2 times a week for the past 6 months, I’ve been walking and swimming, doing situps and push ups and the biggest change is that I’ve been reading those books that took me to the last step in changing how I eat.
Yesterday I was feeling pretty good about myself. Granted I did have to get dressed in the dark, literally, my husband is working nights so I didn’t want to wake him up so I didn’t want to turn the light on, I was in my closet with a flash light, yes I do see the humor in this. I still managed to make myself look good in what I picked, a jean skirt, short-sleeved ribbed v-necked sweater in navy and bronze wedge flips with my new purse I was feeling pretty swishy. Until I heard those words. There is a certain type of person who thinks for some reason that it’s ok to comment on others weight.
I’ve had it all over the years, “Why did you get so fat?”, “You just need to eat less food”, “you’re to fat you should be eating less crap…..oh I bought you some shortbread with chocolate in them just for you” or my personal favorite “my husband said you were really hot in high school, what happened?” OUCH!
What I don’t understand is do these people think that they are being helpful? Do they think that I haven’t noticed that I’m gaining weight? That I need to be told that I’ve gained so much that I’m now into the next size bracket? I had another family member who has NEVER had a weight issue say in front of me to someone else “I really just don’t understand how these women over 40 let themselves go”. I’m over 40. Apparently, people who have never had a weight issue think that the fat has creeped into my ears and blocked off the hearing. That saying hurtful nasty things around me or directly to me is ok, because I’ve gained weight and can’t hear what they’re saying. Or maybe they think the more they say it the more I’ll be motivated into to doing something about it.
The really ironic thing is that I’m probably more in shape than a lot of skinny people, I work out on a daily basis, my cardio system is really good, I’m very strong, and flexible, and my endurance is good (except for the stairs at Dupont and Spadina which kick my ass every time I go up them.) The only thing is that for some reason the extra pounds won’t come off, even my doctor doesn’t know why, and she’s tested my thyroid and it’s fine.
My point is that you shouldn’t be talking to someone about their weight unless they ask you or tell you what they’ve been doing lately. Don’t assume that they “enjoy” being overweight, or that they’re too “lazy” to do something about it, don’t assume you know better about how their body works and don’t give them that “look” if they decide to have something to eat, in your presence that you don’t approve of, it’s none of your business.
Nobody is perfect, we all have our faults, think how you would feel if that same friend you just called “fat” pulled up your fault and in an insulting way asked you what you’re doing about it? Just think before you open you’re mouth, “is what I’m about to say constructive and helpful or just mean?”
things that make you go “hummmm”,