This past week was great, things are back on track and I’m feeling pretty good about keeping on. But in saying that, this is also the week where my annoyance levels with people have hit an all time high.
My goal in this journey has been to be very open and transparent and to talk about all the nonsense that no one ever wants to talk about. That means that people are also pretty vocal with me and though their intentions are more than likely pure, their words are quite often demeaning or hurtful. So, I’m going to reply to a few of the questions, and statements and comments that have been shared with me. Hopefully, my answers will help you understand me and my chubby friends a little bit better. 🙂
- Yes, I realized that I was gaining weight over the years, and knew that it was getting worse. I can also tell you that in spite of knowing that, I did look in the mirror one day and really “saw” it and knew it was time to do something about it. Don’t know why or how that happens, but it did. I do think a lot of overweight people, myself included, wear bigger and baggier clothes than our thin counterparts because we don’t want to accentuate ALL of our bumps and lumps. When your shirt is way bigger than it needs to be, it takes quite awhile for it to get tight so the weight gain isn’t immediately obvious. This is something that I’m struggling with now … buying clothes that fit and don’t hang. It’s weird.
- No, I can’t just have one bite or one taste or one sip. Sugar and crap food is mine and many other overweight peoples “drug of choice”. No one would dream of offering an alcoholic a drink or a drug addict a line of cocaine, but the second you say, I’ve given up sugar, everyone offers you “just a little bit”. Stop it. Please just stop it. By all means, keep eating and doing whatever you want but if we say, No, it means no.
- You have such a pretty face. That’s just a fancy way of saying “you’re fat, but at least you’re not hideous”. If you think I’m pretty, or look good in a particular outfit or if I actually managed to get my hair brushed and looked extra presentable, you can compliment me. But just say, you look great today. Leave the “pretty face” part out. May sound silly, but I can guarantee that a lot of us bigger folks have heard that phrase a million times, and it’s old and tired.
- Don’t make a shocked face when you see my incredibly fit and in shape bodybuilder husband. Don’t look at him, and then turn and give me the up and down look-over. Yes, a buff guy can love a fat girl. You would be surprised how often this happens to me and a lot of other couples I know.
- “I just stopped drinking pop and fruit juice, and I lost 10 lbs right away”. “Just don’t eat anything after 6:00”. “Just eat more meat and less bread”. “My cousin did that diet where you only eat grapefruits for 2 weeks and she lost so much weight”. “Eat smaller meals, 4-6 times/day”. Unless you are specifically asked by me or someone else for weightless or diet advice, don’t give it. Long term weightloss is about SO MUCH MORE than the food that goes in our mouths, its way more mental, and until a person gets to that place, vegetables and lean meat will accomplish zero. And odds are very good, that by offering it, unsolicited, you are hurting your friend and making them feel even worse about their bodies.
- If I call myself fat or fluffy or plump or chubby or whatever other word I choose to use, don’t correct me. “Be quiet, no, you’re not”, just reinforces the statement. Instead say, I think it looks great, or try a different size on. Or, lets figure out another place to sit, or whatever. Fat people know they’re fat, it’s not a secret. And more often than not, it is the reason why we can’t do certain things, fit in certain places, wear certain clothing. It’s not a bad word, it’s a descriptive one. And when it comes to clothes, don’t say, you look great if I actually look horrible. Suggest a different cut or a different size. We want to look nice too, and not like a fat chick stuffed into a skinny girls outfit. **If your friend says this repeatedly and appears to be depressed or really upset about their weight, have a heart to heart discussion with them and ask if you can help them. Speak with love and not pity .. pity does nothing but hold people back. Love & respect is powerful – give them that instead.
- If you’re concerned about someone’s diet or plan that they’re following, ASK THEM ABOUT IT. Don’t make assumptions or berate them if you don’t have all the info. And once you know and if you still disagree, and they are adults and able-minded, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. Weightloss is a very personal journey and people have to find their own way. Hopefully their plan is more about vegetables than bacon, but if not, just love them and be there when they ASK for help.
- Having to lose 10 pounds and having to lose 100 pounds are two VERY DIFFERENT things, please don’t compare them. I will never, ever say that weightloss is easy, even if you only have to lose 10 pounds. But you cannot compare your 10 pound journey to my 100 pound one. If someone is 100 pounds overweight, their issues are WAY bigger than chips and drinking with friends. I have to give up and change almost every single aspect of my life in order to make this a longterm success, and it’s going to take A LONG TIME. I have to wrap my head around years of change and not a week or two. It’s different. 10 pounds is hard, 100 pounds is hard, but the journeys are not the same. There are ways to help and encourage each other – but comparison is not one of them. Instead, let’s go for a walk and share a nice glass of ice water.
- Have you had your thyroid checked? Trust me, our thyroids have been checked. We’re fat. Odds are really good that we’ve had our thyroid checked, as well as our blood pressure and if we have diabetes more times than you would even believe. It’s actually very hard for an overweight person to be taken seriously in the doctor’s office because the first response to most doctors visits is “lose weight, it should fix that”. I was actually told that when my uterus was trying to kill me … yeah, that wasn’t because I was fat. Grrr.
- Pointing out other fat people and commenting on how fat they are when you see them. Besides the fact that you are being an incredibly judgmental cow by doing that, you are calling me, your friend “Fat” in a very derogatory and disrespectful way.
I don’t say all of these things because I’m a whiny baby or because I feel sorry for myself, I’m saying them out of frustration. Overweight people are constantly judged based purely on their looks, and frankly it’s tiring. I was happy fat, I’m happy as I’m getting less fat and one day I’ll hopefully be a happy skinny person. But my weight and whether or not I lose it doesn’t change who I am. Don’t ever assume that it will or that an overweight person wants to be skinny.
Talk to me like a person, or a colleague or a friend and not as the fat version of those things.
We are all struggling and sometimes flailing and I’d love to just be able to not only be myself but be able to ask for help when I need it. Or to have the freedom to be exactly who I am at any given time. Even if I’m fat.
What did this week bring me?
- A loss of almost 5 pounds.
- A renewed hatred of celery
- A clearer vision of what else I need to change to make myself more successful
- A new kid, a crazier than ever schedule, and the realization that I can now physically do more than I could 6 months ago. Hallelujah.
REMINDER. If you want to check out the Ideal Protein plan and see what I’m doing and why I love it, please come out to an upcoming information night. I’ll be there sharing a bit of my story and answering your questions along with some other fine folks. You’ll get to try some of the products and will receive a discount voucher to use if you decide to join. Follow this link to add your name to the attendance list.