Sunday, August 4, 2013
Everybody has figured out by now that words can--and more often do--hurt people much more than physical abuse ever could. That's usually what bullying is, and day to day getting your feelings hurt.
That being said, as an adult, I've never had anyone tell me I was fat or say something directly hurtful concerning my looks, at least not that I can think of right off. Well, this isn't counting the numerous people that said something to the effect of "You're huge!" when I was pregnant, which somehow is apparently acceptable??? Anyway, that's another blog another day.
However, I can think of at least a handful of things that people told me after I had LOST weight that were particularly scarring.
At a get-together a lady seeing me get small portions, "Well, gosh, you could eat more than that."
This one may not read as particularly hurtful, but if you saw her face, you would have felt the tone. Also, as one who does not generally enjoy bring attention to herself except when given a particular role to do so, this made me way more conspicuous than I would have liked. I wonder if this remark is one reason I have a very very hard time making good choices at public eating "events." I don't want anyone to look at my plate and know I'm dieting, because then they might feel the need to talk about it.
Someone I don't even remember who, "You sure are showing off your new body, aren't you?"
If any of you have lost a considerable amount of weight before, you'll know why this was disturbing. You don't know HOW to dress when you have a "new body." When you've been dressing in clothes that just cover and hide, questions like How tight? How loose? are very difficult to answer. So for someone to suggest I was being inappropriate was embarrassing to me. I've always dressed on the modest side, and just because I was thinner didn't change that--I thought. So then I really didn't know how to dress.
After seeing a friend after a while, "Lacy, you used to have such a pretty figure! Now you're just.....nothing."
This one doesn't require an explanation.
I'm not blaming these things for making me gain weight back (plus some) again, but it certainly didn't do a thing for my self-esteem. Why do we know it's not okay to remark (at least to people's faces) about them being overweight, sloppy, an overeater, but the same doesn't apply if you are thin and eating healthy?
Jealousy is a big guess at least when it involves women. I know to make myself feel better I've said (to myself) things like, "Well, she's just too thin." or "She can't be happy. She's just hungry."
It should be a rule that unless your comment looks something like this template :
you should just keep your comment to yourself. Because you may think that your statement about how thin someone has gotten will make them feel good, but it probably won't. It has been 10 or 11 years since I heard those lines, and I still fear what I might hear as I lose weight again. Hopefully I'm stronger, more mature, and less sensitive now, but it certainly has taught me to be even more careful with my words.