Dear Curvy And Curious,
Recently I lost 5-10 pounds. I wasn’t eating healthy, I wasn’t working out, I was just stressed out of my mind and the weight just fell off. With my body type, 5-10 pounds is a recognizable difference. All my friends, my family, and acquaintances commented about it.
I’m sick to my stomach over it. All these people, and there has been many, are trying to compliment me. What they are doing, unbeknownst to them, are judging my weight, saying essentially, “you look good now, better than you did before.” I think more people should be aware of their comments – what they mean and the effect they can have. Once I gain this weight back, which I undoubtedly will because I did not lose it in a controlled healthy way, will they remark that I have gained weight? Of course not. Commenting that someone gained weight is wrong because it is a judgement on their bodies. But commenting that someone has lost weight? Oh that’s just fine.
My sister has recovered from an eating disorder that nearly killed her. When she first started losing the weight, I was among these people, “Melissa*, you look great! Keep up the good work!” blah blah blah.. I didn’t know the “good work” was her vomiting after her every meal. Every comment I made to her, and the comments by other people towards her, encouraged her, and the direct focus on her weight fueled her insecurity, her mental disease, putting weight as the topic of discussion. I have learned from this experience never to remark on someone’s shape, and to try avoid looking at their outward appearance entirely. Corney, but it’s the soul that matters.
People make their comments about my weight, “Oh wow! You look like you lost a lot of weight! So skinny!” and I nod, I pity them..and I try not to let them get into my head. I never say thank you, because although they do not mean me harm, this is not a compliment.
I had not weighed myself in years. When I did, it was sporadic. Now, despite my best efforts to keep these people out of my head, I notice I am checking the scale, noticing the number.. the one pound up or down. Because all of these remarks.. I know what people first notice about me. I did not care about gaining the weight back, but now……do I? I do well and overall don’t care, but the judgement and continuous focus and remarks have made it difficult.
I lost it in an unhealthy way.. and society has told us that how you lose weight doesn’t matter.. as long as you are thinner.
I wanted to share this with you because I admire the work you have done on yourself and the work you have done for others. This is not a “fat” problem, or a “skinny” problem we deal with. Making remarks/judgement on appearances is just plain wrong, and I wish more people would see this. Look more into the eyes of people rather than their physical appearance. I have a healthy mindset, but if I did not these peoples remarks would drive me into an anxious and dangerous life style, the way it did my sister.
Food for thought. Thank you for your contributions in this field.. more people should be opening their minds and accepting who they are.
Thanks for sharing your story of confidence and finding yourself. This is what Curvy And Curious is about! Hang in there girl, you’re never alone.