The weight

APOP_infographicThere’s a very personal topic that we all like to talk about all the time.

Our weight.

Let’s face it, we are, as a society, somewhat obsessed with a person’s weight. Our own weight. Other people’s weight. Models’ weights. Children’s weights.

And, you know, that’s okay if means we’re trying to make ourselves healthier as a population. It’s not okay if we’re tearing each other down and making unreasonable expectations of ourselves and others. It’s also not okay, if we’re standing in the way of helping each other make positive changes for ourselves.

An example that has stuck with me for years. While talking with a friend, I mentioned seeing a mutual acquaintance out at the track when I was going for a walk. Their response?

“What are they doing out there?! It’s not like they need to lose any weight!”

It stumped me. It threw me for a loop. I didn’t know how to respond in that moment, but later it made me mad. The REASON this person didn’t “need to lose any weight” is because they go to the track diligently. They maintain a great weight versus “letting themselves go” and having to backtrack later. In hindsight, I wish I’d said something to the effect of, “I think its great they’re out there! It’s inspiring!”

But I missed my opportunity.

I’ve run into that attitude more times than I can count over the last several years… occasionally directed straight at me.

See, I’m naturally built “slender.” But it does NOT mean I’m not susceptible to gaining weight. In fact, over the last ten years, I’ve watched myself slowly gain around 40 pounds. Now, for my height, I’m actually still right in the middle of “healthy” for my weight. I could TECHNICALLY gain over 10 more pounds before I’d be considered overweight.

But I don’t even want to think about that. I don’t even want to know that. I’d rather focus on losing about 10 pounds to be back down on the lower end of “healthy” weight. I’d feel better. I’d be more confident in my appearance. I could stop wearing a corset when I wear tighter fitting clothes.

Here’s the deal, though. When I talk about wanting to lose a few pounds, I often get “the death stare.” You know the one… the one that says, “Shut up. You have no right to even talk about that. You’re just fine the way you are.” And it’s always from other women. Always.

And I just don’t GET that! Now, if I was still what I weighed in high school — a weight in which health insurance didn’t even want to cover me because, “it’s just not possible to be healthy and weigh that little” (I actually had to get a doctor’s note to prove I wasn’t anorexic and was actually quite healthy, just super active!) — then I’d totally understand that glare. I’d hope that glare would actually be more like a look of deep concern for if I had an eating disorder. But when I, today, say, “I’d like to lose about 10 lbs.” I’d hope I’d instead get, “You can totally do it!” instead of, “What for?”

Why can’t we cheer each other on? Why can’t we encourage each other to be healthier in general instead of either letting there be jealousy or judgement?

Next time you see someone going for a jog that “doesn’t need it” or you hear someone say, “I’d like to lose a couple pounds,” don’t roll your eyes or sigh in annoyance. Instead be encouraging! Maybe, just maybe, their determination will be addictive and set a positive example.

Manzanita, Oregon

6 thoughts on “The weight”

  1. Love it. Love! It!

    From ladies larger in size than me, I get the “Are you kidding me? You’re totally hot already, you don’t need to lose anything.” From ladies smaller in size than me, I get the “It’s about time!” look. o_O So now I just tell my mom my plans. And Chris. lol And occasionally others if they bring up their own plans for weight loss/getting fit.

    Personally, yeah- I’d rather be fit, but vanity has it’s place, too. I’m currently LOVING the fact that I’m at a lower weight than I’ve been in the past 4yrs. Clothes that haven’t fit in years are suddenly buttoning easily and look fine.

    I do find myself giving a look of concern to people who clearly are not overweight when they mention wanting to lose weight. Being stick thin and bony (literally, ribs sticking out) and wanting to lose weight or them remarking that they’re fat makes me want to conk them on the head!

    I think, in general, that the conversation needs to turn to a more “I’d like to gain muscle” or a “I’d like to get into better shape” or what I usually say- I’d like to lose fat. I don’t really care about the number on the scale, you know? It’s just a measurement.

    I also must say, I’m overly cautious when supporting someone who’s obese when they tell me they’re embarking on a new fitness journey, diet, etc. because I once was apparently too enthusiastic when a friend told me they were starting a plan to lose weight. I got an earful about how I sounded so judgmental and so relieved that they wanted to lose weight. o_O I know it was more about them projecting their feelings onto me but it has stuck with me. So now I casually smile and say, “That’s great, keep me updated. I love that plan/workout/whatever.”

    1. Being FIT. YES. This. We should focus more on that than the number on the scale. How we feel is so much more important than how we look… because usually when you feel great you also look great. It all goes hand in hand with each other.

Comments are closed.