I feel a rant coming on; forgive me, but I have to get this off my chest.
It’s not nice to comment on another person’s weight. Whether you think they are too fat or too thin, keep it to yourself. They already know how they look, they don’t need you to tell them. I’ve been all over the map, and don’t need somebody to remind me where I am on the scale.
Yesterday, I was having a good day. I went along with my daughter’s class on their field trip to the zoo. I was worn out, but my daughter was so happy that I had gone with her that it made the exhaustion I felt well worth it.
A few years ago I was very involved with the PTA and was at the school for book fairs, holiday shop, and lots of other activities. My daughter says those were the good days. My fatigue is much worse now so I am rarely at the school for anything other than conferences and to pick up and drop off my daughter.
Back to the Trip
When we returned to the school, I saw one of the teacher’s aides that I know pretty well. I hadn’t seen her in at least a solid year. As I wearily walked back to my daughter’s classroom, I tapped the aide on the shoulder and said hello. I asked how she was doing. I knew she had been very sick so I was glad to see her. She told me she was doing well.
So what does she decide to say to me? “Hey; you look good but, but you put on some weight!” As if I didn’t know this! As if I didn’t know I am fifty pounds over my ideal weight. I just said, “I knoooow”, and walked away. When I got home I was steaming mad. I texted my friend about it and told her I figured I was so irritated by the woman’s comment because I was tired. She said, no, that being mad was a reasonable response to the rude comment. Yes, it was rude and insensitive. It felt good to hear that my feelings weren’t irrational.
This was not the first time another woman told me about the weight I’d gained, or lost. Since having fibromyalgia my weight has fluctuated up and down. I used to be able to eat anything I wanted and not gain an ounce. When I was too skinny some guy told me I needed to “get my weight up”. As I changed medicines to manage my depression and fibromyalgia I had people tell me that my face was too thin and eventually as I put on the pounds people started asking if I was pregnant. See the weight shows in my stomach first and when I had gained about 20 pounds I was looking pregnant. I had someone see me in the mall and tell me, “Wow, you got fat!” Another aquantaince told me that I put on a few pounds after she hadn’t seem me in a while.
As my weight went up I was well aware of it. I caught people looking at my stomach and it felt like their eyes were throwing darts at me. Why do people feel the need to comment on my weight as if I don’t have a mirror or don’t realize that my clothes no longer fit without a struggle? Having no clothes in my closet that fit is a clear indicator that my weight has gone up.
During the few times that my weight went down and my new larger size jeans became baggy I was relieved. Well for the past year and a half I’ve gained so much weight that I now weigh more than my dad and brother! That is so crazy to me, and scary because diabetes and heart disease run in my family!
Now, due to medication, a lack of energy to work out, a mostly sedentary lifestyle and eating quick and easy food that is loaded with calories, I am obvioulsy overweight. My face looks chubby and my stomach is huge. I know this. I hate this. What I don’t need is people reminding me of it when they see me.
Why is my weight the thing people choose to comment on after they haven’t seen me in a while? After the, “Oh it’s good to see you”, it’s something about how much weight I’ve gained. I’ve had one man comment, but the majority of comments have come from other woman. As women, we are well aware of our own weight because we are constantly bombarded with weight loss strategies, weight lose products, and inundated with images of rail thin women.
I thought all women knew not to comment on another’s weight. Unless you are one of my very best friends and I’ve initiated the conversation, just don’t talk about my weight. It is what it is, and it’s none of your business. Should I go into the story of why I’ve gained so much? Do they care? My guess is no. Should I explain that my medication makes me hungry all of the time, that I’m too exhausted to work out, that my back hurts so bad while I’m cooking that I choose the easiest meals like the ones that come frozen in a bag and you just heat them up in a skillet? At least their vegetables in them! I try to make wise choices, but sometimes I just want a Sprite instead of water. I do make an effort to eat right, just not often enough.
It’s rude, insensitive and people just don’t think. I don’t want to go out of the house for many reasons, I’m too tired, uninterested in being social, and I’m embaressed at the weight I’ve gained. I’m trying to eat better, but as many people know it’s hard to resist giving in to food that tastes good espcecially when you feel so down on yourself that a cookie provides a few seconds of enjoyment. I’m not lazy. It’s nearly impossible to exercise when it takes all of your energy just to make it though the day’s normal activities, so I don’t want to hear that I need to go to the gym.
Just do me a favor, when you see someone gaining weight, know that they don’t need to be told that they are getting chunky. They don’t need to be reminded of what they already know. I guarantee they have a mirror and even if they don’t, they have eyes and can see their own body; and they are probably not happy about having to buy new clothes to fit their new body. Just tell them that it’s good to see them or talk about something, anything, but your surprise at their weight.
It doesn’t feel good to be told you are too skinny either, that you have no shape, and that you look sick.
It’s just not nice either way.