Recently, someone found out through the grapevine (blogosphere?) that I struggle with body image issues. She immediately assumed I needed help losing weight and so without asking me how I felt, she ran up to me and started telling me about how I just need to eat less and it would solve all of my problems.
As pissed off as I was, I couldn’t get a word in edgewise to defend myself. I just had to stand there getting told over and over about how if I would stop eating, I’d be better. Happier. Sexier. A better wife. She even sought out my husband to tell him that she was so proud of the fact that she was going to save me from my own dastardly body! (He was furious, naturally.)
“LINDSAY I hear you deal with body image issues and let me just tell you I used to too and all you need to do is just stop eating so much and everything will be fine, I can teach you how! It’s sooooo easy to get skinny! You just have to cut out all carbs until you die and don’t eat anything solid on days that end in ‘DAY’ and you’ll be super skinny and you’ll finally be happy!”
[Might be a slight exaggeration. Might not. You decide.]
I let her spout off her “knowledge” on the subject, though she didn’t bother to ask me about how I actually feel about my body. I slowly breathed in and out.
“Well, I don’t think that me losing weight will solve the issue really, because I recently recovered from an eating disorder and I know what it’s like to not eat much and be really thin and I still wasn’t happy so I–”
“NO BUT SERIOUSLY IF YOU EAT LESS IT WILL BE OKAY! I will teach you!”
Sensing she wasn’t going to hear anything I wanted to say about it, I just laid down and let her shoot me. “Okay. Cool. Sounds completely normal and doable. Days that end in ‘DAY,’ right? Cool. Sounds good.”
And I just had to let her keep going on and on until finally I could slip away and silently drown in the reality that other people assume that I need to lose weight to be happy.
Yep. That’s the key to my happiness, people. My weight. The number on the scale. And if I could just get my act together and go on a diet and lose weight, I’d be fine! It’s definitely not my mindset or anything else that actually will stay with me until I die. Nope, my happiness is obviously wrapped up in the weight of my body that was designed to fall apart.
Has this ever happened to you? </rant>