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>
9 thoughts on “when other people don’t get it.”
Ugh. I am sorry you had to deal with that. I can’t stand when people give unsolicited commentary about another person’s body. Body image issues are deeply personal, so it is rude for others to assume that they know enough about someone to offer advice – especially such flippant advice like “just eat less silly!!!” If it was that easy then these types of issues wouldn’t exist.
Yes, it’s happened to me! Ugh! I used to live with an insufferable foodie who NO JOKE, ate cereal out of a COFFEE MUG because “huge” portions of cereal were just so “American.” she was an American, from the south, no less. She also seemed shocked when she went with me to Giant (our version of Publix) because of how inexpensive it is compared to Whole Foods. Clearly, they were selling me poison.
ahhh what is WRONG with people?!?!?!?!?
There is a well meaning “friend” (more of an acquaintance) of mine who feels it is her duty to keep track of my weight, how much I have lost this week, etc…..I quietly told her that it is an issue between my doctor and myself. She said “oh” and closed her big mouth. Hopefully that shut her up for good LOL
THIS enrages me. What is wrong with people?! Do some people not realize that people actually DIE trying to be thin everyday?! And you are so right – we are not our weight, or our size. IDIOTS!
Ahem, I specifically came here today to ask you, oh wise one of self-love, how to you deal with making mistakes, specifically, how do you avoid beating yourself up over them?
Sorry. Um. Have you read this post? https://fueledbydietcoke.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/fail-odex/
It’s all about how I beat the crap out of myself every time I screw up. It’s disgusting. I’m also CURRENTLY in the middle of beating myself up over something at the moment. I left the house almost certain my husband had no reason to love me.
BUT! Here’s my advice to you:
I don’t know what your religious beliefs are, but as a Christian, Philippians 4 has always been my go-to in this situation.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
SO, basically, what I do is I just start listing off OUT LOUD the things that are true.
In today’s instance, for example, this is what I’m working with:
“Okay, Lindsay. What is true? Okay, well, even though your father left you and your mother and you have severe daddy issues surrounding that, IT’S OKAY. You have a husband who loves you. You have a God who loves you enough to die for you! You are human. You make mistakes everyday but THAT’S OKAY. You are not perfect, and you are still loved. Your worth is not wrapped up in those mistakes. You are not your brokenness. You are radically loved by so many people, flaws and all. You are not your brokenness.
You are not your brokenness.
You are not your brokenness.
You are not your brokenness!”
But you’ve gotta say it out LOUD (and preferably to yourself in the mirror.) You may feel absolutely ridiculous doing this, but trust me, it beats the shitty feeling of beating yourself up.
Trust me on this one! I would know!
Good luck! ❤
Lins, the last pic I saw of you, you looked totally hot. For whatever that’s worth. 🙂
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