Thursday, April 7, 2016

You Care about MY Weight?

(I realize I kind of just covered this topic. It must really get to me!)

Now I’d like to rant about an issue I’ve touched on before.  When I was heavy, friends, family, acquaintances and strangers alike felt free to tell me I needed to lose weight “for my health”.   I hear the same complaint from my “overweight” friends.

For myself, as I’ve written, I was perfectly healthy when I was fat.  My blood pressure, cholesterol, bone density, etc., were perfect. I had good energy, slept well and had no complaints.

Yet folks commented and lectured.  People I barely knew raised eyebrows when I ordered dessert. They didn’t know the state of my health AND many of them didn’t know me well enough to care about my health!

After years of teasing and lectures, self-hatred lead me to lose weight in earnest, eventually leading to anorexia and inevitably years of bulimia.

During those year, I smoked, grew into an alcoholic, became laxative dependent, and couldn’t sleep which lead to sleeping pill abuse/addiction.  

But I was thin and many people asked for guidance on weight loss and maintenance. No one lectured me in those years! No one “cared” about my health. The thinner I got, I more compliments I got.

All the while, my life was miserable. When a bartender introduced me to crack, I sank deeply into its instantaneous utter and complete relief. Boy did I sink! I lost everything – family, friends, money, job.

Obviously, I’ve turned everything around – have a happy and comfortable weight, don’t drink, and of course, don’t smoke crack! I have a job, friends and my family loves me again, THANK GOD. But -

What if I’d been left alone about weight to begin with?


  1. Yes, people always give me workout advice and say hurtful things without even thinking twice. I remember living at an apartment and this guy was like "Wow going up these stairs would be a great workout" hinting at me. I thought, "I live here! I go up these stairs countless times a day!" Or they give these diet tips without me asking. I just roll my eyes. If they only knew how many people gave unwanted advice they'd feel embarrassed. They are not as sly as they think. Also, I remember being at a party and talking about how hubby and I walk a 4-5mile trail by our home and this guy was like, "Who walks 5 miles? You?" he was so confused by my level of physical activity and my size. I was like, "Yes, me!" people assume being over weight equals unfit or unhealthy and it does not. Yes I walked 4-5 mile trail by my house several times a week at my heaviest! I guess unless someone has been "over weight" they really don't know anything about our life. :-)

  2. Exactly. what if we went up to everyone and started offering advice - "you know, you'd be much easier to get along with if you didn't drink so much coffee" "diet soda is a killer, you know" "you'd look better if you wore make-up" blah, blah, blah. it would never occur to me to say those things to ANYONE. my boyfriend chain smokes when he's alone in his apartment. Nothing I can do about it. it is infuriating how people feel like weight is fair game. It's nobody's business, especially because it doesn't effect them! It's not like second-hand smoke! Thanks for writing.

  3. It's been ten years ago that I was so thin that people asked my husband if I had a terminal illness. My thinness was an ED but I refused to acknowledge it at the time. Despite looking like I was ill and despite being obviously mentally unwell (putting it mildly) I was, like you, so often asked about weight loss tips. Told I looked wonderful now I was thinner. My worth was all about how thin I was, or so I thought. It left a lasting impact on me and to this day I still feel that somehow I have failed by not being able to have maintained that serious level of thinness. People should not say anything about weight. It is such a minefield of troubles. And why say anything? It would never occur to me to say anything. I think people just project their own fears onto the person.

  4. Mrs. T: So nice to hear from you! This reminds me of a friend of mine who did lose weight because she had cancer. People who didn't know were always complimenting her weight loss. So bizarre. I always wonder - why is smaller better? Thanks for writing. I love your perspective!