“You Used to Be *Really* Fat!” : Coping with Well-Intentioned, Mean-Spirited or Just Plain Dumb Comments About Weight Loss
The holidays are there absolutely magical, glittery sparkly time of year where we gather with those we love the most… OK, let’s be realistic. Holidays can kind of suck.
It is a time of year when we put the most pressure on ourselves, and bring up our perfectionist tendencies.
It’s not enough to host a dinner party, but the ingredients need to be locally sourced, and you have to know the farmer’s name and your table decor needs to be a page out of Martha Stewart Living.
And let’s face it. Holidays are filled with people you only see once or twice a year, and if you are in the process of a weight-loss journey or transformation, invariably someone is going to say something that’s just rude or offensive.
It’s only Thanksgiving, and I have already encountered three such instances, and each one has stuck with me and played on a loop in my head for at least a couple days after.
Yes, I can eat this. No, I’m sure it’s within my Weight Watchers plan. Yes, *really.*
Yes, of course I’m going to go running tomorrow. Yes, the holidays are a crazy time when people tend to let themselves go. No, I’m *really* positive that’s not going to be me.
Obviously the first lesson here is “Don’t be an asshole,” and while I think people usually know that, there are all kinds of justifications for saying rude things that people use to rationalize their behavior.
I don’t care if it’s the truth, it’s unkind. How is your true, but hurtful remark going to make the other person feel?
I don’t care if you feel like because you could say behind my back you should say to my face. (Side note: The reverse is also true – I don’t care if you would say to my face, don’t say behind my back. It’s rude there, too!) How are your words, your observations, your opinions, going to make the other person feel?
And I don’t care if you mean well. Don’t say something you know will be hurtful and expect your good intentions to override your rudeness. They don’t, and if anything, your rudeness will override your good intentions and ensure I don’t even hear your message.
So how do you cope with the hurtful things that people say? Because I actually think I take the comments (now that I am so far in my weight loss journey) harder or more personally and the ones I did before I started!
I don’t have a great foolproof answer, so I usually look at it like this:
The opinions and advice aside, the person’s unwillingness or inability to see how their words might impact another person is indicative of their character, not mine, and no one gets to make me feel badly about trying to be a better version of myself every day.
Life is a boomerang, and we get what we give. I’m not letting the actions or words or someone else dictate how I behave or influence how I live my life, or stifle the happiness and joy I feel as a result of my weight loss, my personal transformation and my positive outlook.
I have gone past the point of trying to educate, or encourage the people who make these comments to recognize the power in their words. I simply don’t need that type of negativity in my life, and I’m going to limit my exposure to it whenever possible.
Now, of course that’s not always possible, so my best advice in that situation, when you find yourself shocked or hurt or angered by the words of another, is to smile, say thank you, and remove yourself from the situation. Find another person at the party to speak to. Leave the living room, and go help the hostess in the kitchen. But don’t waste anymore time on someone who makes you feel like anything less than the rockstar you are!