I hope you’ve never experienced this, but some of the worst comments I ever got with regards to my weight came from people I knew fairly well. Here are my “favorite” memories.
- “Diane, you have such a pretty face.”
- “It’s such a shame what has happened to you.”
- “We’ve never had overweight people in the family before.”
- “I wonder why you are so fat”
- “You don’t seem to eat that much”
- “What size pants are those?”
- “Are you going to have surgery for your weight problem?”
- “I wonder if a counselor would help you get your weight under control?”
These comments weren’t made behind my back, but rather to my face. Each time the mean comments were spoken I felt like I had been slapped across the face. Maybe it was being raised in the South, or perhaps it was just my natural inclination to avoid conflict, but I felt unable to stand up for myself, or come back with a snappy comment. Later I would imagine all the things I could have said to put them in their place, such as: “Oh yes, you have a pretty face too.” Or, in response to “We’ve never had overweight people in the family before,” I could have retorted with, “Yes, well I’m adopted so how would you know?”
I never could manage to say anything to these comments other than mumble a few meaningless phrases. Later, as I was pouring my frustration into a huge bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream, I’d ponder what they said, and try and examine their motives for being so mean and hateful. The fact that these comments came from people I knew made it much worse. These people were friends, and in some cases, family. What was it about my weight that made them feel they had the right to be so critical? I never knew for sure.
Now, twelve years later, I still think about those mean comments sometimes. I wonder if I portrayed an attitude that made people feel they had the right to criticize me. I did feel defeated, and my self esteem was low. Looking back, I wish I had possessed more self confidence.
If you’ve ever experienced this, how do you handle snide comments that are made by friends and family? Do you run to food for comfort, or do you resolve to “show them.” I wish I had had more of the “show them” mentality rather than the run to food mentality. I hope this has never happened to you, but if it has, then use it as an opportunity to “show them” and at the same time prove to yourself that you are worth the effort it takes to lose weight and get healthy. Diane