With everything I’ve been doing lately, (school, work at the bookshop, training, and trying to keep myself in decent shape) I haven’t had much time to blog, but I wanted to sneak this one in.
There has been a constant head-to-head battle in our entire world between the skinnies and the fatties. There are people who chastise others for being too skinny, it’s unhealthy, it’s unsexy, etc. Then there’s the other people who chastise the opposite group for being too fat, unhealthy, unsexy, etc. So which side is right?
Neither. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to an individual molecular make-up. While there are extremes, and it’s obvious which ones are not natural for the human body, that’s a different topic altogether.
It happens to me on a daily basis, so I know the awful, self-esteem crushing impact of weight bullying. While I could always use a little extra exercise and probably a lot less junk in my diet, I am at what I call a happy medium. Not fat, not skinny. However, I will have women balk at me when I voice concerns about my poor diet, which has NOTHING to do with my weight, strictly the nutrients I’m getting. They say I’m too thin to concern myself with such things. It makes you realize why we have so many “fat” skinny people walking around, completely clueless as to the fact that there cardiovascular system is shot, because they’re lead to believe that as long as they’re skinny, they don’t need to pay attention to their diet.
I also have days where people blatantly ask me if I’ve gained weight, or point out the fact that my jeans are probably a size too small. Yes, I have put on weight since I was 18. No, I have not spent the money to go out and buy new pants. Yes, I truly believe that I will get back into the shape of my life. No, I’m not delusional.
I call this weight bullying. People do it without even realizing it. Your best friend, you mother, a complete stranger. I’m sure it’s happened to everyone at least once. A tiny comment that leaves your head reeling, wondering why you went out and bought a bagel for lunch instead of eating your salad and apple.
Anyone who truly wants to help someone who is obviously having trouble with their weight, and is concerned with their body image, should avoid making direct comments about another’s body. People will often point out their biggest body concerns, simply so others know they are aware of their flaws, and that way avoid them being pointed out.
A way to help someone else is to take in what they’re telling you, and try to help them work towards feeling better about whatever it is that concerns them. If you constantly hear a friend whose overweight complaining about needing to lose some pounds, offer to start working out together. A friend who is trying to better their diet, suggest cooking together once a week and trying new recipes. Pointing out their flaws will only confirm in their minds what they have been thinking all along: “Everyone thinks I’m fat”, “Everyone is staring”.
If it happens to be you who needs the boost, and you feel uncomfortable asking for help from a friend or family member, turn to a complete stranger. It sounds hilarious, but there are tons of sites, blogs, and pages with people just out there trying to help others. No fees, no strings attached.