I Wish You Would Do Something About Your Weight

by Carol Hess on July 14, 2011

“I wish you would do something about your weight.” 

Boom!  Ruth just dropped the weight bomb on me. 

“Really, Ruth?  And I wish you would do something about your mouth.” 

Of course I didn’t say it, but I wanted to.  

Ruth is an old family friend who has always been a big fan of mine and vice versa.  I know she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but she did.  I know she didn’t mean to piss me off, but she did. 

Ruth just doesn’t get it when it comes to me and my weight.  She’s not alone. 

“I wish you would do something about your weight.” 

Boom! 

Really, Ruth?  I am doing something about my weight, thank you very much.  I have been doing something about my weight my whole damned life, thank you very much.  Heaven knows how many pounds I’ve lost, but it adds up to hundreds.  And of course I’ve gained them all back and then some.  

You see, Ruth, it isn’t quite as easy as just “doing something” about the weight.  If it were, then no one would be walking around overweight.  It’s not like I don’t know I need to lose weight.  It’s not like I don’t want to lose weight.  It’s not like I’m not trying to lose weight. 

Trust me, Ruth.  It isn’t much fun being fat in a thin-worshipping society.  I’m not just sitting back on my ample backside, twiddling my thumbs, and eating bonbons.  You’d be surprised to know the “somethings” I’ve done about my weight. 

Just for your edification, Ruth, here’s a partial list. 

  1. Diets, diets, and diets
  2. Diet books, diet radio programs, diet television shows
  3. Nutritionists
  4. Dieticians
  5. Psychologists
  6. Psychiatrists
  7. Personal trainers
  8. Weight loss meetings
  9. Non-residential weight loss programs
  10. Residential weight loss programs 

The only somethings I haven’t tried are pills, purging, and bariatric surgery because they scare the hell out of me. 

“I wish you would do something about your weight.” 

Boom! 

Really, Ruth?  Like what?  Got any suggestions?  I’m all ears.  

“I wish you would do something about your weight.” 

Boom!

Really, Ruth?  Is that really the only subject of conversation you can find to talk about with me?  If you’re so concerned about me, which I presume is where you’re coming from, then why don’t you ask me how my recovery from breast cancer is going?  Or how my business is going?  Or how my life is going? 

Why is it always about the f**king weight, Ruth?  There’s more to me than just my weight.  I thought you figured that out a long time ago.  But how could you?  I just figured it out myself. 

“I wish you would do something about your weight.”

Boom!

Really, Ruth?  I know you care about me, and you mean well.  However, I don’t appreciate comments about my weight.  It’s a sensitive subject for me, especially because I am doing something about it, and I’m discouraged right now.  I’m not seeing the results I had hoped for.

 That’s what I wished I had said.  Instead, I say, “I am doing something about my weight.  I’ve lost 40 pounds so far.” 

Geez, I sound like a defensive 10 year-old.  As if that weren’t bad enough, I finish up the job of abandoning myself and violating my own boundaries when I go on to say, “ “Of course I’ve got 5,982 pounds to go.” 

That’s Carol Speak for, ‘Yes, I know I’m fat.  I’m going to exaggerate how fat I am so you will know that I know I’m fat.  Besides, if I make a half-assed joke about it, then you won’t see how much your remark hurt me.  And I won’t have to feel how much your remark hurt me.’ 

“I wish you would do something about your weight.” 

Boom! 

Really, Ruth?  Thank you for sharing. 

You know what I don’t get?  We don’t talk about politics, religion, sex, or money.  In a society that is positively paranoid about personal boundaries, political correctness, and not offending anyone – so much so that our conversations resemble pablum more and more every day – apparently my weight is still an acceptable topic for discussion. 

Really?

by Carol Hess

14 comments

Categories Personal Empowerment, Self Care, The Art of Star Polishing, The Mind Game, Weight Loss

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Gloria Thomas July 15, 2011 at 8:46 am

I sooo relate to your blog today. from the age of 7, i remained at least 60 lbs overweight. i did all the things you did and i know the feeling of futility…then i read Kay Sheppard’s book; The Body Knows. Maybe not appropriate to recommend such resources, here, but i try to pass on the news about what worked for me. It saved my life! How dramtic is that?

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avatar Carol Hess July 15, 2011 at 8:56 am

I’m so glad you shared the book that saved your life! What better recommendation is that, right? And I’m so glad it worked for you, Gloria. I’m definitely going to check it out. That is exactly what Star Polisher is all about — helping each other get the weight monkey off our backs once and for all. Thanks so much for stopping by. And welcome! :)

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avatar Catherine Bruns July 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Carol I think this post represents what so many women REALLY want to say! Brava! I hope that the next time Ruth, or anyone else, makes a weight comment that you feel strong and brave enough to assertively and wisely say your truth and represent yourself well. Apparently Ruth has more of an issue about weight than you do!

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avatar Carol Hess July 17, 2011 at 1:27 am

Thanks, Catherine. I needed your Brava! It took a bit of courage to push the “Publish” button on this post. But I’m glad I did, if for no other reason than it will help me (and hopefully others) speak my truth the next time someone feels it necessary to make a comment about my weight. So glad you swung by Star Polisher, and welcome home from your trip. :-)

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avatar Sandi Amorim July 19, 2011 at 11:07 am

This post made me tear up a little. For all the thoughtless people like Ruth who’ve made those comments. For all the moments of hurt you and I and so many have felt hearing those comments. This post made me sigh, with frustration and with longing.

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avatar Carol Hess July 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Yes, there was hurt when Ruth made her comment. But not as much as there used to be, which I have to admit surprised me. I didn’t let her words penetrate to that precious part deep inside me that contains my self worth and self love. A few months ago they would have. Progress. Thanks, Sandi. I’m always delighted to see your heartfelt words here on Star Polisher.

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avatar Anne Melnyk July 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Thank you Carol for speaking the words I’ve wished I had at my disposal when someone dared to tread with insensitivity and judgement on such tender personal ground that I was shocked beyond my ability to respond.

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avatar Carol Hess July 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Hi, Anne! And you are very welcome. I’m hoping I can SAY the words instead of write them the next time someone feels the need to comment on my weight. Actually, what I’m really hoping, in the Best of All Worlds Department, is that people will keep their mouths shut so there will be no need to speak up. But I have a feeling that might be a while coming. . . . . Someday though. :)

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avatar Joanna Saunders July 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I echo Anne, I too have had so many times when people felt it was “ok” to comment on my weight…like you say “Gee, Thanks for pointing that out. I didn’t know I was fat” or the ones that say things like “Why do you have to be such a slob” Ow, Ow, Ow. or my favourite from my slim sister. “Do you need a crane to help you get off the ground.” The hurt these comments cause leaves us speechless and for me feeling like I have been slapped across the face. Obviously this is still raw for me!!!
I am currently on Effindiets with Karen Paritee. I no longer diet because I don’t need to I am changing my beliefs about my body and my weight. Along with Karen I am also using the book by Sondra Ray “The Only Diet There Is”.

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avatar Carol Hess July 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Ouchie! Ouchie! I’m feeling the slaps, Joanna. Isn’t it amazing how incredibly insensitive people can be? And of course our own shame about our weight just adds that much more power to the slaps in the face we’re feeling.
“I no longer diet because I don’t need to. I am changing my beliefs about my body and my weight.” There is a declaration of independence if ever I heard one. I’m following Karen and her Diet Crushers with great — what’s the word? — I think it’s glee. You’re changing yourselves (and the world) one crush at a time. Go, Ladies, go!!!!

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avatar Linda Eaves July 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Been there.
A few years back a friend once said to me, “Have you ever thought of doing something about your weight?’
Unwanted insensitive feedback from someone you trust is a similar to lacing food with tiny doses of poison. To what end did she make that comment?
To lend me loving compassionate support? I think not. For me, that type of feedback breaks down rather than builds up.
My awareness is very sensitive to this kind of communication. Limiting contact with the person, or cutting it off completely is what worked.

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avatar Carol Hess July 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Ouch! I think the intention behind the words is so important, isn’t it? But even if the intention is absolutely pure, it still hurts. And I guess that’s because we carry some shame around our weight. Otherwise, thoughtless remarks wouldn’t bother us so much, would they?

As for the comments with not such great intent, who needs that? Your solution to limit or cut off contact sounds like a very self-loving thing to do. Good for you! Thanks for joining the discussion, Linda.

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avatar Suz July 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Fabulous post. Thank you for saying what I’ve thought so many times! Reminds me to also be more mindful of how I approach people about issues in THEIR lives.

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avatar Carol Hess July 20, 2011 at 5:44 pm

That’s a great reminder, Suz — that everyone has issues. Sensitivity, tact, or maybe just not saying anything at all is the way to go most of the time. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

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