So, what do you think happened when I lost weight?
It hurt. It confused. It triggered.
People mean well. I’m sure most people think it’s a compliment to say, “Wow, you’ve lost weight!” But, really? It’s a judgment. Especially if it comes with the attitude that the weight loss is a good thing. I mean, are you going to say in that same voice, “Wow, you’ve gained weight!”? Probably not. So, what makes us think it’s okay to comment on someone’s weight?
“You’re a lot smaller.”
“You’ve lost so much weight!”
“You’re skin and bones!”
“You look like you’ve lost weight!”
“You’re so skinny!”
And then I've said, “Unfortunately, yes, I have.”
When you walk in self love and you enter a time in your life filled with sadness, grief, anxiety, and illness and the weight falls off of you even though you’re trying to eat, it’s not a happy weight loss. It’s certainly not something to celebrate. And when someone says, “Wow, I wish I could get a bit of that so I can lose some weight”, I just cringe. You can have the weight loss, just give me back the joy, confidence, health and energy I used to have. It reminds me of when I started to speak up about my eating disorder and someone said, “I wish I could be anorexic for like a month just to lose some weight!” I didn’t laugh. It’s not funny.
I want to share what’s been going on with me. I really do. But I’m not ready. For now, I just want to say, other people’s weight is not our business.
Weight loss is not something to celebrate.
Weight gain is not something to mourn.
There is not a place where these comments are appropriate. The times I’ve felt comforted by weight-related comments are those of love, such as when a friend who knows my struggles said, “I’ve noticed you’ve lost weight. How are you feeling about that?”
Thank you. Thank you, friends, for knowing me so well. Thank you for knowing that how I feel about my weight loss is so much more important than how you feel about it. Thank you for not assuming this was desirable. Thank you for knowing my heart and asking how I was feeling. Thank you for caring about me, and not my size.
Everyone deserves that.