I have been on a diet lately. It’s an impromptu diet as in I didn’t plan for it. I don’t have a great appetite right now and I find that I am forcing myself to eat. I’m accepting that this is the way things are right now. It comes along with depression for me. Some people over eat and others under-eat. Oh well, fuck it, that’s what’s up with my mind and body. I’ve 10 lbs unintentionally and even though I needed to lose a weight, I’m not particularly happy about this. But the worst part of this is that people find the need to tell me how awesome it is that I’ve lost weight. Here’s the problem with doing that: I don’t like when they comment about how many lbs I’m displaying.
I didn’t intend to lose this weight in the way that I did and when they say I lost weight it reminds me of the fact that I’m feeling like shit. Damn
BUT WHAT IF THEY MEANT IT IN A NICE WAY?
Well sure, it isn’t like they wanted to be insensitive and probably they were thinking it was a compliment. But when someone tells me I lost weight, I start thinking about how I looked before I shed that 10 lbs. Was I weird looking or something? Did my clothes fit differently? I certainly hope I didn’t look like a freak. Hearing these words had me feeling self-conscious after I was reminded that I lost some lbs.
I know these individuals are trying to be helpful and kind, but I feel like commenting on someone’s weight, in particular, isn’t necessary. If you feel like your friend looks awesome, maybe just say THAT. You could tell them “you look great,” or “I like your outfit,” or something that doesn’t directly have to do with body image.
The reason I think pointing out weight isn’t sensitive is this: what if I had an eating disorder? I don’t, but I have a lot of friends who have struggled (and continue to) deal with eating disorders. When you tell someone who has an E.D. that they lost weight, that might trigger them in a harmful way. I’m beginning to think that talking about weight at all isn’t a thing we should do as a society. There are so many different bodies in our world and all of them are beautiful. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors (or colours if you’re Canadian) and who are we to decide what is beautiful? We can have opinions about what looks good or appears to be aesthetically pleasing to us, but why does weight have to be a part of this?
I want you to seriously think about this, and here’s my question for you: have you ever told someone that they lost weight? What was your motivation for this? Maybe you meant to compliment a loved or a colleague. How can we change the societal dialogue to help people feel empowered about themselves?