If you’d just…

Amanda Trusty Burlesque Dancing
The above link is to a dancer in response to pressure from the entertainment industry for her to lose weight. I think it’s a wonderful declaration and an empowering video. Most of the comments were uplifting, many from people who have struggled with weight as well. There are, of course, negative comments, which a person will get no matter what they post. I was scrolling through them, and found one that, while I believe the poster was trying to be encouraging, my reaction to it wasn’t. I don’t normally share extremely personal things, but I’m going to tonight.
The person posted that if the dancer in the video danced like that every day, they would lose weight. Sounds encouraging enough, doesn’t it?
For those of us who have tried and can’t lose weight, it’s not. Here’s my story:
I was never the skinny kid in school. I was never fast, never athletic, but I wanted to be. Day after day, I was told that if I would just run down the driveway and back, I would lose weight. If I would just do fifty sit ups a night, I would lose weight. I was teased mercilessly, not only by people I could care less about, but also by family members. I joined track, joined wrestling, took long walks (7-15 miles), rode my bike, starved myself. Nothing helped. There was a point that I was eating an apple per day and that was it. Yes, I know that’s wrong, yes, I knew it then, but when you are harangued to the point of not caring, it doesn’t matter to you any more.
It wasn’t until my early 20s that I learned I had a metabolic problem, and that I probably would never lose the weight. Even with that, with medication I take daily so that I don’t die because of it, with therapy, with everything else, I’m still battling those same voices in my head, the little demons that tell me I’m never going to be good enough because I’m fat.
I know I can’t lose weight, but I do exercise. It’s not because I want to be thinner, firmer, in better shape, it’s because I know my family history and
no longer have a death wish.
It’s very sad that a few simple words brought it all back; a few simple words that weren’t even meant for me. I can still feel the pain over 20 years later. Anyone who knows me personally, knows I foam at the mouth about this particular issue. I have heard all of the “If you’d just”, all of the “helpful hints”. Most of the time, I get comments only from people who don’t know me, but there are some days I even receive it from family and friends. Here’s the thing: Those of us that are overweight, fat, heavy, chubby, plus sized, whatever you want to call it, we know. We can see it every day when we look in the mirror. We don’t need to be reminded. We don’t need helpful hints, tips, tricks. If we ask, that’s one thing, but we don’t do well with unsolicited advice when it comes to our weight. I know my lifestyle, I know what I do and what I don’t do. I know that I should eat more, not less, because I don’t even get to 2000 Calories per day. Heck, some days, I don’t even get to 1000. I know that that is part of the problem. I know that I have a penchant for sweets, but I also love fruits and vegetables.
The thing is, I know. Anyone who looks in a mirror then looks outside themselves at what the trend is, knows. It’s been drilled into our heads that we aren’t healthy, we aren’t attractive, we aren’t good enough. It’s not enough that we can’t find attractive clothes in our size (without spending a boatload of money), it’s not enough that the media portrays overweight people as lazy and also, sometimes, less intelligent. We don’t need the “If you’d just”. We don’t need to be reminded of our current status of jiggles. Now, if you’re put off by heavy people and have nothing nice to say or just have to give advice, I encourage you not to talk to them, but you’re missing out on some really warm and loving people. If you’re disgusted, look away and continue on with your day. Don’t assume you know anything about us just because of the way we look. This goes for all types, I have friends who were and are extremely thin and have gotten similar “if you just” comments, and I mean no disrespect to those battling depression, those battling anorexia, anything, but next time you feel the need to offer sage advice, please think twice. We’ve already heard it.

This entry was posted in Aurelia, The Me Project and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply