Comments About Your Weight

an angry fat woman

photo from TheConversation.com

Why is it that people feel entitled to make fat shaming comments about your weight? You don’t even know them? You’re eating at a restaurant, walking down the street, shopping for groceries. Maybe you have become hypersensitive to other’s eyes on you, their laughter after looking in your direction. You can feel their judgment of your personality as a cause for your weight- they think you must be lazy and can’t control yourself.

Can it be that others are so insensitive and mean that they feel alright to fat shame another person? Unfortunately, the answer is often “yes”.  They are lying if they tell you that they’re just trying to help you. “Oh really? I NEVER thought about your diet suggestion before! I’ll definitely have to try that out so I can get thin like you!”  N O T !!!!

Insensitive Comments

So many women (in particular) have fallen for the notion that they have to be thinner, that they are totally oblivious when they discuss that they were “bad” when they ate a cookie or cookies at an event in front other women who weighed a LOT more than them. This happens to me practically every day! Women are always talking about their body and what “bad” food they ate. They are so self-absorbed, lacking self confidence about their own appearance that they probably don’t even realize that you’re standing there and they are essentially fat shaming you!

Women have been taught to find fault in their bodies and that they NEED to be thin in order to be attractive. This brainwashing from a young age really does make us crazy! It’s so stressful to have to “watch your weight”! Thin women don’t watch their weight!  It take so much time and effort to clear it out that conditioning. So in some ways, you can feel sorry for a person who is judging herself and making her own life miserable with “watching her weight” and judging herself because she actually eats food! She may not yet have realized that all the lies from Dr. Oz, Oprah and the Diet Industry is only going to make her gain weight after each bout of dieting. YOU might actually be able to help her and relieve her stress about her body! She’s actually fat shaming herself!

AWARENESS and Assertiveness

For the person who is just uninformed about the futility of dieting, you could gently try to educate them. You could also let that person know that what they say can be hurtful to those around her.. even if it doesn’t hurt you! (I sure hope that is so!). But there is another flavor of the insensitive comment. It’s MEANT to be hurtful and it is mean and degrading – but that works only if you let it be so.

Only an opinion

The most important thing you can possibly do for yourself as a human being is to understand that ANYTHING that some utters is simply their opinion! YOU have opinions, and so does everyone else. Why get upset about a differing opinion from yours? If you do respond with anger or sadness you are giving your power away to another person.

Your opinion about me in none of my business.

Keep repeating that until it takes hold in your brain. There are few people on this planet who I believe in more than I believe myself- and those people are not going to be mean and shallow and want to be hurtful. If the people you listen to and believe are hurtful intentionally, it’s time to DUMP THEM!

 How to be Assertive

confident woman leaning forwardFor the rest, you must learn to be assertive and make them realize that it’s NOT OK to belittle or judge other people because of their appearance. That goes for their color, their age, their weight or any other characteristic. Only when there is awareness brought to bear will there be change.

And the statements that they make about their own weight being unattractive are not lost on those around them who are heavier than them! Let them know that words have power to hurt. And actually, those attacking words stay a lifetime. Is that how they want to be remembered??

Our strong memory of mean words are designed to stick for the purpose of preserving our lives! The people who say things like that are dangerous and to be avoided! That’s why those words have such staying power.

Try it yourself: think about the nasty things people have said to you that you remember from your past. Count them.. Then think about the nice things that people have said to you. I’ll bet you remember the negative ones more often than the nice ones?!

Assertive Template

So many times you walk away from an uneasy situation saying: “I SHOULD have said…..” and feeling even worse about yourself for not standing up. That’s why I encourage you to use my assertive template, where you always know what you want to say. This method gives the other person an “out” where you kind of let them off the hook. Because most time, people don’t want to hurt your feelings. They’re just not aware- and it’s your job to make them so!

You start with something like: I guess you didn’t realize ________________  but when you said (or did)  ____________________ I felt ____________. So I’d like to request that you do this __________________ instead.

This really works. I fact it opens the lines of communication between people and can improve relationships.

Assertiveness helps you feel better about yourself. But just remember, you’re not always going to get a response that you want from the other person. Many people become defensive, or even attacking. But just stick to your statement, and remember that what comes out of their mouth is about THEM not you!

You can do it- and you start changing the world, one person at a time.

 

 

 

 

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