Can we please, I implore you, stop talking about or commenting on people’s weight?
I am not a tiny chick. I have never been. Like most women (and men), I have struggled with my weight. The struggle is real, whether it was getting rounder at my grandmother’s house during summer vacations or dropping several sizes when I separated from my now ex-husband. But guess what? It was and is my struggle, as it is for most people.
My motivation for this post is my most recent visit to my doctor. This year I have gained weight. It is a little backward because I lost weight at the height of our global pandemic last year. I was walking 30 minutes to an hour five times a week. I cooked at home, and I was drinking at least 80 ounces of water a day. Fast forward to 2021, and what I lost has returned plus a little bit more.
What changed, you may ask? It was the return to busy. My return to busy meant I was less focused on cooking at home. It was easier to visit a local restaurant, and my 80 ounces a day dropped down to 32. While I am still walking, I am not walking every day because it is busier and more congested on my typical walking paths. Are these excuses? Yes and no, but ultimately, I am well aware of what I am doing or not doing, which influences my weight losses or gains. The last thing I need is someone to comment on it. And I believe the same applies to others.
When we comment on someone’s weight, we are deflecting from our own struggles. At least that is my point of view, and I believe it is a good one.
If we look back to the height of the pandemic, an important topic was food insecurities and food deserts. Feeding America, a national nonprofit and network of food banks, defines food insecurity “as a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life.” A food desert is a region where people have limited access to healthful and affordable food. Sometimes when there is a feeling of not having enough, we can overindulge. In the same way, when it is too much, we can feel overwhelmed. The most important word in the last two sentences is a derivative of “feel.”
I cannot speak for others, but for myself, my major weight fluctuations happened because of my emotions and my mental state. My drinking a lot of water daily last year was not part of a wellness program. I did it because I thought it would help if I got sick. Mental state. Weight changes, especially for those who have gained or are heavy, could result from processing emotions or feelings. (Don’t @ me since I did write “could”)
With all the things happening in the world, is it really necessary to comment on someone’s weight? Can we not contribute to shaming someone when we do not know what is driving their decisions and actions, especially regarding food and weight? Can we give each other some grace?
I knew before my doctor’s appointment that my weight would be a hot topic. As expected, she made some recommendations to help me manage my weight. I am committed to those recommendations and getting back to a routine, including at least 100 ounces of water a day (yikes!). The reason I am committed has less to do with the shame of others. Instead, I am working on the shame I can put on myself related to my weight. I know I am not the only one.
Please stop talking about or commenting on people’s weight. We put enough shame on ourselves without others adding to it.
Photo by Shopify Partners from Burst