Tag Archive | obesity

“Helpful” comments that hurt

Pssst! Do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell? A real shocker? It’ll blow your socks off! Perhaps no one ever told you, and you may not believe it, but it is really true. Honest. Okay? Ready? Are you sure? Are you sitting?

Here it is: Everyone who is overweight already knows it. And, everyone who has gained weight knows it. YOU don’t need to tell them. Believe me — they know. They also don’t need you to advise them to lose weight. They know that too.

Yes, Spiderman knows....

Yes, Spiderman knows….

 You are shocked? You need to recover? I understand. Take a deep breath. You are a good person. You thought they needed you to tell them, that they were not aware of it.  You care and want to help. However, I guarantee I am correct on this. Just tuck this revelation away in that filing system in your brain and hold on to it. Remember it and no matter how much you want to tell them, don’t.

You can be sure, she knows.....

You can be sure, she knows…..

What actually happens is, if they’ve gained weight, their scale tells them. And, if they don’t own a scale, their clothes tell them. Sometimes, their mirror has the audacity to tell them. And, don’t worry, if their lives are in danger as a result, their doctor will tell them. Your unnecessary words only hurt and offend no matter how helpful you mean to be. They are dealing with a very complicated issue, which is far from simple.

Furthermore, if you’ve just met, and (horrors) decide you ought to tell the poor thing he/she needs to lose weight — how would you know if they may not have already lost a whole bunch of pounds and don’t need your advice at all? Get it? Best play it safe and stay out of it entirely — especially if you want to make/keep friends.

Sure, they may have health issues, but remember thin people have health issues too. Losing weight is not a guaranteed cure-all for every health condition we humans encounter. Unless you are a medical expert, resist giving medical advice or opinions to anyone. Suggesting that if only they lost weight their dizziness wouldn’t reoccur, or their sore shoulder (injured years ago) or whatever — will magically be cured is nonsense. Without a medical degree, you cannot know what will cure them. And, even if weight loss would help their condition, leave that to their doctor. It is absolutely inappropriate for anyone else to comment.

And, while I’m in the mood, I’ll go further. How come some of the very people who tell you you need to lose weight will sabotage you by saying  “Oh, one slice won’t hurt you.” when you are attempting to count calories. They really don’t get that it is an unfair thing to do. Be kind.  Just accept the “No, thank you.” without comment.

Something else to clue into: (Will this never end???) People who are very thin, or tall, or short, or different in any way, know it too. They don’t need your clever remarks. You can be sure they’ve already heard them. Let’s face it, if you had red and green skin with yellow polka dots, you’d know it, wouldn’t you?

Enjoy your friends as they are. Celebrate the differences in people and let them be. If you do, everyone will be happier. And me? I’ll be proud of you.

She knows, and she likes it....

She knows, and she likes it….


This morning I …

Exercise classes for Rubenesque Women

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

This morning I read about exercise classes especially designed for larger women. They are apparently really successful. The article talked about how uncomfortable larger women feel at regular gyms where they are judged and looked down upon by thinner gals. That’s true. Most of us don’t understand or accept obesity, including doctors.

Many years ago when I lived in Los Angeles, I joined a local gym. I knew I needed to exercise, and certainly could have been classified as a “larger” woman. There were movie starlets there (including Tina Louise) and I not only felt awkward, out of place and judged, but also invisible. The staff and other clients swarmed around the beautiful people like bees. No one ever said hello to me or acknowledged my presence. I must have been the only overweight person there, or at least that’s what I thought. No one on staff felt I qualified for any assistance or direction — and I needed both, plus encouragement.

Needless to say, I didn’t last long. And, with that unpleasant, demoralizing experience behind me, it took many years to feel comfortable enough with my own body to be able to join an exercise class. I’m glad I did. If you have hesitated to do so for any reason, go for it. These classes have kept me going.

Still, kudos to the enterprising women who recognize the need for such special classes for larger women and start them. May their businesses thrive.