Another Person's Weight Is Not Your Business
Here's a wild concept: Someone else's weight has nothing to do with you. Lets take a little survey. 1) Are you a doctor helping your patient lose weight with their consent? 2) Are you a conjoined twin? 3) Is your head getting ready to be implanted onto someone else's body? Did you answer "no" to all of these questions? Then guess what? Another person's weight will not ever be any of your damn business.
This weekend Luke, my Mom (reluctantly because she and my Grandmom butt heads), and I took my Grandmom to visit her Brother whom she hasn't seen in about 10 years. She was SO excited and talked about it for months to anyone who would listen. We blocked out the entire weekend, our only real time off together since Luke is always working, to do this for her. We got five hours of sleep, woke up early, and set off on our five hour drive to Virginia. Once we arrived, we were pulling around the corner and noticed him waving us down. We stopped and chatted and he explained what driveway to pull into. My Grandmom rolled up her window and immediately gasped when he couldn't hear her, stating that she couldn't believe how thin he is. Now I'm looking at Uncle Jim thinking... damn, this guy looks great for a 77 year old! He's physically healthy and happy, and he's kind. But other people's weight is very important to her.
I spend a lot of time with my Grandmother. She lives two houses away from me, and I grew up spending most of my time over there. I visit with her a few times a week to see how she's doing, we talk about how everyone is and if anything new is going on, etc. I can't even tell you how many times she digs at other people's weight. Always. She doesn't normally call anyone "fat" directly, but her little hints and digs speak volumes. She rubs a lot of people the wrong way, especially her immediate family. She says unnecessary, unkind things to people completely unprovoked. I've always given her a pass because I know that's who she is as a person, but after this weekend I just snapped and I've had enough. I am probably the only person in our family who sits and spends time with her on a weekly basis. Luke and I will ask her if she needs anything when we're going out to the store, and we'll pick it up for her if she does. We randomly buy things for her and sometimes give her money if she needs it. I help her around the house. Sometimes I take her out to eat to get her out and about since she's no longer working. I try and keep my Mom in line so she doesn't blow up on her because of her little unnecessary jabs. I'm over it.
So I'm sitting there minding my own business at Uncle Jim's kitchen island, catching up on emails and waiting for the moment that we can leave because I have a to-do list a mile long in my head. Her and Luke are talking about MM's article in The Washington Post. She talks about how she likes the blue dress on the page. Grandma then says, completely out of no where and unprovoked, "Karina, I really like the tops you wear, but they're for bigger people so they won't fit me." Cue rubber burning on the pavement after I have mentally slammed on the brakes. I go off. 1) The Free People dresses she's talking about are a size SMALL. Check the god damn tags. Take a look at their website with their models and tell me, is this a plus size store? No, but thanks for insinuating that I have to shop at plus size stores only. 2) Do you say these things to make you feel better about yourself? 3) Why is my weight, my Aunt's weight on her wedding day, the neighbor's weight, the news anchor on Channel 3's weight, the astronaut in the fucking space station's weight ANY of your damn business? It's not!! It's really, really not. I said to her "you really need to watch what you say to people," and she tries to backtrack, saying that she meant people with bigger boobs. Guess what? That's not anyone else's business either! It is exhausting being around someone with this kind of mindset. I walk out of the room and leave her to deal with the drama she has just unnecessarily created, like usual. At the end of the day, she thanked me for putting the time, planning, and money into doing something nice for her by calling me fat.
I have always struggled with my weight, mentally and physically. It's up and down and all over the place. I was born with an underdeveloped thyroid, I only have 10% of mine so I struggle with hypothyroidism (I blame this on the late 80's/early 90's since my Mom smoked while she was pregnant). When I was a Freshman in High School I wanted to start new. I starved myself for 10 days straight. Ten whole days with no food, just water, tea, or whatever else I was drinking. I lost 25 pounds during that week and a half, and my Grandfather was the only one who suspected anything. He said I looked unhealthy, but I was happy. I continued to do this throughout my teenage years, even into my 20's, but that stretch was the longest I've lasted. When I was around 22 I started taking Lexapro for my anxiety, and it made me gain 40 pounds in just a few months. I have struggled to lose weight ever since, even after dropping that medication like it was on fire. I've been a vegetarian for nearly 10 years and a lot of my meals are unintentionally vegan. I'm not big on sweets and you'll never find any prepackaged desserts in my home. I only drink about 5-6 days a month. I walk on the treadmill, rarely drink any sugary drinks, and eat a lot of vegetables. It is hard for me to lose weight, but incredibly easy to gain it. When someone comments on my weight, it triggers me and I'm ready to stop eating again. I just can't help it, my mind automatically goes that route even though I know it's incredibly unhealthy.
About 5 or 6 years ago we were getting ready to go to Ocean City, Maryland to stay at Luke's Grandmother's place with his parents and his sister. He told me that when the four of them were at dinner, they were giving his sister a hard time about her weight. The girl couldn't have weighed more than 130 pounds, and it sent me into panic mode. I would be spending a few days with them at the beach, and I went into starvation mode because of a comment that wasn't even made about me. When I was 19, I was walking down the street to my Grandmom's house, and my 176 year old neighbor caught me outside and said "what happened to you? You used to be so thin and pretty." I was probably about 145 pounds at the time, which is where my weight was comfortable and didn't really fluctuate. I'll tell you, I held a grudge against that woman until she died. I wouldn't even go to her funeral. I don't know what it is about the older generations, but they honestly think another person's weight is their business and they go blabbing their mouths about it.
Repeat after me: Someone else's weight is not, and will not ever be my business. You never know what that person is struggling with, and your unkind and unnecessary jabs are not ever needed or wanted.