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If she’d just lose some weight…

June 3, 2014

This will come a shock to exactly nobody, but I’ve been holding myself back from doing a lot of things because I haven’t felt good about myself. I always figured I would need to get to goal weight before I did any of the things I wanted: change jobs, change cities, wear nice clothes, date, etc. I don’t know why goal weight was so important to get the ball rolling on… well, my life, but I would put down every cent of my almost non-existent savings that most people who have ever battled with weight issues have done or still do the same thing.

I gained a lot of weight this winter, some of it injury weight, and some depression weight. I see you nodding. over there, and am sending hugs your way. I’ve started to lose some of it back already, with running, or sloooooooooowly jogging who am I kidding,  watching what I eat, and a Mediterranean vacation (it’s magical, you guys. All the food is good and good for you and I’m not even lactose intolerant in Greece). This time around, I decided not to wait for goal weight to go out there and do things. So I’m having to try to unthink the “I’m fat, so I can’t…” voice in my head. Why does it feel like we don’t deserve good things because we’re overweight?

Probably because one dumb jerk told us so, even though hundreds of people keep telling us the opposite. One dumb jerk said (in front of me, about another girl) that he thought she was pretty but not overall attractive because she is overweight. One dumb jerk told someone I know that losing a few pounds would go a long way towards advancing her career. One dumb jerk (whom I’ve since distanced myself from) told one of my friends that he knew a mutual friend liked him but that he wouldn’t go for her because she’s overweight and he doesn’t find it attractive. Hell, one dumb jerk probably told someone something like that about me recently. We’ve heard it all our lives. “She’d be so pretty if she just lose some weight.” “She’d be getting all the guys banging on her door if she would just lose some weight.” And I have some questions about this:

If she’d just lose some weight, would she become smarter?

If she’d just lose some weight, would she become more interesting?

If she’d just lose some weight, would she become funnier?

If she’d just lose some weight, would she become kinder?

If she’d just lose some weight, would she become more compassionate?

If she’d just lose some weight, would she become more generous?

If she’d just lose some weight, would she become braver?

If she’d just lose some weight, would she become more educated?

If she’d just lose some weight, would she become more capable at her job?

If she’d just lose some weight, would she suddenly have new professional skills?

If she’d just lose some weight, would anything about her change other than her weight?

No. It wouldn’t.

All of this goes for men, too, by the way. This is a common female experience, but not unique to women. I’ve talked about this with a bunch of guys, too.

Has anyone ever made you feel this way? Let’s do a new thing, together, then. Maybe instead of leaving it up to a shallow jerk to decide whether you’re desirable or not based on the number on the scale, you turn the tables and decide who’s undesirable yourself. If someone is shallow enough to let a few extra pounds hide all of the good things about you, all of the things that actually matter about you, then maybe they’re undesirable, unattractive, and ugly. Maybe they’ve been the undesirable one all along, and just made you feel that way because they don’t want to look themselves in the mirror and face their own awfulness.

And you have no time for awful people in your life.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2014 10:50 pm

    This post just hit me in all the emotions. I’ve heard that sentence about myself, about friends, too many times to count from people who do & do not matter to me. “If she [you]’d just lost some weight” was [is] the source of probably 90% of my self esteem issues.

    So many hugs for you and everyone else who feels like this.

  2. Becky permalink
    June 3, 2014 11:10 pm

    Oh boy, does this resonate with me! It has influenced SO MUCH of what I have and haven’t done over the years. I remember being at a party at age 16-17 and a boy telling me “you’d be the hottest chick in town if you lost weight” I was just like “you’re an ass, and that is NOT a compliment” but those words never left me. As an adult I’ve weighed 195lbs, 125lbs and everywhere in between and I was no happier at the lowest end of that scale. And that elusive goal weight jus kept getting lower anyway because I always thought (delusionally) that I NEEDED to lose 5 more lbs. so much wasted time, and so much beating myself up for nothing. I was lucky enough to meet an amazing man who loves me for who I am and thinks I’m beautiful at any and all of those various weights. Thanks for writing this. It’s so nice to hear other people who relate to it, even though I wish for your sake that you didn’t!

  3. Doogie2K permalink
    June 4, 2014 12:38 am

    I didn’t encounter those comments to nearly that extent, though I do recall one incident where I was trying to get on a train as another dude came barrelling off and he yelled, “move it, fatty.” Buddy was a Grade A-1 dickbag, and I knew it, but it was a real knife to the gut. But the thing that really got me was twofold. One was my lack of romantic success through my teenage years; the other was a picture from a camping trip where I was “swimming” (sitting) in the river and I could just see how big I’d gotten, see the folds in my skin. And I was just like, “no wonder girls don’t want to date me. Just *look* at me.”

    I realize now in hindsight that I had it all wrong, that a severe lack of confidence combined with an awkward dating pool (being underage through my entire first degree rather understandably limited my opportunities) was the real culprit. But the honest truth is that the notion I was too fat to be a suitable boyfriend, more than the idea of getting healthier, was what pushed me to lose weight. I *was* that dumb jerk. To myself. Despite that, it wasn’t until years after I’d lost weight that I finally met a girl and had a relationship, and it wasn’t anything to do with body type, but the fact that I knew sports and was fun to be around. You know, a real reason to date someone. 😉

    I do think that because of that experience, it’s made it easier for me to look past someone’s weight when judging them. I know that I knew and could do all kinds of things when I was obese and none of it had a lick to do with my weight; logically, the same must therefore be true of others, too. Likewise, I don’t really see it as an issue when dating: I’ve gone out with girls of various body types, and the common theme has always been the fact that they’re people I want to spend a lot of time with. In the end, nothing else really mattered.

    Yet despite all that, I do still carry a bit of that fat-shaming with me. I do sometimes catch myself wondering about overweight people who seem unwilling to make the same lifestyle changes I have. I know that’s not fair. I know it’s not easy from first-hand experience, and I know there are a lot of complicated reasons for weight gain and loss that have nothing to do with character or commitment. I see that now-loose skin in the mirror and feel a twinge of self-loathing and regret sometimes. I definitely feel like I’ve failed myself personally if I do gain a couple of pounds, even if I’m still skinnier than I was back when I first plateaued at a healthy weight. It’s something I’ve really had to fight, likely because fat-shaming was what drove most of my weight loss. I like to think I’ve gotten better at managing that over time, but I know that dumb jerk is still there to some degree. Maybe he always will be. I hope not.

    Sorry for the wall of text there (some of which you’ve probably seen before). TLDR: That article really resonated with me. Thank you for writing it, and I’m sorry you and the others in the comments have encountered so much of this nonsense.

  4. Ren permalink
    July 8, 2014 4:01 am

    If she’d just lose some weight, would she become smarter?
    NO and YES, more knowledge about healthier style of life

    If she’d just lose some weight, would she become more interesting?
    YES, we could do more things together, running, hiking, outdoors
    (if she is not into those things, I would not date her at first place)

    If she’d just lose some weight, would she become funnier?
    Probably not, but she would be more self conscious,
    And probably would not give a fuck about what others thinks

    If she’d just lose some weight, would she become kinder?
    Probably the same

    If she’d just lose some weight, would she become more compassionate?
    Depends, but I would be more compassionate with her

    If she’d just lose some weight, would she become more generous?
    Same as she was before

    If she’d just lose some weight, would she become braver?
    Yes, if she would loss her weight by exercising, she would be more self conscious about her body and her strenght and endurance

    If she’d just lose some weight, would she become more educated?
    About meter of life style, yes she would be

    If she’d just lose some weight, would she become more capable at her job?
    Depends on her job

    If she’d just lose some weight, would she suddenly have new professional skills?
    she could have ner angle on things, or not

    If she’d just lose some weight, would anything about her change other than her weight?
    Yes, as was stated.

    I lost my weight, I lost about 50 pounds, and 30cm at my waist. I feel better than anytime before. I can run with my dogs thru a forrest, or just go for long outdoor trips.
    I dont care about what others thinks that much anymore. I was sad and angry before. I am not anymore.

    Maybe nothing of your questions will change, maybe it will
    The thing is, If you lose weight,you can only gain on personal level and experience

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