Sometimes I think people will feel sorry for me.
Maybe it’s all in my head, but I worry that when people I haven’t seen in a while will look at me, it’ll be a look of pity.
People tend to compliment weight loss, not weight gain.
Why is that?
I’ve heard it before. I’ve been guilty of it before. The “Oh man, she gained some weight,” comments. It’s not making fun of or shaming anyone, but (strangely) feeling genuinely bad that they now take up more space in the world. That they should be upset about about that.
Look, I get that obesity is arguably the biggest health issue in our country right now. Lots of times gaining weight isn’t a good sign. It could be a sign of stress, a tragic life event, a chronic condition, or someone not taking care of themselves. So yes, maybe some people that gain weight are upset about it.
But some people aren’t.
Some people needed to gain weight, whether it looked like it on the outside or not.
Some people are happier once they’ve gained weight and stopped being so absorbed by thoughts of food and body image.
Some people are actually healthier once they’ve gained weight, with healthier bones and the ability to conceive.
Some people think that others feeling bad to them only fuels the fire that they’re worked so hard to get away from in the first place.
Sometimes I don’t think about it, and other times when I go try on an dress that used a fit a two months ago I get a dose of reality. I’m bigger. I’m not as “desirably” skinny anymore. My thighs rub. My stomach isn’t flat. It’s not all that fun, but it’s me. I think it’s awesome that I can still look in the mirror and think I’m beautiful.
I also have a lot more fun than I used to. I eat dessert and drink beer with friends. I don’t stress about when I will eat next, or what restaurant people want to try for dinner. I eat ( and even get excited about) the free pizza provided at events, and have a slice of birthday cake without worry.
I have a life beyond food and exercise.
So let’s change the way we talk about weight and weight gain. Compliments or gossip about weight in either direction can be totally off base and often cause more harm than good. Weight isn’t a true marker of health.
Yeah, I’ve gained weight. But it’s nothing to feel sorry for.