Laughing Cat Photo: Rikki's Refuge
Guest Post by Genie
Yet again I'm very grateful to Genie for sharing more of her experiences with her usual wit and insight! Thanks so much Genie!--CrabbyA funny thing happened on the way to fit. People started treating me differently. And making the strangest comments. And offering the strangest advice. Lots of others have written about what to expect after weight loss, so I thought I would share some things I experienced. Anyone who has lost some weight knows all about the fun stuff that happens, but there is some odd or not-so-fun stuff too. It’s easy to write about the fun stuff but the weird stuff is a little, well, weirder. And it was certainly unexpected.
1. Suddenly, everyone is an expert on my “diet.” While I insist that I am not on a diet, they insist that “Oh, you can’t eat that!” when I am at a gathering. I insist that I “can” eat anything I want to, I am not on a “diet,” this is a lifestyle change, and I “choose” not to eat certain things most of the time. But everyone knows best, don’t ya’ know!
2. If they aren’t an expert on my “diet,” they think I am an expert on weight loss. I find myself being asked “What are you eating?” or “What are you doing?” often. Few folks like the answers. I am not an expert and only know what worked for me. This is hard work and most of the people who ask want an easy answer. They don’t want to hear that I have completely changed how I lived my life, how I eat or how I restructured my time so I could work out an hour a day most days. One person even asked why I didn’t just go to the local doctor who is still handing out prescriptions for some so-called weight loss drugs. Yep.
3. Speaking of doctors, while at a recent visit to a doctor I found myself being asked for advice by the women worked there. Seriously? Those women are health professionals, and this isn’t rocket science. Will you believe me when I tell you that they didn’t like my answers either? They didn’t. They were impressed by the downward ascent of the weight numbers on my chart and impressed by my blood pressure and resting heart rate. But they did not like the answer. Not at all.
4. Other women friends started claiming the strangest quick fix solutions that they were doing that I “should definitely try to speed things up.” Ladies, I’ve tried some and they don’t work. Do your research! All of my friends, due to my small community and my profession, are academics; therefore, they know how to do research. They really do. Why does the subject of bodies suddenly make people stupid? Quick fix solution #1: “Oh, no! I can’t have lunch with you until I get back from my trip. I’m only eating a romaine salad for dinner until I get there. I can’t go to (fill in exotic locale here) fat. You should try this with me. You’d lose so much more so fast.” Are you serious?! She isn’t “fat” and can we talk about health for just one minute? That’s just one example, but you get the point. Cranky readers are smart enough to know how effective quick fixes are. And no, that didn’t last and she didn’t get healthy.
5. Then, there are the backhanded compliments. Here’s my favorite, “Oh, you look so pretty! I hate you, you skinny bitch!” What the hell was I supposed to do with that?! I mumbled “thank you” and changed the subject. This came from a woman who had asked me numerous times, “What are you doing” and didn’t like the answer. There are also the comments of seeming concern, “You don’t want to get too thin, do you?” and “You’re disappearing!” Like that’s gonna happen! I’ve noted on more than one occasion that I will never be anything close to “skinny,” and I’m not kidding. I like dark chocolate, great wine and awesome beer and I don’t like to starve. I’m not built for “skinny;” there is nothing to be worried about on that front. I will confess a little envy for women who are built for “skinny,” but that isn’t me. I’m still plenty “curvy” and will be until the end, I suspect, baring a terrible illness (she writes knocking on wood). I will take care of what I’ve worked for and be grateful for that.
6. I don’t like to shop. Never have. I do 99% of my shopping online. Yes, even for bras and that’s a whole other problem. But I realize that now, when I do put a foot or two into retail establishments, the people who work there treat me differently. Now, I am a potential sale in more than the accessory or plus size departments. This made me angry. Really angry. And I was made aware, again, of how unfair the world is to some people. I was reminded of why I developed a hatred for shopping. The internet retail world doesn’t judge. The people at the local post office may think I have a problem since I return a lot of things, but the sales people online don’t judge! The anonymity of online shopping has long been a safe haven, and I suspect will remain so because I don’t like to be angry. I’d rather work out (or write a guest post for Crabby!) than spend time being angry—it’s exhausting. I have a nasty temper.
So, while getting fit has been completely worth it, there have been some odd moments along the way. Have any of you noticed anything on your way to fit? How did you handle it? I’d love to know. The fun stuff and the rewards of health and more energy totally off set the other weirder stuff. It is fun to fit into smaller places in the world, pick up heavier things and move faster. But I have also lost the weight of a friend or two along the way. With my new confidence, I will no longer tolerate negativity more than I have to. Maybe that confidence is the biggest gain of all?