Social What

The other day I was in a class and we were discussing language. I said something about one of my hobbies and how my mother doesn’t approve as an example of how some word is used in an interesting context. Someone else took my example and expanded upon it. That my mother would rather rather I take an aerobics class. A few eyebrows were raised and a few looks were shot his way and a few “oh really?”s were said. The example giver figured out what happened and said something like “I didn’t mean anything by that, it was just the first kind of activity that came to mind.”

And I just kind of sat there trying my best to seem oblivious. But the questions were in my head already. If I were thin, would he have even thought of that example? If I were thin would the example have been as loaded? Was the example pointed out in order to covertly mock my weight? Should I say something to the guy and tell him I’m not offended?

Of course there was also the fact that exercise was being linked to weight loss. And then it occurred to me that even though I’ve been chubby or fat or whatever my whole life, I still don’t know how to deal with a conversation about my weight, whether covert or overt, when I’m not actually part of the conversation. Mostly because that’s a messed up situation that shouldn’t be happening anyway.

Before that class had started, I ran into a friend of mine. She has lost a lot of weight in the past two years. My mind keeps yelling at me to tell her she looks fantastic. And I keep feeling like a terrible person for failing to have mentioned it. There’s a voice in the back of my mind that keeps telling me that I’m not saying anything because I’m jealous and that she knows that I’m jealous because I haven’t said anything.

And yeah, I am jealous. I can continue to seep myself in FA and not diet and try really hard to think of my health in terms of my actual heath vs my weight, but no matter how much I push myself, I cannot push myself outside of society. I still want to be thinner. Maybe because I’ve only been actively working at this for a little less than a year. But this isn’t why I haven’t said anything. Honestly, I think not telling my friend she looks great is one of the hardest parts of FA.

Because saying she looks good now means that I’m putting what she looked like before in opposition. Because statistics say her keeping the weight low is going to be incredibly hard to impossible and if she does gain the weight back, every one of those “You look great”s could haunt her. Because I don’t know how or why she lost the weight, and what if it was because she fell ill or what if she developed an eating disorder? Because I don’t want it to even seem like I might measure her worth along with her weight.

There are lots of reasons, and when I look at it that way, I feel like I’m doing the right thing, but mostly I just feel like a bad friend.


October 1, 2010. Current.

One Comment

  1. Summer replied:

    I feel it is helpfu to say things like, “that’s a very pretty shirt.” when my mind is yelling at me to compliment someone’s weight loss.

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