I was with some friends/acquaintances recently, and 2 of the people started talking about their desire to lose weight. One person has recently lost about 30 pounds but still has a bit more to go, and the other person indicated that she really needs to lose even more than that, but all of her past efforts have failed. The conversation turned to calorie counting, so I jumped in the and causally said that when I’ve made an effort to lose weight in the past, I’ve always been most successful counting calories using the My Fitness Pal app. I was immediately met with snarky, sarcastic remarks such as “Oh, yeah…like that time that you needed to lose 2 pounds?” Or “Don’t even talk to me about YOU losing weight,” along with an annoyed eye roll. I can’t tell you how many times similar conversations to this have taken place during my adult life.
I get it. I’m built fairly thin and have never been overweight. Even at my heaviest (ahem, right now), I’m technically still at the low end on the BMI scale. I don’t understand why that automatically disqualifies me from having an opinion about weight loss, though. Believe me, I’ve had weight struggles just like most other women. To the average person, I still look “skinny” and for some reason it seems to cause great offense any time I talk about wanting to lose weight. So my question is…Why is it that “thin” people can’t talk about their weight?
I tend to think of weight these days in terms of pre-baby and post-baby, even though my “baby” is 4 years old. I gained almost 40 pounds during pregnancy, and as of today, I’m about 7-8 pounds heavier than my pre-baby weight. (I have gotten back down to pre-baby weight, but have fluctuated by several pounds up or down each year). Just for another point of reference, I’m a good 14-15 pounds heavier than my wedding weight. So yeah, my body has changed just like the next person’s. It may not be as drastically as some others, but I can assure you that when you add 10+ pounds to a thin frame, it’s hard not to notice it.
When people roll their eyes when I talk about weight loss, I want to tell them about the mornings that I’ve been late for work because I had to try on 4 pairs of pants that wouldn’t zip before I finally gave up and threw on my 6 year old dress from Target I wear ALL THE TIME because it perfectly hides my stomach. I want to tell them about how I had to buy all new shorts for our summer trip last year because I couldn’t wear ANY of the shorts that I owned and I couldn’t manage to pull my self together enough to lose any weight before that trip. I want to tell them that I went months without getting a haircut in the past because sitting in the chair and seeing my super-thin hairstylist made me feel terribly insecure about myself. Thin people have struggles, too. We can’t seem to share them, though, because (in my experience) we’re immediately met with people telling us how our struggles aren’t really struggles. When did this become okay?
Anyway….Aaron and I are going on a cruise in March for our 10 year wedding anniversary. I’ve set a loose goal to be able to wear the dress that I wore to our wedding reception. I’d literally need to lose about 15 pounds in 10 weeks, which is
fairly seriously aggressive, so we’ll see what happens. I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t meet that goal because I realize that I’m a full-time working mom and I just can’t do it all. There will be days (and possibly weeks) that I’m not going to be able to eat leafy greens every day or drink the right amount of water, and that’s okay. I am going to start counting calories again to keep myself in check. (Did y’all know that cookie dough has a LOT of calories?! Ha!) I also plan to incorporate more activity into my day.
No matter if you need to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds, the formula is quite simple – eat less and move more. Listen, if you’re obese and trying to lose weight, I’m not going to roll my eyes and talk negatively about you. Please show me (and all the other “thin” folks) the same respect. We’re all in this together! Speaking of that, I’m going to start using My Fitness Pal again on Monday. If you’d like to follow along, shoot me a message and I’ll send you my username so you can follow along. Maybe we can encourage each other!