Saturday, October 17, 2009
I was having a discussion yesterday with a friend of mine who is also on a journey to a healthier body. She has made significant progress and I am very proud of her. I hear our co-workers frequently complimenting her on the progress she has made. Since I really struggle with the attention that comes from my changing body shape, I asked her if it ever made her uncomfortable that so much attention was being focused on her body. She said that what bothered her about it was since every one knew she was trying to loose weight (and being quite successful at it), that they would all know if she slipped. It added a whole layer of pressure for her.
Why is it that when we are overweight we feel insulated from the attention of others? When my friend was 50 pounds heavier she never worried that other people would be disappointed in her if she didn't go to exercise class or if she ate a greasy cheeseburger for lunch. My friends who are already healthy never concern themselves that others may think they have "fallen off the wagon" if they are seen with a doughnut in hand. What is it about this journey that makes us so self conscience?
It's very easy to say "don't worry about what other people think" when for the most part people keep what they think to themselves. But when they are your cheerleaders every day. The ones who tell you how good you're looking and to keep up the good work, you do worry about what they think.
Sometimes I think it's a mixed blessing. The extra layer of accountability keeps me on track most times. Other times the extra pressure the attention brings is very overwhelming. This is all so new to me and I'm learning to deal with these things as I go along.