Lately, I've discovered something about myself that I *really* don't like. It's a terrible habit, and one I absolutely must stop.
I'm very critical of other people's weights. While I never, ever say anything to anyone, and would never attempt to hurt them, I still *think* it, and often say something to my husband about it in private. It can be as simple as commenting on how a certain celebrity has added a few pounds, or how one of my own friends has just "let herself go."
It's UGLY. It's nasty, and it's NOT ME. I don't do that. It's doubly hypocritical because while I'm healthy and active now, I've gone for 6 years and more being unhealthy, lazy, and FAT. Did I get "that big"? No. That was honestly more luck than some kind of superior personality trait.
It's worse when I see a parent with an overweight child. The thoughts that go through my mind are usually something along the lines of "how could you do that to your kid?" You know, because I have slender, active children, I'm a better mom than they are.
Except for the fact that I have slender, active children *in spite* of the fact that I'm overweight and lazy. They have watched me eat like a pig and sit on my butt their whole lives. I'm very blessed that they listened to what I said, instead of following what I did. That's not me being a better mom, that's me being incredibly blessed with good luck.
Slender people aren't immune from my scathing glares, either. Someone who is slender but clearly "weak" or unfit gets the same derision, because I lift weights and they don't. They're not immune because they're skinnier than I am... in fact, I'm more harsh, because they're lucky to be slender, and they're wasting it on higher body fat percentages and laziness. I resent them for squandering what they have. I always think, "They'll figure it out when they get older and their metabolism slows down like mine did." It's so rude and unfair. It's petty, and nasty.
I don't like this part of myself. Even if I never breathe a word of it to these people, it's not okay for me to think these things. Because they're not true! I'm not somehow better than they are because I woke up and started doing something. When I was a teenager, I was those people. I was naturally active, but I ate terribly; it wasn't unusual, for example, for me to come home after school and grate myself HALF A BLOCK of cheese. For a snack.
I have been the soda-swilling, cheese-burger chomping fat girl. So I didn't get to be 220. Or 250. Or 300. That doesn't mean I'm better than someone who DID get that weight. It just means I was blessed with an awareness before it got too bad, and even then, I've struggled so hard with my own willpower. I should have lost MUCH more than I have, but my own snacking and lack of ability to say no to myself when I want something has sabotaged me again and again.
I've made great improvements in my physical and nutritional health. I eat SO much better than I ever have. NOw, I think it's time to make some improvements in my mental health.
Instead of tearing people down in my head, I'm going to start building them up. I can't stop myself from noticing weight, it's a part of my everyday life and I think about it a lot, but I CAN stop myself from being nasty and crude about it. I don't have to revel in my own imagined "superiority" anymore.
I KNOW how hard it is to get started. I spent more than 6 years sitting and wallowing in that self-loathing that comes with being anything other than perfect. I know what it's like to stare at that plate of food I shouldn't eat, but I can't stop myself. So I don't binge on sweets. But I've gone to Krispy Kreme and devoured three donuts in less than a minute, just because I "deserved" it. I've been there when I threw caution to the wind because I went over my calorie range and figured I might as well blow it to hell and back.
So I want to say I'm sorry. To every one of you who had the nerve to be alive and have imperfections and issues. Because I've been a complete ass. I may never have seen you on the street, personally, but you here represent all those people I've been so judgmental of. None of us are here because we're perfect people with no problems. We ALL have weight issues, we ALL struggle with being healthy. I have no right to be so judgmental, and you don't deserve it. So accept my apology in lieu of those here in my own hometown, for my stupidity and jealousy.
And walk with me as I commit to shelving such attitudes and being a more positive, loving person. Because no one deserves abuse, even if it's just in someone else's head.
*Image courtesy of Tobyotter on Flickr.