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Cannie doesn't play that game....

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Yesterday I spent some time in the company of a woman I don't know well. She is a friend of my sister. My sister's friend is exactly my age (53). She is tall and very slender - I am neither. Neither is my sister. My sister and I have a lot of nice qualities but a comfortable height-to-
weight ratio is not among them. My sister's friend has legs that are not much bigger around than my arms. So, when she began to refer to herself as "fat", when she made a number of references to how much weight she has been putting on, to having to buy new jeans because all her jeans are too tight, and a number of other references to her weight, my sister and/or I should have assured her that "No, you are SO slender." "Oh my gosh, YOU aren't fat, I'm FAT!" "I only WISH I was fat like you...." and blobbety-blah blah blah, right? Nope. Cannie doesn't play that game anymore and, I am proud to say, my usually eager-to-please younger sister has apparently stopped playing that game also. Let me be clear, I do not think this was a case of body dysmorphia, or that she is anorexic, or is suffering from any sort of weight related illness. My instincts told me she was tossing around fat-talk for two reasons - fishing for compliments (which I am happy to give, normally, but not when I feel manipulated) and to point out her superior position in the body weight/height ratio. She is quite lovely - tall and slender but not scrawny. She has always been slender. I do not wish her a sudden onset of obesity. I just don't like being played. I would not tell a person suffering from severe diabetes, who had undergone amputation of their legs that "oh, my legs are SO sore from running", "oh, my legs ache from doing SO many squats at Boot Camp today". Years ago, when I was quite slender, and a bit clueless, I made the mistake of whining about gaining 5 pounds in front of a woman who had been fighting morbid obesity for most of her life. She was a wonderful woman with a kind personality and she took me aside and pointed out how insensitive I was. Point taken. People can say whatever they wish, of course, and we can't weigh every word against how someone else may feel. But, let's face it, some things we say are stupid and I appreciated her calling me out even though I felt mortified at the time. I didn't call this slender woman out. Her estranged husband killed himself about six months ago (he inspired a blog I did about the beast of addiction). So, I threw her a mulligan on the dumb remarks about her fake fatness. I did note to myself, however, that she complained about her sciatica and her frozen shoulder and some other physical ailments which are a reminder that a thin body does not equal a fit and pain-free, problem-free body. I felt sympathy towards her because I know those are painful conditions, especially when she is sorting through traumatic grief. It also reinforced my commitment to keep moving and to continually work at becoming stronger, to see if I can keep certain conditions at bay. I pray she gets stronger, physically and emotionally. We all have our burdens - some are more evident than others. I have come to realize that if I need something - reassurance, affection, encouragement...whatever it may be, it is better to be blunt than to be coy. I just don't have the energy to play those kind of games, or to be played.

On a completely different note, the last week and half have brought changes in my family that have required a lot of emotional energy and I want to sit down and sort some of it out in a blog, when I get the chance to have some uninterrupted time to write. But, in the meantime, I wanted to post a blog to reconnect since I haven't had nearly as much Sparktime as I would like. emoticon
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  • MISSB8604
    Miss Cannie,
    I have SUCH an issue with not being blunt enough in a lot of areas of my life, especially my relationship. If I want something, just say it right? If I need reassurance, etc, ASK. People aren’t mind readers, and cannot be expected to be so. I’m sure we’ve all had these kinds of instances, and for the most part I just tell whoever it is to stop and be quiet. Maybe I’m a little too blunt? HA! Anyway, thank you for writing this because you’re right, thin people still hurt/have relationship issues/etc, doesn’t make them better.
    As always, your blogs are wonderful.
    Miss B

    1787 days ago
    What a beautiful way to handle situation. You certainly were mindful of your comments and thoughtful about her as a whole person and her circumstances. I need to remind myself to have that kind of grace.
    I am guilty of sometimes wanting to verbally nip and bite at a person when I hear them complain about their chipped manicure to me, or how some high heels cost them 'an arm and a leg'. My inner brat wants to holler at them how I would love for a new set of arms and legs period! But that would be insensitive right back.
    Gosh, even my husband is guilty of letting his complaints slip out that seem to make me want to crumble at times. I hide my hands when that person waves her beautiful finger nails at me (I'm losing my nails again). i wrap my feet under my chair when that person comes over to show me how beautiful their new pricy high heels are. all too often. I take it personally. I'm too sensitive!
    I need to grant just about everyone more grace while still allowing myself to 'stand' strong while continuing on MY journey to better health. Thanks for the reminder!

    GREAT blog.

    1787 days ago
  • DAISY443
    Although in theory I agree with you, I honestly believe that, even those who seem to be slender to us, may truly feel uncomfortable if they gain a few pounds. They also may be trying to reassure us that we are not alone in our battle. Just a thought!
    1793 days ago
    I have been in that situation SO many times... being around thin people bemoaning gaining a few extra pounds or having cellulite (who DOESN'T??? ..grr). It makes me angry just thinking about it. Good for you in not giving in to her low self-esteem and giving her the compliments she needed... OR denigrating yourself in the process. I've done that so many times... saying, "Oh, if you're fat I must be a COW!" Ugh. Just feel sad for those people that they have no confidence and have to validate themselves by making you feel bad in the process.
    1795 days ago
    I love it! It seems to me that the more we work on ourselves and learn to respect and love ourselves the less we handle the subtle insults in their many forms. Good for you and your sister. Her friend will hopefully learn all of this one day too as it is not a weight issue but a need inside of her that a jean size won't fix. I used to be really thin too and remember still needing so much in the way of reassurance because my soul was so achy back then. I refuse to go back. I respect the work I do now and I respect the work I don't do sometimes but regardless of what the "package" looks like it's a much better place. emoticon
    1798 days ago
    Two of my sisters have sons who are dealing with addiction problems and with God's help will succeed! And I also work in a family practice office and so see the effects every day. Thank you for sharing your story and the book recommendation.
    1799 days ago
    Thank you--interesting points.
    1799 days ago
  • SWIM53055
    1799 days ago
    Well said!

    1799 days ago
    You did good.
    1799 days ago
    Great job in recognizing that she may be dealing with her own pain in a way that is probably not the healthiest way to do that - and most importantly not getting caught up in it making yourself feel bad in the process. I guess what I am trying to say is "great job in not putting any negative vibes on yourself.

    Be well my friend.
    Much love and light to you.
    Regina emoticon
    1799 days ago
    emoticon you certainly handled that one well!!!!!!
    1799 days ago
    OH my gosh. You know, you explained that situation beautifully and I wouldn't have thought about it in the way you presented it! You & your sister handled the situation just right. I feel for your friend having gone thru the trauma of losing her DH. That is indeed a life-changing event and takes lot of mental work to move forward from.

    HUGS and wishing you peace as you sort thru the changes you're going thru. **SIGH** Life really is a roller coaster, and I don't like them, but learning to deal with them!
    1799 days ago
    You handled that situation really well!
    1800 days ago
    Thank you for taking the time to post this blog. It is something we can all learn from. Sparking is so much more than a weightloss journey, we can mature into better people too.
    1800 days ago
    This is a good reminder for everyone to not take someone's words for their surface value. There's always more going on with a person than we know.
    1800 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    Wow, the high road. I must remember to take that one sometimes.
    1800 days ago
  • CATS_MEOW_0911
    Cannie, you are such a wonderful person...on one hand, you didn't play into her game, and on the other hand, you recognized that she probably has some strong emotions going on right now where laying into her would not be beneficial. Perhaps focusing on her body helps her avoid some of the pain in her mind right now.

    I look forward to seeing your future blog. emoticon
    1800 days ago
  • GEORGI1832
    way to go for not buying into the manipulation but more so for the compassion you show in realizing that she has her own stuff going on and not calling her out. Not being a game player sometimes takes a lot of strength. Good job.
    1800 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/23/2013 1:33:06 AM
  • KIMBERLY19732
    1800 days ago
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