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Why can random comments hurt so much?

Monday, May 06, 2013

There are lots of street peddlars in Chicago. Most of the time I walk right past them and ignore them. Today however, there was a peddlar, that as I walked past, said, nice and loud to me, "Those are some serious stretch marks!" Now, I don't know this man from Adam. I will likely never see him again. Yet that comment was enough to stop me in my tracks, have my mouth gape open at him, and have the comment ringing in my head almost 8 hours later.

It HURT. I was feeling pretty good up till that point. I was wearing a shirt that I hadn't been able to fit in quite some time, and my jeans, although they had previously made the Yes-they-fit cut, were slightly too big. Big enough that after they get washed, they will be donated. So I was feeling pretty good up till that point.

But that one comment from a total stranger HURT. It sent my budding self-confidence CRASHING through the floorboards and past the basement. Suddenly I didn't feel good about the way I looked. So my clothes were fitting better? Big deal. So my pants were too big and now needed replacing? Suddenly all I could see was that I was still fat, and pouchy from the remnants of my tummy and the pregnancy.
All the ugly things I'd ever called myself were back and I was nearly in tears.


I don't have a real answer to this. My best answer is that he hit a sore spot. I don't like that my belly still pouches out from some of my clothes, and when I wear baggy slacks, it shows. My belly has always been a sore spot, as I carry my weight in my tummy, causing people to ask if I was pregnant long before I was.

I thought I was past that. I thought I'd gotten over that sensitivity. Apparently not. I wish I could say that I brushed it off, and it ceased to bother me. Not so much. I haven't tracked anything besides my breakfast today, and frankly, I don't want to. I ate badly.

I ate emotionally; things I rarely indulge in became the comfort foods of the day - soda, a candy bar, a frappachino at Starbucks. (I was headed there anyway, but the man made the comment just as I was heading in, so I went for the most choclaty drink they had as comfort - didn't even think about it really)

I'm realistic enough to be able to look back at the rest of my day and see just exactly WHY I made the poor choices that I did. But I'm not gonna let this deter me tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a new day, with new choices, and I will do what I need to do to be back on track. :)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Uggg...what a loser. Him, not you!

    I recently had a random stranger in an elevator ask me if I was pregnant. I have lost 90 pounds in a last couple of years and it was really disheartening to have someone think I look that bad. I had just been for a run and swam a mile. It was a cold day so I was wearing several layers of too-big workout clothes. Like you, I carry my weight in my belly--at this point it is the only fat I have left. I haven't ever been pregnant and in fact cannot have children, so the whole situation was really upsetting. I consoled myself my thinking that anyone STUPID enough to ask a stranger about a pregnancy (seriously, who does that?) is not a very reliable judge of anything.

    I have reached a point where I have completely disconnected food from comfort though. Now, when I have an experience like this, a bowl of mac & cheese, an ice-cream cone or something chocolately does not help me at all. I know that this is a good thing, but I don't have anything else to turn to when things get rough.

    Anyhow, for every one nasty remark like this, you will get 10 great, supportive compliments as you continue to lose weight. Just focus on the good stuff and try not to worry about the rest of it. Easier said than done, I know.
    1844 days ago
  • MLH148
    I was buying shoes at the "running" store (I'm a walker) and said I had been in the 3 hr corral at a 1/2 marathon -- the shop owner -- to whom I was giving lots of $ for my new shoes - said "Why would you even do a race if you were that slow?" AUGH
    But, it passed
    Feel better.

    1845 days ago
    People are so mean for no reason. But you have the right attitude that tomorrow is a new day.
    1845 days ago
    People like that are JOY STEALERS. They can be family, co-workers, or strangers on the street.
    They have no right to be so insensitive or hurtful, but they do it anyways.

    Rather than hating yourself for stuff you've done in the past, find ways to forgive yourself and fully invest in accepting yourself as you are right now.

    If there are things about yourself that you want to change, make a list of them and add steps that you can do to achieve those changes.

    If there are things you cannot change - and we all have them - be gentle with yourself. There's enough bad stuff that happens in our lives to bring pain, and we don't need to be adding more.

    I hope you can find ways to love and accept yourself just as you are because you are such a beautiful person and a gentle heart.
    1845 days ago
  • CARI2012
    I certainly hope that jerk didn't think that comment was going to get you to give him money! Sheesh!
    1845 days ago
    I have no idea if your tummy really is as bad as you feel about it, but I can tell you one thing. That guy is mean. And when you get to your goal and look great - he'll still be mean!
    1845 days ago
    I am sorry that it happened to you! It is hard when we work hard and a rude comment can affect us so viscerally! Sometimes it seems it is worse from those we know but then a total stranger's comments can affect us too.

    I have been working with my kids on dealing with other kids at school and what they say. We were reading a good kids book by Max Lucado (You Are Special). In it the characters were busy labeling each other (literally, with stickers) and one character feels especially bad because of what others labeled him and said about him. He finally learns that his maker loves him because he made him and that if he cared more about what his maker said than what others said, then the labels and stickers would not stick to him. They only stick because he lets them.

    You are you and you are special. You don't have anything to prove to that man or anyone else. Don't let him or anyone else take that or what you have accomplished and overcome away from you!

    1845 days ago
    I'm sorry that happened to you. I also believe that people criticize and judge other people to make up for their own lack of self esteem. It doesn't make it any easier to hear though.

    We are all with you. I hope something really nice happens to you today to make up for this unfortuneate moment!

    1845 days ago
    I know it's hard and I'm so sorry it got to you so badly. It happened. You had a bad day. Brush it off the best you can and move on. People are going to say rude things, whether they know you or not. Heck, whether they know ANYTHING or not. Sigh, let it go, and move on. You are doing great.
    1845 days ago
    Yikes. If it's any consolation, if they guy wasn't a jerk, he may not be a beggar. I'm just sayin'.

    ::::hugs::: It's a new day! You can handle this!

    Congrats on fitting back into your regular clothes!

    1845 days ago
    I believe that when someone makes a mean comment to another human being it is to compensate with their own lack of self esteem. That man must have a really messed up life to be so mean to someone he doesn't even know. I'm sorry he chose to take his own self inadequacies out on you. You do NOT deserve it.

    You are beautiful, inside and out. As you said, you were feeling good about yourself--you are wearing a shirt that didn't used to fit and your jeans felt too big. So who really cares what this man, a street peddler, thinks?

    I encourage you to turn these feelings around. If he hit a sore spot, do something about it (and I don't mean eat comfort food). Take the anger and hurt and put it into doing a few more ab crunches or a few more minutes of cardio. Show this guy that the next time you walk by him, you will be feeling even better about yourself.

    I agree with Nilla--God doesn't make junk--you are awesome!
    1845 days ago
    I am so, so emoticon that happened to you!! People can be so very mean sometimes.

    I was always taught that God doesn't make junk. You are beautiful, inside & out!!

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    1845 days ago
    Words are very hurtful and how very wrong of this person to be so hateful. Don't let him get you down. He does not know you on the inside. Next time someone throws a hurtful word(s), hold your head up and know they are not seeing the beauty within. They are only seeing what is on the outside and what makes you the person you are is on the inside and YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Keep up the good work! Your successes are your own!
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    1845 days ago
  • ALICIA214

    What you need to keep in mind is you are one of God's creations and He does not make mistakes ...
    You are beautiful.. keep telling yourself that until you are convinced.

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    1845 days ago
    How rude and hurtful for someone to say that to another person. I would have felt the same way as you, and maybe even reacted the same way by eating emotionally. Either that idiot has no filter or manners, or he's just mentally ill. Who does that to another human being? This really hit a sore spot with me, because I've experienced similar comments in my lifetime.

    Hopefully you can see that this isn't about you, but about him being an a-hole. You are beautiful and you just had a baby! You are doing so well! Don't let some thoughtless jerk derail you!

    Hang in there. Today is a new day and you can start fresh. That's the beauty of this process. There's always a chance to start fresh!

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    1845 days ago
  • JAMER123
    I know what you mean. I am totally hurt by others negative comments. Superficially, I turn, give a smile and say "thank you" then walk away. I learned that process as a young child. Yes, I am hurt and feel it all the way to my bones. I take a bit of it and spit it out keeping my nice day nice!!
    Great posting!!
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    1845 days ago
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