OMG, When Did You Get So Fat?!
Bosses and members from when I was in the gym industry:
“Shauna is pretty and professional. It’s so sad that she doesn’t take care of herself.”
“She must be a food hoarder, right?”
“I am really alarmed. About your body! It can’t be healthy.”
“It’s not rocket science. Calories in and calories out.”
From family, friends, and dates:
“How do you not have diabetes?”
“I never dated a fat girl.”
“Strength training. That’s what’s missing from your life.”
“I know you said that you don’t want to talk about diets, but really, this one is the best.”
These comments are usually brought up out of the blue. As inorganically as:
“Oh my God, have you seen the new cast member on Real Housewives of New York. She’s bananas. Nuts but I love her. Kind of like I love you. Which is why I’m so concerned about your health.”
In case you’re not familiar with buzz words; in this context, health equals fat.
You know who doesn’t do this dumb stuff? My husband. He holds me when you dopes make me cry. It doesn’t mean that we don’t talk about my appearance, insecurities, and health concerns. We discuss surgery, fitness, and the risk of staying the same. But we do it in the context of unconditional love and respect.
I also have constant two-way conversations with my girlfriends about our bodies, challenges, and goals. I thrive on authentic dialogue.
Not on unsolicited lectures.
I’m fat. Not stupid.
You know who knows the most about food? Fat people. It’s our life source and enemy — at the same time.
If there were a magic pill, I would have discovered it during my dozen years of working in the fitness industry. I would have sold it and become a billionaire. Prior to working in fitness, I worked in a diet center to feed my child. I had to become a certified weight loss nutritionist for the job.
None of your kind check-ins helped me. They enraged me.
I get hurt because I’m human. You’re volunteering that you perceive me to be unattractive, unhealthy, out of control, lazy and dumb. You look at me, and make a set of assumptions. Then, you throw your uniformed assertions at me like softballs when I haven’t had a chance to gear up.
Gaining weight while eating like I do has led doctors to diagnose me with a hormonal condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Now, I take a deep breath. I try to remind myself that this individual actually cares about me. She may not be informed enough or capable of showing through any other way than fat shaming me.
This is my response on repeat.
“I appreciate your concern. I gained 75 pounds in 14 years with no changes in consumption. Did you hear me? No changes in food. It’s medical. We can talk about my diagnosis and the side effects if you like. Or, we can move on..?”
Cause I might be fat forever.
So, love me, or leave me alone.