Over the past few months I have started to see some marginal success when it comes to weight loss. It’s been hard work, I’m not going to lie, and some days have been better than others. But I’ve been persevering and so far I’m down over 10 kgs from my heaviest weight. Which is awesome. I feel like I’m finally taking control of my body.
One of the most rewarding things has been when the odd person, who wouldn’t usually dish out such compliments, comments on my weight loss. It’s an addictive thrill. And it keeps me going. I try to bring those moments to mind when I’m staring longingly at a fast food joint.
But occasionally people comment, and although they mean well, they kind of get it all wrong. And I know that it’s not their fault, but I think that perhaps people don’t think through what they’re about to say. It’s not malicious, but still comes across as a little thoughtless. This is probably tied up in my own issues (ok, it almost certainly is) but it’s been on my mind a lot the past few days.
A woman I know as an acquaintance saw me the other day and commented on how good I was looking.
“Wow, Terri, you look great, you’ve lost a lot of weight,” she said.
“Oh, not a lot, but some, thanks, I’m trying,” I replied, with a smile.
“Marriage must agree with you,” she said, and headed off to chat to someone else.
Wait, what? I’ve been married for two years already. The little bit of weight I’ve lost has only been over the past six months or so. Yeah, marriage is awesome, and the Husband Person is great, but I kind of felt a little slighted. As though the only reason I’m losing weight is because I’m married and it apparently agrees with me.
Not because I’m trying to skate harder and more often at roller derby, not because I’m following a fairly strict slow carb eating plan, not because I’m trying to limit the fast/unhealthy food to on day a weekend. But because I’m married.
Which in itself is weird, since the general trend is for newly wed couples to pick up quite a bit of weight over the first year or so. It’s something to do with a new found comfort, I think. As I said though, I don’t think it was malicious, I think she genuinely was being kind, but she just took two of facts she had at her disposal (that I’m sort of newly married, and that I’ve lost a few kgs) and connected them.
It makes me think long and hard about what I say to people. Can any of the kind words I’ve said to others have been misconstrued as not completely helpful? I certainly hope not. That’s not to say I want people to stop mentioning it when they think I’m doing well, and I most definitely won’t stop encouraging others – but it’s just made me realize that I should be a little more careful, consider how my words may sound to someone who isn’t inside my head.