I’m hearing it almost daily at this point: “I’ve put on some weight. I am comfortable with it because I see all of the positives in this transformation of breaking up with dieting. But I haven’t been home in awhile, and I know that my weight-conscious mom/dad/sister/aunt/brother/cousin will make comments. How am I supposed to do this?”
“All we talk about is what diet everyone is trying as soon as the New Year begins. Not about work, or vacations, or even the weather. Just food and exercise. We discuss how “bad” we are for eating this food or that food. We use words like “cheat” as we enjoy our holiday favorites. I’m tired of talking about it. I just want to enjoy it. How can we get past this?”
Do either of these sound familiar? I’d be lying if I told you that I was SUPER comfortable seeing family and friends that I haven’t seen in awhile. I was always known for being a person who lost a ton of weight- and kept it off. No one realized how much sacrifice was being made, though. Now I take up more space but I also have a lot more space in my life for LIVING.
And I can’t tell you how effing annoying it is to hear a group of women reduce our conversations down to calories and pounds.
We are better than that.
We have more to offer the world than that.
If you’re reading this, I’m calling you out. Check yourself. Check your conversations and your fat-phobia. Put yourself on the hook, too.
Avoid being the asshole at your upcoming Family/Friends Gathering by following these steps:
- If someone has changed in size- bigger or smaller- don’t talk about it. Don’t talk about bodies at all, because that’s not the point of a holiday gathering. Repeat after me: We don’t talk about other people’s bodies.
- Make all who enter feel welcome. Make all who enter feel loved. Make all who enter feel comfortable.
- Stop talking about your next effing diet. Stop talking about the calories or points in the effing food. Stop talking about the healthification of your meal. There are SO MANY OTHER THINGS to talk about. If you’re struggling, might I suggest picking up a Chatbooks game?
- If you hear your aunt make a comment to your sister about her weight, make it right. Squeeze your sister. Take her mind off things. Get her out of judgypants aunt’s gaze. Remind her that some people don’t have filters and f*$& what they say and think.
- Change the conversation if you hear any kind of diet or size talk happening. See #3 for ideas and inspiration. And if conversation keeps leading itself there, I suggest cards or a board game.
Going “home” is hard for some people. It’s a large sacrifice for some people. Avoid being the asshole that makes it harder. Be an advocate for those who need it.
And if it’s you that’s worried about going home. About what people will think:
Remember that you deserve to take up space in this world, too.
Your size has nothing to do with the type of person you are; if people make assumptions, that says a lot about the type of person THEY are.
Wear your favorite clothes.
Paint your toenails.
Take deep breaths.
And remember that you’re there to spend time with loved ones making memories.
NOT to size up your loved one.