The Golden (Arches) Rule
Unless someone is specifically asking or paying for your opinion on their weight, don’t offer it. Despite the news articles, you are just as much of an expert on obesity as I am an expert on rocket science.
It’s that simple.
You would be surprised at how many people can’t seem to follow that rule. For every article online about loving one’s self at any size, there are at least ten comments on how fat people seeing themselves as lovable human beings has gotten out of hand, and we as a society shouldn’t accept fatness. Right in front of our salad, even.
Yes, you can be 209 pounds, work out, eat well some of the time and still be healthy. You can also be 135, eat like crap and drop dead of heart disease. No, no one is saying that someone who is 375 pounds and stays 375 pounds will live a long, healthy life without some sort of lifestyle change. No, you don’t need to point this out. You don’t lose anything by keeping your insulting and patronizing opinions to yourself. It costs nothing to be a decent human being.
The part that blows me away the most is that many times these hateful comments are from people who were fat once themselves.
I am part of many social groups online, not because I am a social butterfly (my INTJ says nah) but because I like reading what people are thinking and talking about, and what words reveal about their thoughts. On this particular day, I had clicked upon a post in which someone who had gone through bariatric surgery was complaining to the group about how she had the misfortune of listening to a large woman breathing during a meeting. Would she be out of line by pulling the woman aside and encouraging her to lose weight?
The members of the group who had time that day gathered Miss Thing together, with the acidity of Elektra going in on Candy. I was here for it, frankly, and put in my two cents before the post got shut down.
What women at the finish line of their weight loss journey forget is how six months ago, a year ago, they were that woman. They used to be someone who seemingly offended everyone in view simply by existing. They used to be the subject of speculation and judgement just for the crime of being fat.
They got drunk off the acceptance of the people who finally deem them worthy of respect and, to show how cool they are, joined in on humiliating someone who has yet to take the first step. As far as they know, anyway. This woman could have left the meeting and had a green smoothie for lunch and did a full hour on the elliptical before having a sensible fucking dinner, or she could have pulled up to a drive through and ordered ten double cheeseburgers, and that still wouldn’t be the point.
The point is that whether you agree with someone’s life choices or not, it’s not your place to comment. Not even if you have lived a similar life experience. And especially not if she hasn’t asked for your input. All the shaming from random internet trolls, family members and so-called well wishers? Didn’t do a damn thing for you until you decided you were ready to lose the weight. They won’t do anything for her, either, because you can’t force people to fit a mold you have made of them. You should not want to. Let people life their lives how they see fit.