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Think Before You Speak

September 26, 2010

It’s the most discouraging thing to hear some of the things people say to you when you lose weight:

– “You’re too skinny.”  Oh really?  When I was fat, you didn’t seem concerned.  I never heard, “you’re too fat,” when THAT was a fact.

– “Melissa looks anorexic.”  I eat 5 times a day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner.  I’m not anorexic, so don’t say I look like it.

– “I think Melissa is bulimic.”  And your basis for this accusation would be?  My husband & coworkers see me eat every day and not throw up.

– “You look unhealthy.”  I visit my doctors WAY more than you do, and they’d tell me if I was unhealthy.  In fact, I’ve never been healthier.

– “I like girls with curves.”  I’m not your girl.  I still have curves, too, they’re just smaller and more toned than ever.

– “You’re a workout-aholic.”  Stop saying this, it doesn’t make any sense.  There’s no such thing as a workout-aholic.  I enjoy working out, it’s good for you and people should do it more.  I’m going to talk about it because I want to motivate others.

Most of all, I cannot stand when someone says ANY of these things and then follows it up with, BUT I SUPPORT YOU.  The problem with people saying these things is that it’s not actually out of concern.  No one is staging an intervention.  These words are mean, sabotaging and hurtful.  It is more than obvious that I am happier and healthier now than before.  Healthy Melissa looks very different from heavy Melissa & people don’t know how to process this new image.  Words become critical, oftentimes unintentionally.  I look different and all of a sudden, people become uneasy and aren’t sure how to approach me.

It is just as important for the people who currently say these things to read, as it is for anyone else who knows another person who has lost weight and may say these things.  It’s also going to be relatable for someone else who has lost a significant amount of weight, because I know they hear these things, too.

I want to educate people & hope they realize that what they say has a profound and possibly negative impact on the person on the receiving end.  These words are hurtful, especially when they hold no basis in reality.  If you want to be supportive, then think before you speak.

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