Thursday, June 30, 2011

Watch Your Words

Over the years, I have had the privilege of having a wide variety of roommates - somewhere between 37-43 depending on the preciseness with which you count.  Some of these girls were beauties beyond measure in my eyes.

Ironically, most of the ones whom I found the most beautiful were the ones who were most likely to complain, "I'm too fat."  The things is, when they were saying this around me was always when I was overweight myself and they were a far cry from such state. 

Every morning I would wake up and hear these girls degrade themselves.  I looked in the mirror at my body, at least 3 or 4 sizes larger and at least 4 inches shorter than theirs, and felt worse and worse about myself.  I would try one weight loss technique after the other.  I did learn from this that keeping on trying is the key to success - all you have to do is not fail once:-)  Back to the girls.  My self esteem suffered tremendously from listening to these ladies I loved and admired and sat in awe of their beauty, yet they couldn't see it themselves.

Not out of the ordinary, at that time, was for men to befriend me to get to one of my roommates.  I was okay with this because, hey, I got attention (oh the young and naive pre-25 Larissa).  One day, one of these ladies again started in on how fat she was.  I couldn't take it any longer.

"Do you know how it makes me feel when you talk about how fat you are?  Don't you see how much smaller you are than me?  Do you realize how much it hurts to realize how fat you must think I am?"

The thought had never occurred to her.  She apologized profusely and went at least a couple of weeks without complaining.

We all need to be more careful of what we say and around whom we say it.  I've been guilty recently and don't want to turn into that girl that is so caught up in my own struggles that I don't think for a moment of how my actions will impact others.


Shelli said...

This has been the story of my life.

Janell said...

Thanks for a bit of perspective.

Question. What is the appropriate way to respond when someone tries to start an "I'm so fat" conversation? When truthful, I always try to disagree and assert my own opinion, but it's never well received. Similarly, when it's an actual conversation

Person 1: [Woe is me, I've gained 30 lbs in the first year of marriage.]

Person 2: [I am also horrified by myself, having put on 20 lbs]

Person 3: [Wide is my girth]

Janell: Well, um... so? How about the weather? (While thinking, "Uh, yeah, maybe I've put on 2 lbs since marriage, but that's more likely to do with the fact I just ate lunch.") Awwwkward.

Larissa said...

Shelli - Amen.
Janell - You made me laugh. Out loud. For seriousness. I have been in this situation (except for the whole "since marriage" part). My reaction? I have an uncomfortable "I'm sorry" expression on my face and say, "Well...if you ever want some help or some tips just let me know, I've been there!" And then I carry on with the conversation. I think you've been blessed to never have "been there" but you can just leave that part out:-) I almost wonder if women just talk about this stuff as a conversation filler...a woman's version of the weather is her forecast of turbulent weight.