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my body’s experience

TRIGGER WARNING FOR TALK OF DISORDERED EATING AND THOUGHTS.

body

I don’t like comments on my body. Unsolicited or solicited. I know it sounds strange when I say that I don’t like solicited comments on my body, but I’ve come to realise, that I used to solicit comments because I wanted people to say how “good” I looked for losing weight, how “good” I was being. I wanted people to notice the effort I was putting in.

Ever since gaining weight, I stopped soliciting comments, because I thought fat was “bad”. I tried everything under the sun to get myself back to a “goal” weight (jeez, enough quotation marks already!) and didn’t want comments until I was finally there. I thought I would finally be happy with myself.

I wasn’t.

The only way I finally became happy with myself was when I discovered fat acceptance. Even at the smaller end of fat, I still find solidarity with my peers. I have vastly different fat experiences than those who identify as “death-fat”, and I don’t even begin to imagine or co-opt those experiences in the slightest – every person’s experiences and journeys are different and I respect that.

I don’t want comments on my body now, not because of my weight, but because I don’t think a person’s body should be commented on, whether those comments are positive or negative.

This is especially relevant lately, as my thoughts about my body have not been so positive. I know it’s entirely okay for people to have bad days/weeks/months/years and it’s unrealistic to expect a person to love themselves, maybe even 50% of the time, let alone all the time. I say this time and time again, and would say this to a stranger, but I sometimes have trouble reminding myself of this fact.

I’ve been reading stuff (mostly online) that has not made me feel good about myself. I think a lot of it has contributed to my thoughts of body negativity and the shame spiral. I know, I know – “Just don’t read it! Ignore!” or “Delete, unfriend, unfollow etc”, but I don’t know if it’s as simple as that. I’ve unfollowed one of the sources, but I haven’t touched the second and I don’t quite know why. I guess I’m trying to understand why I’m still reading, what it is I’m getting out of it and if I can choose to either ignore or challenge thinking that makes me feel bad about myself.

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2 thoughts on “my body’s experience

  1. Personally… I don’t like comments either. I’ve been losing a lot of weight because of illnesses lately and apparently that’s a ‘good’ thing. The majority of the time, the comments only make me paranoid though. If certain people at work say it, and follow up with a request for help or a favour – what, are you saying it to GET the favour? Or when they say something and then comment about their own dress, am I supposed to say the same back to them?
    It would be nice if weight was left out of most things – unless you know someone is on a particular diet either to lose or gain weight, and they like to talk about it already.

    Basically… you can’t always tell what story goes along with someone’s weight. As for me, it’s a reminder of how sick I am and the fact doctors and hospital tests aren’t finding it out, and it’s scary.
    As for someone else… I know an ex-colleague who came back, commented on another co-worker… who’s weight had dramatically changed because of a miscarriage. Please don’t assume drastic weight change is good. It could very well be you didn’t know they were pregnant and then lost the child.

    Though these ARE extreme cases. Most girls (and guys) at work seem to love nice comments about their weight, so I may be a little over-dramatic ;)

  2. I don’t think you’re being overdramatic at all! We’re trained to see any weight loss as a good thing — when I was sick earlier in the year and lost a rapid amount of weight in a short time period, I actually had people say about my illness, “Oh, but look on the bright side! You’ve lost weight!” Yes, because I physically couldn’t hold any food down and could not leave the toilet for fear of an accident. But hey, who cares about a life when there’s weight loss, woohoo? Ugh.

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