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When someone says "You've gained weight"

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  anita 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #309487

    K
    Participant

    Hi All, as some people know from my past threads, I am very self conscious about my weight. I am average height and weight for a 30 year old woman. However, today at work, someone with no filter decided to say loudly to me, “You’ve gained weight..” I was so taken aback by the comment and insulted that I shut my office door and immediately started tearing up.

    How can I make peace with this? I realize I only got upset at this comment because I chose to give it so much power over me. I don’t weigh myself very often anymore, but I do see how my jeans and clothing fit regularly, and check myself out in the mirror just like I’m sure lots of other folks do. I would like to think I have not gained weight, as I have been eating healthy and exercising frequently. I have had many a dance with eating issues, disordered-type eating, so hearing this comment was pretty dreadful and unwelcome. I don’t think many people in our society want to hear those words. However, I realize it is all about how YOU feel, how good you feel about yourself, and what others choose to say is a reflection of themselves and their opinions. I think by typing this out even, I am helping myself to piece together and understand the situation. And break it down, as well. Just so I can try to feel lighter in spirits. I am trying to shift my mindset from eating and feeling great from a healthier perspective, one of glowing abundance and vitality, vs. scarcity, guilt, and rotten feelings of shame and punishment.

     

    Your feedback is most welcome, thank you in advance!

    #309489

    Mark
    Participant

    K,

    I am sorry about this painful incident.  What strikes me is that this is happened at a workplace.  This is a HR issue.  One thing if that remark was from someone you know socially outside of work but this is in a WORK place!  I would either talk with that person directly and/or submit a complaint to HR.

    I know that regardless how small/skinny/fit/etc. you are, if you don’t feel good about yourself then this shame will always be with you.  I’ll let others chime in on how you can make peace with that.

    I am more concerned about how that person is making work a hostile environment.

     

    Mark

    #309547

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi K,

    Be really pleased with what you have achieved so far.  You are happy with your weight and that is ALL that matters.  Even if there was any truth to this blunt remark, so what?  We nearly all have fluctuations in our weight.  Be happy with who you are.  Don’t let someone’s rudeness stand in the way of your own happiness.  Be Happy!

    Peggy

    #309549

    Inky
    Participant

    Hi K,

    If this person dared to make that comment at work, then call HR or your boss. They asked for it!

    And even if it was outside of work… Do you ever notice it’s THAT type of person? Or a certain person? You cringe when you see them. You wait, braced to hear what else could possibly come out of their mouth. And they never disappoint!

    If it makes you feel better, my Cringe Factor congratulated me on my pregnancy (wasn’t pregnant) and then later after I took up running said, “I’m so proud of you! I see you chugging along at the Rec Center…” WTH, lady!!! And yes, both times I gave her a good talking to!!

    As for yourself, if you eat right and exercise, you’re already doing the work. Sure, you can lower your calorie intake, take weight loss pills and down sixty-eight ounces of water a day. But just a small part of me (and hopefully you) will say, “Hey! If God wants me to look like a gorgeous warrior goddess (we are), who am I to disagree?”

    Best,

    Inky

    #309551

    K
    Participant

    Hi Mark, thank you for your input. Without including too much of my profession here, I work in a health care setting, so it was not an employee that said this to me. It was said so loudly and frankly with no filter or regard for my feelings. I may be looking too far into this, but maybe in a divine or weird way it was said for a reason for me to get out of my destructive eating habits, i.e., they’re not working well. Sometimes we are too close to the project to realize how destructive or unhelpful we actually are being.. we think we are doing things well or correctly, when we might not actually be.. Sometimes that jolt of cold reality or someone else’s nasty input, when looked through in our own lens with gentle inflection and our own thought process devoid of assigning judgment to it, can actually allow us to see something from a different angle we may never have seen or considered otherwise.

    I was hurt because I thought my intermittent fasting and cutting myself off after a certain point in the day was paying off… I suppose it wasn’t. In reality, even though I wasn’t weighing myself, the fat was just not coming off.. if anything, I was questioning if I was gaining weight.. maybe I did a little. It is very frustrating when I cut back my eating and restrict the times I eat only to have it backfire and gain. I am going to try and eat healthier while at the same time give myself a little slack and be gentler with my eating habits and see how I feel. That to eat 2 or 3 times before 12pm and then intermittent fast the rest of the day may just not be the best thing my body needs. Thank you for listening, Mark!

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  K.
    #309555

    K
    Participant

    Thank you Peggy and Inky for both your comments regarding this. It is always helpful to hear the voices of others, what we’ve all been through, and the steps we’ve taken to handle it and overcome, to come out stronger and better. I would like to think of this as a learning experience. We can obviously never control the words other people choose to utter from their mouths. That is on them. However, as we’ve all heard before, we can control what we personally do and say, and how we act, look, behave, etc. So that in and of itself is empowering and beautiful.

    #309557

    anita
    Participant

    Dear K:

    This is part of a conversation you and I had August 2:

    K: “My parents really did give me a great childhood and always tried hard to  provide me with such nice memories, things to look forward to, and a warm & cozy home. Sometimes if my parents grounded me…”

    anita: “.. grounded.. for how long, where?”

    K: “This grounding would usually last about a week. it was depressing.. I was lonely.. I felt so alone.. I hated it.. I felt powerless and hopeless. Felt like my life was bleak and over with even though I was very little… hopelessly in despair and had nothing to look forward to during these times of  what felt like exile.. it felt so narrow and suffocating… It was all just that.. toys and inanimate objects”.

    Your current overall anxiety and specific anxiety regarding eating, that is, your disordered eating originated in your exile from your “warm & cozy home” to the cold and bleak room where you were imprisoned, sometimes for as long as a whole week per grounding event.

    In your room, for time that felt eternal, never ending, without people in your life (no parents except when they brought you food, I imagine, no siblings, no friends, no pets)- you were all alone. You were too young to be grounded, and no child is  old enough to be grounded for a week.

    In that exile, in that imprisonment, no wonder anxiety and despair settled in. The food that was brought to you was your  only physical comfort. It was then that your disordered eating started. You tried to make the best of  it, playing with those inanimate objects, but there was no way for you to make up for the lack of people in your never-ending day in exile, seven days in a row.

    Fast forward, you are in a sense still in that room, alone, grounded and you are still trying to make the best you can, not thinking about the horror of being grounded, for so long.

    In summary: somehow, in competent, quality psychotherapy, you will have to acknowledge and become emotionally aware of your terrible experience of exile, and the fear every time you were freed, to return to that exile. Through a process of gradually relaxing into these memories, your anxiety will lessen and your relationship with food will heal.

    anita

     
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    #309559

    K
    Participant

    Anita, thank you for remembering our previous conversation and for saying “Through a process of gradually relaxing into these memories, your anxiety will lessen and your relationship with food will heal.” Thank you for saying this. There are scars from our past that can never go away but our attitudes towards them can change and be gently eased away after we find ways to make peace with them after our lessons are learned.

    #309587

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi K,

    There is no substitute for healthy eating – 3 regular meals a day with maybe fruit and nuts to snack on if you need to.  You have shown that you can discipline yourself not to eat, therefore you can apply that discipline to healthy eating.  There’s plenty of culinary advice out there to help you on your way and you might consider using a daily affirmation such as “I am now choosing to eat healthily”.

    Best Wishes

    Peggy

    #309595

    anita
    Participant

    Dear K:

    You are welcome. I don’t know if I shared that with you but I suffered from eating disorders for a many years. I still experience some distress when it comes to food but no longer practice the binge eating (I did those frequently), fasting (I was diagnosed with anorexia at one point) and over-exercising (so to burn calories, which led to repeated injuries).

    Anxiety from my childhood fueled these behaviors. It is very difficult to relax into that past experience of childhood fear- it is counter intuitive because our brain/ body does not want to feel that fear again.

    Problem is we feel it anyway. Solution (takes so much time, intent and work) is to connect our Present fear to the Past, and so, we free the Present from the fear that belongs in the Past.

    anita

    #309675

    Mark
    Participant

    K,

    Impressive in how you turned that comment around to make it useful for you.

    Regardless, I encourage you to stand up for yourself and call people out on their rudeness and unasked for comments.

    There is a saying about communication: Only say something after answering these 3 questions – Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

    Mark

    #309765

    K
    Participant

    Thank you for all your replies! As I said before, it is enlightening to see things from others’ perspectives. It is refreshing to learn new things and new perspectives and knowledge. There really is never any use to mope around and feel sorry for oneself. It doesn’t do you any favors and the person who said the mean comment couldn’t care less how you feel. And that’s okay, I say that with no resentment; rather that it is simply a fact of life. It does the mind and soul good to let things roll off, and to think of good things and to not dwell on the depressing things, the stuff we cannot control/change. However, it is important to change what can control, though, and to gently do it so we can feel that sweet sense of accomplishment in our personal lives. That’s always a great feeling.

     

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  K.
    #309775

    anita
    Participant

    Dear K:

    “It does the mind and soul good to let things roll off, and to think of good things and to not swell on the depressing things”-

    – some things though, painful experiences of childhood that cause us significant anxiety and dysfunction years later, those things cannot be rolled off for long, they will go away for just a short while, when we are having a good day, and we imagine they will not be back.. but they return to our awareness soon enough.

    We have to look into our early (and ongoing) emotional experiences, keep them in our awareness, relax, heal and learn- over time, with intention and attention and do the work that it takes.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #309781

    K
    Participant

    Anita, how do you handle recalling specific childhood/past memories where you feel they are the root cause of the problem? Sometimes I cannot remember a lot of specific memories from childhood, even though I know deep down they’re stored in my memory somewhere. A lot of the time when I try to recall a lot of specific childhood memories, they are the same ones, even though numerous, they are the same ones. I need to figure out how to tap into other memories where the pain may have stemmed from.

    #309783

    anita
    Participant

    Dear K:

    You don’t need a lot of memories, the ones you shared here are enough: the hopeless eternity of being grounded, exiled from the warm and cozy home- that is enough memory to look into, to accept, to relax into best you can, to learn about and heal from.

    In the context of your childhood experience of being grounded for so long, everything else that distress you, such as someone saying “You’ve gained weight” pale in comparison.

    We tend to .. forget and minimize the heavy duty distress of your childhood and distract ourselves instead with way smaller distresses, it keeps our brain away from the real distress that affected us so intensely, early on in those early years, long ago.

    anita

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