Keep Your Concern to Yourself

Concern Troll Venn DiagramReader Sara told me about some food-shaming dishes.  One of the plates says “It’s hard to be around you when you eat like this / Did you really need that second helping? / Please stop eating, we’re worried about you / For the love of God, stop eating.”

Let’s start with my answers in order:

1.  See ya.
2.  No, but at this point if I stop eating with this fork I’m going to stab you with it so bring on a third helping or get some gauze for compression.
3.  I can’t stop you from worrying but I can stop you from talking to me about it.
4.  For the love of god mind your own business.

We’ve already talked about the total bullshit that is the “Do you need to eat that” question. But of course it goes beyond that.

I’ve heard people suggest that it’s their moral obligation to tell fat people that we “need to lose weight”, exercise more, or that if someone sees a fat child they need to say something to the caregiver. I’ve been part of any number of conversations where people who had no business or permission to talk to me about my weight did so.  I asked some friends on Facebook who had spoken to them about their weight inappropriate.  The answers included:

Strangers, Dermatologist, Psychic, Coworker, Father, Sister, Gynecologist, Cop (while giving a speeding ticket), Grocery Store Checker, Dentist, Restaurant Owner, Airport Staffer, MY MOTHER (emphasis by the original author), Grandmother, Girl Scout Leaders, ER Doctor, Coworkers, Waiters/Waitresses, Gym teacher, Nutrition Professor, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig Employees (when I wasn’t enrolled in services), Softball Coach, Friend’s Parents, ROTC Leaders, Bagel Shop Employee, Other Kids Parents, Palm Reader, Obstetrician, Anesthesiologist, Photography Professor, Dermatologist, Chiropractor, Boss, Boyfriend’s Family, Dress Shop Employee, Massage Therapist.

Whoa.  That’s a lot of people who think that it’s their right to say something to us about our bodies.

I won’t speak for anyone but me, but my response to this is No. No no no.  World of no. Galaxy of no. Universe of no. No. First of all, how grossly over-exaggerated does your sense of self-importance have to be, and how big of a rock do you have to live under to talk to me as if I’ve never heard the opinion that I should lose weight.  Do you think I never see TV commercials? Listen to the radio?  Look the hell around?  By my count I get about 386,170 messages a year that my body is wrong.  So how about you trust me when I tell you that the three hundred eighty six thousand, one hundred seventy first time is NOT the charm.

I think that when someone feels this strong of a need to “save a fatty”, it’s often really much more about their own ego than the person they are supposedly so concerned about.  Like an ambitious relief pitcher, they want to get credit for the save.  I call this “Pulling a Jillian” as in Jillian Michaels, ego maniac from The Biggest Loser, who can’t stop talking about how she’s saving lives and she’s making people healthy, she’s doing this and she’s doing that blah blah blah. Newsflash Jillian, if you really cared about people we would be hearing a whole lot less about you.

I am a grown ass woman making choices.  That is my right. Just like other people get to make choices for themselves.  You can decide that you want to eat a raw foods diet or fast food every day or anything in between.  I don’t get to decide how you live, it’s not my business.  I get to make choices for my body and you have no right to question those choices. (And if you’re even thinking about making a “but my tax dollars pay for fatties” argument, head over here.)

You are allowed to be concerned about whatever you want, you are not allowed to share your concern with me unless I ask. The bottom line here is very simple:  This is not a tree and I am not a kitten, so you can put your ladder away.

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11 thoughts on “Keep Your Concern to Yourself

  1. Seriously? It’s not enough to have random strangers worried about my eating habits, now I’m supposed to answer to inanimate objects designed to make me feel bad? All the kinds of no.

    I did read through the list of people with inappropriate weight advice, and I think the only one I could give any leeway for legitimacy *might* be the anesthesiologist. Although that would depend, of course, on what they said — weight matters when determining doses and assessing risks, I wouldn’t want to hear anything beyond that.

    Also, I’m totally stealing the “This is not a tree and I am not a kitten so you can put your ladder away.” bit. That’s priceless.

  2. My father is great at the “You’re eating again?!?” line. So when he started it again after I had major surgery, I started replying “You’re breathing gain!?!” in a very sarcastic tone, needless to say he back off for a while. Now it is thinly veiled comments.

    My response to most things now is “According to religion everything is a sin, according to science everything is a carcinogen, time to say screw it and live life how I want. If I am gonna die I may as well die happy.”

    1. My dad is the same. He says that I’m “always eating” when really most of the times he does see me happens to coincide with when I’m eating. If he came 5 mins before or after, I wouldn’t be eating.

  3. I’m still amazed I ever bought into the idea about how ‘anyone can lose weight’ for so long before noticing that nobody loses weight for any length of time. Once you get on the roller coaster, you get locked in somehow and it is very hard to get off.

    It still pains me to see my friends locked into it.

    1. I started on that roller coaster when I was twelve. I was 45 before I finally got off it, thanks in part to blogs like this one. ❤
      That's a long damn time to be filled with self-loathing. Nobody should have to feel that way about themselves for even a second.

  4. If those dishes are ceramic or glass I would have no hesitation about dropping them onto a hard floor. Oops. It slipped right through my fat fingers.

  5. If anyone ever gave me that set of dishes, they’d end up with them busted over their fool head.
    When I eat like what? Like a person with type 2 diabetes who has to mind their carbs? Okay, I’ll go back to just eating whatever the hell strikes my fancy. Thanks!

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