There are a lot of things that have been said to me over the past few years in regards to my weight. I’ve been called “Princess Fat Arms.” I’ve been told that if I would only lose thirty pounds then I would be SO much more attractive. If I lost thirty pounds, perhaps the friend of the guy who told me this would not have left. If I lost thirty pounds perhaps the friend would have wanted to hang out with me… I’ve got such a pretty face so I should have the body to match it.
Those comments were made over thirteen years ago but they still sting whenever I think about them.
Around the same time, my late teenage years, I met a dude off the internet. We hung out just once and that was that. Then just yesterday, over a decade later, this particular dude found me on the dating site I just recently rejoined. We began chatting and within minutes he brought up whether or not I had lost weight and if I work out a lot. Before I could type out my response, he sent off the six words I hear most often and always *hate* hearing:
“You look so much better now.”
People intend for those six words to be a compliment because surely, in those peoples eyes, I do look better to them. I’m smaller, firmer, and more appealing to their own eyes.
But what I hear is, “You were so fat and horrible looking before, you look so much better now!”
My weight loss has never been something I have done for others viewing pleasure.
I’ve wanted to lose weight so I could FEEL better, not LOOK better. I wanted to not get heartburn. I wanted my knees not to hurt as much. I want to be able to ride a damn horse without having to worry about the weight limit.
On the shallow end, I wanted to fit into more commonly found smaller sizes. I’d love to be able to rock an itty bitty bikini but I want to do it because I’m a healthy size, not because I will look better once I am thirty pounds lighter than the weight I currently am at.
I want to look healthier, not better.
For the first time though I was able to tell the guy how I honestly felt about his compliment. When I explained to him that it hurt my feelings because it made me feel like I was so awful before, he apologized, and then he told me that he always thought I was hot… just he could tell I lost weight. However, when he had met me before, I was actually less weight than I am now. Except now my weight has shifted into muscles because of all the exercise I do.
When I talk to other people who have lost significant weight, I hear that I am not alone in my thoughts when our weight loss success is easily broken down as “looking better.” Though I’ve also talked to people who don’t mind at all being told that they look better because they agree, they do look better in their own eyes, and that’s great! I just don’t think like that. The brightness of my smile and the happiness in my eyes, my best features, have never changed and regardless of my weight, they’ll always be the part of me that I love best about myself.
The squishyness of my body has never determined how beautiful I have felt as a woman so for someone to say that I look better makes me feel that the part of myself that is truly significant to only me, is worthless and I am only judged on attraction by my fluctuating body size.
Has anyone else experienced a double-edged compliment like that? If so, what kinds of things have been said to you that have been meant as positive, but secretly stung on the inside?
Sorry I have not been writing as often but I’ve been booking up flights for my Europe adventure I leave on NEXT WEDNESDAY (June 12th!).
I’ve got some updating I can do on my weight loss endeavors which will come later this week.
Until then, I hope you all have a peachy day!