Lately, a large number of my friends have been joking with The Lovely Lady (yes, we are no longer together, but she is still my dearest friend and still a lovely lady, and there will never be another Lovely Lady, so deal with it) about how she needs to eat a cheeseburger/sandwich/chunk of lard/whatever. They say it because she has lost a bit of weight. But they also say it because they are jerky assholes.
She lost some excess fat with a bout of flu that left the two of us with trips to the hospital and a very real fear for her life. It is not the way she meant to lose the weight, but the outcome of all of the fear was a burst of commitment to getting back in shape. The truth is that she had been slightly overweight and, more importantly, her body (which suffers from chronic pain due to a drunk driver hitting her years ago) was in worse shape than it should have been. So, rather than putting the weight back on, she began a renewed campaign of exercise and healthy eating, and I can honestly say that she is ridiculously healthy and not too skinny by any stretch.
But people just keep on with telling her to eat a cheeseburger. It hurts her feelings and it pisses me off. See, I was a skinny kid. I was scary skinny. When I hit grade 10, I was 5’7″ and 70 pounds. 30 pounds lighter and 7 inches taller than the five foot ninety-eight pound weakling. That is terrifyingly skinny, and it didn’t do wonders for my self-confidence.
I would regularly be walking down the street and some complete stranger would come up and dig their fingers into my ribs and say things like, “Oh my goodness aren’t you thin! Oh, you’re so lucky! You must eat like a bird!” And it was assumed that I would be perfectly okay having my space violated and my body and habits commented on by a complete stranger. Oddly, I would likely not have been very welcome to grab a fat roll on someone and say, “Oh my goodness aren’t you fat! Oh, you’re so lucky! You must eat like a horse!” Of course, that would be rude and horrible because being fat isn’t something people want to be
Being an emaciated skeleton was just as awful for me. Girls found me disgusting. Boys were all tougher than me and let me know it on a far-too-regular basis. It sucked. And people felt the need to grind me about it because they didn’t see how rude they were being.
The same is true of this situation. The Lovely Lady is finally in great shape, she is healthy and happy and beautiful, and friends of hers just keep insulting her over it. That is horse shit. It shouldn’t matter how thin or fat or whatever a person is, but how healthy they are.
When I started losing weight and going to the gym, I had people ask me what I wanted to weigh. My answer was simple. I didn’t give a fuck. The number of the scale is totally unimportant to me, what matters is how healthy I am, how strong I am, how well I can move, how good I look naked, how strong my lungs are, and how happy I am. That’s all the stuff that ought to matter. I could weigh 800 pounds and not bat an eye if all the rest of that were awesome.
I don’t understand our need to belittle everyone. So I’m asking the people in my life who make these comments to please consider stopping, and if they can’t, please consider stepping in front of a moving vehicle. I don’t like asshole comments, and I particularly hate them when they’re directed at my best friend.