When people notice that you have lost weight, the reaction is with happiness and joy. When you gain weight and people notice, they react with disappointment and disgust. Why are people reacting at all? Well, because what social media and society tells us is acceptable.
Let me tell you a tale.
I have anxiety. I think that I have mentioned it before. If not, well, I have anxiety. Its not the run of the mill anxiety, its the kind where my doctor has gotten involved because I have reached out for help. It can be the all consuming dreadful anxiety. But, over the years and doing research and learning more about who I am and what sets my anxiety off, I have been able to get it under control. To an extent.
When my life becomes very crazy and the anxiety amps up, I tend to just not eat. Some people eat, I am a non eater.
When my daughter went to school last year, I decided to take a part time job for 20 hours a week to give me something to do. Well naturally because I was working, I was snacking less and having lighter meals and lost a bit of weight. Nothing to fret over, just my pants were a bit lose. But people noticed. They would say things like, “You lost weight, good for you.” Well, it wasn’t like I was doing it on purpose. But it made me wonder, were they grossed out by me before? I had some curves but its not like I was grotesque.
After the pandemic hit, work was shut down for two months. I started eating again, and for a while it made me ill. Like every time I ate food to that fullness threshold, I felt sick. My body just wasn’t used to eating food, like real meals. The two months that we spent at home, I did eat more but smaller portions and my weight came back a smidge, but whose didn’t? Not like I was worried about it.
When the lockdown was over, and I went back to work, things escalated. I found myself not eating all day because my anxiety was through the roof. It was nothing but chaos and panic, rushing and running all day. I felt like there was too much pressure on me, on the group as a whole. I was given duties that I felt that were too much responsibility. I started seeing passive aggressive behavior coming at me (and someone with PTSD issues, this is not good) and I started to shut down. There were times that I was headed off to eat something but was stopped because someone told me I had to do something before I could eat. So I just didn’t. My weight was dropping and dropping and dropping. Just putting food in my mouth made me sick. Finally I had had enough. I decided to put my two weeks notice in.
I haven’t worked in almost 4 months. I haven’t gained all of the weight back but at least a good ten pounds. It took me at least two months to get my body to regulate to eating food again. Now that I am home with my daughter doing homeschool, we make time for meals and snacks. We eat when we are hungry. Lunch and breakfast are a priority every day, even if it is something light.
You may be wondering what the hell is the point. My point is that society comes up with these standards about how you are supposed to look and how much you should weigh. But at what expense? Mine was making me spiral down a horrible tunnel of anxiety and panic all for a job that I was just doing to kill time. Granted I liked the way I looked, and I liked the compliments and how clothes looked on me, but was that enough to keep spiraling down a dark path? No, not for me. But for some people it is.
People may have weight fluctuations for positive or negative reasons. Like me, its negative, its my anxiety. I don’t want the compliments of how my body looks because I have a mental health issue that is shutting me off of food. Its not a good compliment because of the reason behind it. SO, just don’t comment on anyone’s weight for any reason, ever. Weather they have lost a bunch or gained a bunch, just don’t say anything because you may be bringing up demons that that person could be in the trenches fighting. Instead, tell them how you like their eye shadow or ask them about a new book they have read. There is more to a person than their size and weight.