This seems like a big “no, no,” right?
People always joke that men are supposed to simply nod and say “you’re not fat” whenever it comes up.
And the reason for this is that the cultural norm for weight is so ridiculous and such a big part of our culture’s identification or self-worth (it’s just extra tissue, people!), from the time we are kids, that women often feel so beaten down in that area already by the time they get to this conversation.
I always prided myself on not being “one of those women” who worries about it. And then I got fat. And then I got angry that I was fat and the cultural norm was ridiculous. I didn’t want to adhere to it. I was fat and rebelling. But this led to me not taking care of myself. And, we don’t want that either. So, how do we accept ourselves fully AND keep improving simultaneously? How do those emotions co-exist?
My partner recently expressed that he didn’t know how to talk to me about my weight when I would mention it — doing the Whole 30, or wanting to eat healthier, even to shed a few pounds. For me, I spent so long NOT talking about it that now I want to be free and open (without being obsessive.) It is something most of us (and mostly women) think about daily. So, I heard his thoughts. I heard his past experiences. I heard his weight preferences and biases. And it was hard to hear. And a lot of emotions came up. And I acknowledged him. Because I had asked the question: can we be vulnerable and honest even in the hard places? I explained the cultural norm. I asserted that whatever opinion he had was valid and that ultimately I would be eating and exercising and sleeping for me. It doesn’t work any other way. And, I am awesome just as I am. He agreed.
These conversations can be hard but the sooner we start talking, the more we break down the stigma. The more we make mistakes in these conversations, the more we learn and grow together. Try not dancing around the tough questions. Embrace them. And yourself. Wherever you are.