My grandpa always had a saying – “silence is golden”.
So why is it in the modern world that we live that everyone seems to not be content with just having an opinion, but telling everyone in earshot what that opinion is.
I wasn’t going to write this blog post because I didn’t want to give more energy or negative thought to my encounter. However after posting on Facebook about my experience, it was clear I’d struck a chord.
You see I’m fat. Overweight, carrying extra timber, large, big – whatever you want to call it. I know this, but I’m also doing something about it.
I know about it because it’s me that has to carry me around each day, it’s me that has to find joy in going to the shops and hoping and praying they have some larger sizes on their racks for me to try on or it’s back to the potluck of online shopping, it’s me who is always conscious about taking up too much space on the tube seat, airplane seat, (insert any communal seat).
But the reality is – it’s me who made me fat.
So I don’t need people to point it out, particularly when I’m doing something about it.
What bothers me the most is that as soon as the weight issue comes up in conversation, everyone seems to like to impart their advice and guidance on how you can lose weight, and remarkably, said advice often comes after they’ve complimented you on losing weight. Because, you know, there’s always more weight to lose…..
Everything from breathing air for breakfast, to a lettuce leaf for lunch, to fasting for dinner (because remember you should never eat after 4pm because your body won’t burn off “all” the thoroughly filling goodness you’ve consumed all day). The juice diet, the greens diet, the no carbs diet, the “let’s just suck all the fun out of life” diet!!!
I’m never going to be a size 8, and frankly, I don’t want to be. I like my curves and I just want to ensure I’m healthy and happy.
So as part of my coaching sessions and starting my own business I’ve been looking at image and the type of person I want to be. And I realised that the way I was leading my life had caused me to gain weight. I had previously held a chained-to-the-desk job with 10 hour days, and was constantly oncall. Through inactivity and turning to many glasses of vino after a hectic day to cope with stress, I was not the me I wanted to be.
I had to re-prioritise. I quit my job, the stress levels disappeared, I was happier and I had time to invest in me. So I’ve rejoined the gym with gusto. I get up five days a week and do sessions with a PT, I’m eating better and I’m drinking less because I’m not so stressed.
I’ve given myself a rocket up the backside and never felt better.
And then came my one second encounter with Mr Opinionated.
I was on the way to the gym this week, wearing black tracksuit pants, a blue t-shirt, trainers, hair in a pony tail (no make-up because I’d made a deal with Julia) and carrying a water bottle – clearly (shock horror) looking like someone going to the gym. I walked passed a suited man who took a nanosecond to judge me and label me.
He looked at me as I walked past and called me “Cookie Monster.” Now if I was walking past eating a bag of cookies, fairplay. But I was walking by, clearly a female carrying a bit of weight, but also clearly going to the gym to do something about it and yet he chose to judge. Why couldn’t he keep his opinions to himself? Why did he have to say anything? What gave him the right to want to have an opinion on a stranger who he had encountered for one second of his life?
I didn’t even have a conversation with him and yet he chose to judge.
I don’t even eat cookies (I’m coeliac), my favourite food is rocket lettuce (honestly – if I was on a desert island it would be one of my food wishes!!) and I was walking to the gym!
I posted about this encounter on Facebook and I had a tsunami of girl power support! A friend even shared this wonderful story of a girl who wrote an open letter to an idiot who heckled her about her weight when she was out jogging with her boyfriend.
Lindsey Swift is my hero. And I hope she runs to her heart’s content.
So to the man in the suit, with your wonderful insight into everyone in the human race, thanks for the feedback, but I hope you now stand corrected. The only monster in our encounter was you. Maybe next time, search for the positive before rushing to the negative, because I’m bloody fantastic, jiggly bits and all. And best of all, I know this girl can succeed.