I was remembering a conversation I had while I was in Sweden with my host-sister Emilie.
Emilie was complaining how her mother, Agneta, was telling her that she needed to jump on the diet bandwagon to lose the 4 kilos she had gained over the Christmas and New Year.
This irritated me to no end. This is because a) Emilie was recovering from being depressed and near suicidal b) she wasn't overweight and was still a comfortable size 10 and c) Agneta had had surgery at the beginning of the year to reduce the size of her stomach and had lost 30 kilos.
Ok so the last one probably doesn't make sense to you, but to me here is this mother who had been overweight for almost all of her entire adult life and who had to resort to surgery for her to lose weight. She has done really well and looks amazing BUT she points it out at every opportunity that she has lost weight. And that really annoys me.
Because it's not because of her that she has lost the weight, it's not because of her changing her lifestyle and eating habits, but being forced to. She physically can't eat much. And here is she is telling her daughter who has no weight problems and who is still in a vulnerable mental position to lose weight??! It just makes me mad.
A couple of days later I was watching TV with Agneta (I should point out that I was staying with Agneta and that she is like a second mum to me) and we were watching an American TV show where they match an anorexic with an obese person together and get them to swap diets. I had never seen the show before... anyways we were talking about the show and it came up about how people can be obese/overweight and can't take advice from others. They need to do it themselves.
So of course she brings up Emilie and how she's just trying to help.
Now you should know that I have a big problem with how I come across to people because I don't moderate what I say or how I say it. It's not that I do it on purpose, I just do it without thinking. So more often than not I try to keep my big mouth shut.
This time I couldn't. So I pointed out to her that I know that I am overweight, I know that I need to lose weight BUT that does not mean I want people to tell me to lose weight or offer me advice. They do not understand nor are they me or know what I am doing. That includes my mother. I made my point.
This prompted me to think of all the people who have well-meaning friends and family who constantly ask questions, or are offering advice or trying to help who don't realise just how hurtful and demeaning it is. Like catching you eat a piece of cake and saying "Should you be eating that?"
Often these people have no understanding of how hard it is. Or they think that because they have lost weight that now gives them the right to tell you how you should lose weight. Or what you are doing is wrong.
Sure there are times when advice is exactly what you want and what you need. But often it is not.
Often I just want to be left alone to deal with it myself, and not be reminded that I am not normal, that I am overweight, that I have to watch what I eat and do exercise.
And this makes me realise that dieting and losing weight can often be a lonely road. Not many of my friends need to lose weight or exercise or even eat healthily. So that means that there aren't many people that I feel I can talk to or relate to.
All I can say is thank god for the internet and blogs, where I can get all the advice I need and meet people who I can relate to who share their triumphs and failures.
Thank you to all the weight loss bloggers out there!
<Me and Mum.