Oh No She Didn’t…

women whispering

1953 Giclee Print by John French 

Recently another woman referred to me as fat. (Don’t click away now. I’m about to spill some serious tea.)

There I sat in my size 8 jeans with the waistband pressing gently against my stomach. I could feel my throat tighten up and tears pierce my eyes. I forced a deep breath and a long, unnatural exhale and started mentally running through all the defense mechanisms I know for a situation like this–But not before getting up to double-check the tag on my jeans. Surely if I were wearing a size 8, I couldn’t be categorized as fat.

Could I?

“This is completely ridiculous,” I told myself.

“Consider the source. This person is not your friend. Who cares what she thinks?”

“Jesus, hold my hoops ‘cuz I’m about to cut a bitch.”

“Did you feel fat BEFORE you heard this comment?”


I don’t know. Did I? I’m normally a pretty secure person. There isn’t much you can say about me that I don’t already own.  And as an almost 47 year-old woman, I know what I bring to the table and what I don’t. But what I also know? This whole weight thing is tricky. It’s like a house of cards.  Truthfully,  I’ve never felt better. I lift. I spin. I run. I walk. I drink green smoothies for breakfast and eat salads for lunch. I drink beer. And wine (medicinally, of course) And I eat a little junk too,  because a girl’s gotta live.  I’m pretty much doing everything I know to do at this age to keep shit tight.

And someone was still saying it’s clearly not enough. FML.

So after my mental review, I did what any other woman would do and called my BFF.

“Am I fat?”, I asked with a small, strained voice.


Later that same week, I asked another girlfriend if she was looking forward to her upcoming vacation. She hesitated. “Not really,” she said quietly.

“What?? Why not?” I asked.

“Because I hate the way I look and feel right now. My weight hasn’t been this high in a while and I’m afraid to even try on my summer clothes. I know we’ll be eating out a lot and around a lot of food and drinking and family and the whole thing will just be hard.”

She wanted to cry. But so did I. For almost every woman I know, our weight rules our lives. If only the energy we spent on worrying about it burned calories, we’d be all set. It’s practically criminal. Imagine the things we could do and accomplish if thinking about our weight didn’t take up so much space?

vintage weight pic

Photo cred to Seeker Intimates 

Maybe this seems like a tired topic, but the reason it’s so well-worn is because we still haven’t figured it out yet. Not only for ourselves, but apparently relative to other women, as well. It’s incredibly draining for almost every woman I know to find a “resting place” in our minds and our bodies where we finally feel peaceful in our own skin. I’ve pretty much found mine. Most days. Except when someone refers to me as fat, I guess.

The other hurtful part of this comment though? I just didn’t realize women were still doing this to eachother. I’m no saint, but it’s just not in my wheelhouse to call another woman… well really anything, much less fat. And I never forget my daughters are watching me. And listening, too. Even if I thought it, I’m still not going to say it. I’m a big believer that people are doing the best they can and overweight people, especially,  know WELL BEFORE anyone says a word, that they’re overweight. They’ve already been much harder on themselves than you could EVER be.  Why would you ever add insult to injury and hurt someone that way?

At the end of the day, I don’t actually think I’m fat. Really, I’m just glad she didn’t call me mean. Or ignorant. Or jealous.  Or a bully. Because I’ll take fat over those names any day of the week.

[mic. drop.]

 

 

6 thoughts on “Oh No She Didn’t…

  1. Alonzo Spellcatcher says:

    As a father to a daughter that struggles with weight issues, I can’t believe there are still people out there like that. It’s lazy and shows that person’s intelligence.
    You don’t need me telling you what a beautiful person you are inside and out. But, I am sure you don’t mind hearing it.
    Your beauty captures me, but what amazes me is that it is wonderfully combined with your amazing soul

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy says:

    The first time I met you was picking up meals. You told the woman in line ahead of me that you loved her manicure. You had never met me, but you complimented me on my appearance that day too. I stopped for a moment to remember when that last time was that anyone just spontaneously said something like that to me. I had to think hard and long, which is tragic! Anyway, you made me smile, and from that day on, I was inspired to do the same when talking to other women. So, thank you. You’re all kinds of amazing, and your inner spirit is truly contagious. Thank you for reminding me that a kind word goes a long way!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennifer says:

    Hi Julie,
    Mom of five daughters here. I know I would have showed up barrels blazing, if someone said this to one of my girls. I’m certain that you’d bring your a-game for one of your kids as well! Why is it we never think as fast on our feet when we kinda need to just plain old stand up for ourselves? It stinks that my best responses usually occur to me hours later! I read a blog once that suggested a really good response to those startling moments when you’re left smarting and speechless…can be used with acquaintances, family, significant others…just a simple, but very expressive, “WOW.”
    Say it too them, and make sure to make eye contact. It tosses it back onto their lap, and leaves it to them to respond. This just seems like it might have been one of those perfect moments to give it a try!
    Warmest regards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jennifer,
      5 daughters? That’s a lot of estrogen 😊 Thankfully, this comment wasn’t made to my face, or things probably would’ve gone drastically different… but I like the WOW idea… real drawn out… WOWWWWW. Thanks for reading!

      Like

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