The weight of the matter

Weight is a big deal in our society, right?  We are on what seems like an eternal quest for the perfect figure.  More than a year ago and a few extra pounds, I wrote a piece called ‘Thin as a rail’.  It is linked here but the main idea was that when I was heavier, most people did not mention my weight.  The person (a stranger, actually) in the ‘Thin’ piece just had no filter, shall I say?  However, now that I have lost weight, it is essentially a free-for-all of weight comments from anyone who is in the mood to make a comment.  Some people act like they are genuinely concerned about me. And maybe they are.  I also realize this may not always be the case.  I just don’t say anything.  Are you feeling okay?  You have lost a lot of weight, huh?  Others say something caustic like You could afford to eat a sandwich, if I order a soup, for example.  And the same people mention my weight every time they see me.  They often depart with the words, Don’t lose any more weight!  Oh, okay, thank you….just for you, I won’t.

The truth of it is why does anyone care what I weigh?  Who cares?  I don’t care what anyone else weighs.  I don’t even know what I weigh.  Or when the last time was that I weighed myself.  And just to set the record straight:  I don’t have an eating disorder, I am not sick and no, I am not on a diet.  There I got that off my chest.  I feel better.  Well, not really.  Because I guess what bothers me the most about weight talk is that I wonder if we all forget about the person inside the body.  Whether I am heavy or thin, I am still Mary.  And I have feelings and a heart.  And a brain.  At least I don’t think I gave birth to my brain when I had children.  My Dad tells me repeatedly and I know I have told you before, “Mary, in one ear and out the other.” He says this in his stern, gravelly voice and I can hear it in my head.  This is sage advice from a man almost 85 years old who seems unfazed by careless comments that come his way but for me and I am sure many of you, insensitive comments still travel through our brains and often the comments or behavior of others sits there longer than we would like.

So as I sit here sipping coffee from a mug with the inscription ‘Let it go’, I guess I am going to have to do just that.  Let it go.  However, I am almost wishing I had a ‘Let it fester’ version!  I recently told a friend how I felt in regard to this subject and she replied, “Don’t be so sensitive”.  Ha!  That’s a good one.  I do not consider myself sensitive.  I worked for years in the business of advertising.  I am raising two children alone; one is a teenager (need I say more?). I was raised in an Irish home.  And I could go on and on.  But I won’t.  I would be a human piece of Swiss cheese if I let everything get to me.  Wouldn’t we all?  So what things are people saying about you that bother you? Please weigh in and let me know.  Because the weight of the matter is really the heart of the matter.  Hmmmm.  Food for thought.  No pun intended.  Seriously.  Until next time…..

See? I don't look like Swiss cheese, right?

See? I don’t look like Swiss cheese, do I?