I had a friend unexpectedly drop by the other night. We haven’t seen each other in a while so she had lots to say about my weight loss. As I was putting the kettle on, she said “You look normal now” meaning if you met me for the first time you would know me as a regular size person (but still overweight) rather than the person I was. If you met me now, you wouldn’t know I had lost over 50kgs, I’m just me.
Don’t worry, it made me smile.
But then it reminded me of all the weird things people say when they notice you have lost weight. Here’s some I’ve received in the last few months:
“Look at you! Have you been eating worms?”
“Where’s the other half of you?”
“You’ve almost lost my entire body weight!”
When looking at my then and now pictures “Yeah, that’s Jil on the left but who’s that?” (It was me as well)
“You don’t look like you’ve lost 50kgs” (I think they meant lack of saggy skin)
“Hi, I don’t think we’ve met”
Or the no words at all cause they’ve walked straight past me/looked right through me. Sometimes you can see it click and they turn around and say “Is that you?”
I asked our 30+ group once what was the strangest thing someone said to them and one person said that a friend walked in, took one look at her and said “Great. Now I’M the fat friend”. Wowsers.
But as amusing (and slightly insensitive) some of these remarks are, there have also been some that haven’t really been amusing. Such as the lady I ran into at the local shopping centre that has known me since I was a child. Once she realised it was me she was like “Oh thank goodness. We were so worried about you. You’re so young and …”. Never a pleasant conversation, much more awkward when delivered by someone that may have known me since childhood but really doesn’t know me at all.
Even the other night I was at trivia at the pub with my boss and we won a $20 bar voucher. He told me the next day he was a bit disappointed cause if I was the old Jil we would have stayed at the pub and consumed those vouchers in alcohol. Firstly, he didn’t know the old Jil, we’ve only been working together for six months (he is mates with an old colleague that I have had a few big nights out with) and secondly, I am the old Jil, I just am more selective about having big nights. If it were him and I and our mutual friend, it might have been a different story but a regular night at trivia and a full day of work the next day? Not worth the calories.
Anyway, none of these comments even touch the side. I find them amusing more than anything cause it’s a reflection on the person saying it, not me. There was a time that they would have affected me but I guess as I continue to discover the real me I’m more confident in who I am and what my strengths are. And just as their comments are a reflection of themselves, I hope that my own comments to others are kind, considered, thoughtful and gracious (just as I aim to be).