Sitting down to dinner with family, you reach across the table for a bread roll and someone comments, “Should you be eating that? I thought you were watching your weight.”
Maybe you’ve just joined a gym and touched base with a personal trainer to kick start your fitness journey. But while talking about your fitness goals, the trainer comments on your weight and assumes that in addition to not exercising, you are eating all the wrong foods.
Reading about these experiences or hearing them out loud may cause you to gasp, but if we’re being honest, they’re fairly common. It’s no secret that struggling with weight at any size is heavily stigmatized. Negative comments about weight are not only often rooted in misunderstanding, but can be plain hurtful — so how do you handle them and keep your mojo?
Tips for Addressing Negative Weight Comments
(1) Use the Situation as a Teaching Moment.
If someone makes a rude comment about your weight, don’t be afraid to point out the inappropriateness. Let them know your size is your own business, or enlighten them as to why you may be struggling. Maybe it’s high stress or hormone changes. Maybe it’s a new medication. Help them see why their comment might not be considering the whole picture.
(2) Keep Negative People at Arm’s Length.
Negativity from others can be toxic. If you have perpetrators in your life that consistently make rude comments, keep your distance. Some people find joy in hurting others, but you don’t need them hanging around often. When they ARE around, try to ignore their comments.
(3) Cultivate Your Support System.
For every rude commentator out there, there’s someone who understands your challenges and wants to support you. Fill your life with those people and consider them your accountability partners on your journey to improved weight and health.
(4) Find a Way to Ground Yourself.
Speaking up for yourself can sometimes be overwhelming, angering and confusing. For those moments when you’re forced to defend your choices and journey with health, find rest in an activity that helps you achieve balance: hiking, meditation, crafts, journaling, etc.
(5) Recognize the Good You’re Doing.
Regardless of what someone else says, you’ve come a long way in your weight and health journey. Only YOU know the challenges you’ve faced, the obstacles you’ve overcome, and the goals you’ve set that you continue to reach. When someone makes a negative comment, silence any budding inner critic and remember how far you’ve already come without them.
At the End of the Day…
Your body is your business, and no one else can dictate your choices or shame you for something that’s largely out of your control. Continue to invest in your health and build your support system, but leave the nay-sayers to their negativity and find teaching moments when you can.