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April 3, 2013 at 8:25 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

A Disconnect in Perception

By Jeany Miller More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Diary of a Fat Woman Blog Series

"I Can't Believe You Weight Less than I Do"

When a close friend of mine asked my weight recently, I didn’t hesitate to give her the number. In retrospect, however, I wish I had because she didn’t respond quite the way I had expected. Instead of sympathizing or, even better, saying something like, “Gosh, you don’t look like you weigh that much. You look great…” she responded with this:

What?!?! I can’t believe you weigh less than I do. That actually makes me angry. I thought we weighed about the same

In turn, her response angered me. That was the last thing in the world I expected her to say. Not only was I startled by her reaction itself, but her words also surprised me. Because, if you want the truth, I think she’s bigger than I am. I know her clothing size, and it’s significantly larger than mine. So what the heck is going on?

Smoke in Mirrors

Aside from the fact that a friend should never be mad at you for weighing less than she does, what’s wrong with me that I still don’t see myself the way that others do? When I look in the mirror, I think, “You’re a big girl, but you’re not huge yet.” But when I talk to others, I think to myself, “Don’t kid yourself, you’re bigger than you realize.”

Why do I look in the mirror and see someone different from the person that others see? I have no idea. I wish I could see what others see because that might actually motivate me to get off the couch and exercise. I have to believe that once I became motivated, I would continue to be, because the subsequent weight loss would probably be pretty pleasing.

The scary thing is that, judging from my friend’s reaction, even she believes I’m a buffalo. If my close friends feel that way, what am I to do? They know me better than strangers I meet on the street, and even they judge me by my appearance. I know this is only human nature, but it’s disheartening all the same. Especially because you want to believe your friends think only the very best of you.

Public Perception

In many ways, I feel that being overweight is like walking around with a scarlet A embroidered on my shirt. I'm pegged before I even open my mouth. Sometimes, when I walk out of one of my advertiser’s storefronts, I worry they’re talking about me behind my back. It’s possible they’re saying, “She would probably look a lot better if she lost some weight.” It’s not nice to think these thoughts, which erode my self-esteem even more, but the sad truth is that I have to acknowledge them as possible, especially after now knowing what my friend thinks of me.

All I can say is this: I have three big events coming up in May, June, and July, which leaves me with about seven weeks to lose at least some weight. The first event is a formal fundraiser in Detroit, and the weather will be nice, which means my dress will probably show some skin. If I could lose 10 to 15 pounds between now and then, I would be ecstatic. With nicer weather here, I hope to feel motivated to get outside and start the couch to 5K program - finally. I’ll keep you posted.

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Next:Meet the New Jeany!Previously:Mirror, Mirror...

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