OK, so I’m late to this horrific notion that January 7th Should be “Tell a friend they’re fat” Day. Bloody Hell. We’ve hit the beginning of January. The party season is passed, and the majority of us have no doubt gained a little extra weight, yes? I mean, I know I have! And I am also acutely aware that as I type I am procrastinating, and not running, which I deep down want to, but haven’t quite had enough coffee yet, and anyway, it was raining.
But I have my own issues worries and concerns. I know I am overweight. Believe me, I do not need ANY friend to tell me what is obvious when I walk past a mirror.
What gets me is the support coming from “former fatties”. How quickly people forget the struggle when they succeed at weight loss. When suddenly they are the size 12 they dreamed of. How quickly they forget the misery they have let themselves feel over being big and uncomfortable and ugly, and all manner of things because of the prejudice levelled against them because of their size. All of a sudden they got it and everyone else should too, and oh, if only one of their friends had told them they were fat, the scales would have fallen from their eyes!
Seriously? Did you live surrounded by fairground mirrors? My mirrors are really quite honest with my appearance, along with my clothes. OK sizes vary from shop to shop, but it is pretty clear to me that all my size 12s did not collectively shrink, neither did my 14s. And for a girl who loves vintage, with its even more critical sizing, my size is all the more obvious to me.
And then of course there’s smug Hopkins, who lost 4 stones overnight, and so conclusively proved weight loss is easy. Pah.
But even so, regardless of my knowing, weight loss, body change and exercise all continue to be a work in progress. Sometimes I over eat because I’m upset. Sometimes I drink too much because I am depressed, and wine is the answer in that moment. Sometimes, although I know a vegetable based meal would be nutritionally beneficial, what I really want is a plate of chips and mayonnaise. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I can’t put my finger on what is wrong. Because sometimes depression has no rhyme or reason.
Now I’m not saying every fat person is a depressive. What I’m saying is there are reasons behind who I am and what I do. And being told I am fat and should do something about it doesn’t address the reasons. It just points out the obvious!
If you really want to help your fat friend, then be a friend! Spend time with them, love them, support them. Sure, walking is great, if they want to walk! Cooking them a meal is lovely, just don’t make a comment about how low fat or high fat it is, just do it because you want to! Going to the gym is a great thing, if it’s something that you will both enjoy, but how do you know how that friend is going to react to your comments or suggestions? How can you tell how vulnerable they feel if they have said nothing?
Where have we earned the right to tell another person how to live? Where have we earned the right to question another person’s worth? And at what point did one person’s weight become property of the rest of the world?
The thing is, these arsholes who come up with these sort of suggestions have financial motivation. Miller wants clients. He makes money from hypnotising people. If people are happy and content with their lives, he has no livelihood! If people are full of confidence, he’s out of a job!
Then there’s that Hopkins woman who makes money on being a dick. She thrives on it. Do you really want to go through life with your friends thinking you are a dick? Or do you just want a clutter free, friend free January?
One of the big UK slimming clubs, Slimming World seems to be moving with the times, and their #showheart campaign on Twitert. I love this. No matter how big we are, no matter how dysfunctional our eating, how lacking in exercise we may be, we do not deserve ridicule and hate. We all deserve love and compassion, from ourselves as well as others.
By all means, tell a friend they are FAB, everyone loves to hear good things! But if you’re going to point out the many holes in another persons diet and lifestyle, no matter how well intentioned, just be prepared for the aftermath, and maybe an empty social calendar.