As I thought more about yesterday’s article, I thought about some of the nastier experiences I’ve had since losing weight. While there are so many awesome things I’ve experienced as a person who is over 130 lbs lighter than I was at my heaviest, there have been some strange interactions with others that were confusing to me.
One was with a lady I know at work who said she flat-out didn’t trust skinny people. I told her that I wasn’t always skinny, and that I used to weigh quite a bit, and even showed her a picture. She said that she would have trusted me back when I was fat, but not now. “Skinny people are hiding something,” she said to me. What?
Another was a lady I had a conversation with at the doctor’s office earlier this year when I went in for a physical. She told me that “Skinny people like you don’t have the same pressure to stay healthy as us regular people.” At the time, I saw it as a little bit of a victory. It was the first time in over 20 years for someone to call me a skinny person (which I honestly wasn’t at the time; I’ve lost 30 lbs since then). I also took the opportunity to explain to her that I wasn’t always skinny (her words) and that I had to work at it. I told her how I did it, and she said that was too difficult.
There are some people who are just flat-out jealous of someone like me who can use some motivation to change their life. I can understand envying someone for accomplishing something, but jealousy is something different altogether. For some of the people in my life who are jealous of my weight loss and fitness, it stems from a change in the power dynamic. These people enjoyed poking fun at me for my weight and lack of physical fitness. They enjoyed being the ones who ate right, exercised, and looked good in clothing. Now that I’m right there with them, the power dynamic has changed, and sadly, they don’t like it. They had a need to feel superior.
That makes me profoundly sad, because I don’t look down on anyone for any reason. We all have different walks in life, from our jobs, our careers, our education, and even our health and fitness. It doesn’t make me better than anyone else that I lost a bunch of weight and because I run. My friends with advanced degrees aren’t better than me or anyone else because of them. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We are all just people.
As the younger folks say today, “Don’t let the haters get you down.” The people who are jealous are dealing with issues that relate more to themselves than to you. They project their own insecurities and disappointments onto those who they see threaten the way they feel about themselves. Don’t let them get to you. Better yet, don’t stoop to their level. Keep your chin up, do the work, and carry on. The people who really love you will be there, admire your determination and hard work, and they will be there for you.