This has been another strange interaction. I was talking with a gentleman who had lost about 70 lbs, and I congratulated him on it. His weight loss journey was fraught with difficulty and struggle because his diet wasn’t conducive to losing weight. He asked me how much weight I’d lost, and I told him I’m at over 140 lbs lost. He asked me in what amount of time, and I told him 18 months. He asked me how many hours a day I had to exercise for that, and I told him none. I told him that since weight loss is a function of diet, I just made sure I ate well. He showed me his lunch: sandwich on whole wheat, an energy bar (with grains) and a fruit cup. He asked if I wanted any of the energy bars he had, and I told him that I would pass, he became upset. “I get it; you don’t eat grains. You could just say ‘No thanks.'” Umm, that’s exactly what I did.
What’s weird is that I never accused him of doing anything wrong nor did I say he needed to change anything. I only told him what I did, what worked for me, and I said, “No, thanks” to the energy bar. Perhaps that’s crossing a line for him, but I honestly don’t know of any nicer way to have handled it. Accepting it would have been disingenuous and wasteful.
I get it. People turn their internal disappointments and anger outward and flail out at those around them who have success in areas they themselves have failed in. It’s easier to point fingers outward than it is at one’s self. Our own disappointments are more difficult to face. But until people can face themselves and truly commit to making the permanent changes necessary to bring about the change they are looking for, they will continue to be unhappy and disappointed.
While people are generally nicer to me as a thin person, people who are struggling with weight tend to fall into three camps: those who don’t care either way about their health or mine (most everyone), those who are genuinely seeking knowledge to get healthier (and are pretty nice), and those who want to tear down anyone who has been successful where they have failed (and are generally passive-aggressive to outright hostile). I don’t judge anyone by their weight or size, but I do feel sorry for people who are overweight because our culture, our society, and our education system has failed them. I don’t believe in the government limiting our access to food and drinks a la NYC and their large soft drink container ban, but I do think the government’s standards and education are severely lacking and bordering on harmful. It takes a lot of work to learn about nutrition and diet and it takes a lot of discipline to stick with a good diet in today’s society of pizzas, hamburgers, and super-size meals.