If you listened to this week’s ep of Don’t Take It From Us, you heard me get a little heated when answering the following question from a listener:
I’ve been dating my bf for 3 years now and have been living with him for 2 years. We love each other very much and are very affectionate towards each other. We even talk about marriage. The problem I’m having is, a little over a year ago, he mentioned to me that he wasn’t physically attracted to me. This hit me hard because I’m a bigger girl who always had issues with weight. He told me he’s willing to help me lose the weight if I wanted it, and I do, but I can’t help feel self-conscious around him. Will this relationship last? Am I over thinking this? Btw, we have sex about once a week
Before we go any further, let’s make a couple of assumptions for the sake of this discussion:
1.) The writer hasn’t gained (or lost, for that matter) any weight since the beginning of the relationship. She’s weighed and presumably looked the same way since Day 1.
2.) While the writer is clearly paraphrasing, the bf said that “he wasn’t physically attracted to me” and “he’s willing to help me lose the weight if I wanted it” in pretty much the same fashion as implied here. Meaning that it was not in a “I care about you, I want you to be healthy” supportive way, but in a “I’m a superficial dickhead” way.
Now, because I hate the sound of my own voice, I usually don’t go back and listen to the podcast after we’ve recorded it, but if I’m recalling correctly, one of my immediate reactions was that I wanted to punch this asshole-of-a-guy in the face. Which I still do, because I think he’s a shitty person and I don’t really have much of a tolerance for people that cut other people down, for any reason. But I’m not here to write about him – I think we disparaged his character enough on the pod. But after we finished recording and I closed my computer while JR was still rambling on about something, I was still thinking about this question. I thought about it while I brushed my teeth, took out my contacts, and got in bed. Then I laid awake for a while thinking about it until my Trazodone kicked in, because something about this question really bothered me. And then I figured it out – the thing that was really bothering me wasn’t the asshole boyfriend, it was her. And by her, I mean me (because it’s all about me, you know?)
If you’ve lived life as “a bigger girl, who always had issues with weight,” as me and this question-asker have, you’ve dealt with this sort of thing your entire life. Random suggestions from well-meaning friends and family members on how to lose weight. Your nana tsk-tsking when you take that second piece of pecan pie at Thanksgiving. Your gym-rat cousin, who keeps asking you to go the gym with him so he can teach you how to lift. For the most part, these are the well-meaning people, the ones that genuinely like/love you and what to see you get healthier. Their approach might not be the best, (let me eat my pie in peace, Nana!) but it comes from a good place.
While we’d like to believe that about everyone, it’s unfortunately not always the case. What I’ve learned over the years is that there are people who get off on making people feel bad about themselves, and frankly, those that are overweight are easy targets. I mean, that “flaw” is out there for everyone to see, so picking on it is easy. Sometimes it’s a random person in a bar or a someone in the office, and you can write it off with a “fuck that guy.” But when it comes from within your circle, like in our reader’s question…well, that makes it a little harder to deal with.
I like to call these people “bad actors.” No, not in a Mark Wahlberg kind of way; if you work in investments, as I do, you’re likely familiar with SEC Rule 506, which defines bad actors as people from within that can potentially fuck up your business. (Of course, I’m paraphrasing. The SEC would never be that succinct.) These bad actors would be fired in a workplace, but it’s not like you can fire your boyfriend….right?
The hard fact is that you may have to. As I said a few weeks ago, part of this process sometimes means losing friends. But the truth is that, whether you are trying to lose weight or not, sometimes you have to let go of some other people too. Bad actors, even those who say things like “he’s willing to help me lose the weight if I wanted it,” aren’t going to help you. The only person that’s going to help you is you and step one in that process is cutting out anyone who doesn’t truly have your best interests at heart.
So to the listener who asked this question: lose weight or don’t lose weight – that’s your call. But one thing you should lose is that loser who is making you feel less than. You deserve better – no matter what the number on the scale is.
Starting weight to Lose: 30 pounds
Week 1 Results: – 1.1 pounds
Week 2 Results: – 2.1 pounds
Week 3 Results: +0.4 pounds
Week 4 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 5 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 6 Results: – 0.1 pounds
Week 7 Results: -0.9 pounds
Week 8 Results: 0.0 pounds
Week 9 Results: -0.5 pounds
Week 10 Results: -0.6 pounds
Week 11 Results: 0.0 pounds
Week 12 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 13 Results: -0.1 pounds
Week 14 Results: No weigh in
Week 15 Results: – 2.3 pounds
Week 16 Results: +0.6 pounds
Week 17 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 18 Results: -0.1 pounds
Week 19 Results: 0.0 pounds
Remaining weight to lose: 22.4 pounds
If you want to follow along with me, friend me on MyFitnessPal or FitBit!
Image via Shutterstock