I start to think this way when I haven’t seen a good friend in person. Zoom will do that to me!
“Hi, Tom. You’re looking great. You’ve lost a lot of weight.”
I did say think and not say.
I do appreciate the intent when others say that about me. But I think this means they will also notice my weight gain. It’s a depressing thought that doesn’t support me. Thankfully, I rarely hear those observations. I am grateful.
I think my weight is a personal issue and isn’t up for casual comment as I go up and down. I compare it to commenting about my feet turning out after pointing straight ahead for most of my life.
I’m very touchy about my weight, although I keep that sensitivity to myself. I usually respond with a quick, throw-away comment that is acknowledging without encouraging further discussion.
Sometimes, I get comments asking how I did it. Fortunately, I never get asked how I managed that feat when I gained weight.
I’m a male with less 24/7 scrutiny of body image than females in our society. I don’t know how they cope.
In Western society, there is no business opportunity to accept what is. Please think of how much folks spend on addressing their weight issues; books purchased, pills, liquids (but rarely water as that has no business opportunity,) retreats, fitness memberships, surgery, etc.
So, step one to make money is to create the need if it doesn’t already exist. Create ‘factual’ information that leans toward doubt that the current situation is the best scientific option. Shame and guilt, depending on culture and religious beliefs, are increased by an ongoing barrage of promotional media.
Finally, the topic makes mainstream discussion. It’s normal to talk about your weight and the weight of others – friends or strangers. Welcome to the present day.
Appropriate weight is a moving target.
In a study in Fiji, researchers reported the effects of the Western mass media on body ideals in Fiji. In 1995, they found that broadcast television was unavailable, and there was only one reported case of anorexia nervosa. Just three years after the introduction of television, 69% of girls reported dieting to lose weight, and those whose families owned televisions were three times more likely to have eating attitudes associated with eating disorders.
So, how do I combat this obsession with thin in my Western society?
First, I try never to comment on other people’s weight, up or down. Second, I research what is an objective healthy weight for me – not easy to do. And third, I take concrete behavioural steps to maintain that weight, sharing my defeats and victories only with my wife.
Please give this a bit of a think. What is something you feel overly impacted by in our Western culture? Feel free to share your story or that of a friend. How do you resist?
I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think in the comment section below. It will come to me for approval before posting.
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