Once upon a time I was having happy hour with a friend and the subject turned to suits. I was making my excuses for leaving early as I had to pop by Neiman’s and buy two suits with the hope at least one of them would fit my brother –who had lost a lot of weight– so he wouldn’t have to wear a barrel with suspenders to our grandfather’s funeral.
The person next to me, a close friend at the time, started holding forth about how could a grown man not own a suit that fits. I don’t think I said much as she waxed stentorian on the subject but finally when she asked me directly how a grown man didn’t own a suit that fit I answered.
“He has cancer.”
And that, my little biscuits and gravy, is why you don’t comment on someone’s weight change.
I understand we’re naturally conditioned to think weight loss is good, healthy and desirable. And if a big girl loses weight? Why NOT make public comments of congratulations? Surely she couldn’t possibly be sick, suffering from an eating disorder or heck, just thinks something as personal and private as the choices she makes with her body shouldn’t really be open for general discussion. Would you say “Hey! Congratulations on your terminated pregnancy!” (I mean I would, but only to close friends, and certainly not by shouting it down the hallway.)
Recently I’ve lost weight. I don’t own a scale but I’d say it’s somewhere between “a bunch” and “a mess” and I’m fine with it. I liked my body before, I like it now. It really hasn’t been that big a deal.
I’ve got cheekbones so that’s nice, but none of my clothes fit and that isn’t nice at all.
Other than that my life isn’t any different at a size 18 than it was at a 22. It just takes up moderately less space.
And yeah, I’ve done it on purpose because the less I weigh the less ruinously expensive, side effect-laden, make-sure-she-doesn’t-go-into-shock-and-die medicine I have to have injected into my veins every six weeks until I go to the big rodeo in the sky. And you know? That’s working. It’s also none of anyone’s damn business.
But the point is, until I tell you, you don’t know.
You don’t know if I’m losing weight because I’m sick, or because I’m so distressed I’ve stopped eating, or if I’ve gone on a steady diet of tapeworms, laxatives and medical grade blow.
So please, I know you mean well, but unless you’re invited to touch my body, you’re not invited to comment on it. Let’s just focus on the important thing: how fabulous are my shoes?
Gin and Tonics,