One word: earphones
March 26, 2012 5:11 AM Subscribe
I have a lot of weight, eating, and body-image related issues that I am trying my best to overcome. It is going to be a long hard slog. I'm much better than I used to be, but one thing that makes me feel really bad is when colleagues and friends talk about dieting and working out.
posted by anonymous to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I don't really know how to phrase this question.
I know that (a) people should totally diet/work out if they want to and (b) they are totally within their rights to talk about it a lot, should they want to, but it makes me feel really bad to hear, so I need some help in filtering this out, and in not feeling like such a gross fat failure whenever they talk about these things.
They are of both genders, but invariably thin (my overweight friends never talk about these things, possibly because we know what a sensitive topic it can be).
I have a very fraught history with food, weight, etc - I was put on my first diet when I was about seven years old - and I am pretty big right now, with a tendency to eat too much when stressed. I have been on diets before but they sent my anxiety off the charts so I stopped. I have bouts of being very active and bouts of being very sedentary. I was bullied quite badly at school for being fat (though I wasn't really that fat) and had very low self esteem. I work quite hard on my self-esteem now so it's not as bad as it has been. I work hard at being positive. I like the way I look about 70% of the time.
But one thing that always makes me feel like an outsider and a failure as a woman (!) is when my co-workers or friends start talking enthusiastically about dieting, how great So-and-so looks now that they've lost weight, how "bad" they felt after eating that one cookie, but how they're going to make up for it by running four miles tonight. That sort of thing. I feel like an outsider because I obviously can't join in, and I feel like a failure because, well, the entire conversation is about how they don't want to become fat, ie, like me. (I know this is a very narcissistic way to relate to their conversation. It is however my kneejerk reaction.)
So I guess I need some practical pointers on how to deal. I already use earphones at work, and when my friends talk about these things I just ignore it or change the subject. I am hesitant to say "When you talk about these things it makes me feel really bad" - what I can articulate to a bunch of strangers on the internet, I cannot say to people face to face. It would just put me out there and I would feel really vulnerable - and in the case of colleagues, these are not people I particularly want to show my vulnerable side to.
Sorry, this got super long. Thanks for your help