Shocking to see me with a blog post on a Monday! It’s been awhile and life has been crazy, but I wanted to give you guys a regular post and not just a recipe this week.
Todays post will be more along the lines of me thinking out loud and asking for your opinion on a certain matter. Kind of a Monday musings if you will. Here is the question I have been wondering over the past few days: why do we feel more comfortable telling a skinny or thin person to go eat a cheeseburger than telling an overweight person that they need to eat less or go on a diet? I know that I am just as guilty of this as the next person. I am totally ok with telling someone (usually a friend or someone I know and in a joking manner) that they should go eat some food, but I would never dream of telling someone in that same way that they need to stop eating so much or go on a diet.
Let me clarify. In a totally professional realm where someone is coming to me to seek help and guidance about becoming healthier, I would have no problem steering them in the way of eating better and moving more. You know that I am a huge proponent of finding what works for you health wise and I am passionate about helping others find what that means to them. But to just walk up to someone who is overweight and tell them to go on a diet? No way. Not only would I think that’s rude, others would probably deem me as an awful or cruel person. But when you turn the tables and you’re telling someone they are too thin and need to eat more food? I feel like that is a whole different ball game. Suddenly, you are doing that person a favor. You are worried about their health and are only trying to help. Why does the size of the person make all the difference when it comes to what you say?
Now I understand that this feeling doesn’t apply to everyone. Maybe you are someone who has no problem telling anyone that they need to eat more or less. Maybe you feel like one isn’t taboo while the other is totally acceptable. Maybe I am making a much bigger deal out of this than I need to.
I think my biggest issue with this is that I know that comments like this can hurt the self esteem of the person in question, small, big, or medium size. Rather than telling someone what they need to do more or less of, we should be trying to find the best way to help or support them. We shouldn’t be judging people on their size any way, we have no idea where they are coming from. We don’t know if they have already lost 100 pounds and are in the middle of their weight loss journey. We don’t know if they are training for a competition and despite their small size could pick you up and throw you over their shoulder and carry you 200 feet. We can’t tell those things by just looking at someone. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, right?
A more controversial part of me thinks that perhaps we are too accepting of bad health and that’s why we feel more comfortable telling someone to eat more rather than less. There is no question that Americans are dealing with obesity and all the diseases and symptoms that come along with that. We are very good at treating the problems and issues that occur along with being unhealthy or overweight, but we for some reason can’t get to the root of the problem and stop it before it becomes a major issue. Maybe that’s because we all feel it isn’t ok to try and address people directly. I’m not talking about in a cruel, derogatory, or rude manner, but coming from a place of truly wanting to help someone live healthier and approaching them in a loving and compassionate way. I am in no way advocating that we just start walking up to random people and telling them they need to get healthier. I do advocate trying to get the message out that it is possible for everyone to be the healthiest version of themselves. I also advocate that we don’t all need to be the same size or shape to be healthy and we should celebrate the fact that we are all different and unique in our own ways.
I know that society dictates a lot of how we feel or think about certain things. Unfortunately as much as I try to avoid that and form my own opinions and feelings on certain issues, I am just as susceptible to the popular opinion. Fortunately, as I grow older and learn more and more about myself and what it means to be healthy, I am finding that I really want to try and help change the views of society when it comes to issues like this. Will I be able to do it all on my own? No. But one voice in the crowd is better than no voice at all.
Let’s hear from you guys. What are your thoughts and musings on this issue? Do you think it is as big a problem or do you feel I am making a mountain out of mole hill? I would love to hear from you on this one!
Have a great Monday everyone!