Piggybacking

PS, piggybacking was the buzzword of the century when I was in college.  Seriously.  But moving right along!

Piggbacking off of my emotions regarding Rachel Frederickson’s weight loss, I’ve noticed this really weird phenomenon regarding women and their weight.

We can’t win.

In college, I gained a pretty decent amount of weight, which I’ve been really open about here.  But I supposed a lot of people I’ve known in the recent years might not know that.  So anyhoo, at the end of my freshman year, I was at Cram Jam, which was, coincidentally, a late night brunch so you could have fuel to study.  I ran into this girl, Kea, who I’d known in high school.  Kea greeted me by grabbing my stomach, and practically yelling, “Man, you’ve put on some weight.”

The day of Elon’s graduation, I actually graduated wearing this cute slinky skater dress because I couldn’t zip up the floral strapless garden party dress that I’d been intending to wear.  Another blow.

This is what I ended up wearing at graduation when I discovered the dress I wanted to wear wouldn't zip up.
This is what I ended up wearing at graduation when I discovered the dress I wanted to wear wouldn’t zip up. Ouch!

So in my mind at that point, I’m thinking that if I lose the bit of weight that I needed to, the comments should stop, right?

Well.

After losing the weight, I got a few backhanded “compliments” from folks that would get filed in the same manila folder entitled “rude-ass comments that people need to keep to themselves.”  One was when I saw a guy who I hadn’t seen in a while at the gym who stated “I wasn’t sure that was you!  I knew you’d lost a ton of weight, but I couldn’t recognize you!”  But the amount of weight I’d lost wasn’t like hundreds of pounds, so I’m guessing he was just saying that for dramatic effect.  And most recently, a superior of mine directed my direct supervisor to grab me an extra brownie after I went for the salad in the conference room, as she was “concerned about my weight.”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take a whole lot of stock in what folks say about my weight, for larger or smaller, however I really feel like I can’t win between a girl physically grabbing my belly, and then the uncomfortable levels of attention I started receiving upon losing just a little bit of weight.

So how do you comment on someone’s appearance without making it about a number on the scale?

  1. Don’t mostly.  Seriously, if you’re not good with your words, just don’t say anything.
  2. Try to avoid the words skinny, fat, or anything that is indicative of a number.  One of the nicest compliments I received was from my dad, when he told me how strong I looked after a stint at the camp.  I won’t ever forget that!
  3. If you’re truly concerned about someone’s weight, for bigger or for smaller, ask if they’re okay.  “Are you okay?  I’ve just been sorta worried about you lately!”  Please avoid announcing to the room that they could lose a few or they could eat a brownie.  If someone’s truly sick, your offer of a brownie really isn’t going to help them out.  Just FYI.

So what do you think?  You ever feel like you just can’t win?

The Biggest Loser

I, like so many of you, woke up yesterday morning, and after logging into all the social media accounts, was bombarded by news of ‘The Biggest Loser’ finale.

For anyone who may have been sleeping under a rock, here’s what went down.

Rachel Frederickson was named as the winner of TBL on NBC at the finale on Tuesday night.  As of all accounts, she was looking fantastic during the finale episode, and in the months between that episode and the finale, Rachel managed to lose a decent amount of additional weight, and appeared, by many accounts “shockingly thin” at the finale on Tuesday evening.

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TBL via YouTube

Off of her previously 260-lb frame, the former athlete dropped 155-lbs, and nearly 60% of her body fat percentage.

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via NBC

The responses following the finale ranged from what seemed like genuine concern, to downright evil.

Here are a few of my thoughts on Rachel Fredrickson and her weight loss.

  1. First and foremost, I honestly feel/have felt conflicted about the situation since the finale.  Is she too thin?  Did she lose too much?  Is she healthy?  And the reason why I feel conflicted is that there’s really no way to know what’s going on in her head.
  2. Admittedly, Rachel seemed a little disconnected when she gave this interview to Reality TV World, however, it’s perfectly acceptable that she might be considered she’s been in weight-loss land for the better piece of a year.  She never directly addressed questions regarding whether she’d lost too much, but does she have to?
  3. When you lose weight, sometimes you lose sight of what you look like, or how other people may perceive you.  You see the same girl in the mirror every day, and though she’s becoming stronger, maybe smaller, and fitter, it’s hard to gauge when you’ve gone too far.  So, it’s entirely possible that as she’s been locked up in weight-loss land, and really has no sense of what’s going on.
  4. She obviously developed an eating disorder when she was doing the show.”  That may be, but that’s kind of a terrible thing to say and speculate on, especially considered that none of us have watched her throwing up her food, overexercising, or completely starving herself.  Yes, she appears extremely thin in the photos, and there is no denying that.  However, that’s a a really, truly serious thing to speculate on, and that’s really between her and her doctor.  And finally….
  5. I think we forgot something.  Rachel Frederickson is a human being who probably isn’t a hermit and read and heard some of the things that were said about her.  At this point, she’s gone from probably being criticized for the better part of her life.  She was a fit athlete who blew up, weight-wise.  That couldn’t have felt good.  She worked down to what she felt like was a great goal weight, and is now being criticized for where she is.  Would she look beautiful perhaps at 120?  Maybe?  But again, that’s really between her and her doctor, and not necessarily for me to say.

Like I said, I feel horrible for her, and I truly hope she feels strong, happy, and healthy.  Now, tell me, what do you think of Tueday’s finale?  Have you ever felt criticized for your weight?  How you you think this will change TBL in the future?