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Weight Bias

Mar 6, 2020

I manage my own social media so - yup - I get to see the judgmental comments and private messages I receive.

Dear Redacted,

Don’t be sorry, it’s been a long journey and I’ve grown so much inside too. I’ve found a way to not let words like this impact me anymore. So I’m sure your apology makes you feel better about saying mean and hurtful things, but it’s totally unnecessary to apologize to me.

Clearly you haven’t been following along closely. That’s ok, you get to chose where you get your inspiration and what areas of your life you’d like to improve. You get to decide who you let in and who you tune out. That’s how this works best. But since you missed it - let me catch you up. I’ve addressed my weight gain many times on every platform I’m on. I don’t hide from it one bit.

There are periods of life where significant events are a contributing factor to incremental weight gain. In no particular order and certainly not a complete list, here are a few: Weddings, Retirement, Divorce, Birth of a child, Grief, College and your favorite, Bullying.

Shortly after I made goal and as a WW lifetime member learning to navigate my 2nd year of maintenance, I experienced three of those events. My new lifestyle wasn’t yet habitual nor cemented in my mindset, though I was doing ok pretending and learning. I shared what I knew and many followed along. I had the devastating opportunity to experience multiple periods of grief. Then in the midst of that, I retired after 27 years in the same military career. One person I really wanted to be there to celebrate with us, couldn’t because cancer doesn’t discriminate.

My weight crept up and comments just like yours flooded my inbox. They were following along much closer because that was about 7 months ago. It had a huge negative impact on me, even though I tried hard not to let it. I wanted to hide. I could have. I wanted to quit. I wanted to resign as a WW coach. I could have hid from the internet. I could have simply vanished. Many may not have noticed while others wished I had. Then WW switched their focus to wellness and I learned, despite my weight, I was well. Really well, internally.

So, I didn’t quit. I knew I needed the support of the many who didn’t judge me by my appearance. In your case though, it’s worse, because when you started following it was because you were inspired and likely found some qualities in me you admired or appreciated. Sadly you were able to toss that aside simply because I didn’t look the part anymore.

I didn’t lose my compassion for others. I didn’t lose the knowledge I gained, nor did I lose the skill set required to educate others. Your eyes, prevent you from seeing that in me and it’s ok. You’re encouraged to seek out inspiration where you need it as I said earlier. The parting shot prefaced with an apology though, is just mean, hurtful and bullying. Luckily you aren’t the first so I’ve found a way to ignore your hatred and still give you a response.

By not quitting, I’ve also learned many others find this part of the journey just as inspiring since so many can relate. Weigh re-gain is a very real thing for so many and the most common solution is to give up. Even with your encouraging message, I refuse to do so.

I’m here for me first. So, in doing so, I stay transparent knowing I’m not alone. Those who need to see this stage of the journey empower me to be better.

I don’t do it for your validation or approval. I do it for me, to continually improve and remind myself what’s at stake. If one person finds it helpful then great. If that person isn’t you - fine - I hope you find the inspiration you need to be a better person. Since there is obvious room for improvement.

I said I would never quit. I said I would never give up and that’s what I’m working on currently.

I wish you well.

FatDag