Things You Should Not Say to an Overweight Person

You know when you just posted a photo on Facebook feeling good about yourself, minding your own business and then someone who barely knows what’s up comments, “Oh my gosh, you look fat in this photo!” Right there. Right on that post. On your Facebook wall that everyone can see.

Or when you were buying groceries in Walmart and saw this person after a year in college then they joked about you getting the Freshman 25 instead of the infamous Freshman 15.

I understand that some people may just be showing their concern but then there are others who just wants to voice out what they think without trying to understand what is actually going on.

1. “You should just stop eating. Haha.”  It’s not funny. Never drive someone to a bad habit. Do you know how many people these days resort to bad eating habits that result to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia? According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANRED), about 8 million people have eating disorders in the US alone.

Your words are more powerful than you think. Use it for the better.

2. “Don’t you go to the gym?” Okay, this. I have been going to the gym since I was 17 and I am now 20. I haven’t lost much weight because there were months that I skipped. Reasons were school exams and activities, family issues and personal issues.

Don’t make someone feel bad because the method they are using are not working. You don’t know how much they’re trying and the battles they’re fighting.

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3. “Why are you so fat?” I don’t know maybe I ate a lot when I was in distress. Maybe I’ve been so busy with my job lately. Or maybe I have an eating disorder. Aha!

There are just so many factors that affects a person’s health. You shouldn’t just assume that you know everything.

4. “You and *insert a name of another heavy person* must be siblings.” This joke never cease to irritate me. You don’t have to do that to make a point. I can see myself in the mirror and I know how heavy I am. This is the joke that when I  protest, they tell me, “Why, because she’s fat? You’re so mean.”

Just wow. Even though we are close, I would not tolerate such judgements.

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5. “Do this. Do that.” This is most often from someone who has already lost weight or has been losing weight. It doesn’t matter how much you push something to someone, if he or she doesn’t have the desire to do it herself then it’s not going to happen.

If you really are concerned, talk to them about it. Heart to heart. Don’t push it.

6. “Ano ba kasi mga kinakain mo?” What do you even eat? I’m actually trying to eat healthy thank you so much. Most of the heavy people have a very sloooooooooooow metabolism caused by their genetic makeup or by their lifestyle. I, for example, have a disorder called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which is a common hormonal abnormality in women. Because of PCOS, even with the right nutrition from food, I still find it very hard to lose weight.

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7. “Nakatira ka siguro sa kusina ‘no?” You probably live in the kitchen, right? Ah, this. One of the Filipino Tita’s (aunt) classic comments. When I was a kid, I would just smile shyly when this happens. I thought that it was just an adult thing to tell kids the harsh truth even if it was hurtful… because you know, kids might learn from things they can’t grasp. As I grow older, I learned that these shouldn’t be something anyone has to put up to especially as a kid.

In other words, your harsh criticisms only bring us further discouragement and misery. Don’t abuse us with your words even if you think you said it with love. Quick remarks can be a long time trauma. Don’t let us make your comment our everything.

If you really are concerned, invite them to a healthy dinner at your house, go with them for an afternoon walk or simply be someone whom they can talk to. There are many ways of showing your love with someone. Ways that don’t make them feel worse than what they already feel. Having a strong support is what they need.

Trust me, losing weight ain’t a piece of cake.

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