Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

Not quite sure how to start this post, so let me just plunge right in. It’s about the way we women talk to each other. It’s seems that our focus on our weight is a common bond and a major way we define ourselves.

Let me explain.

The past two days were spent in a company-wide meeting of all editors in my division. It’s a bunch of unbelievably smart people, with a few more women than men. One of the highlights was, of course, getting a chance to talk with everyone and forming a bond. I can’t begin to tell you how many conversations ran into weight/eating/exercise within the first 5 minutes!

And, in a bit of cosmic humor, the presenter at one session used the example of a feature she’d recently done – about anorexia in the fashion industry!

It’s a focus for all of us – those who have no intentions of losing more weight are focused on not gaining. Some are focusing on losing a few pounds, and others on more. And, of course, the ‘focus’ ranges from ‘hmm, this is just something I’m doing because it’s important’ to ‘I’m obsessed with every mouthful I eat and every minute of exercise I do,’ with many, many shades of grey in between.

I must confess I got a wee bit frustrated. After all, we have so many other things to talk about – the directions of the publications, corporate goals, vacations, funny things we’ve heard – that I must confess I started to avoid a couple of people.

We are all much more than a number on a scale [and I know that someone else around here wrote that comment]. The fact that some of us use the common issue of weight control to strike up friendships just doesn’t seem right. On the other hand, it’s also an immediate connection, and that’s what most people strive for when they are plunged into a group of people they don’t know well.

So, what did we eat? Everything! The buffet lunches were very healthy, and there was always plenty of water. But desserts – and the afternoon breaks – let’s just say I won’t indulge in food porn here!

Bottom line, balance is key. Not that I’m there yet!

5 thoughts on “Talk, talk, talk

  1. cindy says:

    Hi Jane,
    Great post. Yes, we are more than a number on a scale and we should be able to relate on more dynamic issues than our size, eating and exercise habits. At the same time, this is a central focus of who WE are (people who are, or have been struggling with obesity). I know it is a part of my definition of myself. I have recently had to “explain” myself to a few people who only met me after most of my weight loss. We’ve gotten to know each other pretty well, but there was this ‘gap’ in our realities, as far as I was concerned. They didn’t know who I really was, because they didn’t know who I’d been… if that makes sense. So we had the food talk…and have returned to our growing relationship. It is different, but I think it is okay. I know it feels more honest, so it is better for me.
    Another piece of this weight talk issue: as much as women talk about their dieting, losing, exercising, etc… they have very cryptic ways of refering to what they are doing. Most people will do EVERYTHING they can to avoid talking real numbers. Oh, they’ll say “I lost 5 pounds.” or “I need to lose another 10 pounds.” But no one ever says, “I’m down to 204!” People who have known me for years and years know I have lost a lot of weight—122 pounds, and counting. I was talking to one friend the other day, showing her my necklace that I’d just bought. When I noticed that I had collar bones (of a sort) I promised myself a gold chain. I’d always wanted one. I decided to wait until I reached a milestone and chose 200 pounds, because it was the next biggie coming up. The store had a big sale last week, though, and I hadn’t quite reached that goal. As I spoke to my friend, I commented that I was 205, but I couldn’t pass up the sale. She was shocked, I think, that I would (A) mention my actual weight and (B) that I could weigh over 200 pounds—I’m tall, so I guess I carry it pretty well (these things I don’t know because I think I look awful). Anyway, she did the math and remarked “I can’t believe you used to weigh over 300 pounds!” Well, believe it! Maybe it is time for us to stop hiding numbers behind smoke and mirrors. Maybe then they wouldn’t have so much power. Or maybe I’m just kidding myself. Maybe I should think again before I share this kind of information, even if it is with a friend…

  2. Deirdre says:

    What was the age group? I’ve noticed that, that as we age, boomers are becoming more conscious of our health and how our habits have an effect on it. Diet and exercise are part of that.

  3. Cathy says:

    I so agree, Jane. Women talk to each other about weight control *so much* because it seems our focus since childhood is body image. Thin is always in, who’s pretty, who isn’t, what is she wearing…blah blah. Yes there are soooo many other things to talk about!! But we (I mean women over 30 I guess) have been programmed, first by our mothers and then the media…that you have to “look good”, whatever that means. It’s a hard habit to break.

  4. susan says:

    I have made a conscious effort not to encourage or join in such talk for the past year and boy, is it HARD. It’s very freeing not to discuss it anymore, however.

  5. Kierie says:

    Hi Jane 🙂
    I think we’re almost taught to bond over our insecurities. I remember a girl in HIghschool I thought she was athletic but she was obsessed with being fat so that’s what we talked about diet. one of my best friends now in our group there were 2 skinny girls and 2 shall we say voluptuous girls. Now that I am getting skinny and working on owning it She kinda has a problem with me. its not us versus them. I think that’s why women bond over weight to have someone to identify with. That doesn’t make it healthy. I think if we were societally instilled with the notion that we’re worth more than a pair of jeans (and I’m super guilty of this) then we’d be like ok I’m 205 (which i also learned to own) and you know what I’m a fabu cook or I’m a terrific writer. anywho off the soapbox and back to the salt mines
    Kierie

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