Ah Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful, eat some delicious food, and see people you haven't seen all year. I'm putting together a series of posts, a Thanksgiving Survival Guide if you will that will help you handle the most awkward of situations this year. Before you do anything else SUBSCRIBE so you don't miss a post!
Most of us know not to bring up touchy subjects like politics, but what about comments on appearance? Especially those related to weight gain or weight loss. Ever had an Aunt/Uncle/Mom or Cousin say to you, "Wow looks like you've been hitting the cookies pretty hard" or "Ohh You've gained quite a bit of weight haven't you? "
Even when these comments are "well intentioned" like, "is everything ok honey, you're getting a little heavy" they can be very insulting and traumatic. Here's a guide of things NOT to say to someone in your life that may have gained weight.
Have you put on a FEW pounds? Look this person is probably very aware that they've gained weight. It's not necessary for you to point it out.
I find it so easy to gain weight this time of year don’t you? While seemingly well-intentioned and self-deprecating, it's not doing either of you any good. The other person will likely feel awkward admitting to you that maybe you've gained weight or will be more self-conscious about their own body.
I heard X diet is easy have you tried it? I'm sure Aunt Susan has heard of keto, weight watchers or whatever it is you're going to say. Asking someone about a diet is kind of like asking who they voted for, it can be a ticking time bomb. Just don't. Please.
That shirt would look better tucked in or that dress is a little tight etc? Now if your spouse is telling you that your shirt doesn't match your pants or that you're wearing 2 different shoes that's fine. Telling someone their clothes are too tight or that they probably shouldn't have worn that is very inappropriate. Maybe it's all they have that fits or maybe they haven't been able to afford or make time to buy new clothes.
Comments like “Do you really think you need another roll” or "are you sure you want pie?" Yall the food police have NO place at your holiday meal. It's not for you to say what's ok for someone else to eat or not eat. Unless of course it has nuts in it and they have a severe nut allergy. Serve everyone the same or let them serve themselves.
Did you know weight gain can raise blood pressure etc? Omg, I had no idea, said no one ever. Yes they know the "implications" of weight gain, but also WEIGHT DOES NOT DETERMINE HEALTH and yes I'm yelling at you lololol
AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL
Some people are perfectly happy exactly how they are - their weight is their business. You do not have to be thin to be healthy or happy okurrr.
NOW IF AND ONLY IF someone brings up how they are struggling mentally, physically, or emotionally: Listen, provide emotional support and let them know they are loved. Offer to do something active with them, like go for a walk, hike, or take a class, OR suggest some of your favorite healthier recipes, meditation apps, etc. Or refer them to me :) and I'll be glad to see if I can help them or refer them to someone in my network who can.
A lot of times when someone is criticizing another person, they are projecting their own insecurities. Nine times out of 10 it has nothing to do with you.
If you struggle with self-confidence, focus on how you can build that up! I highly suggest the book "You are a Badass" by Jen Sincero to start, most libraries will have it and you can borrow books for your kindle or iPad for free with a library card!
I'll be back tomorrow with tips for ways you can deflect the conversation away from your body/weight/life etc! SUBSCRIBE so you don't miss a post!
PS: The holidays can be a very emotional and stressful time for everyone. If you OR someone you know is suffering from depression or is feeling suicidal speak up and do something right away. The suicide hotline is open 24/7 and can be reached at: 800-273-8255. Help is out there and you don't have to suffer alone.