Have you ever had someone approach you with a comment or question that kind of takes you of guard? Maybe even makes you feel a little bit uncomfortable about yourself, or causes you to questions things about yourself? I am sure we can all say that at some point in our lives we have had to deal with awkward statements and questions (and I don’t necessarily mean inappropriate sexual comments). And I am sure we can all relate in how uncomfortable it made us feel.
Well, I get some of these awkward comments and questions in regards to my size. Let me just go ahead and throw out to you that I am not a big girl. Really, I probably could audition to be one of the munchkins in The Wizard of Oz. I am only 5’2″ (without high heels), and I have a very small frame. I am the smallest out of my family. My sister who is 5 years older than me stands about 5’9″ to 5’10” tall, and my brother who is 2 years younger than me stands 6’3″ tall. My Mom is 5’5″ and my dad is about the same height as my sister. So, yes I am the smallest out of the bunch. I have never seen it as an issue.
So, back in 2004 to 2005 when I lost weight (not an extreme amount) I began having people say things about my size. I didn’t know how to take it at the time. Were they suggesting that I wasn’t eating? I had one person actually tell me that I didn’t need to be harming my body and that I needed to eat. Thankfully another person came to my defense and let that other person know that he never saw me without any food. I will admit that when the weight first began coming off, I wasn’t doing it in the most healthy way possible. I was depressed, and that is what triggered my weight loss initially. But it isn’t what kept the weight off.
Fast forward to the present. I actually do go about weight management and eating in healthy way. I still get comments about my size. “Jaclyn, are you losing weight?” “Jaclyn, you don’t need to lose any more weight!” “I believe you get tinier and tinier every time I see you.” For some people, these comments might be nice to hear, but for me there aren’t the comments I want. These are the awkward comments that leave me feeling uncomfortable. I begin questioning what I am doing, wondering what they actually think about me and what I am doing, and other crazy thoughts. It doesn’t make me feel all giddy. It doesn’t flatter me.
I know good and well that I don’t need to lose weight. I know that I don’t need to diet (that’s why I don’t). I am aware that I am small. I am aware that I may be smaller than I once was in the past. But what some people fail to realize is that I don’t workout and eat clean in order to lose weight. I don’t restrict myself. I don’t weigh myself everyday. I don’t obsess over calories. I don’t even use the word diet. I workout because I want to be fit. I want to be strong. I want to be in the best shape that I possibly can be. I eat clean because I want to fuel my body right. I want to treat my body right. I want to eat foods that are going to improve my health, not tear it down. And overall, I workout and eat clean because I want to honor God by taking care of the body He has gifted to me.
Working out and eating clean isn’t always about a goal to lose weight. It’s not a fad. It’s not a trend. It’s not a “new diet.” It’s a lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle that I choose because I want to treat my body right. I want to take care of my body. And I want to set a good example for my kids, family members, and friends. While there are some people who do have weight loss as their goal, it is not my goal. It may have been at one point, but it is not my goal now. Living a healthy lifestyle is my goal.
So, how do I deal with the awkward comments? To begin with, not so well. I have never smarted off or run away in tears, but I have let it eat me up on the inside. But I am learning to laugh it off now. I am learning to share in my own way of how I am just living a healthy lifestyle. And I am learning to not question myself or what I am doing to care for my body. I am learning to just be me. God created me, loves me, and cares for me. And I am fearfully and wonderfully made in his image.
Grace & Peace, Jac