Thursday, February 10

The Ball Park of Reality

The other day in the office the conversation turned to the one topic guaranteed to make me run for cover – weight – specifically how much people weigh. Thankfully I was in an adjoining room and was therefore spared from pretending I wasn’t paying attention and freely able to eavesdrop.

One of my co-workers referred to someone who was tall for her age and said she weighed about ‘180’. Another co-worker quickly replied with “Hey, that’s my size.”

I was struck by these statements because neither of these people is fat - yet our culture tells us that if you are a woman and weigh 180 lbs, you must be fat. And I’m ashamed to that in that moment I realized that I kind of believe it too. I pretend I don’t. I pretend that most people that discuss weight are clueless. I scoff at those men who think that the majority of women weigh less than 120lbs. I tell myself it is all media hype and that we fall for it because the only women who will reveal their weight are usually underweight. Or lying.

But I must believe it because I was shocked to hear that these two people actually weigh 180lbs. I mean, if they weigh 180 and are not obese, that means that other non-obese women must also weigh 180lbs. Where are they? Why are they not shouting from the rooftops that they are average size, and therefore average weight AND they are not 110lbs? Why didn’t anyone tell me, when I weighed 180lbs, that I wasn’t abnormal?

I believe that most women weigh more than they would admit to. I completely understand. My weight on my driver’s license isn’t really in the ball park of reality. I wonder if the reason no one will be honest about it, is because no one else is. Do all women secretly think that there is no way they look like they weigh what the scale says? Do we all feel that those around them would be shocked, if not repulsed, to know our true weight? I look around at those who seem to be a similar size, look at them and think – there is no way they weigh as much as me. Instead I seem to believe that I have a freakishly dense body composition and no one must ever know.

Imagine if everyone told the truth. Imagine how freeing and empowering it could be.

I’m just not going first.


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