A village spectacle

Posted by Paola

Yesterday evening, walking back from the post box, one of my neighbours said “have you lost a lot of weight?” as she parked her car. I said, “yes, four stone”. (I told her that she was the first person to notice who hadn’t known I was dieting.)

She asked “how?” in a way that seemed to expect an answer in the form of so-and-so diet.

I said “1,200 calories a day since January”. It didn’t seem like the answer she expected.

“Good for you!” she said, “good for you.”

I was chuffed. She’d said “a lot” of weight.

A few minutes later, when I was doing stuff at the front of the house, Marcus, her 9 yr old that I play with regularly came out and said “mum says you’ve lost a lot of weight.” “Uh-huh,” I replied. He went back in.

A few minutes after that, her teenage son, his friend and Marcus came out to where I was in the front garden and they all stood there, looking at me. “My, you’ve lost a lot of weight” said the older son, who sees me about once a week outside. I realised his mum must have been talking about my weight-loss.

I asked Marcus how heavy he was. He said “five”. I figured stone (5 stone = 70 lbs). I told them, “in two months time I will have lost the equivalent in weight of Marcus as he is now.” They looked a bit boggled, muttered “well done” and left.

THAT NIGHT, I dreamt that I was about to be photographed in a ball gown and was being helped by two people. I caught myself in a reflection and saw that my belly and bum looked HUGE. I wailed that I didn’t want to be photographed in public as I was too fat. The two woman friends with me, who were helping me get ready, said “no, no, you look fine,” and carried on bustling around me.

So, what the f is that all about?


3 thoughts on “A village spectacle

  1. How bizarre.

    The initial conversation is typical – one of my friends literally screeches with fury when people ask her how she lost weight. She answers with “I ate less” but it must be tempting to make something up.

    “A purple fairy appeared to me one day and offered me a free wish.”

    I think sometimes they mean “what type of diet did you use” but often it sure does seem like they are looking for a magic answer.

    Poor Marcus, at that age I strongly suspect he doesn’t see the difference at all (and doesn’t even look at your overall bodyshape that closely) so I’m wondering if the repeated conversations might have been Marcus trying to understand what the fuss was about?

    The dream sounds like being worried about being put on the spot – got any big dates looming?

  2. I do understand the “how” question and the slight disappointment in finding out that it’s only about eating less.

    I remember thinking the last few years that I would be upset if I found out that eating less was actually ALL that it would take for me to lose weight, that it could be that simple.

    I imagined I’d need intensive psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, brain re-programming, be constantly hungry and would have to exercise daily; that the physical manifestation of my mental baggage couldn’t be so easily dealt with by just simply eating less. I didn’t believe that weight-loss was so straight-forward and certainly not that it was achievable by me.

    Maybe we want our weight problems to have more complicated solutions as it makes us feel less foolish to have carried the burden for so long and without dealing with it sooner.

  3. I think it’s a wider issue than that. I think that the media (especially magazines and tv shows aimed at women) are saturated with diets. No, more than that. They are saturated with messages about how we can make ourselves better. (How we are failing in one way or another) How to get a man, how to get more sex, better sex, how to be thinner, more successful, happier at work and so on. The message that seems to be on the front of every woman’s magazine every week is how to lose weight. (What are the statistics – something like 70% of all British women are on a diet at any one time?)

    Keeping this in mind, we are programmed to think that not only is everything wrong with us but if only we could find the magical formula we could solve it. If we start to believe the messages we will start to look for the answers and we will look to these magazines to solve our problems.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s