The other day I posted a comment I received about dieting and happiness from Carrie. When I initially read the comment I was a bit affected by it’s tone and disapproval of my lifestyle. I write this blog in a journalistic style so when people make comments “in that tone” it does feel like a strike at me. Don’t get me wrong, I value peoples opinions and I know not everyone will agree with me and my lifestyle but putting yourself “out there” opens you up for criticism and I think it’s important for me (us) to be able to handle it without and long term damaging effects. It’s one way I am trying to make myself a better person.
My strategy, I respond. I try to do it calming yet firm way where I stand up for myself and what I believe. I also try to always see the perspective of the other person before replying. Normally I understand where they are coming from but if they expressed their opinion is an offensive of sarcastic way I can’t help but reply in the same tone.
All that being said Carrie was nice enough to reply to my reply and I think it’s important for you all to see it. It’s not about bashing or making someone feel uncomfortable for their point of view. It’s about learning from each other and sharing our opinions in a way were we can all learn and grow. That, in my opinion, is the beauty of the blogs and this whole new way to communicate online and that is exactly what Carrie and I have done (In my opinion anyway, she may disagree)
Here is her response to my response…
There was not one thing in my comment that was meant to put anyone down. If you are happy, which you certainly seem to be, then I think that’s wonderful. The sad fact is, there are many unhappy women out there who focus on this one aspect of their lives because they are convinced that if they just work hard enough to change this physical thing about themselves, then they will be happy. They buy into the idea that they are wrong or bad in some way because they weigh more or have a higher dress size than they are ‘supposed to’. I think it would be incredible if we could all just wake up to how fantastic we all are today as we are and stop focusing all of our energy on fitting what, for many, is an unattainable ideal.
An my response…
Again, I agree with you. I found happiness before I found weight loss.
I think I (and others) feel as though your comment "puts us down" because you are inferring I and others are wasting our energy. It is
condescending to say things like… "there’s got to be more to life
than the number of points in a tortilla, yes?"
Of course there is, but don’t knock me for sharing information I find
useful. I happen to enjoy learning about new foods, finding light
products and experimenting in the kitchen. It’s a hobby and a way of
life for me. So I’m not wasting my time, I’m enjoying myself.
Your point… " The sad fact is, there are many unhappy women out
there who focus on this one aspect of their lives because they are
convinced that if they just work hard enough to change this physical
thing about themselves, then they will be happy."
Is well sad and I talk a lot about how I had to accept myself, and be
happy in my skin before I made any type of physical changes. So again,
we agree to agree!
Thanks again, and I’m not sure if you are aware but there’s a hefty
conversation going on around your comment. Since you sent me your
response in a private email I’d like to ask your permission to post
it. I think this is a great, civil conversation that many can learn
and grow from.
Her response to my response’s response. *smirk* I love writing things like that.
Absolutely feel free to use any of my responses. I thought back over my comment and realized that it totally could have come off as judgmental and I apologize for that. I guess the thing that made me comment in the first place was reading all of the comments from people on your site who seemed so down on themselves because of their size or weight or difficulty in maintaining any kind of weight loss. I totally understand the idea of wanting to change your body as I have many things I would want to change about mine, and I can’t claim to be blissfully happy and in love with myself all the time because that’s just not reality, but it has been my personal experience that dieting is basically putting yourself through the wringer over and over and that real happiness can’t be found in a number on the scale. You and I don’t have to agree and again, I’m happy that you are happy and I’m happy that anyone who reads or comments on your site is happy. I just wish there was some way to help the unhappy ones find that happiness without putting themselves through the wringer again.
My last response to Carrie
Thank you for this great conversation! I think a lot of people are on the same page about this issue and don’t realize it. This causes unnecessary conflict and a polarization of people on different sides of the scale. People at any size need to find their own happiness and, unfortunately weight seems to be a barrier to that for many of us.