One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

INSIGHTS

Ignoring the Peanut Gallery

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peanut gallery

A few weeks ago, I strapped Little Bean in the stroller and took advantage of a gorgeous fall day by going for a run. While crossing an intersection I glanced over to the cars waiting at the light and saw a guy opening his window. All of a sudden he blurts out,

"Stop running. You’re too thin!"

I so wanted to flip him the bird and NOT in a cute way like the husband.

Instead, I ignored him and just kept running.

My mind was racing…

First of all, I’m not running to be thin, I’m running because I like the way it makes me feel. Second, Too thin? Really? I’m not going to lie, part of me was a little flattered even though I know he didn’t mean it as a compliment, but then I gave myself a mental slap and remembered (third) his opinion doesn’t mean squat to me. I don’t care if you think I’m fat, skinny, or anything in between. It’s taken me a long time to realize that the only person’s opinion about my body that matters is mine. Everyone else can go–trying to keep it clean here–suck a duck. Fourth–because now I’m on a roll— who do you think you are spewing your opinions out you car window? I mean, really, what are you trying to accomplish?

Why do people feel the need to give unsolicited advice?

Like…

"Anon" who left a comment on my Weight Progress page today…

You’ve been plateaued for years and need to make some changes! Start reading up on paleo/primal, reinvestigate intermittent fasting, research high intensity interval training, blood type theory, leptin etc. You aren’t making progress, you’re going backwards. As long as you *think* you have an ED, you do. Mark’s Daily Apple has a lot of good info, you might want to head over there.

My response…

Not sure what you are talking about. I’ve maintained for years. How THIN do you think I should (or anyone) should be?!?

Here I have one schmuck telling me I’m too thin and another one giving me weight loss advice because I’m "going backwards??"

THIS is why you ignore the Peanut Gallery. If you don’t, you’re doomed. It’s impossible to make everyone happy. Do what’s right for you and ignore the naysayers.

You know what they say, opinions are like…. fill in the blank. I’ve been sassy enough in this post already. ;)



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I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 51 comments so far.

    Andrea

    November 3, 2011

    I love sassy, so there you have it! Couldn’t agree more!!!

    girliefriend

    November 3, 2011

    You have the right attitude Roni. Methinks anon was just looking for a boost in his site traffic. ;) I mean really, how seriously can you take someone offering ‘advice’ when they won’t even claim their identity?

    Lindsay

    November 4, 2011

    I am told on a daily basis by everyone I know that I am skinny, need to eat a cheeseburger, avoid the gym, and just gain weight. I think that all of these comments are unnecessary. I mean, I never go up to someone and say stop eating, lose weight, go run a marathon. Come on, it is just wrong and I dont feel like it is appropriate. What would you recommend someone like me do??

    Mehgann

    November 4, 2011

    I think you have the right attitude. However, while the dude with the window was clearly NOT trying to help, it is possible that anon was. Misguided? Yes. Judgmental? Clearly. But I think sometimes people’s good intentions are well hidden behind thoughtless mental diarrhea. I’ve said one or two things on message boards that I later regretted…I guess I’m just a fan of giving people the benefit of the doubt. :)

    Tami

    November 4, 2011

    If that person really wanted to help you then they should have left their name so you could at least tried to maybe see what they were trying to tell you

    roni

    November 4, 2011

    Lindsay – Exactly what I said in the post. :)

    Andi G

    November 4, 2011

    Roni, you’re so strong minded not to let this affect you! I really wish I was at that place. Do you think your old self before your weight loss was as confident? I ask because quite the opposite happened to me weeks ago and I don’t know how to ignore it. 
    I’m about 1/2 way through my weight loss, having lost an amazing 57.5lbs FOREVER!! I started speed walking a while back, and inspired by your running, I started running short stints as I walk down the road. One day a few weeks back an (adult) stranger leaned out his car window to insult my running. “You need to run MORE” he said in the most snidey voice I’ve ever heard. I know I’m not “skinny” and I don’t want to be Hollywood. I know I have a lot of loose skin all over, but I accept me and I love running.  So I know I don’t look pretty running down the road but he was wrong. I haven’t found my confidence yet, and I know it was my choice to let this affect me and I haven’t tried running since.  So when did you get your confidence back? How do I get to that place where I can ignore the peanut gallery???
    (sorry  it’s so long!)

    Ashley

    November 4, 2011

    “As long as you *think* you have an ED, you do.” what is (s)he even talking about?! when have you ever suggested you have an eating disorder?

    Bridget

    November 4, 2011

    Well, you know what you SHOULD do…. I’m kidding! lol. Atta girl! You’re only accountable to you. The rest can pound dirt. =-)

    roni

    November 4, 2011

    Andi – No I wasn’t always this confident and sometimes I’m still not. By writing posts like this it helps me immensely. They are like a form of therapy. Try writing a letter to that guy and tell him how his words hurt. Of course he’ll never read it but it’s not about him, it’s about you. You could also share the story on a message board or a blog. For me it’s about NOT internalizing the feelings. Get them out of your head and if you can find a supportive group of people to virtually “defend” you even better.

    Your car window jerk is 10 times worse then my car window jerk. WHY make someone feel bad for doing something good for them?? I swear it comes down to his own insecurities. The guy probably never ran a mile in his life.

    See, now don’t you feel better. ;)

    Jenn

    November 4, 2011

    Eh, everyone’s got an opinion. Most of them don’t matter. I’ll never understand what it is about this society that makes people think anything about my appearance is their business! I expect it out of the teenage boys who yell “Fat ass!” out their car windows when I’m out walking/jogging in the neighborhood (“Better a fat ass than a dumb ass!”) but grown adults really ought to know better.

    Just makes me think of the quote I keep seeing everywhere and just love: Do what you know in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized for it anyway.

    I don’t care if you think I’m too fat/too skinny/too whatever… I’ll make the choices that are right for me, you make the ones that are right for you and leave it at that!

    Dawn, Lay Down My Idols

    November 4, 2011

    Roni, this is a great post and reading the responses was helpful for me too. I think this is one thing that is keeping me from success – when I lost it before (the weight, hehe) it seemed that my body belonged to everyone. Everyone knew what was best for me and kept saying it (I was 170 and they’d say I was too skinny – I’m 5-2, ugh!). I need to be prepared for this when I get to goal.
    Dawn

    Patty

    November 4, 2011

    I think when people give unsolicited opinions they often have to do with their own agenda. Car window person may actually say that because he/she feels insecure about weight/fitness issues and wants to bring you down. Anon sounds like a spam pitch for some diet/program. Just keep true to yourself, YOU are the only opinion that counts for yourself!

    Marcia

    November 4, 2011

    AMEN!!! I have recently lost 35 pounds and have gotten a TON of comments that I should be done losing now?? Really? Last time I checked that was MY decision, not someone who is unhappy with the way they look. I assured them that I was just fine. UGH! People need to leave their comments to themselves, honestly, that is exactly why I am not on Facebook.

    LisaM

    November 4, 2011

    Here’s my car window story – last summer I was out on my typical jogging trek through the park, running alongside a road with lots of traffic waiting to get into the county fairgrounds. One car had two typical 20-something trashy girls waiting to get into the county fair (form mental picture here). The one on the passenger side leaned out her window and crowed, “That woman looks like she’s running in slow motion!” I stopped, planted my hands on my hips, and shouted, “At least I’m running!”(heavy emphasis on the “I’m”.) The look of shock was so worth it. So yes, I’ve been jogging for 10 yrs and can’t seem to make the transition to real running. Am slooowww and will always be. But I am in my 50’s and my BMI is in the normal range, and I am supremely content with that. What I wouldn’t give to have a crystal ball so I could see that chick 30 yrs from now to see if she’ll be claiming the same…

    Phoebe

    November 4, 2011

    Good for you. A pet peeve of mine is when we dwell on other people’s opinions that we don’t actually agree with or accept. So much energy can get lost in mentally trying to “convince” the person or “prove them wrong”.

    About “paleo/primal, reinvestigate intermittent fasting, research high intensity interval training…” I find that quite funny – its like the person is suggesting you do everything, and perhaps at once. I’ll get right on that…

    Thanks for your informative and fun blog.

    Susan

    November 4, 2011

    Roni, don’t forget the J bug-you’ll be surprised at how many of those negative comments come from being plain jealous because they can’t handle your success. I’ve maintained a 55-60 Ib weight loss for 5 yrs and some of my best friends have turned on me with snide comments about vanity, obsession, etc.
    I don’t care! I LOVE to wake up early in the morning and work out-just because I feel so good! I run because I love it! It’s good for me, and therefore good for my family. Happy moms make happy families! You go girl!

    Phoebe

    November 4, 2011

    and Note to Andi G – you said you think you don’t “look pretty” running. Actually I think to people with a healthy amount of empathy and people who feel secure about their body shape you look fabulous and like a hero. Too bad more of the people who think “Yahoo! Good for you!” don’t yell that out the window. Gotta sign up for a road race to get that :-)

    Andrea

    November 4, 2011

    Oh my! Now, while I will admit that I have laughed at how some people look when they exercise from inside my car (really, who puts together some of these outfits!) I would NEVER dream of saying anything mean, to anyone, EVER. So many of those behaviors sound like something you’d encounter in middle school–which is definitely not a period of my life that I cared to prolong!

    Lara Gustafson

    November 4, 2011

    You Rock Roni no matter what!!! You are exactly where I am at (although I hate running) but I exercise at home to Jillian religiously. I have lost 85 lbs through weight watchers as well have 4 kids. 3 under 6. Finding balance is brutal and YES I am obsessed with finding the right foods and balance. This halloween I actually gave up sugar (not natural and not my yogurt) as I did not think I needed halloween to dictate when I can have my chocolate or candy. It was a huge success and will do it often.

    Never mind the ney sayers. You are doing awesome and love your posts and inspiration.

    Sincerely, Lara

    Leslie

    November 4, 2011

    People can be such jerks. When someone offers “helpful” unsolicited opinions telling us what we should do, it reveals NOTHING about us, but MUCH about THEM. Of all the rockstar weightloss and lifestyle bloggers, you are # 1 on my list. I really identify and relate with you NORMAL SANE approach to it all. And your little boys are as cute as my now big men!

    Erica

    November 4, 2011

    This is a great post:) It’s sort of angering that it is actual work to remember that the most important person’s opinion is your own. I guess being a work in progress is what being human is about. Thanks for being so inspirational.

    Steven

    November 4, 2011

    What a great topic and post. There are some “friends” of my wife that we visit a few time a year and they tell me every time “eat more”, “you are too thin”, and “you must be done right”. Sometimes I think I am making them look bad by loosing 100 pounds and they feel they need to drop some also. But when leave I feel more charged and ready keep up my new life style.

    You know, people judge others every day. We all do it. However it takes a special kind of d-bag to actually roll down their window and spew something at another human being as though they’re going to stop what they’re doing and say “you’re absolutely right sir!” Idiot.

    As far as Anon is concerned, someone who has said something without listing their handle or a website might as well not have said anything at all. If you believed in your opinion, you’d step up and take a little responsibility. I know that term applies less and less these days though. Another idiot.

    Jacqui

    November 4, 2011

    I remember at one point my supervisor, who was probably 60 pounds overweight and smoked like a chimney telling me I was too thin. I was 5’7″ and weighed 140, which was perfect for me. And I thought, would I ever look at him and say “You’re too fat, you’re going to have a heart attack from eating and smoking”? Of course not. But for some reason saying the opposite is acceptible? You are too strong to listen to that, we all are!!!

    Sabrina

    November 4, 2011

    Struggling getting back to my former healthy eating, more active lifestyle…I was encouraged the other day to find I didn’t have to buy jeans in the 20’s again…far from the 12 I used to be and hanging white knuckled onto my teens (though miraculously the jeans aren’t skin tight) Anyway, I KNOW I gained with the baby I just had…I had someone tell me the other day “you look so much better”, I looked at her like “WTF?” She was like “Yeah, you were far too skinny, you didn’t look healthy”…even at my lowest (173) I was far from where “the charts” say I should be for my height (150). It’s a slow process and that’s the way it should be, I have the knowledge and get annoyed with my setbacks BUT I keep looking at the fact that I used to be a size 28 and they were tight!!! I’d still be maintaining that size 12 but I wouldn’t trade my skinny pants for my bouncing baby :)

    I need to get that self talk back in order and your posts are always a reminder of that!!! Thank you for everything you do and for being so honest about it!

    Tina

    November 4, 2011

    I can’t beleive the nerve of some people. The truth is they aren’t happy so they feel the need to judge others. Keep doing what you are you doing girl! I love your good attitude.

    sue

    November 4, 2011

    ok, but you have to admit that the actual muppets peanut gallery are pretty cute. Let’s change their attitude and make them our cheering section.

    Your post reflects amazing self-awareness and true self-esteem. Acknowledging that no one’s perfect and that we are affected by what people say, but that we can minimize the impact by putting it into perspective…
    Now that’s what I call progress.

    roni

    November 4, 2011

    LOVE the Muppet’s Peanut Gallery! It was just the only image I could think of. lol

    Lisa

    November 4, 2011

    WOW. I don’t even know what to say. I think I would have shouted back something super mean and offensive to that a-hole. How rude. Who does he think he is? You don’t need advice from some jackass stranger!!

    BigTickles

    November 4, 2011

    what..in..the..world…was ANON talking about?
    huh? sigh…I think those people are just projecting their insecurities on you. I just say keep it moving to the haters!

    Lori

    November 4, 2011

    “I’m done looking for the critics ’cause they’re everywhere. They don’t like my jeans, they don’t get my hair..You are PERFECT!” Pink

    T

    November 4, 2011

    I think it’s hysterical that both of those people were so full of themselves that they thought 1. They had valuable information to offer to a complete stranger and 2. You wanted to hear and would benefit from their unsolicited advice.

    I am a firm believer in keeping any criticism to myself unless asked or unless absolutely necessary. I don’t presume to know what’s best for other people!

    As for the commenter on the blog – obviously they don’t read the blog. You haven’t been plateauing for years, and you said just the other day that you only want to lose another five pounds. As for an ED….that’s just absurd! Again, only a few trips to either this or Green Lite Bites and they’d know that you eat magnificently, as does your family!!! I hope some day to have the relationship you do with food.

    My only thought with respect to those two people are, “How sad.”

    Keep being fabulous, and I am SO excited to go for a walk tonight and listen to your last podcast!

    Patty at A Day in My NYC

    November 4, 2011

    Awesome post! Unsolicited advice isn’t fun when it’s from people you know but it’s so much worse when its from strangers!

    Julie J.

    November 4, 2011

    Go get ’em, Roni! You are an inspiration to me and I am glad you don’t put much stock in others’ opinions. You are setting a great example for your boys.

    Carli Fierce

    November 4, 2011

    Roni! OMG you tell it like it is. I’ve been reading your site daily for years, but seldom comment. But this outraged me enough to come out from behind the curtain. People have some nerve. But, you were very mature to realize that guy has no clue about your journey or your progress. What matters is how running makes you feel. I’m glad you handled both situations and didn’t give them back the negative energy they like to spread.

    joie

    November 4, 2011

    love it Roni!!

    jennifer p

    November 4, 2011

    i think you are right in everything you said.rock on roni.
    but i am telling you that after i lose all the weight, if anyone ever says i am too skinny i will kiss them on the mouth.i have never heard that from anyone ever.

    love the old guys from the muppets.

    Diane

    November 4, 2011

    Love it love it love it!!! Well said Roni and it was just the day I needed to hear someone else besides myself rant about it. I am sick and tired of people telling me how I “should” look. First I am a little “chunky” then I am losing too much weight. Wait a minute… WHAT???? Whatever!!!! Not to justify but I am smack dab in the middle of my healthy weight requirement and it took some damn hard work to get there and then to maintain it. Not listening anymore cause you are right, your doomed if you do. Sometimes I think it’s because people aren’t happy in their own skin so they need to look to others to beat down to make themselves feel better. No one is beating me down anymore because I will not allow them to. So there.

    Camille

    November 4, 2011

    Awesome post Roni! I was on vacation for a week and went to a big birthday dinner for my mum with all my family and my brothers girlfriend of about 7 yrs. she sat next to me at dinner and the ENTIRE night: “you’re not having wine?, why not, what’s wrong with u?” “you’re only have salad and shrimp, omg, are you gonna eat like this all vacation or are you gonna be normal tomorrow?!” “OMG, you’re not having birthday cake? Camille! It’s vacation, relax! What’s wrong with you?” I was soooooo annoyed! She sat next to me Nd grilled me ALL evening (lucky for her she has a metabolism that appears to allow her to eat all and gain nothing, she’s a tiny lil think, but I’m not so blessed). I knew why I had salad and no cake and no wine. Because I PLANNED to use up a buttload of points at the Disney Epcot food and wine festival the next day, I went to bed, OP, satisfied, and feeling great about MYSELF, not listening to anyone else’s rubbish. Sorry that was so long, but as usual, I’m feeling the posts Roni!

    That anon obviously doesn’t read the blog. ED? plateau for so long? More rubbish and foolishness, all in one…

    Jzbell79

    November 4, 2011

    GREAT post, Roni. Get it, grrrl!!!

    Tammy

    November 5, 2011

    Thank you Roni!! Awesome post!

    Roz@weightingfor50

    November 5, 2011

    Hi Roni. Good grief, two “dumb-ass” comments in one day??? Both make no sense, you are the picture of health, balance and happiness. Have a great Saturday.

    Rachel

    November 5, 2011

    Roni,
    You are right to ignore them! As for the anon poster, there is a fine line between awareness and obsession. Only you can know, though, and it’s noone’s business but your own. ;)

    Robyn @ New Every Morning

    November 5, 2011

    What’s that saying, “Better to be thought a fool (you could change that to “tool”, here, I think) than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

    Look at it this way, at least car dude didn’t leave you guessing at what category he falls in to…

    sabrina

    November 7, 2011

    you said it :) the peanut gallery should keep it to themselves.

    Kelly Cheesehead

    November 7, 2011

    And that is why we love you Roni!! Amen sista!!!

    Dee

    November 9, 2011

    Agreed. I’ve been ignoring the peanut gallery all my life, and it works for me! Saves A LOT of energy, too. You’re the only one who can DO anything about your own situation, so what do the opinions of others matter? And the nerve of that commenter- why do some people enjoy being bossy know-it-alls? And the bossier, usually the less accurate the person is. Tell ’em, Roni!

    Kathy

    November 9, 2011

    Hi, I’ve never posted, just a lurker that loves your blog…but I have to chime in here. The jackwad that felt it necessary to tell you that you are too thin probably went to the next intersection and told another woman that she is too fat and should take up running.

    It’s a pathetic power thing. Boy, he really told those “chicks” what he thought of them. What a loser.

    Sorry, it’s one of my pet peeves. He can think whatever he wants but he needs to shut his trap. Every thought that crosses his tiny mind does not need to exit his big mouth.

    Karen in Tally

    November 30, 2011

    You’re probably not monitoring this string anymore (nor anyone else), but is it still the peanut gallery when it is YOUR MOM?!? My mother snickered at how much I gained with my twins and how long it took me to lose the weight. Now she snickers at my “pancake bottom” and how it is so obvious that I have no muscle tone. I can ignore strangers and even friends for criticism and backhanded compliments, but when it’s the mom, oh boy! We’re programmed to please mom, right? Pbbbbllllttttt…

    Jen

    July 31, 2012

    Love this post! My boss recently asked me if I ever tried lifting weights to tone my upper arms. Mind you, I had just lost about 10 lbs at that point. not a lot but I was on Cloud 9. This comment, totally unsolicited, just caused me to sink into a bad mood. And for what?!?! I am so on track! This, coming from a 5 foot nothing 250 lb man… ha ha. (I had to get my jab in!) The fact is, I don’t say anything to him. Not sure why he felt need to say something to me and even worse why I let it bother me.