Monday, August 22, 2011

My Body, My Business

My computer at work has as the homepage when I sign onto the internet.  I brought my internet up today and as I was about to type the address of the page I wanted to go to at the top, a headline further down caught my eye.  I clicked on it, and got this:

LeAnn Rimes was totally proud offended the other night at dinner in Chicago when another diner stopped by her table to suggest she put some food in her mouth. "How dare someone come to me at a table w/ the boys and tell me I need to eat something," LeAnn tweeted. "What is wrong with people!? As I'm stuffing my face … have another drink and maybe take a class in manners!
Cheers!" Weirdly, no bikini photos accompanied LeAnn's "everyone-thinks-I'm-too-skinny" story du jour. (DailyMail)
I know that the majority of my posts in this blog are about how obese people are treated by the world in general, but this is really the opposite side of the same coin.  We, as a people, need to STOP judging others on their body shape / size, whether we think that they are too large or too small.  No one has the right to walk up to someone else and pass judgement on how they look or what they eat.  This ranks up there with the rudeness of taking a package of snack cakes out of a large person's shopping cart while telling them that they don't need that kind of food.
Here's the deal, folks:
My body is my business, and nobody else's.
That's right.  Whether I'm morbidly obese, or super-skinny, the decisions that I make regarding my body and what goes into it are not fodder for public consumption. 
I will admit that if my husband were to say, "I'm worried about your health.  How can we work together to be healthier?" I would probably pay attention to that.  (Though it would be amusing in some ways as he has high blood pressure and cholesterol, and mine both fall into the category of "The nurse checks a second time every time because those numbers CAN'T be right for someone so fat!  They are too normal!")    But to have a total stranger decide without knowing me or my life that they know what is best for me is offensive.
I do have my health problems, though, including diabetes and arthritis.  And I am continually working to find ways to feel better physically. That said, if someone were to come up to me in a restaurant in front of my non-existent children and tell me that what I was eating was wrong, I would probably not set the best example for my children in terms of public behaviour with my response.  My reply would start with, "It really is none of your business." and go downhill from there.
Look, folks, let's try something, shall we?  How about we make an effort to stop judging people by their size.  Fat folks, stop thinking, "Eat a pork chop." when you see someone who is uber-slender.  You don't know why they are that way.  Maybe they have a super-fast metabolism.  Maybe they just finished treatment for cancer and haven't been able to keep food down.  Maybe they just don't eat a lot and are comfortable with that.  It really isn't your concern if they're healthy and happy with how their life is going.
Skinny folks, stop thinking, "Put down the potato chips and take a walk." when you see someone who is fat.  You also do not know what their circumstances are.  Maybe they have a very slow metabolism.  Maybe they have arthritis or an injury that keeps them from being able to move as much as they might like.  Maybe they're on a medication that causes weight gain.  Maybe they just really like good food (or even bad food!).  Again, it really isn't your concern if they are healthy and happy with how their life is going.
"But Lys, how can they possibly be healthy if they are...(fill in the blank here)??"
Repeat after me:
I can't tell if someone is healthy just by looking at their body size.
That's right, folks!  YOU DON'T KNOW!  Fat does not equal unhealthy.  Skinny does not equal healthy.  There are a LOT of variables that go into determining if someone is healthy or not.  There are fat people who have better health indicators than most slender folks, and there are slender folks who have better indicators than other slender folks.  And you know what?  There are even really, really skinny folks who have better indicators than the "healthy-looking" slender folks.
My body is my business.  Your body is your business.  How about we just cut each other some slack and realize that the decisions we each make regarding our own bodies are just that...our own decisions.  There really are more important things to be worrying about in the world than whether the person at the next table is eating what you think they should eat, such as teaching our children enough courtesy that they don't walk up to a stranger in a restaurant and start telling them what they should be eating.  So stop worrying about it and focus on your own meal.  You'll enjoy it more, believe me, and you won't have to hear me tell you exactly what I think of your lack of manners.  It will be better all around.


  1. Well said, Lys. Shame others don't share your opinion.

  2. I've been accused of being an alien and ordered to 'eat a twinkie' by people who were friends of mine, so...yeh, what you said.

    I hate twinkies.

  3. Yep, I used to drive myself crazy trying to order food at restaurants, because if I got a steak or burger or tacos, I was afraid people would look and say "No wonder she's fat, look at what she's eating." and I was afraid to order a salad because I thought everyone would look and say "well of course she's just eating a salad, look at how fat she is!" It took me a long time to realize that I should just a) stop worrying what other people may or may not be thinking 2) stop thinking that I was so interesting that the rest of the restaurant gave a damn as to what I was eating, and D) eat what I wanted, whether it was a steak or a salad.

    lessons learned the hard way.


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