It’s so easy to listen to a family member or a friend or whoever else say “Oh my God, I’m so fat. My [ass, stomach, thighs, whatever] is huge.” Or, “look at me, I’ve gained xx pounds” and “now I’m size xx, instead of a size xx.” So you may be looking at that person, and thinking I’m looking at you, but I’m not seeing the problem. I’d kill to be xxx pounds, size xx, etc. The speaker’s complaints seem to lack merit. You’re not feeling for her.
Though I’ve fought it, and I’m generally empathetic, I confess to feeling that way sometimes. For example, I just read this great article on xojane by one of my favorite writers on the site, Emily McCombs. She’s talking about gaining 17 pounds, and going from a size 10 to a size 12, coming to terms with it and appreciating herself and her life at the size she’s at. I loved the article, but had a twinge of “oh, but look at little (and pretty) she is. She’s still only a size 12.” And “I lost nearly 100 pounds, and I’m still barely fitting into a size 14.”
And then I smacked myself in the head for such negative thinking. Figuratively speaking, of course. Because we all (or a good number of us, at least), have things we don’t like about ourselves or weights and sizes we feel better or worse at. And many of us are trying to come to terms with the right size for each of us, which is different for us as individuals. And each of our insecurities is equally valid, even if we are looking at a friend or family member, and thinking “but you look great. Try looking like me.”
I’ll admit to sometimes staving off jealousy, which is horrible. I think we’re most likely to feel jealous when we aren’t feeling good about ourselves and our own situations. When I’m happier, either with my body and/or my life in general, I’m less prone to envy those around me. I think sometimes when you’re feeling bad, you’re less able to connect with others, and to recognize their problems. You’re too focused on your own. But by realizing we are all in the same boat (or that we all have our own problems and issues), it puts things in perspective. Continue reading