Shepherd Suzy over at Juniper Moon Farm posted yesterday about how we women speak to and about each other. She’s right that we are often more cruel with each other than the men in our lives would ever think about being. And many of us struggle with how to deal with it when we see it happening. Sometimes it’s hard to speak up when you are faced with offensive behavior. It feels awkward sometimes, even when you know it’s the right thing to do. I’m not saying you should put yourself at risk (and neither is Suzy). But we all need to be more supportive of each other. Quit saying nasty things about someone who isn’t there to defend herself. Quit encouraging skinny friends to diet and telling not-so-skinny ones that they need to diet at all. Learn to speak up for yourself. Speak up when someone with you is doing those things. Let’s stick up for each other people! Think what your world would feel like if you felt more accepted. Spread the love! We could all use a little more of that, and a little less negativity.
I remember as a teenager always being dragged along for the ride every time my mom decided to go on a diet, and I never really thought about the message that was sending to me. Didn’t think about my weight much at all growing up. I did as I was told. When Jo was in 3rd grade her teacher would pick a kid every week as “student of the week”, and that kid would bring in pictures and stuff that were important to them. Jo did a poster board. I gave her some pictures of me as a teenager. The teacher asked her who they were of, and that made me realize how much I had changed. Not just aged, mind you, but physically changed. See, in high school I weighed about 120 pounds, solid muscle. Way more than that now (3 kids will do that to you if you’re not careful!) Never dawned on me that I didn’t need to be on the diet with my mom, or what that might be doing to my body.
I’m okay with how I look. I’ve earned every grey hair and wrinkle. My weight has held steady for at least the last 10 years (and probably closer to 15). My cholesterol levels are great, my blood pressure is acceptable, I’ve seen the ultrasound they did during a stress test and there is no plaque to worry about. I’ve never really understood American women’s obsession with make-up and clothes and all that girly stuff. Give me a comfortable pair of pants and sneakers, and a big t-shirt and I’m good. You wanna wear that other stuff? Have fun, but don’t bad mouth me because I don’t. And I’m not afraid to say that to your face.
Hey, in case we haven’t been introduced, I’m Sue, and I’m brutally honest (and yes, a friend actually introduced me that way once!).