Monday, August 28, 2017

Do you tell your partner how you feel about your body?

Like millions of others, I love the Dear Sugars podcast. For most of my podcasts, I’ll listen if the subject is enticing. It’s different with the Sugars. I will listen to them talk about anything. It’s always smart, open-minded and reassuring. Last week, a Sugars podcast entitled “Body Weight and Romance” loaded and I listed immediately. Their guest was Ashley Ford who had written a piece, “Seeing mybody with fresh eyes” on the Cup of Joe blog (also a favorite).  I read Ashley’s post as soon as the podcast ended.

Ashley writes about two relationships. One boyfriend broke up with her because of her weight. I have a lot of thoughts about relationships and weight. Let me tell you, if someone is an asshole about your size, they are an asshole in general. There are no exceptions. Clients will say, “they really just want me to be healthy” which may be true 15% of the time. And if that’s the motivation, a non-asshole will open a conversation in a kind manner. It’s not to say we can’t talk about size and weight with our partners. But it’s never ok to scar someone and trust me, comments about weight stick.

Ashley then enters a new relationship, with understandable skepticism. Spoiler alert- the new guy is a non-asshole. He is accepting and adoring. This experience plants some positive seeds for Ashley. She writes, “I stood in front of my mirror and attempted to just feel my body, without judgement.” Any woman, of any size, should try this. Don’t cover yourself up, avoid the mirror, pinch or poke.

Progress with weight is rarely linear. Ashley talks about a sweet reunion where her boyfriend surprises her and shows up, during a time they were living in different states. The scene could be out of the best Nora Ephron movie, including the fact that Ashley is preoccupied with the thought she had gained weight. One of the reasons I feel weight is far more than vanity, is that when we’re uncomfortable with our bodies those thoughts are potent. How many special events or conversations have we all missed, or missed partially, because of snug outfits or body image?

Ashley learns something I’ve learned in years of practicing and in my own personal life. Nobody is as keyed into your size as you are. As Ashley says, you don’t have to fix yourself if it’s true love. It’s true, only the assholes demand we fix ourselves. I don’t have daughters, I have boys. You better believe I’m trying to make them sensitive about size and associated commentary. For those of you with girls, or if you’re still stuck in this body noise, do some asshole preparation. If someone says something like this... it’s not really about you and only you can prevent scarring.

No comments:

Post a Comment