On Offensive

Yesterday, after work, I was discussing the response to yesterday’s post on APW with Kamel. I was talking about this comment over here, and that comment over there. I was breaking down the responses, asking what Kamel thought, going over the cultural significance of xyz. Because, really, I had spent most of the day doing my best to NOT be offended by the responses on the blog. I had spent most of the day approaching it in a “don’t stir the pot, don’t make the community even MORE upset, watch your responses, make sure they are all on message, don’t be offensive.”

Until I got home. Until I saw all of the amazingly positive feedback in the comments on my blog yesterday, on twitter, and until I thought about what exactly the other commenters were saying over at APW. When I really think about it, 80% of the comments were very positive. Engaging in a discussion of weight loss and what that means and how that affects the culture of feminism is not negative, it’s … amazing. So even if within those 80% people weren’t all “woo Lauren, we love you!” I still see that as an amazingly positive outcome. But the loud 20% seemed to be the group we were all catering to the most. Soothing, defending, trying to make a rational argument with. They hijacked the show, so to speak. And now I’m kinda pissed about it.

I wrote a post about getting healthy, about no longer losing my mind about what I saw in the mirror, and about doing that with my best friend and future husband so that we could begin a strong, happy life together. This weekend, after I wrote the post, we went for a walk on a trail on the cliffs of San Francisco. Along that trail is another trail of stairs all the way down to a small beach with amazing rocks where the waves can go Ker-SPLASH! and make big splashy pretty pictures. Kamel and I used to walk these stairs and had to stop before we got to the top. (They are hardcore stairs, man… these are not for the faint of heart.) But this weekend we scrambled up them! We walked up them at a good clip! We high fived at the top because “Holy shiz, dude! That wasn’t even that bad! And I don’t feel like I’m dying! And I don’t even have to sit down over there on that bench like I’ve had to do every single other time!” Hell yes.

The internet is an amazing place, but it can also be an obnoxious, whiny, brat. I started reading the comments yesterday and my first reaction was, “Oh shit, I messed up! I offended people and I didn’t mean to and oh god why am I always doing that? Ugh.” But today my first response to that is: So what? So I offended some people. Did their arms fall off? Did I prevent them from living their lives? Did I kill their dog or take away their favorite toy? No. I think the idea of being offended is WAY overrated. So what. So WHAT you’re offended, you’ll be alright, you’ll get over it. Do you need to express this feeling every single time? No. Hey internet – stop dumping all of your offended righteous crap on other people’s doorsteps. I bet that offended some people. So. What.

The other thing is, and wow I was shocked to see it, I am not going to play along with the “Lauren is SO tiny! Lauren is too small to be talking about body issues. Maybe if this post had been written by someone who weighed more I could dig it. But what the eff does this skinny bitch know?!” I put up some amazing pictures up with the post, shot by Allison Andres, because those are my engagement photos, because they show Kamel and I being the fabulous team we are, because I look GOOD in them, and I’m not going to be put down because of that. And even though I weigh more than you think, even though I have photos of me with a double chin and cellulite, and with my gut hanging over my pants, I’m not going to show you. Because it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how big you are when it comes to body image or taking control of your health. The internet doesn’t get to discredit my struggle because I don’t look a certain way. I won’t let them.

And I will own my successes, because they took years and years and were really hard to come by. Ask my mom. She’s heard all of the whining and seen all of the tears. Seriously. I will not allow those who have not found their own way, to take something incredibly positive for me and turn it into something negative for the rest of women. That’s not how I roll here. This is a place that supports success, personal or professional. This is a place that cheers other people on. And if I can do something to help you achieve a goal, let me know. I’ll be there, I’ll do it. And I will not support those who look to tear you down. Thank you for doing the same for me.

65 thoughts on “On Offensive”

  1. If there were sound effects with this blog post they’d be “KAPOW! KERBANG! oooooh SNAP!”

    Own it lady, own it. Y’done good.

  2. Dude, I stayed away from posting anything yesterday, but I do think the minority of offended people was driving the comments section.

    Your struggle and your success are completely valid and I’m so glad you posted your story because many of us, including myself, did see ourselves reflected in it.

    But for those who decided that your story was not their story and therefore is illegitimate and tantamount to an article in a WIC magazine, I say screw em. Screw em if they just couldn’t get the core of the article and felt entitled to comment over and over and over nitpicking at minute details. It never got particularly nasty but there were definitely cringe-inducing comments. How dare some of these people have the nerve to pick and pick and pick at you or Meg or anyone else just because of your size. Really I wanted to to a few specific commenters that they’ve had their say and now they just need to shut up.

      1. As someone that others may consider a “skinny bitch,” I completely agree. I was so turned off by the loud, negative 20% that I decided not to comment and to read no further because those people have no. idea. what I/you/any other women brave enough to speak about their body issues have been through.

        I’ve been through eating disorders even though I was never technically overweight, and I know that size has absolutely nothing to do with health. It’s about all the things you talked about in your post. So thank you for speaking up. And eff the haters.

        1. Hear hear! I didn’t read any of the comments because I didn’t have time but I completely agree with your statement:

          “It doesn’t matter how big you are when it comes to body image or taking control of your health. The internet doesn’t get to discredit my struggle because I don’t look a certain way. I won’t let them.”

          What, only currently overweight people are allowed to have body image issues? People get to discount you because you have a body type that is different than theirs? You didn’t boast about how great you look, you talked about how you felt and that it took partnership to make a healthy lifestyle change. We just did that in my house. My husband has lost 60 lbs. since August and I’m down 10. If you were to sit and judge me and tell me I didn’t need to lose any weight, you could. You could also know that when we changed our eating habits and started working out more together it positively affected my body. I feel stronger, fit into my clothes better and am more physically fit. I’m an average healthy woman and was not grossly overweight – does that mean I can’t talk about my new eating habits with people without making them feel fat?

          I’m going to go read some APW comments and roll my eyes. Way to go Lauren, be proud of what you did to become a role model for your future children and to start your new baby family off on a healthy foot.

  3. it’s a hot button issue & I think it’s okay if it makes people mad. It’s sensitive for almost everyone, so I would expect some people to go a little crazy over it. I’ve always been on the chubbier side of life myself (and am still currently) and I wasn’t offended one little bit. I think that what you were saying was important.

    Health should be a priority. What’s wrong with that? No really?

  4. I am proud of you! I’ve watched you every step of the way, and I’ve been SO impressed with your newfound attitude and self-confidence. And you know what? Eating well and getting exercise = being healthy, no matter how much people try to argue about it.

    And the best part? You still pig out with me. See the ho ho picture for evidence.

  5. I read your post as “This is what a healthy relationship has done for me and this is why I think it’s awesome” and I thought, thats great Lauren, good for you. I am happy for you. And then poeple had to go and ruin it. But you still have that healthy relationship that makes you feel good about yourself, so it doesn’t matter. I am glad you are feeling better about it today. And the stair thing, totally awesome! Good job 🙂

  6. What you wrote yesterday was really brave because the subject matter inspires the best and the worst of us. Fear is a mutha-youknowwhat, and how we see ourselves is a fickle beeyotch. I used to blog on the regular and one of the things I would never talk about was my weight struggles b/c I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle the comments, and you did it on APW. You rock. I could go on for the length of a bible, but I won’t. I loved the post yesterday and your outlook, I even love the discussion it created b/c a lot of this NEEDS to be addressed within ourselves (but I don’t love that some comments made you feel bad), and I love that you posted this today and won’t feel bad about your progress and your positive self image. Snaps to you.

    What did I say about not going on for the length of a bible…?

  7. Agreed! I started reading your blog a while ago after finding it on APW.

    But just wanted to say, thanks so much for that post . . . I actually related to it a ton–not so much the weight loss, but having the right perpsective on your body (at least that was my take away)–and was really surprised at the negative reactions. anyways, please keep on with your posts and thanks so much for writing about this!

  8. I just want to add my support because I was super angry that people tought they could make the judgement that a person isn’t allowed to be unhappy if they are perceived as thin. Because I think that whether you look thin in the pictures or are in real life is pretty irrelevant, you were unhappy with the way things were and you made a positive change. Now you are clearly happy and healthy and lets be honest, having control over our own bodies can be really empowering.

  9. This post seriously makes me want to high five you. But alas, I am on the opposite side of the country. Virtual high fives to you!

    Love this post. And yesterday’s post. Rock on.

  10. Those that respond the loudest and most negative are the ones in which you struck a chord, and are now feeling guilty about their own life choices. It just stinks those screaming indignantly about their personal offense drown all the positivity out.

  11. I read yesterday’s article and I then I read today’s post. I didn’t read any of the comments because I usually don’t so I was having a difficult time wrapping my head around how you could have offended people with yesterday’s article about body image. I.just.didn’t.get.it. But then I guess you are kinda small, but body image issues knows no bounds. That’s why all those dangerously thin people out there with anorexia and bulemia still think they are fat when they look in the mirror. Honestly, those people that commented that you were too thin to have body issues are ridiculous and need to find something else to do with their time.

    It was a great article and if people don’t like it..don’t read it!

  12. I didn’t read all the comments at APW, but I did scan them yesterday. There were 100+ when I read it, which seemed like a lot of conversation! So I may have missed certain comments or misunderstood. But for what it’s worth, this was my thought.

    There seems to be confusion between “weight” and “health” in both your post and your comments. Because although you finish the post talking about being healthy and living well, the post started with you hating your arms and muffin top. A lot of the fat-shaming narratives around us use words like “health” and “fitness” as codes for “thin.” And though I thought your post was great, you do spend just as much space bemoaning what you look(ed) like in the mirror and the 20 lbs you kept gaining and losing as you do talking about lifestyle changes. I understand why you did. It was part of the journey that brought you to where you are now, where your primary concern is NOT those 20 lbs and IS your health. But it seems like some commenters got hung up on it. And I think some read “healthy lifestyle” and translated it to “thin” in their heads, not out of malicious intent but because society does this for us ALL THE TIME. (Just think of “The Biggest Loser.” The contestants and trainers are always going on and on about lifestyle and living longer and health, but the premise is to lose as much weight as possible.)

    SO, anyway. It’s too bad that people were offended, as I know that wasn’t your intent. I don’t think it was entirely about what you said as it was the subject matter and narratives you don’t have control over.

    I was also a little shocked to see people criticize both your words and your (assumed) size in the same breath. Yikes. Bad, internet!

    1. My post wasn’t confused. Health and Weight and Body Image all have a relationship with each other. And my post was talking about that relationship within my life, it wasn’t talking about how that relationship SHOULD be in other people’s lives. It was a personal statement about how engagement as been a positive force with health (mental and otherwise) and body image instead of being a negative (as it is so often shown in media and assumed to be in culture).

      When I talk about gaining and losing and gaining and losing that is about health. Weight fluctuation is an unhealthy activity. AND it was really awful for my mental health as well. This was not me preaching to people about how they should live their life, this was me explaining a happy development in mine.

      Also the word “bemoaning” I find really condescending.

      1. I emailed you, just so I don’t completely take over your comments section.

        But as I don’t want you or any other readers to misunderstand, I want to clarify. I don’t think you were preaching to anyone about what their body image/weight/health relationship to be. When I said “confusion” I did not mean to imply that I thought you were equating them. But looking at the comments, it did seem like though you were talking about all three things, a lot of commenters were only responding to the body image/weight portions. And my thought as to WHY that would happen is because it’s easy to read “health” and translate that to “weight.”

        I don’t think that is what you were doing. I think that is done a lot in the media and in other conversations. And I think the reason that it may have been confusing for some readers of your post is because you started off talking about weight. So that stuck with them, even when you switched to discussing health.

        I apologize for using “bemoaning.” I only meant it in the sense that your weight fluctuating was something you were struggling with and did not like.

  13. i just skimmed over the many comments on yesterday’s APW post and i have to say…yikes!

    it was brave and honest of you to put your feelings about weight and getting healthy out there. who knew people could turn such a positive thing into a negative. to me it seemed like those people were the ones who were stuck in a place of negativity, where they haven’t found peace with their issues and can’t understand how you did.

    your replies to comments were gracious, and i’m not sure i would have handled this as well as you appear to have. i’m glad you aren’t letting the negativity get to you. i think your words below say it all.

    “I will not allow those who have not found their own way, to take something incredibly positive for me and turn it into something negative for the rest of women.”

    Thanks for being a positive voice.

  14. YES! YES! YES! You got it exactly right. I’m in with the high fivers on this one. You nailed this post, and thank you for doing it. It needed to be said.

  15. Awesome about the stairs! I remember feeling way better about myself when I was able to walk down all 30 flights of stairs during a fire drill at work without my legs getting wobbly than I did the next day when I was able to fit into a pair of pants. Yay health, in all sizes!

  16. I want to thank you for these two posts. I didn’t read the comments yesterday, but I find it unfortunate that such a positive message about loving yourself (and your partner) enough to get healthy could be diminished in any way. I think it’s awesome that you two are building a healthy lifestyle together. I understand how weight fluctuations can wreak havoc on your self esteem- I’ve been there! I appreciate your spunk, your courage, and your overall awesomeness!

  17. I just wanted to say that I applauded your post, because to me, you weren’t saying “This is what YOU should do” but rather “This is me. This is something I experienced, and maybe you are experiencing something similar?” — it wasn’t about weight, necessarily. It was, but more than that, it was about the way we approach things we struggle with as a partnership. You weren’t saying “I needed to lose weight for my wedding!” but rather “I wanted to make a lifestyle change, and it helped build my marriage foundation.” At least, that’s what I took away.

    I got upset reading comments saying how tiny you are because….that’s a red herring. Your body type, weight, appearance…that’s all stuff that should be disregarded in the context of your narrative, because your struggle is your struggle, period. It’s your experience, and you have the right to talk about your experience.

    It’s not your responsibility to cater to every other possible experience within your narrative about your experience. I’ve met similar outcomes when writing about my offbeat upbringing — but I have to simply say, I cannot talk about other people’s different experiences, I can only weigh in on mine!

  18. I love that you posted this. I love that APW facilitates awesome and [for the most part] civil discussions. But I did think to myself yesterday, gosh, all the “Thank you Lauren for sharing your story and your post. I *know* you didn’t intend to, but this is how I took it/it affected me, blah, blah, offended, blah” really can be incredibly tedious and exhausting.

    OF COURSE, you didn’t intend to offend anyone. APW is not a blog about offending people. Will people get offended unintentionally? OF COURSE. We talk about marriage, sex, money, religion, body image. Those topics are hotbeds of potential offense. But it is the reader’s responsibility to manage their reactions to such things, not yours, not Meg’s, and not us fellow commenters. And that is where I think yesterday got lost.

    My reaction was, this isn’t your fight, don’t get involved, and not wanting to add fuel to the fire, I didn’t. Which I regret, because as a traditionally skinny girl who’s had her share of body issues, I have been on the other side of those “you don’t get to talk” attacks. So it *was* my fight. I looked back at the past posts that were also abt body image, and I was MAD that they were by comparison such productive and useful conversations not centered around “your success made me feel bad.” But my own stupid fear of offending people kept me quiet. And for that, I’m sorry.

    So thank you for your story. Straight up, no disclaimers. (And consider me in your corner to kick butt as needed next time.)

    1. See, I intended my comments to say that even though I’m going through the opposite process as Lauren right now, the important thing is doing what you need to do. I don’t think it came across that way though. I do think the whole post would have fared better by not being called a weight loss post, since that was ultimately not the focus. Maybe that’s a cop out though.

      I seriously could not believe some of those negative comments.

    2. Ironically, I did speak up (though belatedly as I don’t tend to hit the comments until such posts have ballooned), about the perception that being skinny means you don’t get to talk and the discourse floweth right past it. So…

  19. Also – I want to add- I think it’s ok to say you don’t like something about your body and that you want to change it. There is no shame in that. And it seems obvious that you aren’t encouraging others to feel the same way you do. People shame you for wanting to better your body and that isn’t going to do anyone any good.

  20. I think that actually, I’d say 95% of the APW conversation was positive … in a way.

    Were there people offended by what you said?

    Yes.

    But you know what? That’s okay.

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. About women and how we don’t like to offend. We don’t like to offer our opinions. We don’t want people to feel bad.

    But sometimes? Giving offense isn’t so bad. It’s like you said. You didn’t kill their dogs. You offended them. So what? They responded and gave it back.

    Your post offended because it was provocative. That it was provocative was a good thing. It encouraged some really amazing conversations. And the people who didn’t like the post also provoked a good discussion. We all had to seriously examine our body issues, our preconceived notions, and our ideas about weight and the WIC. These are good things.

    So, when I first read the post, I, because I’m pretty happy with my body, read it thinking, “Oh, haha shake weight. Oh I like Weight Watchers too. Yay healthy Lauren!” And that was about it. It didn’t challenge me or provoke me too much further. Then, I started reading the comments, and I started thinking, “Do I subconsciously harbor prejudice against obese people? Do I operate from a point of skinny-person prejudice?” And then I also thought, “But wait, do I not get to talk about any issues I have with my body because I’m small? That’s unfair!”

    What I’m saying in a very long-winded way is that, no not everyone agreed with you or loved your post. But maybe that’s as it should be. Because what you prompted was a really fascinating, honest discussion about body image. And you prompted a lot of people, including me, to think twice about our preconceived notions. And I bet, that even the people who didn’t like your post, probably learned something about themselves by reading it. You made so many people grow by posting about something really difficult. And though it may suck when you read comments that are less than positive, I think these discussions don’t necessarily have to all be a “Yay, yay, we love you,” love fest. And that’s okay.

  21. Also, I don’t have a TV so I feel like I’m really missing out here. What the hell is a Shakeweight? Will have to wait to google until I get home.

  22. I am loving all the sound effect comments!!!! Haha!!! I would add, WHOOOO-AAAHHHH!!!

    Also, I’d like to say that picturing you and Kamel getting up early to work out inspired me to get my butt out of bed this morning , get to the gym and get back to healthy. Because I’m tired of gasping for air when I have to run to catch the bus! This has nothing to do with weight or even body image for me… but has everything to do with wanting to be a healthy, strong woman (both mentally and physically).

    So THANK YOU for the inspiration Lauren! I feel like a more calm, happier, and stronger version of myself today because I got to the gym and cleared my head this morning!! (My husband thanks you too… because I was a crabby b*tch last night!)

  23. Yay Lauren! I estimate that about 90% of the Web is outrage, so for you to stick to your guns and say, “Tough nuts! Go ahead and be offended! It’s my internet too!” deserves cheers. I thought your point about physical health and marital health was excellent and important, and tried to send good thoughts your way all day after reading the comments. Glad to hear that you survived 🙂

  24. Oh Lauren, I was so upset and wanted to punch the screen when I read those mean comments against you. I was like: ” whaaaat ! but this is not at all what Lauren is talking about , did I read a different post?
    And how can they say this against Lauren, our Lauren” and I just wanted to go and hug you, because they understood it all wrong. As has been said, you were talking about your own experience and how great it has been to finally feel comfortable in your own skin, to work for it together with Kamel and to be happy about this life you guys are starting together and about having goals in common. Anyway, I am glad you wrote this and please please keep the positivity because you are inspiring, we’re with you 🙂

  25. “It doesn’t matter how big you are when it comes to body image or taking control of your health. The internet doesn’t get to discredit my struggle because I don’t look a certain way.”

    I LOVE this. People discredit my struggles with eating right and exercising because I’m “already thin”, as though it’s so easy just because I’m not overweight, and as though that’s what it’s all about.

    I wanted to add–I think mainly what @Margocita might have meant was that some people hear “I want to get healthy” as “I’m fat.” And, while that’s their problem and you didn’t owe it to them, technically some negative comments may have been avoided with a clarification. Maybe. People do love to one-up, or in this case, one-down. Of course, that wasn’t supposed to be the point of the post anyway. (Which I loved, btw. It made me feel stronger about my own relationship and our attempts to be healthy TOGETHER, and that that is a good thing.)

    1. Yes. I agree with that miscommunication. Unfortunately when I did try to clarify I think it was hit with more defensiveness and a plug of the ears and a “nananana!!!” mentality. Plus there were just so many comments it felt like an overwhelming sea.

  26. Yes, yes and YES to all these awesome comments! And besides all that, its not your dang fault that all the bitchy commenters dont feel good about themselves! Because i guarantee if they felt good about themselves, physically and emotionally, they would NOT have seen all the negative in your post that they brought out. So stop eating CRAP, get healthy (no matter what size you are), feel good about yourself and STOP BITCHING. K im done 🙂

  27. I can’t believe people got so offended about that post. I totally got what you were saying and was thinking “Yessssss” the whole time because I am trying so hard to make positive changes without obsessing about THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE. I hope I’ll get to the same place you are mentally and health-wise soon.

  28. Damn straight.

    The thing that pissed me off the most was the fingers-in-ears and “she doesn’t get to talk”. It’s the same as the dirty looks I get when I push for a seat on the metro when I’m having a bad back day. Just because I LOOK able-bodied doesn’t mean I am. Eff off, asshats. And grow up. Just because someone disagrees with you or corrects you, you don’t have the excuse to act like a spoiled child.

    The thing that made me the most SAD was seeing the women who had previously written body-positive posts and comments be those among the loudest fighting against your words. That hurt my heart. I know full well how body issues can swing back and forth, but to see it demonstrated so drastically just … wow. So, so sad.

    You handled this SO MUCH BETTER than I would have. I would have been a mess of upset and then angry, and would have gotten bitchy. So YAY YOU! In all ways!

    Also … dude, the stair thing. WIN! How exciting to be able to notice the big changes you may not see every day!

    Now, who’s up for a game of tag?

  29. 45 COMMENTS? This is pretty awesome!

    It’s already been stated but health, weight, and body image all go together…but they related to individuals in different ways.
    I grew up with terrible body issues, I am a bit stocky and watching my mother and sister with their curves and small waists talk about how they were FAT really did a number on me. I thought I had my issues in control until I got married and then it ALL came back…my dress fit awkwardly because I’m so short and my Nana told me to “not gain anymore weight”. UHHHHH.

    I’m just going to put this out there, I’m a vegetarian, (75% vegan and I eat really well, I’m not a pasta-tarian) I also commute by bicycle 6+ miles each day, and guess what? I’m STILL 5’2 and a size 12. Have I been smaller? Yes! Do I wish I could get back to my 18 year old weight? Yes! Do I feel HEALTHY. Heck yes! Do I love myself even though I hate that I can’t wear a bikini? Yes!!!
    I can carry around my best friend’s toddler, my legs are muscular and I know how to dress to maximize my features.

    I know that I could work out more to lose more weight, (30 pounds please, be gone!) I used to belong to a gym, but things started to go wrong with my body and now I can’t exercise as much as I used to. I wish I could and I curse my nervous system but I can only cry about it so much.

    I think my point is this: Lauren’s size, my size, your size? IT DOESN’T MATTER as long as you are treating your body with the respect and love that it deserves!

  30. Oh, and one more thing…why is there this term “FAT ACCEPTANCE”? I get a little irritated when I hear this term I mean, shouldn’t it just be “SELF ACCEPTANCE”? When you accept yourself, you accept others…it’s all related!

    1. YES. I love myself and dress myself well.
      I still hate the extra 5kg I am carrying, but I am fitter than ever before, and eating well, so rather than beat myself up mentally about it, I work out to keep up the health 🙂

  31. Your blog is AWESOME! You are so giving with your thoughts and opinions, and I am so glad I stumbled here. If people don’t like what you say, they don’t have to read. I’m just glad you are so honest here because I think it’s great. Thanks!

  32. Hi Lauren!

    I’ve been creepin’ your blog for a little while now (found it through APW) and I’ve been enjoying your hijinks. I just wanted to say that I truly loved the post you did yesterday for APW. It really did prompt a lot of thinking on my part about the things we discuss prior to marriage, and how health should be just as important as money, kids, etc. However, I was so sad to see so many negative comments from people who totally misconstrued what you were saying. There definitely should have been a lot more, “yeah way to go Lauren!” going on, because what you accomplished is/was amazing! I hope to be in the same place someday. Good job on rising above the nay-sayers as well. That also takes a lot of strength and courage.

    So in short, I just wanted to say, Yeah WAY TO GO LAUREN! Stay strong, and keep being awesome and inspiring. And I’ll keep on reading about it. 🙂 (Okay, that just sounded weird, but you know what I mean…)

  33. I read your post over at APW and I liked it and related but couldn’t comment as I was entertaining my Mom for the weekend and she demands all attention. I’m sorry that the APW comments were hijacked a bit. I didn’t see it coming, but I guess I can see why. We are doing Weight Watchers as well. Not because we are overweight by any stretch of the imagination but because we were feeling unhealthy for ourselves.
    We lost weight for the wedding for all the wrong reasons (photos, clothes, etc.) and we gained it all back, and more, a few months later. We made the change for our future kids as well. We both have family histories of bad hearts and thickening veins and cancer.
    Unlike you, we didn’t tell people we were on Weight Watchers because we knew they would judge us and tell us that we don’t need to lose weight. They don’t get it, for them it was about ‘thin’ and for us it was about ‘healthy.’
    Kudos to you for being brave and ye-haw for the cliff stairs!!!!

    1. “Unlike you, we didn’t tell people we were on Weight Watchers because we knew they would judge us and tell us that we don’t need to lose weight. They don’t get it, for them it was about ‘thin’ and for us it was about ‘healthy.’”
      This made a ton of sense for me. I related to your post on APW, Lauren, big time, (making healthy changes) and everyone assumes its to fit into the dress. This thin vs. healthy though is a fantastic perspective. I get so angry when I turn down sweets at the office or at the family dinner and people say “Ohhh are you trying to be GOOD?” What does that even MEAN? I’m trying to be healthy. That doesn’t (for me) mean chewing on a head of lettuce and nothing else. People just assume I’m starving myself based on that one action.
      Thanks for the post and discussion. I think it’s empowering me. I’ve got a draft post that I have been hesitating on. Maybe your post was the kick in the pants I needed.

  34. Screw the haters. There are some people out there that have nothing better to do than to make themselves feel better by pointing out flaws in arguments, or become offended by something silly, or what have you. I have to deal with it all the time in my gaming blog — someone is almost always offended by my personal opinion of a video game, and their comments go out of control. They find pleasure in more than just a debate — in calling names, in breaking someone down. It’s pitiful. I’m glad you have a better outlook on it now. You will never satisfy anyone but as long as you write what you want and ignore the inane irrational commenters you’ll be fine. :]

  35. People who got offended by your APW post are people, I suspect, who get offended by many things in life, especially things that challenge them, even indirectly, to make better choices in their own lives. And that’s completely on THEM, not on you. Keep on keepin’ on and enjoy your journey of health!

  36. I have people tell me all the time that I have no right to complain about my weight because I’m smaller than them. I want to carry around your posts with me to shove in their faces (oh my, but less violent than that sounds). People are ALLOWED to be unhappy with their weight, health, double chins, whatever. That’s what drives us to make the change. Which is exactly what you were saying. Those douchers that misunderstood your message are clearly not your target audience and we shall all forget about them now! Becase you are inspiring me to get healther. You are my role model and I love you and I love all your posts. So thank you for what you write.

  37. You said it already – own your successes.
    My mom has this saying about people that it takes a really rare type of person to be genuinely happy for another…without crossing over into jealousy or coveting…A true, good-hearted friend will say, “You look FANTASTIC!” with no hesitation…where as one of the other types of people will leave you hanging for a while before they say anything…then when they do compliment you, it’s like hidden and veiled with criticism.

    You know?

    Those girls rearing their stubborn heads are like that second person.

  38. Yeah, I decided to comment over here instead of on APW too, because of the stressy nature of a lot of the comments… yikes! But I just wanted to congratulate you, both on your journey and this post.

    I lost just over 50lbs during university by working out and changing eating habits with my partner. I did it to get healthy and fit, but I also did it because I was desperately unhappy with my body, and I don’t feel like that’s necessarily a bad thing. I’m not happier now solely because I’m thinner, but the fact that I like the way I look helps.

  39. Dude, you’re awesome, and I was pretty disappointed in a very vocal section of the APW readership. That is all.

  40. This is why I also posted my comment on your blog directly. Every person has their own issues and insecurities about their bodies. It was great to hear someone else say they realized getting engaged and planning a wedding were about something bigger than a “perfect” body, weight or size.

    When I got engaged, the second thought I had was, “I’ve got a year to lose x number of pounds.” Then I realized that my fiance loved me as I was and it wasn’t about my weight. I shifted my focus to being healthy for the rest of our lives, not getting thinner for one day. I also made sure I didn’t compare myself to other women, because we are all amazing and varied. I celebrated my different size and shape and making myself a better version of me and stopped comparing myself to other women. It made me more confident and happy.

    Any way, good for you! I enjoy reading your writing! 🙂

  41. To echo my earlier response, I’m actually a little less surprised than most, I guess, at the sudden turn in the comments by a minority of the commenters. I did notice that it was a small minority, but this is a common thing – I’m tiny but have been extremely unhealthy for the past several years vs having been very active and healthy in years before that, and outwardly you’d never notice a difference.

    But people who don’t know me assume that my health = my weight and I’m not “allowed” to have conversations pertaining to health because life is easy for a “skinny bitch.” Naturally. It’s a reaction, I realize, but it’s less than conducive to productive dialogue, unfortunately, because it puts everyone on the defensive and I’m gonna put an eye out with the massive eyerolling one of these days, I swear.

    Anyway, my point is: people are heated but I’m not willing to demean them the way they’ve demeaned us. Your words were celebratory and for good reason. Your pursuit of good health is awesome and ultimately, so rewarding. And maybe one of these days, I’ll be able to work my way up to climbing some of those stairs, too! Chronic pain, nothing!

  42. Well said:
    “I think the idea of being offended is WAY overrated. So what. So WHAT you’re offended, you’ll be alright, you’ll get over it. Do you need to express this feeling every single time? No.”

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