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“Sticks And Stones”

I have had several opportunities in the past few weeks to rant about the things people say… After much thought and my co-workers advise “We feel a blog coming on” I am going to attempt to get my say!!

Let me preface this by explaining that it rarely surprises me when I hear the way people talk about others, especially in the realm of the size issue.  I might also add that I am often the recipient of  ( be kind Suzanne) mindless comments.  One more thing, I have a firm grasp of who I am and what I really look like.  I have no delusions…That being said this is what started my week of the rant.

I was working with a customer for quite a while and in the course of our conversation she said to me about another person, “she is certainly as big as you are”. It really ticked me off and I was not fast on my feet for a comment.  It stayed on my mind all day and I was not sure what annoyed me the most.  I worked it out that if she had said “she is your size” that would not have bothered me even though I work hard at not using comparisons.  The real issue is that it seemed filled with judgment and that was a problem for me.  My customer was a woman of size so I wanted her to know better.  Looking back I now see she was struggling with her self image even though she was a smaller size.

Right on the heels of this a mother of a woman of size came in and said as loud as she could “my daughter is huge!!” She needs clothes because she is so depressed.  She is really big, I finally said how big ( for sizing purposes) and the answer was “half as big as you”.  I actually laughed because I knew right then I had something to learn.  I also said to the mother that it was little wonder her daughter was depressed if she talked to her like she did to me.  She was not impressed with me and left.

In the same week I had lunch with Kate Partridge who is the founder of Large As Life.  She is now a psychologist living in London Ontario.  I was asking her about her practice and one of the things she does is a workshop on “mindfulness”.  Well, seems it all starts fitting together.

I know about how important it is to me to be mindful of so many things.  It is something one has to first acknowledge and then start being aware.  No small feat.  With the kind of week I had it was yet another reminder that what you say and the words you use can have great impact, both good and bad.  It amazes me that even though I know these things I am constantly reminded to practice it.

Kate was saying it can be useful about what you eat and how you eat it.  She gave an example of one woman in one of her classes that decided she would pick her lunch meal and be mindful when she ate it.  Seems she ate the same thing nearly everyday. When she paid attention to every bite and the flavours and her enjoyment level she decided she really did not like it at all.  Interesting. I know it is the reason eating in front of the tv is not in our best interest, we tend to finish and then  are not  aware of how long it took to eat or how it tasted.  Really enjoying every mouthful and appreciating the meal seems good to me.

Well, I do believe when all is said and done that I needed to be reminded about my words and thoughts.  I have experienced some really remarkable changes in myself by correcting the chatter in my mind to reflect what I want.  It is just so easy to connect with the “I am so tired”,” I hate doing such and such”, “what a drag” “ this world is falling apart”. These are the kind of things we tend to also verbalize.  There are some that believe that we can create what we want with our words and thoughts.  I don’t know for sure if it is true but I do know that I prefer to be around people who are positive, I also feel better about almost everything when I work at being aware of my thoughts.  I have these chats with myself like oops cancel that thought I really mean……..

I love the expression that if all else fails be nice.  I try hard but given my age and my hot flash levels I cannot promise I will be so kind if I am confronted with judgment, especially about the size issue.  In fact it is on my agenda this year to combat judgment of any kind.  It is a never ending road of paying attention and catching oneself.

This is the best quote I found on the subject. “Our judgments judge us, and nothing reveals us, exposes our weakness more ingeniously than the attitude of pronouncing upon our fellows.” Paul Valery

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3 Responses to “Sticks And Stones”

  1. I truly enjoyed this blog, Sticks and Stones. Amazing how some people really don’t hear what they are saying. If they did they may never say anything again. I just finished a 6 week course on Mindfulness. Learned a lot. You have a talent for speaking and writing. Can’t wait to read your next blog.

  2. Regarding your comments Sticks & Stones – You certainly bring up some powerful issues; judgment, self image and the choices we make about who we want to be.

    One thing I never understood is how or why a person feels they can abandon all social regard for others when that other is a large person. What drives a mother to berate a daughter for her size? When did it become acceptable to chastise someone for their weight or appearance? How did we lose the desire for simple courtesy or grace in all our dealings with people and most especially the people we love most?

    I worked with a fitness instructor a long time ago, (Suzanne Bell) who taught me that “large” , “fat”, or “big” are all simply descriptive terms just like tall or short. It is when we add the judgment that we create the sting.

    I look forward to more rants.

    Terry Robertson

  3. Love your rants and comments. My mother also comments on other people’s bodies even though she is a large woman, but sees herself as quite small. She has never accepted her body size. It is a struggle for me also to accept myself.

    I have to admit that I got a laugh from your comment to the mother who spoke ill of her daughter. Good for you.

    I knew a woman who would ask me every time she met me if I had my clothes custom made to fit. I finally told her yes, I get them made at Vancouver Tent and Awning. That put her back a few paces. Ha, ha!

    Your letters/rants/comments are a big help for me, keep them coming.
    Thanks.

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