Com­ments about weight

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

The hol­i­days are com­ing, and I’m feeling anx­ious al­ready. Most of the events with my fam­ily will in­clude buf­fets — which will also in­clude crit­i­cism about what I eat, how much I eat and how much I weigh. I am 5 feet 3 inches tall, and I weigh 115 pounds. My hus­band’s fam­ily mem­bers, with the ex­cep­tion of him, are, by med­i­cal def­i­ni­tion, mor­bidly obese.

I am care­ful about what I eat. I ex­er­cise and take care of my­self. So do my hus­band and our chil­dren. I have never and would never com­ment on what his fam­ily mem­bers eat or their weight. Why is it ac­cept­able for them to com­ment on me? I’ll hear, “You don’t eat enough.” “Is that all you’re tak­ing?” “You’re too skinny.” All com­ments are said loud enough for all to hear and with a snide tone.

Do I con­tinue to smile and be silent? Is there some­thing I should say in re­turn? This has been go­ing on for 29 years. — Sad About the

Hol­i­days

If one of your in­laws had a gen­uine worry about your weight and health, there would be a time and a place to talk to you about it, and it def­i­nitely wouldn’t be at the fam­ily hol­i­day buf­fet, af­ter a few glasses of wine, in front of ev­ery cousin, niece and nephew. It sounds as if they’re speak­ing more from a place of in­se­cu­rity than con­cern.

That said, I doubt they have any idea that their com­ments are rude. Be­cause thin­ness is ide­al­ized in our so­ci­ety, many peo­ple mis­tak­enly think it’s OK to pick on a per­son for be­ing skinny, even if they would never pick on some­one for be­ing heavy.

Talk to your hus­band about how these com­ments bother you. Per­haps he can per­suade them to cut it out. And if they con­tinue with their re­marks any­way, try not to let it eat at you. What mat­ters is that you’re healthy, and that’s some­thing only you and your doc­tor can de­ter­mine.

I to­tally rec­og­nized my daugh­ter’s ex­pe­ri­ence af­ter she gave birth to my grand­son in your re­cent col­umn about post­par­tum de­pres­sion. It was heart­break­ing. Your iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of it and your rec­om­men­da­tions were spot on, but it con­cerns me that you did not in­clude med­i­ca­tion as an op­tion, as well. Per­haps you quite cor­rectly as­sumed the ther­a­pist would pre­scribe an ap­pro­pri­ate med­i­ca­tion, but you missed an op­por­tu­nity to in­form the pub­lic that ad­di­tional help in the form of med­i­ca­tion is out there for many.

In my daugh­ter’s case, the proper med­i­ca­tion was what fi­nally en­abled her to break free and be­gin the path to re­gain­ing her old self and en­joy­ing her son. It took her eight months to re­al­ize med­i­ca­tion was what she needed. She looks back now and wishes she did not wait so long.

Thank you for bring­ing at­ten­tion to the all­too-com­mon is­sue of post­par­tum de­pres­sion. Too many peo­ple write it off as baby blues and don’t seek out help. I’m happy to say my daugh­ter is back to her old self, while still on med­i­ca­tion, and my grand­son is now 8 years old, the joy of our lives.

Talk to your hus­band about how these com­ments bother you. Per­haps he can per­suade them to cut it out. And if they con­tinue with their re­marks any­way, try not to let it eat at you.

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