Monday, April 4, 2011

“C” is for Criticism

Those of us who are overweight deal with criticism all the time. It is not always spoken out loud but it is felt none the less. We see it in the disdainful looks of others. We feel it from those around us when we are forced to sit in tight quarters such as on buses, in movie theaters or on airplanes. And we hear the whispered remarks that the whisperers don’t think we hear as we pass by.
Sometimes we hear it from friends and family who think a tough love approach might help us. In some cases, that might be true, but I’m guessing not many. Do you have a mother who says, “My goodness, I can’t believe how you’ve let yourself go,” as she hands you a piece of cake? What about a husband who thinks he’s funny when he makes jokes about other fat people but then tells you that you are beautiful just the way you are. Does he really think you believe that?
But the harshest criticism of all has to come from within. I am dumb. I am certainly not blind. I know what I look like, feel like. I know the things I say to myself when I catch my reflection in a department store window. My thoughts scream at me when I can’t keep up with my kids or when I start panting halfway up the stairs. Criticism, whether stated or implied, can be one of the cruelest forms of communication mankind can dole out, especially when we do it to ourselves.
Fortunately, I am working to overcome the self-criticism. I cannot control the actions or words of others but I can control my own. When I am disappointed with how I look, I remind myself that I am a work in progress. I am making strides, even if they are small, every day. I am good and loving person and above all I am not defined by weight or my shape.
I hope that you will remember to be less harsh with others and with yourself. Focus on their (and your) good points and achievements. Start today and work each day to be less critical and more supportive. Before long, you’ll find your step is a little lighter and you wear a smile a little more often.
This post is brought to by the letter “C” as part of the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Have a wonderful day


Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

So the critical step is canning criticism ... right? Good post!

Oh wow. The CAPTCHA code is DEMON. Ironic?

Linda Ann

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Lynn said...

Well spoken! It's so hard to over come the voices in our heads, but you can do it - BABY STEPS!

Fellow A-Zer:

pbquig said...

I understand your struggle completely. Why is my picture an avatar eh? I don't have the other "c" consistency, to get fit and I'm going to follow your road. Love the post.
Pirate Knitting

Langley said...

Bravo Theresa. Self-criticism is so destructive.

PK said...

You're so right. Self-criticism can be difficult to overcome. What a great step for anyone to realize that they are not defined by weight or shape. Keep up with your baby steps. They're paying off!

Heather Henry said...

Awesome post! I think we all struggle with this somewhat. It's easy to look at our flaws instead of the good characteristics. I tend to doubt myself and it's frustrating, because it is so self defeating. Thank you for the reminder. congrats on your baby steps, I think that's fantastic. A great way to change habits! :)

Poddys said...

My first wife was overweight, and very self conscious too.

She had no idea how to lose weight, and if you said nothing, she would just continue to gain. If you did say anything, she would just go and eat twice as much because you kept going on at her. It was really frustrating trying to figure out how to help.

I have been overweight all my life, and it's really hard to balance food and exercise.

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