12/7/09

All I want to do is lose weight,

…but apparently all I’ve lost is my sense of humour.

I never truly realized just how popular Weight Watchers was until I was successful at it (and then a bit of a failure…). Now, every office I seem to land in has coworkers that are following the program.

There are two ladies here who attend WW meetings, but they jokingly refer to it as “fat club.” I find it sad that they refer to it this way as they’re trying to make light of something that has always been a running joke with people of all shapes and sizes.

For instance, I have twitter searches and Google Alerts set up for the word “Presbyterian,” as it goes with the job and all. Well, numerous times a week a joke appears in my twitter search.

Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

Now, this isn’t a new joke and has been around for years, but the fact that it pops up every now and again has me rolling my eyes and getting a little miffed. I’ve never seen the funny side to fat and the word itself irritates me beyond belief.

But why do we use humour in reference to weight?  Why is it something that we can pull out of our arsenal to make people laugh? (I so wanted to write titter – he he – I’m 12 today, I swear) And why is it that we need to make fun of ourselves in order to be accepted or feel better?

I used to do it, and still do, but I know *why* I do it and what reaction I’m hoping for when I do it. I’m down on myself and want someone to lift me up. I want them to laugh or tell me I’m just fine. Making someone laugh is a self-confidence booster, as is taking shots at oneself to get compliments and sunshine blown up yer backside.

It still doesn’t make fat funny. Whether it’s a 300lb person making fun of themselves or a “healthy” person poking fun at someone larger, no one should have to use such a weighty topic to lighten a mood. And joining Weight Watchers isn’t something to be ashamed of. People should be applauded for making healthy choices and making small improvements towards a better well being.

Does it mean that I can’t refer to myself as fat every now and again? Yes and no. The thing is that I shouldn’t need to, whether I’m in a healthy range or so far from it that it becomes a concern. The negative way in which I’m choosing to use such a banal word is entirely unnecessary. I should embrace what I have and move towards changing it if I’m not happy. I don’t need to go around either stating the obvious or using a word that I have no business using as it can be seen as offensive to others who are in much more dire straits than I am.

We need to focus on the positives, including the change we want to see, not dwell on the negatives and try to make jokes about it to make ourselves feel better.

The end result is what will bring us happiness, not the fleeting laughter that peters out in reality, because it can manifest into something more negative in our heads.

Because I’d rather be applauding your success than laughing at a work in progress.

4 comments:

cinemarie said...

very well said! you're so smart Marie :)

Shrinking Sara said...

Well said. I heard a stat the like 70% of jokes are really true. Alot of times a joke is a mask at an insult whether to someone else or to yourself. And calling yourself fat is insulting and I can agree it can create a nasty negative self talk. It is definitely a "do no enter" frame of mind!

P.S. That joke about the double door is really bad, not even funny in the slightest!

Tamara said...

I had to read that joke twice before I got it. I just thought it was a meeting announcement. duh.

Sam said...

Amen, sister! *Stands up and applauds*

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