I got a lovely email today from my friend firstname.lastname@example.org. Frankly, with the subject line, I can’t even believe it made it past the spam filter.
Reading it was like a total assault to the senses—visually seeing the words, and then hearing them in my head.
I get plenty of junk, but this email takes spam to another level.
I couldn’t help but bring my computer downstairs to read it to my housemate. I kind of laughed at the absurdity of it, as I was actually hearing the words aloud … but the words themselves are far from funny.
The subject line read:
Stop being so goddamn fat, you are a total excuse for a human being
And the email itself:
It is time to face the facts: yes, you are fat.
All of your family members are just being polite when they say you look thin.
It’s time for you to stop being so freaking fat, you must be healthy to be dateable.
Nobody likes an overweight failure, so you must exercise hard to get that killer body OR you can take our diet medicine that will really help you get to the desired weight.
The choice is yours, we’re just going to leave this link here.
Of course there was a link that if clicked upon would probably have wiped out my entire computer. Or maybe it was the miracle “diet medicine” that they promised.
I have a feeling Vrvbmg is not overly familiar with the English language. I should have written him/her back to ask, what kind of an excuse for a human being am I? A sorry excuse … perhaps pathetic? And do I have to be healthy to be dateable … or do I just have to stop being so freaking fat?
Also, I am quite upset that all the members of my family are just being polite when they say I look thin—I must speak to them about that, although they might not want to talk to me being an overweight failure and all.
OK, the words are kind of funny knowing that this is just stupid spam. But what is not so funny is that Vrvbmg thought that language would make someone click on a link because maybe, just maybe, it would change their life. They thought that awful subject line would get someone to open the email with hopes of a brighter future.
I guess they were right based on the shock value alone. But what makes me sad is that the importance placed on being thin is still so prevalent in American culture, and many others.
What do so many people, men and women alike, wish? That they could be thinner because then their life would be better. Wish that they could have that “killer body” so they would be “dateable.” We are conditioned to think this way starting at a young age. And what a toll it takes on our lives.
The belief that we must be super thin to be acceptable is the cause of many people’s weight “problems.”
There is such a fear of weight gain, or not being thin enough, that we attract the very circumstance. I know that was the case for me when I started dieting at a very young age.
I have spent the majority of my adult life, and some of my childhood, worrying and obsessing over every calorie and fat gram, only to find myself clinically obese in my early forties. It took quitting dieting, as well as quitting all the diet mentality and thinking, to finally get back to a size that feels right for me.
Then I wrote a book about it, and pretty quickly fell back into the hell of worry because I was a now a sort of “weight loss spokesperson.” What if I gain weight???
You know what happened? I started to gain weight. But worse than that I was back in the misery of thinking I “needed” to be thinner, instead of accepting where I was in the moment.
Honestly, I’m glad it happened because it reminded me of where I definitely do not want to live my life from.
If you happen to be living in that non-stop diet misery, never able to accept yourself where you are in the moment, give some thought to how this is affecting your life.
Diet mentality has become so normal for so many of us that we don’t even realize the time spent agonizing over it, and how awful it makes us feel. I dare say that many of us have probably said things to ourselves that are similar to the email above (of course with better use of the English language). I know I have.
So please consider if you are currently in this circumstance, a new way of thinking and being around food and your body. Your body needs and deserves to be nourished, and delicious whole foods that work for your body are the means to accomplish this.
Instead of being worried, become curious. How do different foods make you feel? What foods do you enjoy eating? What kind of movement does your body love?
There are so many wonderful questions we can ask to support this magnificent vehicle of a body we have been given. “Why am I so goddamn fat?” or “How many fat grams are in this?” are not among them.
Give it a try and see how your life changes.
PS: The Assistant clearly IS offended by this email.
PPS: You can pick up my book The Joy of Eating~The Anti-Diet Solution for Weight Loss and Health here.
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