Tonight I ran into one of my neighbors. She seems to be a very sweet woman and has always been very welcoming but our relationship is a bit strange. I have lived in several countries at this point so I am very clear on cultural difference and very clear about what are comments that come from insecurity. Tonight was kind of one of those straw that broke the camel's back moments and I decided to talk about it with my favorite people, my Kate people.
My story is deeper than just these few encounters with this woman, since I was young I've been teased for my weight. The funny thing is I've never actually been out of shape, I'm tall and thick, as the rappers would say. I jiggle for sure in some places but am an overall very healthy eater and have a really active lifestyle, which is something I am sure that some of you can relate to. My weight hasn't fluctuated much but you know we all have a winter body and a summer body and mine is related to activity. In the summer I go to the beach, I swim, I paddleboard and I go to the gym where as in the winter I only go to the gym and occasionally snowboarding.
Snow angels in Paris because it's important to be a kid at heart!
I digress, this is probably the third time our paths have crossed in the elevator and EVERY single time this woman has mentioned my weight. The first time it was on my way to the gym, "Oh it's good that you're going to the gym, you need to lose some weight". Like a slap in the face, "Ugh, hi, nice to meet you too?" the next time more complimentary "Oh wow, Katie, you look amazing, you've lost a lot of weight, the last time I saw you, you were really fat but now you look skinny and amazing". "Ugh, thanks?" and tonight oh tonight was particularly patronizing. I got in the elevator, I was on the phone talking to my lovely mother, quietly because I was in the elevator. She looked at another woman and pointed to me and said something in Darija but I ignored it. Then as the other woman left and I was clearly talking to my mother she looked at me and puffed out her cheeks, you know when someone is making fun of you for being fat and they puff out their cheeks and hold out their arms like you've suddenly become the Mischelin Man, and patted my stomach and said "The last time I saw you, you were so skinny but now you've gotten fat again, such a shame."
Shoving all the goodness in my face in Bali, because what's the point of life without good food adventures!
Now here is the thing I also fell fucking over from shock because I was NEVER raised this way. And I am of a zen mind and attitude I try to come from a place of understanding that this speaks to her insecurities more than it does to mine and all that bullshit, which I know is true, don't get me wrong. But here is the thing, I am so tired of my body and my looks being up for discussion for anyone. And I am mad at myself for not responding to her, even in a kind way. I just smiled and walked out of the elevator, all the while thinking to myself "WTF! Why did you let her get away with that?!" and knowing the answer is "she's not worth it" which is true. But, seriously. HOW FREAKING TIRED are we all of people feeling free to talk about our bodies, our looks, our anything? Why are we still stuck in this space of being so unkind to one another? Why is it anyone's business? And why do people feel so powerless that they seek to hurt? My first reaction to this woman was WTF but sincerely my next reaction is to give her a hug because clearly she is more hurt than I will ever be.
Feelin' myself in the club Pacha in Ibiza
I am grateful for the fact that I have enough belief in my own beauty of mind, heart, body and soul (and grateful to those who remind me of it when I forget) that I don't get too hurt by people's small minded comments. Please believe that that attitude has taken MANY years and many mantras on my mirror ("I am enough and even my imperfections won't change that", "You are the representation of God in your life" and "There's nothing I'm not worthy of". If you're in need because they are all true!) But it's so tiring and there is really no need for them.
I appreciate you all for allowing me to share this and for cheering each other on because it takes a lot less energy to lift someone up than it does to hold them down.
I wish all of you beautiful bodies and beautiful souls so much happiness and peace. You are loved!