Weight Wait Don't Tell Me
Weight Wait Don’t Tell Me
By Malik Turley
“Have you lost weight?”
“You’ve lost weight, you look great!”
“Girl, you’re getting skinny!”
I made a significant change in my life fourteen weeks ago. This change has had (is having) a profound impact on me physically and mentally. The impacts are visible. The change wasn’t embarking on a weight-loss journey – I started training to run a 5K.
As with most life-changes, this shift has been a pretty prominent part of spending any amount of time with me, virtually or in person. If others start the conversation, topic number one tends to be my weight.
We, as a culture and as a community of women, are hyper-focused on looks in general and on weight in particular. What’s more, we equate LOSING weight with goodness. I know it’s intended as a compliment – really I do – but leading with looks is problematic.
Wait. Let the women (and everyone) around you tell bring up their weight. Ask them what’s new, comment on their actions, share your own excitement. If they’re eager to talk about their weight, I promise they will open the door to the conversation and set the stage.
What do I want to talk about? The strength I’ve gained in my legs that is allowing me to drop deeper when I’m dancing, or the shift in my endurance from week 1 to week 14, or how odd it is to me that I’m seeing my arms change shape when I think of running as a lower-body sport. I can tell you about how my resting heart rate has lowered gradually over my training period, how my pace per mile has shifted, and how I’m embracing the slow-running lifestyle. I have stories about the things I’ve seen on my runs along the lake, how different it feels to run in a suburban parking lot, and why I prefer running outside to being on a treadmill.
Weight isn’t a measure of value, or health, or goodness. It is a measure of the force of gravity of the earth pulling on your mass. When looked at that way, it’s hardly worth talking about outside of the aphysics classroom (and I, thankfully, never have to visit one of those again).