Readers’ Commentary Regarding the divisiveness of Weight Wars, whereby several dieting co-workers resented a colleague’s positive weight-loss reports (October 9):
Reader #1- “I'd ask the letter-writer, did she inquire after their efforts? Offer them encouragement?
“I'm guessing not.
“It’s laudable that she’s proactive in losing the weight and being healthy.
“However, as someone who's overweight due to thyroid problems (yes, I’m proactive about eating right and have lost weight), I, too, would’ve taken exception to her constant talk of working out, healthy recipes, etc.
“Why? Because even though I was trying my hardest and doing my best, I’d eventually feel that she was boasting.
“And that I was subtly, with passive aggression, being judged and criticized, even if that wasn’t her intention.
“It only makes us feel worse about ourselves.
“As a formerly obese person herself, she should’ve shown grace and sensitivity to her suffering co-workers and offered encouragement, not proselytizing.
“Once or twice is encouragement, but constant verbiage is disheartening.”
Reader #2 – “These co-workers are ganging up on this woman and making hurtful statements to make themselves feel better about being overweight.
“This is workplace harassment and it sounds like it's becoming a hostile work environment.
“The letter-writer needs to go to the company’s Human Resources department so HR can sit these critics down.
“They need to hear that they cannot speak to another coworker in such a passive-aggressive hostile manner because they didn't reach their dream weight yet.
“A one-time comment can be let go, but this is an everyday occurrence and nobody should have to deal with such hostility at their job.”
Ellie – Two distinctly opposite views of what is essentially the same situation: Weight is a highly personal matter.
For those who have struggles with weight issues, whether for physical health or mental health and the pressure of body-image factors, the journey to self-satisfaction can be long, frustrating, and easily elusive.
Those who are eventually successful in reaching healthy goals don’t need to preach. Those who still struggle don’t need to be mean-spirited.
I’ve been on the “outs” with my mother since childhood. She’s self absorbed and manipulative. We were never close, things are much worse now.
Nothing I've done was ever good enough.
I’m tired of hearing that I’m fat, that my hair should be “this way,” that my house isn’t tidy.
I no longer want to visit her and my father (who says nothing).
I told them that unless she stops criticizing me, and all I do, I couldn’t spend time with them. It triggers bad depression episodes.
Also, many years ago, there was a fight and she said she wished that she’d smothered me when I was a baby. I know she spoke in anger, but it stayed with me.
Recently, I raised it. She turned away from me. All I wanted was an apology.
Extremely Sad Daughter
No wonder you’re sad and fed up. Angry or not, that was a hideous image she conjured for you which no child deserves to hear.
The issue now is not your mother-daughter relationship. It’s saving you from that long-ago “threat.”
Get professional therapy to learn strategies to fight back mentally against her unfair, negative criticisms of you from childhood until now.
A process of therapy can help you re-frame your sense of self – who you are, not whom she decided you were or should be.
It’ll change your life positively. You can then decide whether you feel strong enough to see her or not.
FEEDBACK Regarding the husband accused of cheating, who’s “woefully inept at discussing personal matters” with his wife (Oct. 11):
Reader – “When someone’s accused of committing an act so basic to their beliefs as preserving the sanctity of marriage, is it more than possible that a person could experience being “woefully inept?”
“People I know, male and female, have been woefully inept at a fair description of the pain and inertia they felt.
“It can involve any crisis that strikes at the heart of a person’s belief system.
“They’re stunned/taken aback/and as emotionally abused as a person can feel.”
Ellie – Good point. However, his ineptness lasted seven years of his going out without her, coming home to hearing her (yes, likely unfounded) suspicion, without ever questioning whether she felt left out, lonely, ignored, etc.
She was wrong to keep accusing him without any evidence or proof. They both need to speak up to save their marriage.
Tip of the day:
Weight is a highly personal, sensitive topic, best only discussed with caring, supportive people.