Sunday, September 18, 2016

MYOB!

My mother used to tell us MYOB whenever she thought we were getting too nosy or intrusive. Which is rich considering the woman kept a police scanner by her bed and spent a lot of her time spying on the neighborhood from behind curtains.

For those who don't know, M.Y.O.B. stands for MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

I bring this up because often I cross paths with a woman who never fails to comment on my size, lack of exercise, or eating. She really knows very little about me, but that doesn't stop her. And, for the record, I know that I eat MUCH healthier than she does, but the fact that she's skinny seems to empower her to make "well-meaning" comments. Including threats to drag my ass into the gym, while totally ignoring that I often follow a pretty good exercise regime (one my doctor approved), which I've told her MANY TIMES. I'm not fanatically faithful to my exercise, but I am stronger and healthier than most women my size and age.

Normally, stuff like this doesn't bother me. I've been subjected to it most of my life since I've been overweight for over 50 years. Over those decades I've done almost every diet imaginable, including starvation. All it did was add more weight later and heap on depression and self-loathing. Now I eat very healthy and get regular exercise. I do not weigh myself very often, trusting my clothing and how I feel to tell me if I'm on track. But the most important thing is, I like myself better now that I'm not trying to be someone else or trying to do what others think I should do.

THE TRUTH:
Most overweight people, including me, are emotional eaters. The more you hound them, the more apt they are to eat bags of cookies in a closet.  
Your intrusive rude behavior does nothing positive. Trust me on this.

When I first started writing the Odelia Grey series about an amateur sleuth who is around 220 pounds, and also attractive, dates/marries, is super smart, and a lot of fun, I received a lot of encouraging e-mails from readers who thanked me for creating a protagonist who is "real" and not apologetic for her size. Only in the first book, TOO BIG TO MISS, do we see a less than confident Odelia. From the end of that book forward, it's game on!  And as a side note, a lot of the ugly prejudice Odelia experiences in TOO BIG TO MISS, I have experienced first hand.  FIRST HAND. Meaning, it's not made up.

Some e-mails I received were from women who said they cried when they realized how close to themselves Odelia was and that Odelia gave them courage to face the prejudice. One was from an overweight woman who said she'd often thought about suicide because of the bullying she endured. (And, BTW, I was bullied horribly as a kid. I know of what she speaks.)

But one e-mail in particular I will never forget. It was from a man who picked up my book because his wife read it and loved it. He confessed that he'd always hated overweight women and dismissed them as lazy and stupid, but that my book had shown them in a different light and as real people. (So were they robots before?) He ended the e-mail promising he'd would work on his prejudice. I hope he followed through on that.

Of course there have been a few readers who have encouraged me to put Odelia on a diet, saying a diet mystery would be fun. REALLY? FUN FOR WHOM?  Then there was the e-mail that came from a female doctor who accused me of encouraging and promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.  And I know she wasn't referring to Odelia's penchant for getting into trouble and danger.

Would any of you clowns like to buy a clue?

So to all of you who feel it's your business to make remarks to me or to others about their weight ... or anything really, remember:

MYOB:

MIND YOUR OWN (fucking) BUSINESS.

I got this far in life without you, and I'm sure I'll get along just fine from here on out without you.

3 comments:

Victoria Howard said...

Amen! They act like they are the first person to tell you you're fat! Really?! Cuz I NEVER see myself naked or in the mirror every g.d. day of my g.d. LIFE!! I see ppl who don't know me act surprised that I have a college degree. Since when does FAT= STUPID?! It also pisses me off that it's still ok to make fun of fat people. Guess we are the last prejudice that's still ok. Love your books!

Terell said...

Years ago I was hurt and after the surgery required to go to someone to help me retrain for work. He required the group to bring in job leads. I always was the leader in the group. I was given his notes on me. He said I would not find a job because I was too fat. Note that he had at least 30 extra pounds. Quit the group and had a job in a week.

Christopher Hudson said...

For every person who makes a poor, [and uninvited & unnecessary] comment to a larger size person, I believe there is another who thinks the larger person is fine just as they are. In my experience, an uninvited positive comment may also be unwelcome and it can often be misconstrued. So, unfortunately, it often goes unsaid. P.S. Love the books and blogs. Keep 'em coming. I know, I know, there is little chance of stopping you. ;-).