Saturday, May 24, 2014

Being Overweight Is Not An Excuse For Abuse

Dear Tazi:

I am a woman in my twenties. My whole life I have been on the chubby side, which has had an effect on my self-esteem. Because of this, I have never felt comfortable dating; so I do not have much experience with men. For the past few months I have been dating a man I will call “James” who is everything a woman could want in a man. How I managed to snag him, I have no idea; but he is as committed to me as I am to him…or at least I think he is.

James tells me that if I loved him as much as he loves me, I would work harder to lose weight. He says he wants me to be as beautiful on the outside as I am on the inside; and that I have a pretty face, but it’s tainted by my "lumpy figure". Tazi, I have tried dieting and exercise; and it works for a while; but then I start to miss my favorite snacks, or I am just not in the mood to go to the gym and I slide back into my bad habits and put back on all the weight that I lost.

My Mom tells me I need to stop dieting to please someone else and start doing it to please me; but I am not unhappy with my weight – at least, not unhappy enough to commit to a diet and exercise program that will maintain my perfect weight. My best friends tell me to dump James; that I can do so much better than a man who tells me I am fat, but James have never actually used that word. Besides, it is like I already said, James is everything a woman could want in a man; and I think my friends are just jealous that in spite of the fact that they are all perfect looking I am the one who landed God’s gift to women!

Do you have any suggestions on how to motivate myself to stick to a diet and exercise program? I would like to lose 15 pounds and be bikini-ready for summer!

Chubby Lovey

Dear Chubby Lovey:

I have a great suggestion on how to lose a TON of weight fast – drop the millstone around your neck. You know, the one you call “James” because the man is bringing you down! Just because you are overweight does not give him the right to be mentally abusive towards you. If James cannot accept you for who you are, he has no business dating you.

It sounds to me that James gets a sick thrill out of putting you down and trying to control you by controlling your weight. Admittedly, he has never called you “fat”; but “lumpy” isn’t exactly a compliment, now is it? It does not matter how much weight you lose, it will never be enough for James; he will always see you as somehow less than perfect. Your friends are looking at the situation from an outside point of view, so please do not dismiss them so quickly – they may be seeing something that you do not. Trust me when I tell you that they are not jealous, but merely concerned about you.

Twice you say James is “everything a woman could want in a man”, yet you do not describe his positive attributes. Are you certain that this “God’s gift to women” did not just tell you that he is all that, and has you believing him? Your low self-esteem could be affecting your judgment. You tell me that you and James have only been dating for “the past few months” but claim that you are committed and deeply in love. Far be it for me to question the depth of your love for each other, but I have to say that James sounds like he has the depth of a puddle. I would tread gingerly if I were you.

Since you ask me for some diet and exercise tips, I will tell you what I know, and what you have already discovered: there is no silver bullet when it comes to permanent weight loss and maintenance. Some people are blessed with wonderful metabolisms that allow them to eat whatever they want and not gain weight – those people are generally called teenagers, and they outgrow it as they age. For the rest of us a regular, manageable regimen of diet and exercise is required to stay physically and mentally fit.

You do not have to go to the gym daily – three days a week is optimal – nor do you have to completely give up your favorite snacks; just indulge in them as a treat or reward for accomplishing a goal, not as an every-day part of your diet. Unless there is something wrong with your hormonal balances (a visit to the doctor could check this for you), you should start to notice a difference in your weight within a week or two. In order to stay motivated, try hanging your bikini on the refrigerator door as a reminder of what you are working to achieve. It is my hope that once you start to lose weight, your self-esteem will improve; I am with your mother on this one – if you want to lose weight, you must do it to please yourself and not anybody else.


James is being awarded a Tazi Paw Slap of Disgust! Here it is... -T.K.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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