It started with one email—“hey, we all seem to want the same thing, to lose some weight, so why not lean on each other”—and became an email ring. In the short time since it started it’s been more about just having people to talk to than about weight loss, but when the topic actually drifts to food and exercise, the support has been there. Ideas and suggestions flow freely and are welcomed, whether the advice is taken or not.

Well, it was like that until this weekend, when the group erupted into a “You’re not really fat so you don’t know what it’s really like so SHUT UP!” temper tantrum.

I’ve always been a little on the outside looking in (per my usual, it seems) with this group so I sat here at my desk, watching the emails fly fast and furious, not really sure what to say, or if I should say anything at all. I’d hoped it was just a hiccup, people having a bad day taking it out on each other, something that would blow over by the end of the day, but by the end of the day almost everyone had announced they were quitting this little group. The only ones left were me and one other person, both more or less outsiders.

I had a moment or two of What The Hell Just Happened, then moved onto something else. Blog hopping, I think, until I realized that Blogger had molasses running through its cyber-veins and I would have a lot more fun watching TV. Hey, Grey’s Anatomy was on and that required my full attention, anyway.

But as I checked my email one last time before going to bed, it started to bother me. The eruption began with someone having a hard time getting through a plateau; she’s frustrated and can’t figure out how to get the last ten pounds off. Someone else is frustrated because she has 100 pounds to lose and is tired of hearing all these skinny people moaning about their pitiful little 10 pounds. With those two emails, there was a giant =boom= and the fur started to fly.

Fat people, it seems, need to get off the Internet and into a gym.
Thin people, evidently, need to stop whining about body fat that hardly matters. Eat a cheeseburger and get over it.

So I mused about it, and was glad I didn’t get into the thick of it, because I have the tendency to sound like I’m lecturing even when that’s not my intent. But the thing that was swirling around in the back of my mind, then stuck to the tip of my brain’s tongue, finally percolated into a Real Thought when I was munching on my Oatmeal Square this morning.

I weigh mumblemumble pounds. Two years ago I was 36 pounds heavier than I am now; since September I’ve lost 23 pounds, have been in a plateau since December, and have 50 more to go. Yep, 50. That won’t get me to my lowest weight ever, but it will get me to where I felt healthiest. Those 50 pounds are frustrating. I want them gone. I keep hoping that wishing will be enough and that the Fat Fairy* will bonk me over the head with her mighty wand, and the plateau will break; I’ll start dropping 2-3 pounds a week.

A girl can dream, eh?

The thing is, someone with “only” 10 pounds to lose and has hit a plateau is probably just as frustrated as I am with my 50. Because it’s less weight, that doesn’t make it less important. And I’m 5’8” – for someone who’s considerably shorter, 10 pounds would be like me fighting 20.

A person’s battle with weight and body image is their own, whether it’s losing 10 or losing 100; whether it’s gaining 15 or just holding onto a healthy percentage of body fat. Someone seeking support needs it regardless of the number on the scale. And judging someone…well, frankly, that just sucks.

I’ll miss the email group, but for once, it wasn’t my fault…

*The Fat Fairy seems to be of the opinion that I need to get my butt to the gym, and until I do she’s not gonna help me one iota. $itch.

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