The other day I went to my normal doctor to see if he couldn't help me with this cold I've had for awhile. I haven't been there for a long time so they didn't know I was 13 weeks pregnant when I first came in.
The first they did was of course weigh me. I stepped up and we looked at the scale: 125.2 lbs. The nurse looked and chirped happily "Oh good for you! You lost six pounds!"
Again, I hadn't told her I was pregnant yet. She didn't know that I have been worrying about losing weight for the past three months. She didn't say this as a disparaging remark and had no reason to think it would hurt my feelings. In fact, she was trying to be super nice and encouraging, because what woman doesn't want to be thinner - right?
Actually, 125 is low for me. Unhealthily low. At 130 (my normal when I'm depressed/recovering from depression) I look like a zombie. My face loses all fat and sinks in. The circles under my eyes are more prominent. My hips and butt verge on boyish. At 125 even my breasts (which used to be ample) are gone. I look like a sad, sad, old woman. Six pounds isn't anything to celebrate. However, isn't it always the way that weight loss is celebrated - no matter the situation. I'm reminded of a joke by Kathy Griffin that when she found out her sister had cancer she was jealous that she was going to be so skinny.
I feel like this is a mostly female thing. I don't think that men go to the doctor and get a cheer squad on the scale. Honestly, do they even get a comment either way? When I was pregnant with Emily I gained one pound in a week. The nurse, without any prompting, patted me on the shoulder and said "Don't worry, that's probably all baby weight gain." Would anyone think to try and reassure a man over a single pound?
Even my daughter is stuck on it. She was a super chubby baby. Nurses would comment and say that she was a very pretty baby (she so is) but so fat. The problem there is the "but," as if that keeps her from being as pretty as she could be. And she wasn't even a year old yet!
I don't know when we thought that weight was suddenly the topic that was allowed to be discussed openly and without tact. I think maybe we should go back to discussing it like we discuss laundry: we don't. Not unless you're helping to do it!