Ask Amy: Overweight Judgment Needs to Stop
How do you turn off your inner mean girl?
Dear Amy: I recently decided to move back in with my mom and younger sister for the remainder of the pandemic.
The problem is that I find myself thinking extremely unkind things about them; mostly because both of them are overweight.
I find myself thinking almost obsessively about how gross I find their bodies; and I feel angry about how they eat and their unhealthy lifestyle.
Maybe some of this comes from the fact that I’ve been nervous about my own weight — more so during the pandemic.
Do you have advice on how to be kinder and less judgmental?
How to get space from mean, prejudiced thought patterns? I don’t want to be this way.
I have a therapist, but I actually think I’ve been too embarrassed to be honest about how ugly my internal monologue is, because I’m disgusted by it.
— Secret Mean Girl
Dear Mean Girl: I give you credit for admitting how your harsh judgment of others affects your own self-esteem.
If you come from a family where people compulsively eat their feelings (been there, eaten that), being back home triggers your own fears of disordered eating.
Sometimes, our harshest judgments of others will reveal our own vulnerabilities.
This may seem a little out there; but I believe that you and your family members are all struggling with a concept widely defined as “self-love.” They both soothe and punish themselves by overeating. You punish yourself by hating your own attitude.
Look into the concept of “radical acceptance.” Learning to truly accept a situation or person while exposed to their faults and frailties will liberate you.
I think of this as learning to love people “… anyway.”
Tell your therapist! Exposing the thing you hate about yourself is how you will begin to heal.
In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068
© 2021 by Amy Dickinson