Is it possible for a person to gain a few kilos and NOT notice it? Not notice the frantic tussle with the recalcitrant jeans zipper? Not notice the snug fit of the once comfortable T-shirt? Not notice the extra chin bobbing under one’s face?
Well, most people seem to think, no, BELIEVE that people who pile on the pounds are completely and blissfully unaware of this fact. What’s more, they believe it’s their duty to immediately bring this to the burgeoning friend’s attention.
“You’ve put on SO much weight!,” they’ll exclaim loudly, their eyes darting to the thickening parts of the poor ‘fatty’s’ anatomy.
Wait a minute, was that too subtle? Could fatty have not got the message? To be doubly sure, the helpful folks will extend elbows outwards, hunch shoulders and puff up cheeks, giving fatty a pretty good clue of what he looks like.
I haven’t come across a single person who isn’t sensitive about his or her weight. And yet, most will gleefully seize the opportunity to prod another’s soft (fleshy) spot.
Recently, Art Partner was buttonholed by a ‘helpful’ colleague, who said, “I’ve been meaning to tell you that you've been putting on a lot of weight in the last few months.”
Art Partner wryly replied, “Considering I’m five months pregnant, that’s expected, isn't it?"
My weight’s hardly fluctuated in the last couple of years, so I simply disregard all the ‘helpful’ observations. Still I was surprised when an elderly neighbour, who I barely exchange pleasantries with, said to me, “You’ve put on!” For a few seconds, I wasn’t even sure what he meant, until he made the above-mentioned simian gestures!
Then there are those who willingly proffer their weighty information. “I’ve put on SO much weight”, they’ll wail, grabbing a handful of flesh from their midriff, so that you can’t miss the sight. They do this for two reasons, I’ve surmised. One, to pre-empt any helpful observations and two, to kick themselves for not refusing all those second helpings.
I’ve developed a simple strategy to deal with weighty matters. I refrain from pointing out any weight gain and if someone persists with, “But don’t you think I’ve put on weight?” I say contemplatively (and sometimes not too truthfully), “Not that I’ve noticed.”
If weighing scales can be inaccurate, well, so can I.