“Struggle with weight”

Once again today I saw someone write that they “struggle with their weight”: first losing weight, then regaining, then losing again, then regaining again.   To cope with this the writer has a larger-than-she-deems-necessary wardrobe in a variety of sizes.

Is that struggling with weight?  Or struggling with the temporary nature of dieting?

Do we use the word “struggle” because of the time and effort involved?  Or because we want to have something to battle, something to fight, something we feel is meaningful?

11 thoughts on ““Struggle with weight”

  1. “Is that struggling with weight? Or struggling with the temporary nature of dieting?”

    This comment is perfection! I’m going to make this my new mantra and speak it everywhere I can…including my doctor’s office and my inlaws’ house. Hell, I may even put it on a Tshirt!

  2. Additonally..the “struggle” for me is within my mind. I struggle with trying to accept the thousands of years of heredity that’s carried in my DNA and trying to find a niche that allows me to fit into society’s clique. It’s a battle I face every time I endure the sneers and lingering looks of fellow humans….holding my head up high while trying to keep from internalizing that I’m bad because I’m fat.

    I struggle also trying to stay capable as my body ages and the other hereditary ills creep into my day to day standard of living.

    I struggle with trying to keep from projecting onto my nine year old daughter my own fears and body image issues.

    And I struggle with trying to build the endurance to face it all.

    Dieting’s the easy part.

    • This also occurred to me. It also occurred to me that one way to admit it’s there but still seem a good (wanting to change) fatty would be say “I struggle with weight” – meaning self-acceptance but others think it means dieting.

  3. My impression is that many people believe that saying someone “struggles with their weight” is more polite than saying that someone “is overweight”, which in turn is more polite than “is fat”. Still speculating, I think “struggles with their weight” is intended as a sympathetic rather than sneering or judging way of saying someone is fat. I don’t like people making assumptions about others’ behaviour (e.g. dieting, or eating huge amounts, or being sedentary) based only on body weight, so I’m not a fan of the term, but I’m glad that even people who don’t accept fat have some way to refer to fat people with less of the usual undercurrent of horror.

    I have a prepared comment in case anyone says I struggle with my weight: “Thankfully, my weight and I are at peace.”

    In a vaguely-related anecdote…a year or so ago I was preparing to meet an online (nonromantic) friend in person for the first time, and we spoke on the phone. I described what exit she should take from the train station where we would be meeting and what landmarks she should look for to make sure she and I would be in the same place. I then described myself: “I’m white, medium-height, fat, with [description] hair; I’ll be wearing [clothing].” When I got to the “fat” part she started laughing, a laughter that sounded delighted, and I asked her why she was laughing. “It’s just obvious that you’re okay with that,” she said warmly. “Oh. Yeah,” I said, “I am!” Unsurprisingly we got on well and had a lovely time.

  4. Oh, oops, sorry — I just reread your post and realised that we’re talking about slightly different things; you are talking about people using “struggling with my weight” about themselves, whereas I am talking about them using it to describe others. I didn’t mean to hijack — sorry about that!

  5. Hmm I think that to ‘struggle with your weight’ is a nod to the insecurity and unhappiness that person has in their own skin. I think there needs to be a comfort level and if you aren’t happy or feeling at peace with who you are physically, then you have a comprehensive unease.

    The actual number on a scale doesn’t define anyone, what defines a person is their ability to live life in a self appreciating way. So whatever number that is, is lovely. Beth Ditto is a wonderful example of being at peace and happy with who you are and owning that. She is sexy and glamorous.

    Diets are pure self hatred, and I can’t think of a bigger struggle than that. This struggle is to live life in the mode of feeling undeserving until you’ve become what society says IS deserving of happiness and success. So insane. I’m ashamed to live in a society with such a twisted self esteem.

  6. Hmm…could be the struggle with dieting or weight. My first thought when I hear struggle is one of desperation, when you’ve reached the end of your rope but you still keep going even if it hurts you.

    So it’s a struggle with weight, because they get so desperate and keep going even though they’re hungry, tired and gawky-brained.

    And it’s a struggle with dieting because they continue to try so hard, so desperately even though it’s in vain.

    Though, my first known useage of the word “Struggle” is from Pokemon, where they have no other moves and must struggle, hurting both the opponent and themselves.

    Good post!

  7. I think the term “struggle with one’s weight” has to do with the morality we attached to weight and fatness. Like, if you are going to be fat you should at least have the decency to be struggling against it. If you’re not struggling you are just walking around brazenly being fat, which is shocking and shameful, right?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s