Weight Distress

Dear Michele,

I’m 13 and overweight, but not obese. I have really
low self-confidence and I’m trying to lose weight and
become more healthy, but since this is a slow process,
I need advice now. There are two boys that in almost
all of my classes and they find it amusing to call my
friend and I fat. Yesterday, for instance, we asked
them if they could stop talking so that we could do
our work, and they said, “Shut up, fatties.” And then
all of their stupid friends laughed. So, the boy that
talks the most said, “You have more rolls than a
picnic.” It’s really hurtful but I never let them see
how bad I feel, but when I got home yesterday,
I just cried forever and nothing helped me feel better.
I try so hard to just shrug it off, but his words keep
coming back to me. How can I get him to stop without
ignoring him (which doesn’t work)? And, also, is
there anything I can do that isn’t a fad diet or
something that can help me lose weight faster?

–Sick of Being Judged

Dear Sick of Being Judged,

Fret no more! The Adviceopolis anti-bully task force has devised a simple solution for both your problems.

Our diagnosis: you are being taunted by a Bombie—a Boy Zombie who has such low self esteem that he has to pick on you to make himself feel better. Bombies thrive on the misery of others, but they are cowards, so they pick on people who seem to be easy targets. Which means the solution to this is simple: we make you a less easy target. And you’re already well on your way!

I know from personal experience that loosing weight sensibly is a huge challenge requiring self control, mental discipline, and bravery, and the fact that you’re doing it shows you have everything you need to fortify yourself against Bombie attacks. To help it happen as fast as possible, simply embrace this two part process.

Since Bombies attack those who are vulnerable, make yourself seem less vulnerable.

One way to do that is to turn everything he says into a joke…on him. For example:
HIM: You have more rolls than a picnic
YOU: Look whose trying to be smart! Did your mom teach you that? Because I know you couldn’t think that all on your own.

When his pals laugh with him, you can say: “How cute! Monkey see monkey do!” You’re not just keeping him from seeing that he’s upset you; instead, you’re showing him that he’s not impressing you, and that you think he’s funny. Being funny to the people they are picking on is something Bombies fear, because it sucks away their power to create misery.

Another option to make yourself a less appealing target is to confront him. Say to the main Bombie, in a calm collected way, “Hey, can I talk to you alone this afternoon?” When you get him alone, you say, “I don’t know why you and your friends enjoy bothering me so much, but I want it to stop, and its going to stop now. I’m talking to you because I know the other bombies look up to you, and if you tell them to lay off they will. So I expect to hear only nice things from all of you, or nothing at all. Right?”

This does two things: by saying that he has power over the other Bombie children you flatter him and sort of put his name on the line: if he doesn’t get them to stop, he looks weak. And by confronting him, you show that you’re not an easy target. If it doesn’t work the first time, do it again. Standing up to him will get him to stand down. (If he doesn’t come alone, take him aside away from his bombie supporters. That will seriously scare him).

Everyone knows that exercise is the key to shedding pounds fast, but it does more than that: its also an excellent way to vent your feelings, AND doing it increases the chemicals in your brain that fight sadness. So when the Bombies are getting you down, go for a run or a bike ride or do lunges or play Dance Dance Party revolution or swim laps or lift weights or do whatever kind of exercise you like the most.

When I needed to loose weight, I used a program combining an hour of cardio a day (working out on the treadmill or ellipse machine), and lifting weights twice a week. Doing cardio plus weight training helps you burn calories and build muscle; since muscle burns calories faster than fat, this is like giving your weight loss plan a turbo boost. But that kind of program isn’t for everyone. The key is to find a form of exercise you don’t hate too much, and do it four to five times a week.

Make sure to pat yourself on the back for the effort you’re making to shed pounds, rewarding yourself in small ways like a new pair of earrings or a new belt for your progress. and not beating yourself up if you take a step backwards. What you’re doing is hard and takes time but it will be worth it in six weeks, when you see a new you smiling out of the mirror.
(And when you have new muscles to flex menacingly if Bombie boy is bugging you).
(Not that this blog advocates violence. Just preventative flexing.)
(Well and maybe a tiny arm wrestling challenge.)


Dr. J

Need Advice? Mail your questions for publication to advice@michelejaffe.com. The doctor can't promise to answer them all, but she'll do her best. (By sending a question you grant permission to have it appear here. Letters may be edited. Advice is for entertainment purposes only. No blaming us later okay? Okay.)

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply