Jennifer Lyon

Wednesday, June 14th, 2023
A Weighty Conversation

Before I get into the blog, I need to say I heard Monday night that Julie Garwood died. It feels like the world has lost a truely original talent. I loved her books! I want to thank her for sharing her sweet, funny and sassy romances with the world. I adored her heroines!

Now I want to share a conversation I had yesterday. I was standing in line at the grocery store while clerk was trying to stalk the point-of-sale racks there — you know the ones with the candy bars and snacks — and I was trying to stay out of her way. She stopped stocking, turned to me and shyly asked, “I see you in here all the time, I wonder how you stay so in shape?”

I was caught by surprise, and said something I think was polite and nice, but what I remember is away she said next. “I try so hard…” and she went on to describe her workout and how hard she works to eat right and she said she was 55. I would have guessed her to be late 30s, maybe early 40s! I told her how floored I was because that she looked much, much younger and that I thought she was lovely.

She was very gracious, but the weight bothered her and she told me some “old friends” had commented on her weight. I could feel that in my heart. This beautiful woman, who also appears to be kind and hardworking from what I could see, was really distressed by a few extra pounds. And I’m not only sad for her, but pissed.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why people would focus on something as unimportant as putting on a few pounds when this woman appears to have so much more to offer? I’m just mad, sad and disgusted about it.  I’ve had people say things to me over the years too, we probably all have. Sometimes, it’s just people with foot-in-mouth disease and say stupid things and I try to give them a pass. God knows, I’ve occassionally suffered from that disease myself and I’m always mortified.

But others? I think they are looking to bring us down to make themselves feel better. Which is utterly pathetic. Given that this women looked so young, maybe that triggered others’ insecurities, who knows?

What I really wanted to end with today is that each and every one of you have a special kind of beauty. Let’s all try to listen to our friends and family who recognize our positive beautiful qualities and ignore the mean idiots who find our insecurity and comment on it. They are the pathetic ones who don’t deserve our attention.

P.S. I’m not in any particular “good shape.” I think this women just needed to talk to someone and I’m glad I was there at the right moment.

4 comments to “A Weighty Conversation”

  1. Silver James
    June 14th, 2023 at 7:59 am · Link

    Wow. Quite the encounter there. And boy did she get lucky and find just the right person to talk to. Sometimes, though, it’s family that can be the worst offenders in this. My mother tried to do a number on me, even when my size 3 wedding dress had to be taken in. I still carry the shadows and vowed never to pass it on to Only. I still remember an interview group she was part of in grade school with a local TV reporter about body image in young girls. The principal and school counselor asked me to sit in on the session to monitor, which Only was fine with. Only was probably the heaviest in the room, and the girl who was the thinnest had aspirations of modeling–fostered by her mother. The difference in the mental health between her and Only was off the charts. She hated looking in the mirror, monitored very bite she ate, and weighed herself multiple times a day. Only’s comment was, “I’m an athlete. Muscle weighs more than fat. I work out. I eat what I want. As long as I play my best, that’s what matters. If guys are too dumb to see how awesome I am, that’s on them.” I wanted to stand up and cheer. The only time she’s ever worried about her weight was due to the diabetes and she’s now dropped close to 50 pounds due to new medications and she looks great but more important, she FEELS great. Even with the extra weight, she could “play her best.” I got lucky with my kid! So many carry the scars like your clerk. I hope she takes your words to heart. And yeah, so many people are “mean girls” (even when male) in order to make themselves feel more important, better-than-you, or for their own egos. Gotta be a special place in hell for them.

    I’m saddened by Ms. Garwood’s passing too. It’s always sad to lose an icon. I have to admit, I’ve never read any of her books–sacrilege I know!–but she was much beloved and I admired her. We’re getting of an age that we’ll begin losing more, like we are with actors. Getting old sucks!

  2. Viki S.
    June 14th, 2023 at 2:22 pm · Link

    You’re right. That woman needed someone to talk to and you were the perfect person. Funny how she knew she could talk to you. It’s so a wonderful thing that you were able to convey to her that she is a beautiful worthy person. The people in her life that put her down need to go but we all know how difficult it is to take that step.

    It really does make you wonder WHY some people feel the need to be nasty. Maybe they have a lack of self esteem and putting others down makes them feel big. Don’t know, but wish all could be kind.

    And that leads to me. I am having a difficult time not being negative lately. All the stuff with hubs and him declining is not making for a good person in me. Know that I have to be self aware is helping.

    Just got a call from my SIL. My brother is now in the hospital with a possible heart attack. It seems to never end. SIL is keeping a positive attitude and there is a plan in place with the Dr. to address the a-fib, which is the cause of the possible heart attack.

    I hope you have a great afternoon!

  3. Jenn
    June 14th, 2023 at 3:44 pm · Link

    Silver, I’m so sorry you’re mother treated you like that. As a mother myself, it’s hard to understand. Like a lot of people, I’ve had family say things that they didn’t intend to hurt, but I have sensitive areas like anyone, but it wasn’t intentional.

    I think you got more than lucky with Only — you instilled confidence and knowing her own value in her. That has to be even harder with a girl (and I feel it was hard enough with boys in our world). I love her attitude! I’m all for wanting to be in our best heath and look our best. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as we’re not ruining everyone other aspect of life or health to do it.

    Who knows why she talked to me, but I was glad she did. This happens to be a subject I care about. Plus she was just so nice :-)

    I think Julie Garwood will be missed by many, whether you read her or not. I loved her Scottish historical romances!

  4. Jenn
    June 14th, 2023 at 3:49 pm · Link

    Viki, I hope I was able to get that message across to her. She truly seemed like a very friendly woman. Sometimes we hear it better from stranger than people who love us too :-)

    I’m with you, I don’t know why people are mean. How does it make someone feel better to make someone else feel worse? I don’t know.

    You are in a difficult situation and while I live in on the fringe, I’m not living the day to day. Is there any chance his doctor can help you find a support group (if that interests you)? Maybe someone who is living it like you are could be more helpful. Or maybe call your best friend who moved out of state and talk to her? It has to be so hard, huge hugs!

    Oh my gosh, that’s scare for your brother! I hope he’s okay. You sure have a lot to deal with, and I think it’s be overwhelming for any of us.

    I hope you can find some support in whatever way works for you.

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