Saturday, April 3, 2010

what would you say? what would you do?

I want to start out by saying that the conversation I am about to share with you went exactly as I wrote it. I didn't edit anything out or change anything to make it sound more dramatic.
I was on my way to the farmer's market yesterday when I saw my father-in-law on his bicycle. I waved and smiled as he approached.
Me to my father-in-law: "Hello!"
My father-in-law: "You've gotten fat!"
Me: "Oh, well, thank you...that made my day alot nicer."
My FIL: "Are you eating differently? Why did you gain so much weight?"
Me: "I don't think I want to discuss my weight with you."
My FIL: "You used to be so thin. You must be eating differently. Why have you gained so much weight?"
Me: "Have a nice day."
And I walked away.
And cried.
He tried calling me twice after that, but I was so in shock, and so hurt, that I didn't pick up. I was at a loss for words. I still don't know what to say.
What would you say?


  1. Oh Dawn- I'm shocked too! I can't believe he would say something like that. Unfortunately some people feel that they are entitled to talk about other's weight/life/personal choices...whatever.... as though there is a sign saying "this is open for discussion", when in fact it is definitely not open for discussion.
    I think you handled the situation very well. Recently I went through something where my inlaws were trying to persuade me (heavily) to do something that I strongly disagree with (child related)....anyhow, it resulted in a huge fight (something I didn't want to happen but it did).
    In the end we talked about it, but deep down I can't let it go. It has changed our relationship because they hurt my feelings so much.
    I hope that this is resolved in someway for you.

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  3. Oh sweety. I am so sorry you were so hurt, it was truly inconsiderate and totally out of order for him to say that. unfortunately I've been through this with my MIL lots of times, icluding patting my butt and saying I really should not try to wear a skirt without considering a girdle (and that was when I actually weighted 65 kilos!!!) I can only advise what I had to resort to and it was asking my husband to protect me from these attacks and put his mother in her place.
    I believe that I need my husbands protection and sometimes it is in the form of keeping his mother away from me.
    Don't take any notice of what he said to you don't for one minute believe it. And don't forget those who love you and think you're beautiful, especially Ramon

  4. Sometimes,wouldnt it be nice,if possibly,..people..thought words through..before they opened their big mounth!I'm so sorry you had to go through that,but at the end of the day,you already know how wonderful you are..and so do we...and you dont need anyone else to tell you otherwise.Warmest Regards,Cat

  5. Oh my darling Dawn,
    I am so sorry that your father in law was so mean to you. Please don't let his words hurt you any longer. You are a beautiful woman inside and out, you are so pretty, SLIM and most importantly healthy. Being waif likes does not make you happy nor healthy. So please take solace in the fact that you are a magnificent person regardless of your exterior and if your father in law cannot see that then he is truly missing out.
    How has Ramon reacted to this?

    Nathan's gran once said to me "You're fat aren't you" to which I replied "well I suppose I might be". I was in complete and utter shock and felt totally devastated I sobbed for quite some time. I think that some people are not emotionally intelligent enough to voice their opinions/concerns in a kind and nurturing manner. These people should keep these opinions/concerns to themselves until they can learn to do so.

    I wish I was there to give you a massive hug and make you giggle about something silly to ease the hurt.

    Love Morwenna

  6. Oh. My. God. That's just terrible. So very sorry that your FIL was so incredibly inconsiderate. I would have done exactly the same thing you did. Chin-up, comments like that aren't worth your time :)

  7. I can only assume that he thinks it is ok to speak to a lady like this but it's not. Not being able to keep my mouth shut in situations like this I would have made a comment on his appearance but I think you did the exact right thing by holding your head up high and not stooping to his level. I hope he realises how rude his behaviour was, is feeling terrible about it and is calling to tell you how sorry he is. Rest assured you are beautiful and you are perfect as you are, it's a shame he can't see that. xxxxxxx

  8. Dearest poor, poor thing. Guaranteed to make you feel terrible. I think men are much worse than women with this sort of insensitivity (remember it's always men with big pot bellies & man boobs who feel free to comment on womens' appearances isn't it, as though THEY'RE God's gift....) Saying that, my parents are bothe incredibly fattist (something that's affected both my sisters & I in different ways over the years) Just last week I bought a new pair of trousers & my mum saw them & said 'oh, they're lovely...and wide legged trousers are so FORGIVING aren't they??'
    PLEASE don't feel bad, you're gorgeous. I think you reacted in the only way you could. Take care! xoxxo Rachel

  9. I think you handled it so much better than I would have. Recently and well to be honest for the past 5 years I have been having a hard time with my inlaws and it would not surprise me if I had the same conversation with my mother in law. And for the record, I don't think you're fat.

  10. Aw I'm sorry! :( I hate when people don't think about things before they say them or don't even care, it can be so hurtful.
    I think you're a beautiful person!

  11. i'm so sorry sweetie, i'll never be able to understand what is wrong with people. i'm sure he never meant to cause you pain, i mean looking at you he was surely thinking at the same time how beautiful you are.

    i was most impressed at how you handled yourself, and the words you said back to him. he may never get it, that he spoke inappropriatly, but i wouldn't worry about it one bit. it isn't your problem, it's his.
    you are the most delightful, warm and lovely girl dawn. i hope you can let this go.
    have a beautiful day!
    love, lori

  12. Dear Dawn,
    this is actually the first time I'm posting a comment but since I could hardly believe my eyes when I read your post, I couldn't stop myself from writing something. I know exactly what it feels like when people who barely know you or - in that case - are supposed to know you, think they have the right to judge you or the way you look. But who do those people think they are to have that right, no matter if they are classmates,parents,in-laws or just people on the street? I know that this must be very hard for you but what I've learned is that those things can only make you stronger, they lead you to who you are (I know that sounds weird ;).
    What did your husband say when you told him? Did he talk to his father?
    I think what I would do in that case is wait a few days to calm down and then tell my FIL what I think (after I've written it down). I don't know what kind of person your FIL is (some people are just not capable of criticism) but if there is any chance that you could let him know how you feel, do it or let your husband do it if you don't feel strong enough yet.
    One last word: I think you are absolutely beautiful, please don't let anyone convince you of the contrary. You are the only person who has the right and the power to decide what you want to look like and who you wanna be!

    xxx Lisa

  13. How hurtful for you.

    The less said the better. It would not change his words, only add yours to the mix. I would have said little or nothing. You did the right thing.

    People can be insensitive. Open mouth insert foot and more than once in fact.

    You have the challenge to work this out now and I know you will. :)

    Sending strong healing thoughts your way.

  14. Here is what he was really thinking. HERE COMES MY DEAR DAUGHTER IN LAW, I LOVE AND CARE FOR HER SO MUCH. I WISH I COULD SOMEHOW LET HER KNOW THAT... And then, what is actually spoken is a remark about your weight! Forgive, forgive, forgive. That is the key to a happy life! Please don't be too hurt. By the way, I did something similar to a very dear uncle of mine... I came home and he was there on a very unexpected visit. I was so pleased to see his wonderful familiar face, but his hair was much greyer than the last time I had seen him. Instead of hugging him, I just said, "Oh, Uncle Jack, your grey hair makes you look old!" His face just fell, you could tell that it hurt him so badly and I just... felt awful. Why did I say that? I hope he forgave me. Lord knows it wasn't meant to hurt him...

    Kay Guest

  15. How long is he? No excuses but sometimes older folks speak before thinking and don't care what they say, even so, this was hurtful and hopefully he didn't mean it that way. Hugs!

  16. Oh Dawn..I'm so sorry that those 'hurtful' words were directed at you. You handled the situation wonderfully, the less said the better--and this just shows what a beautiful person you are. Please do not anguish over this, let it go.....please! ((hugs))

    xoxo Gert

  17. Oh your sweet dear one...i know the feeling...from my own MOTHER ! talk about make you feel bad. Oh, Kary, you used to be so thin. Look at you in that picture there...see...weren't you thin...oh, you looked so good...and look at you now...from my MOTHER !

    i would get this almost on a daily basis...i would walk in the door after spending a day with her and be in the worst mood. John would say..uh were with you mom today, huh?

    that's why i have loved being around john's family so much..never critical..ever. of anyone for any reason... as the years passed i spent more time with them and less with my family...

    i don't understand why weight is such a "thing" with some people...

    i just don't see people's weight. i see them.
    i think it is because the kind of friends i have also aren't concerned with "looks". my friends i have one is judgemental of how each others "looks"..and that's why they are such great friends..we love each other for US. not what we look like....some people just don't seem to get that...

    we love you for you....


  18. wow! that is definitely a shock, how rude and unnecessarily unthoughful! If and when you feel like talking to him, I would be as honest with him as he was with you and tell him exactly how he made you feel. there is no reason for anyone to be so uncaring. and I am sure that you know this but we all love you and think you are beautiful, and so does your hubby (and kiki)! don't worry about him, he is probably unhappy about something completely unrelated to you and unfortunately took out his emotions on you (even though it was totally uncalled for!). I hope you feel better later and have a wonderful easter!
    little owl

  19. Wow!!! What a horrible (and UNTRUE) thing to say! He obviously was having a bad day and wanted to take it out on someone because there's no way he didn't know he was being hurtful.
    I'd tell you what I would say to him, but I don't think it'd be appropriate for Blogger!
    Just know that he is completely and totally WRONG, and pity him for being so cruel.

  20. Dear Dawn,

    I am really surprised to read your posts about your weight! All this time I have always thought: "if I could only be like Dawn, who enjoys cooking, exercises and looks absolutely amazing!" My point being that you don't look overweight at all! You look absolutely amazing!

    I have always had to deal with my own mother comparing my weight to her weight when she was young... and even worst than that, comparing figures. Sometime she will even say: Oh, Gio, when I was your age my waist was 3 times smaller than yours... I really don't know what to answer to that. Sometimes it's devastating, others I just brush it off.

    But one thing that has really really helped... for my weight, my cravings, emotional eating and body issues in general is practicing yoga. It really centres me and makes me feel content about who I am and how I look no matter what other people say about me.

    I am really sorry about your FIL's comment... I read a phrase from Deepak Chopra today that really stuck with me, it said: We see others & the world as we see ourselves. Sweetie, if your FIL felt the need to say something as unfriendly as that... it is only because that is the way he feels about himself, it really has nothing to do with you; and the sooner you understand that the better. :)

    I hope you are well.

    with love,

  21. ((hugs)) i bet he is so hurt that he hurt you like that. some people just have foot in mouth problems....the question seem to imply that he cares because he asked...but, i know that is crushing. i hope you two can repair this.

  22. What an ass. (Is that too strong for this site? LOL Sorry if it is... it was my first thought.)

    You are so not fat. What a mean thing to say. Maybe your husband can talk with him.

    After reading your post about weight from before, I think the added weight is from stopping the diet pills and depression over the miscarriage. Don't despair, your body will come to a balance you are happy with.

    Most people I know gain weight when they stop smoking, kinda like stopping the diet pills. But, then they lose the weight. They just need some time.

    One of my favorite books is "French Women Don't Get Fat". I was looking for some way to stop the processed, never ending cycle of no fat/low fat food. And it gives good ways to enjoy real foods and stay slim. Honestly, from reading your blog, you already follow many of the suggestions. But, I thought you might like to read it. I don't recommend the leek soup (bad tasting water) and I skipped the part where she talks about eating horse as a child (too gross for me!). The author is the CEO of Veuve Clicquot, the champagne company.

    And I wanted to comment on Sharon Lovejoy's post on 3-31. The conversation she had with Susan Branch reminded me of a great book.

    My Mom, who is 61, read Nora Ephron's book "I Feel Bad About My Neck". (Ephron wrote & directed Julie & Julia, You've Got Mail, etc.)Then I read it. Anyway, in the book, she basically says that she was so hard on herself when she was younger about her body and her beauty. She didn't give herself credit for how pretty she was, etc. And looking back, she regrets not being kinder to herself and celebrating her beauty more.

    After reading her book, I so knew what she meant. I am really hard on myself and I decided to try not to be anymore. If I wanted to change something about myself physically, I would do so in a healthy way. But I would not beat myself up and I would appreciate my beauty.

    I hope that helps.... sending you good thoughts and Happy Easter!


  23. How could he be so inconsiderate? I admire you for the way you handled it. I wouldn't be so calm. Hope Ramon was supportive. (I'm sure he was).
    I was i shock when, at 19, a shop assistant told me 'these trousers fit well to chubby women like you' (I was just 4 or 5 kilos overweight). Now I don't mind the extra weight as long as it doesn't make me feel tired.
    Hope you're feeling better. Stay away from pills and strict diets.

  24. dear dawn,

    i am so sorry he hurt you that way.
    elderly people have a way of blurting
    things out in terrible painful ways.

    please don't let this destroy you. pick
    yourself up and shake yourself off.

    you are a gorgeous young lady with
    so much to add to our pitiful little


  25. Unlike your father-in-law, most people learn tact, and not to make personal comments about others when they are a child. Has he talked to you like that before? Is that how he handles his other relationships? I think your husband needs to help out in sheltering you and maybe even in talking to your father-in-law about how hurt you are. If he apologizes, (and some people can't seem to apologize verbally,) try to forgive him. Try to see how these words show his own limitations and not yours. You need a big hug from your husband and you also need a big pat on your back for handling these unkind comments with such maturity and calm and control. I also think that next time (I hope there isn't another next time,) you could say "You hurt my feelings," or "Why would you say such a thing?" in order to give him immediate feedback and show him how his words are received. It's strange that someone can go through life without learning such a thing at a younger age. And YOU are's him, not you! love, Beth

  26. Oh sweetie, I'm sure he really didn't mean to upset you. I'm not excusing his behaviour - it is thoughtless and wrong and he must learn the consequences of such tactless and insensitive words. He is the one with the problem but you can also help yourself by rising above it and you can protect yourself from being hurt by truly knowing and believing that you are not fat and you are beautiful. We all know you are - inside and out - we have seen photos and we read your blog every day. You need to believe this too and then no matter what anyone says, you'll be fine. It is easier said than done, I know but have faith that you are beautiful and look at the evidence here to support it and then I hope that will be enough. Sending you a big hug. What poor timing too on his part - you were obviously feeling sensitive about the issue from reading your last posts and he has just gone and dented your confidence. Don't let him. Be strong.

    Love you Dawn...don't like seeing you upset xxx

  27. Dearest Dawn,

    Here are some words I have ALWAYS wanted to say. THE UNMITIGATED GALL. Nobody should feel the right to destroy someone in this thoughtless way.

    I like what you said to him, but you might add, "I am trying to take care of my body, to stop focusing on dieting and diet pills, and to lead a healthy life for the sake of the family we are planning to have."

    I've been hurt horribly too, but my husband Jeff says, "consider the source and rise above it. Don't get mad, get even.

    Just take care of yourself.



  28. Ok, this is hard to read from so usually "I just want to hold you"...and by doing that drain out all the poison this situation created in your body.
    You must have felt sooo powerless and stunned. You are open to your family and when he said that, it was like an attack. A form of betrayal.
    I'm so glad that you let go of the pills that hurt your body and mind and choose a healthy, fun, creative lifestyle with all the goodness that cooking and baking offers.
    There is a chance that you weigh more than you would if you had never done the hard core stuff, but essentially, we are to be soft and round as women, curvy and sexy in our movements and offering love through food.
    I too think that you are gorgeous and LOVE your generous offerings as your guest at home and as a guest on your blog.
    I also like the Yoga girl posting. Yoga is what keeps my energy moving and the curves in the right places. Also keeps my digestion does Kombucha.

    I know that bluntness of your FIL from my own history. I resort to it when I don't know how to have a conversation of exploration about a sensitive subject. When I'm scared to care enough because it might ask me to change something in my own comfort zone...does this make sense?
    My guess is that he is scared to find out what you might really need...from him.
    Such as: sensitivity, kindness, generosity, terms of having lost your baby..?
    I also like the post with the book suggestions, I saw that French girls book and keep thinking about the subject too.
    Mostly, I feel so touched that you have real friends here who can support you in laughter and have created a great community here Dawn, something to be sp proud of and thankful for!
    Hugging you with kisses on your darling rosy cheeks,

  29. I am so sorry that you were hurt too! I probably would have walked away crying as well. I just looked at your photos below this post and I think you look great :) Your a cutie that's for sure! Some people (especially men or older folks - from my experience) don't think before speaking. I would show grace to him especially since he tried calling you. He probably realizes that he made a mistake and hurt you. Let him apologize and restore your relationship.

    Have a blessed day sweetie!

  30. Gosh! I am so sorry he put you in that situation. I have gone through this many times. I have to wonder what it is INSIDE OF HIM, that would make him say such things.
    and tell him to come to my house. if he wants to see fat, I will show him fat. I have plenty!!! so tell him to lay off my friend, and pick on me! : )
    I love you, friend.

  31. if i were there i would wrap you in my arms and hold you tight. people have said these things to me all my life and i am very self-conscious about it. even my sisters feel this compulsive need to let me know that 'if only i would do what they think i should do, then i would be perfect' bla bla bla. i've gazed upon your pictures and you are gorgeous. and your art work and photos are so amazing. don't hide like me. i think maybe you need to tell him off some more. hugs t

  32. Sometimes, words escape the lips when they should remain within. Forgive him. You are perfectly and wonderfully made. Sending you a big HUG and hope your heart mends soon.

  33. Oh sweet Dawn...I think you handled yourself beautifully. You are perfect....beautiful, sweet, kind and full of so much love and light! I have found the best thing to do is forgive...the only person that it hurts when you hold onto resentment is you...who knows why people say the things they do sometimes....
    I think you are such a gift and you are loved!
    Be kind to have had a very hard year...xo.

  34. i finally got to read this today and all i can say is GASP! i can't believe he would say that! i am just shocked and applaud you for walking away. i have such a temper that i would have exploded and you really showed strength. and what a wonderful thing to have your husband stay strong by your side during this.

    dawn, whatever you do from herein, do for health and happiness. sending love and hugs :)




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