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5 Positive Truths Only Plus-Sized People Would Understand

5 Positive Truths Only Plus-Sized People Would Understand

As someone who has spent the first 25 years of my own life as a plus-sized person, and then losing over 125 pounds – I can tell you that there are many appalling things I figured out from living on both sides, but there are also certain positive truths that only a plus-sized person would really understand and appreciate about being heavier than the average person.

1. They don’t notice and aren’t generally bothered by a 5 pound weight loss or gain.

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    Sure, they think about going on a diet from time to time, but an unexpected five pound loss or gain does not physically show on the outside of a plus-sized person’s body. Unless they are constantly monitoring their weight on a bathroom scale, they usually have no idea and don’t care about a minimal loss or gain. Many body-image obsessed people are filled with anxiety every single day over any change in their weight, but plus-sized people generally aren’t troubled about it. They look in the mirror each day and see the same person every time. Five pounds is not a big deal that they freak over out and compulsively worry about.

    2. They use their minds and hard work to earn the respect of others.

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      It’s no lie that having good looks has it’s advantages, but those of us who were not so fortunate had to work hard and use our brains to achieve any sort of success. This determination and sense of responsibility shaped us into stronger individuals. Successful plus-sized individuals are some of the most passionate, diligent people you will ever encounter. Despite popular believe, overweight people are not lazy just because they are a bigger size. Their bigger size only means that they often have to work twice as hard to get what their slimmer counterparts get at an easier price. This can be a good thing because it builds character that many average-sized folks probably lack.

      3. They have a thick skin.

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        Let’s face it, if they grew-up overweight like I did, they got bullied and pick on by kids and adults alike. They grew used to the name calling and farm animal sounds being made in their direction. They learn early that not everyone is going to like them, and they accept it. It’s not that they expected to be insulted at any given moment – it’s just that when it happens, it is not a surprise that shocks and hurts them as much as an average-sized person might be hurt by it.

        4. They have a great sense of humor.

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          For many plus-sized people, the only way to get positive attention and make people happy is to be the funny guy or gal. And they tend to be the funniest people that you’ll ever know. They are so incredibly talented with their skill to make others laugh, they should seriously have their own prime time comedy sitcom. Everyone loves someone who can make them laugh until they cry or pee their pants. Plus-sized people own this skill better than most normal sized people.

          5. They aren’t bothered by going out to eat in public.

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            They can eat whatever they want and not be bother by what other people think. They are used to people frequently giving them looks of judgement anyways. If they make an attempt to eat healthfully, onlookers gawk; if they eat terribly, people continue to think they’re slowly killing themselves. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t – they may as well enjoy that all-you-can-eat buffet. They also aren’t looking at calorie counts on menus and doing math in their mind to determine if their meal is going to make them gain half of a pound or not. They simply just don’t care.

            Featured photo credit: Abbie Drue via abbiedrue.files.wordpress.com

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            Naomi Teeter

            Health Coach

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            Last Updated on July 10, 2020

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

            We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

            So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

            Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

            What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

            Boundaries are limits

            —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

            Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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            Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

            Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

            Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

            How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

            Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

            1. Self-Awareness Comes First

            Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

            You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

            To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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            You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

            • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
            • When do you feel disrespected?
            • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
            • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
            • When do you want to be alone?
            • How much space do you need?

            You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

            2. Clear Communication Is Essential

            Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

            Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

            3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

            Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

            That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

            Sample language:

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            • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
            • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
            • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
            • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
            • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
            • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
            • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

            Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

            4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

            Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

            Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

            Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

            We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

            It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

            It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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            Final Thoughts

            Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

            Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

            Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

            The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

            Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

            Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

            They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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