You’d Be Great If…

…not that I remember ever asking anyone, “What would make me great?” I have scoured every corner of my mind, looking for one scenario when I actually asked someone, “What do you think would make me great?”  I came up with Zilch, Zippo, None! And yet my mind is also filled with anecdotes and events […]

…not that I remember ever asking anyone, “What would make me great?”

I have scoured every corner of my mind, looking for one scenario when I actually asked someone, “What do you think would make me great?”  I came up with Zilch, Zippo, None!

And yet my mind is also filled with anecdotes and events in which I am being told, point blank, “You’d be great if you lost _______# of pounds.”

I heard this from Miss Peterson, in Junior High School when I tried out for the Booster Squad.  My jumps were perfect, my splits dead on; and my voice? Booming, loud, projecting without mechanical amplification.  I had spirit, I had physical flexibility, I had fat.

I didn’t make the team… “You’d be great if you lost….” 

I was riding a horse. Galloping around the corral, red hair flying, merged with the horse…you get the picture.  Pick a cliché, any cliché you can think of that includes a happy freckled faced, red-headed tom boy and insert that image here.  I was free, I was flying, no really, suddenly I was flying through the air…I was flat…on my back.

I went to the doctor and was told that I was healthy and after some time my back would be fine because I was strong, but… “You’d be great if you lost…”  “And the horse would appreciate it also.”  I was stunned, hurt and never rode a horse again out of guilt that I might be too oppressive a presence on the saddle.

Sexual Content Warning

But the worst examples of  being offered the unsolicited key to greatness, the ones that cut me to my core and made me feel not just not great, but hideous and repulsive, happened after what I felt were mutually enjoyable sexual experiences.  I was happy, full of life and confidence.

I had spirit, I had physical flexibility, I had “skills”…

“You’d be great if you lost…”

I had been had.

Funny it wasn’t a problem a few minutes earlier when I was being grabbed in the throes of released passion.  But that was then, this was now, and now for some reason was, “You‘d be great if you lost…”

It’s difficult for me to remember being the person unable to reply to the lover, “It didn’t seem to be a problem five minutes ago.”  Or to the doctor, “My weight has nothing to do with the reason I am here.” 

It has taken time, work, attention, laughter, and support to arrive at the place where I am now. The process resulted in: co-authoring the book, Leftovers To Go, designed to help others make the transition, no longer apologizing for who I am or colluding with others’ judgments.

I can confidently say that if I was the person then that I am now I would have looked at Miss Peterson straight in the eye and said, “The only reason you don’t want me on this squad is because you don’t like the way I look in the uniform, it has nothing to do with my ability to execute the moves.”

Or looked at the lover and said, “You’d be great if you’d shut the f*&# up.”

Well, maybe nothing quite that confrontational.  I really avoid conflicts and prefer peaceful interactions.  More realistically I see myself being able to say a simple reply of, “Who asked you?”

It is without a doubt a change for the great.

Woo Hoo

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on EatingDisorders.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of EatingDisorders.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2017 EatingDisorders.com.
Company Information

© 2017 EatingDisorders.com. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of EatingDisorders.com's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.