In today’s society do we actually lose weight for ourselves or do we do it for other reasons? Has pressures from media and the “norms” of today’s culture impacted us.
I look at this issue in two ways; the way others look at us and the way we see ourselves. This I found related to the discussion we learned in class about empathy and sympathy. Where Alex defined empathyas the statement: “He or she understands me, but they don’t give a shit about me” and sympathy is “I can completely understand you and I truly care about you”. But not only looking empathy and sympathy is important in understanding why we lose weight but also self fulfilling prophecy. Self fulfilling prophecy is simply if you can convince yourself that something will happen than it will. So when constantly telling yourself that positive things will happen than it will and the same with negative thoughts. So me being me I felt that finding a real life experiment would be necessary in understanding these terms.
While being with my ex girlfriend of 4 years, she always had a negative friend by the name of Jessica. Now Jessica in society’s eye she doesn’t fit the ideal “hot bod”. You can describe her as being a bit chubby, unattractive and had this attitude of not caring about anything or anyone. In every situation she would be the one to find something that was wrong or negative. Now the thing about Jessica was that she would hangout once or twice every two weeks and then disappears for months.
Now being in my precious four year relationship for the first year and half Jess and I did not get along. And we couldn’t, we were too different than each other. I like to find the positive in things, like to always have a smile on my face and have a good time. I found that for that time period I displayed empathy towards her. I accepted who she was but I could never develop a friendship with her because she wouldn’t allow me.
One night well hanging out with friends, the topic of “Hot or Not” came up. Now for those who do not know what it is, basically it is if you like something it’s “hot” and the opposite is for “Not”. This topic first started off with simple things like brands of clothes and songs. But later on in the night became more specific like type of celebrities we enjoyed. After Megan fox was labeled as “Hot”, Jess burst into tears and moved towards upstairs very quickly. This was very whelming for the group since we all tried to figure out what had just happen. The girls in the group made their way upstairs to see if they could find out and understand why Jess was so upset. They came back downstairs a few minutes later and told us that she said she was fine and did not want to talk to anyone.
So me being the person I am, I made my way upstairs to see if I could see if I could get anything out of her. When making my way upstairs, I heard the front door close. I made my way to it quickly and opened the door. I saw Jess making her way down the driveway, so I put my shoes on and went after her. I caught up to her and asked her what was wrong? For the first time in our “friendship” she actually expressed to me her feelings. In a nut shell she told me that as we played the game, she started to notice that everything that was labeled as “hot” has nothing in common with who she was. I told her that being “hot” was not just being good looking, but it was similar to the expression that “beauty is inner and not outer”. After talking for over an hour, I came to understand why she was always negative. She also told me that she had tried to losing weight but could never accomplish the goals she wanted. After our conversation she noticed that she was being too hard on herself and that if she wanted to be successful in her weight lose she needed to be positive and not negative. I told her that if she ever needs someone to be there for her, I would. I feel that this was the moment when my feeling of empathy turned into sympathy. I actually cared about how she felt and wanted to help her achieve her goals. I told her that she needed to just do it. If she really wanted to change she would have to believe in herself and it would happen. She told me that for the first time in a while someone actually cared about her and that was what was lacking in her change.
Over a six months period Jess and I texted back and forth about how her weight lose was going. She told me that when she felt a change in herself with that she would let me know me know and would come around. She needed to change for herself and no one else. That she knew she could do it if she put her mind to it. Needless to say when seeing Jess, she was a changed person. She told use that with the help of family, friends and tips she learned from things on television host she was able to love the body that she was in. This was a result in her becoming a much happier individual .