Beliefnet
Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I recently saw Gina, who I haven’t seen in years. Known her since my DoorMat days. She’s stick thin, barely eats, and always watching her weight. We bumped into each other at a networking function and agreed to do lunch. At first I hesitated, remembering going shopping with her years ago.

Back then, I felt vulnerable, as usual. We went to a store and I saw a sweater I liked. As I looked for it in my size, she grabbed my arm and nudged me to look at a different sweater. It was oversized and bulky. She suggested I buy that one since it was big and would cover my body more. No need to have my fat show more than necessary! I was hurt and angry. While I didn’t buy her suggestion, it ruined my day. But I kept quiet, not knowing how to reply to such a mean statement.

As a DoorMat, I always felt fat, since I wasn’t as thin as women I saw in the media. Yet I really had a nice body if I didn’t compare it to anorexics and air brushed chicks.

Gina isn’t a bad person. I honestly thought she was trying to help me. She must be very insecure to say that kind of thing to me. I know she stresses over her body. Plus she must always be hungry! ? So I didn’t want to be mean back. As a compulsive people pleaser in those days, I didn’t want to alienate her. But it bothered me a lot that someone would speak to me like that. While I couldn’t stand up to her, I did avoid making future plans.

When she questioned why I didn’t do things with her anymore, I explained I didn’t want to be in a situation to get any more of her “advice,” no matter how much she thought she meant well.

Gina was surprised and defensive. Of course I reassured her that she was a good person. We eventually lost touch. Seeing her again brought back the old memories. She’s still stick thin and neurotic about what she eats. But this time around, I was no DoorMat! I had no intention of buying into her nastiness, however she deluded herself that her intentions were good.

So this time Gina had lunch with a very empowered woman, who knows she’s not fat.

I wasn’t fat when I was a DoorMat but felt fat, since I wasn’t thin. Next to Gina, I felt like a horse! But that didn’t make me fat! Now I know better. My curvy, in proportion body is just as good as Gina’s very thin one. Better on many levels since I prefer curves to skin and bones! ? As far as I’m concerned, I’m a lot prettier than she is. And, I have a much better personality. Gina is surly, unhappy, and hungry! ?

Just because someone is in better shape than you, or thinner, doesn’t take away from the beauty of you. I went to lunch prepared.

I tend to be a healthy eater but indulge in fattening, unhealthy foods occasionally. Maybe I subconsciously wanted to goad Gina since I craved a burger and fries for lunch. When I ordered it, Gina’s mouth dropped. She couldn’t hide how horrified she was, as she ordered a small salad with a can of tuna packed in water and no dressing. I ignored her. But she couldn’t resist a jab, “Should you be eating that?”

“No, I’m an idiot,” I said, and then added that I didn’t need her to tell me how to eat.

Gina bristled but shut up. When the food came, she turned up her nose in disgust and began to lecture about how fattening my food was, to which I just said, “shut up!” As she flinched, I added that it was none of her business what I ate. If she wants to deprive herself of all yummy things to be a skinny, unhappy b*tch, that was her choice. My choice is to be comfortable with my body and enjoy my life, and food.

I added that one more word about it would make me move to another table without her or take my food in a doggy bag to the park.

I think her mouth stayed open for five minutes as she absorbed my words. No prob. she barely eats anyway, poor thing. Then she told me I’d changed a lot since we’d last communicated. I’d never spoken like this before. I wasn’t nice. She didn’t mean any harm but I was getting so tough.

I cut her off with a big smile. I wasn’t tough or mean. She was. I just wasn’t going to let someone like her ruin my lunch. That was all. I asked Gina what gave her the right to play food police with me. Just because she chose to be miserably skinny, I didn’t have to buy her views. What I ate was none of her business. It was my choice if I got fat from overeating. But I’m not fat! I’m just not as thin as she is. Too high a price to pay! Plus, I’m happy and she obviously isn’t.

Gina asked, “Who are you??”

I replied that I’m an empowered chick who’s comfortable in my own less than perfect skin and happy with myself. Far from DoorMatville and planning to stay there! That was probably my last get together with Gina. It’s so much better to focus on only letting people with good energy into your world! Let her pick on another DoorMat who doesn’t speak up. This former one has no tolerance any more and is happier for it! I won’t be seeing her anymore.

Don’t give people permission to put you down by being silent. Speak up and if it continues, don’t see the person often, or at all. Forgive them as I discussed in my last post, but don’t tolerate it! Gina obviously has no self-love. I feel sorry for her but don’t want her in my positive world! Love yourself enough to protect yourself! Don;t let people take their own issues out on you!

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