You Don't Get To Tell Someone Else They Took 'The Easy Way Out' (Because You Have No Idea)

by Katie Cloyd
Originally Published: 
Katie Cloyd

Talking about being fat is kind of my thing. To be honest, I would love to not be fat anymore, and I still believe that one day I’ll figure this shit out. But since I currently am fat, and still a strong, confident woman, I say let’s discuss it. Let’s put it out in the open, take the sting out of the F-word, and just let it be another descriptor.

Along with the thousands of other incredible things that I am, I am fat. I don’t get any thinner by pretending it doesn’t exist. But my weight is a problem for me — it is affecting my health — and achieving a healthier weight has proven to be really, really, really hard for me.

So I have been considering ways to combat this issue. I have researched various medications and surgical options. I’ve been to multiple appointments to keep the dialogue about my weight open with my primary care physician. I have a meeting with a psychologist on the books, and I’ve even tried to figure out of there is any actual science involved in hypnosis. I’m exploring every avenue, folks.

I’ve been doing a lot of this research on the internet, and as you may imagine, I have encountered about a million different opinions, not only about what kind of person I must be to be in this predicament to begin with, but also about what kind of solutions are acceptable and which are merely “the easy way out.”

(Curiously enough, a lot of the people who consider medication and surgery to be the easy way out are also trying to sell me some kind of shake, potion, apparatus, or wrap via a multilevel marketing company, but that’s a rant for another day.)

Here’s the thing, though: “Easy” isn’t universal. It’s very subjective. That’s the thing about being a human. We can’t tell each other what is easy and what is hard. We can only tell each other how we experience things. What’s hard for me might be very easy for you, and what’s easy for me might feel impossible to you.

The difficulty of any given situation is determined by the whole of a person’s human experience. Their perception of every situation has been molded by the years of their life that brought them to today.

This should go without saying, but since some people still don’t get it, I’ll say it anyway: You don’t get to decide what solution to someone’s problem is acceptable.

You don’t get to tell someone their result is less valid because they didn’t adequately struggle, based on your personal criteria. You don’t suffer their pain, and unless they ask for your input, you don’t get to decide if they’ve chosen the right solution. Offering your strongly worded, unkind opinion about it is ugly and unfair.

For me, it’s the whole fat thing.

But I see this all the damn time in other areas too. It happens to all of us, especially moms.

C-section moms took the easy way out. Moms who use formula took the easy way out. People who medicate their anxiety are taking the easy way out. Couples who end their tumultuous marriage instead of staying together “for the kids” chose the easy way out.

I could write examples for pages and pages. Someone has an opinion about every damn decision you can possibly make. There’s no escaping it, because unfortunately, we can’t fix people who are dead set on being jerks.

But you and me? We aren’t jerks. I recently read that we are all just people doing the best we can to live in a day we have never been to before. I believe that about us.

So, next time you or I have the temptation to judge someone else’s journey, and declare that someone’s very difficult choice was the “easy way out,” let’s promise each other here and now that we will pause, take a deep breath — and then try not to be that kind of asshole anymore.

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