Breaking the code

There are some things that go without saying.

  • Never ask a woman what she weighs (unless you’re a doctor, trainer or health professional)
  • Never ask a woman “of a certain age” what that age is
  • Never ask a woman if it’s that time of the month
  • Never ask a woman if she’s gained weight

Apparently, this needs to get added to the list:

  • Never ask a woman when she’s due

On Saturday, I had to swing by Target to pick up a few things before heading to an fair where I was selling some of my art. I quickly grabbed what I needed and headed to the checkout line (you know, after grabbing a venti soy latte from the Target Starbucks).

When I got to the checkout lane and placed my items on the conveyor belt, the cashier (who, mind you, I would estimate to be at least 50 lbs. heavier than me) asked me when I was due.

“I’m sorry, what?” I replied.

“When are you due?” she asked again.

Cue the stabby hate.

I looked at her, with a don’t-mess-with-me-bitch-or-I-will-cut-you look on my face. “I’m not pregnant,” I said, shaking my head as I swiped my debit card. Her eyes got wide and she clasped her hands over her mouth in horror.

The look on her face? Priceless.

The look on my face? Bitchy.

That look was enough to make her feel like shit for an entire century.

I don’t think this whole incident would have made me feel as bad as it did if it weren’t for the next thing she said.

“If it makes you feel any better, I get asked that question all the time,” she said.


I ran to my car and started crying. And then I got mad that this made me so upset. I have been working SO hard to lose weight. In the past three weeks nearly a dozen people have asked me if I’ve lost weight, saying I look a lot thinner, especially in my waist. Truth is, I haven’t really lost weight recently… the weight has just redistributed itself. I have a more defined waist (and I think my chest is smaller), but it seems as though it all went to my gut. So I’ve been a bit self conscious about my lower abdomen, especially when I stand next to pregnant friends.

I just wish I could have gone back and told her off.

“Bitch, you just broke the fat girl code. We kicked you off the island. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. You are the weakest link. Goodbye.”

10 Replies to “Breaking the code”

  1. Ridiculous! I’ve been victim of similar code violations. The worst was at my mom’s funeral. I wish I would have had the balls (or quick thinking) to say “Hey fatty, I’m not pregnant, but my mom just died & I’ve been eating my emotions, so back off!” Why do people think they can just say these things? Where is the filter between brain & mouth?

  2. Just saw this post pop up in my Facebook feed and had to comment…I stumbled across your blog a few months back and was immediately sucked in because you seem like my sister from another mister! We’re built almost exactly the same and your tales of running sometimes sound like they came from my life. I started running last August because I had done a boot camp class with a running warm-up and I realized that, after a sedentary, bookworm, computer nerd life, I (OMG) loved running. I started off running a 14:30 mile and blew my own mind when I ran my first 5K 2 1/2 months later and had sub-13 miles. I’m now 11/11:30 average, though I’m working back up to that after 8 weeks off since I broke my wrist this year in the aforementioned boot camp.

    Biography aside, I felt for you when I read this post. I’ve been there, especially a few years ago during the summer of the empire-waist sundresses. It hurt me the first (several) times, and I ran home crying to more than one boyfriend about how miserable I felt. I did Weight Watchers a couple years back and started losing weight and, because Mother Nature is a sadistic bitch, lost weight in my face (yay!) and my boobs (!!!) and NOT my stomach… Feeling great about losing weight, being the thinnest I’ve ever been (finally below 200!), and STILL being asked if I’m pregnant? Wow, what a slap in the face. Stopped WW, ballooned back up, but at least no one asked if I was preggo. FINALLY came up with a pat, bitchy, screw-you-stupid-person response to, “When are you due?” “Are you pregnant?” etc. “No, I’m just fat.” I feel SO empowered and it’s funny to watch them scramble with a response, usually, “Ummm, no, no, you’re not!”

    Sorry for the diatribe. You rock, screw stupid people, and keep rocking (and running). I love reading your stories and, if we lived closer, would love to run with you! Keep kicking ass and taking names!!

    1. Thank you so much for your support and sweet comments. It’s good to know I’m not alone. I’ve been up and down and up and down so many times… and it’s hard to take a blow like this when you thought you were doing so well. Your comment put a smile on my face. Sounds like we are very very similar. Hope to hear from you again soon.

  3. I, too, saw this post pop up on Facebook. It’s one thing to get asked that question by a small, tiny elderly person. But to get asked that question by a curvy/overweight WOMAN?!? INSANE. I’ve been asked this question three times in my life. A lot of the time I’ve been told that I really didn’t actually look pregnant, but that my top looked like it belonged in the maternity section of a store. What ever excuse someone gives a woman for asking this moronic question, it doesn’t make up for the damage it has caused. There is NO good excuse for asking that question.

    First of all, why do strangers think it’s totally okay to ask another stranger such a personal question. I don’t care if I’m 8 months pregnant. I don’t know who the eff you are sir! Second of all, where is their filter?! I think from now on if someone is going to ask us women such a ridiculous question, they should first turn around… bend over, and then pretend to talk out of their ass while asking such a question. They’re talking out of their ass anyway, might as well go that extra mile and make it a believable “talking out of your ass” question.

    I’ve been really motivated by your blog lately and it has made me realize that I have much more strength than I originally thought. When I’m running outside or on that treadmill I remember your blogs about the 10k you ran in the mud, and then I think wow this is nothing compared to that… suck it up lady and lets finish this thing!

    Screw that Target cashier lady and her rude comments.

  4. I was asked that when I was 12 years old. No joke. Someone, and adult woman, approached me at the airport and asked when I was due. Now imagine the damage that does to a 12 year old girl.

  5. Oh, Amy. I cannot figure out if she was an idiot, or if she was being cruel because others are cruel to her. Here’s the thing: she’s a bit player in the drama of your life, and aren’t you thankful for that?! Do not allow her to take away any of your victories or any of your joy. She is a speed bump on your amazing journey. My hope for her is that she experiences that magic shift that fuels a desire for her to move toward good health. My hope for you is that you keep running toward your goals, without regard of these speed bumps. Green light! Forward! Go!

  6. Not cool. Not cool at all. For anyone – no matter their size (though you’d think she’d be ultra-aware of how uncool that question is given her history). Unless you’re filling out a baby registry or you flat-out tell the person you’re pregnant, that question should never be asked! I’m so sorry you had to encounter such a socially unaware person. Don’t let it get you down – you’re on the right path and you’ve accomplished so much in the past year or so — no one can take that away from you.

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