Fat Shaming Is NOT Tough Love
Some days I struggle to find something to write about and some days something lands in my lap and begs for attention. Today is one of those days without a doubt.
In this video, late night talk show host James Corden responds to a bit that another late night talk show host Bill Maher did about the supposed “value” of fat shaming. Maher’s position is that overweight and obese people should be called out for the size of their bodies. Really??? And when has that ever been the way to get someone to lose weight? It may send someone into a spiral of bingeing and purging, anorexia or something much worse.
No one shames the overweight person more than that person her/himself. Our self talk is often very damaging and something we would never say to another person. I know in my case, I’ll use self-deprecating humor to make the joke I’m convinced everyone is thinking anyway. But you know what? Your subconscious hears everything you say but isn’t able to distinguish a joke from the truth. So when I say jokingly that ‘my butt needs its own zip code’, my subconscious hears that as I’m supposed to have a big butt. That will trigger a series of behaviors and thought processes that support me having a big butt. No more of that nonsense.
I have changed my self talk recently. I now tell myself that going to the gym and eating healthy every day is my top priority. I say I’m feeling stronger and healthier every day. And this stuff works. When I’m struggling to finish a set of weights, especially upper body weights, I say positive things to myself that encourage me to finish and I find that I am able to muster that last bit of strength to complete the set. My upper body is getting stronger and healthier and I’m seeing some development in my muscles.
Why not change your self talk? Look for something about yourself that you would admire in another person. It doesn’t have to be weight or body image related. Find one small thing and really be proud of that. As an overweight person, it is often difficult to find anything you’re proud of but there is so much more to you than the size of your clothing or the number on the scale.
We already know that our size and body composition is not very healthy but there are many factors that contribute to being overweight that don’t include being lazy and stupid. But that doesn’t mean we should completely give up trying to reach and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. In my case, I am on a medication that causes me to hold onto weight but I will not let that get the best of me. Even if it’s a very slow journey, I’m not giving up. I will get stronger and healthier every day and every step in the right direction, no matter how small, is forward motion.
Carrying extra weight is as much about your mind as it is your body. In fact, I would argue that it is more about your mind than your body. If you can get your head straight, you will often see results on the scale. It’s about being kind to yourself, giving yourself grace when you fall, making yourself your first priority and not allowing others to derail your efforts to make themselves feel better about their questionable decisions.
I applaud James Corden for using his platform for a positive message and for calling out bullying, because that’s what fat shaming is…it’s just another way to bully someone. Overweight people are really easy targets for that because we do it to ourselves. We usually already feel pretty crappy about ourselves so piling on is easy for the cowardly bully. Much of the fat shaming that occurs is online behind a keyboard, anonymously. These cowards aren’t woman/man enough to say it to your face but in the dark recesses of their parents’ basement they release all the venom they can conjure up. What sad little lives they must have. Do not allow anyone the privilege of having the ability to affect your self image, especially if they don’t even have the nerve to face you when they say it. The only person with that privilege should be YOU!
ICYMI…How about a sugar detox? I don’t have a fancy name for this program but I can tell you a little about it. We’ll begin on September 18th and end October 16th using Zoom.
If you want to get your energy back, lose a few pounds and generally feel better, this is the place for you. I’ll share some of the strategies I used to eliminate sugar from my life and to get back on track in my own weight loss journey.
Won’t it be nice to eliminate cravings, not feel that “hangry” feeling when your blood sugar drops, and to be able to control what you’re eating?
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