Think about this… How do you feel when you think about walking into a gym full of fit guys and young girls that look like they are only there looking to hook up with one of the hotties?
Do you think you would feel embarrassed? Self-conscious? Would you feel like everyone, including the gym trainers, are looking at you and thinking “wow, look how fat that woman is?”
The truth is that you won’t know what they are thinking about you, but why would you care? You are there to take care of yourself, start building a better body and become healthier.
That’s what you need to focus on, right? But that sounds easier said than done…
Part of the reason why we feel shame is the fault of the weight loss industry.
What type of messages do you hear from the weight loss industry day in and day out? Being fat is bad, being fat is shameful, you are fat because you are lazy, you are fat because you don’t have self-control, you are fat because you lack willpower. blah, blah, blah…
I’m sure you have heard all of those and more. The fact is that the same people that are supposed to encourage us to be healthier and fit, the same ones that should be compassionate toward us, and the same ones that are supposed to help us, are our worst critics and judges.
That is what is wrong with the weight loss industry. But please, let’s not stop here. The medical industry does not bark too far from the tree either.
Many physicians that are supposed to be neutral and compassionate toward their patients feel and act the same way. Some of them have even gotten to the point of disrespecting their patients because of being fat.
No wonders people who carry extra weight feel so self-conscious about their bodies and practice constant self-loathing.
Not only do they receive contempt from others, but they are also self-contemptuous.
Please, let’s make this clear, these well-intentioned professionals don’t say these things out of being bad, it’s just that often times they are not even aware that they are being disrespectful. Also, there are many professionals in the weight loss industry that are compassionate, especially if they themselves have had weight struggles in the past.
Obese people are often judged by others who wonder, “Why don’t they just exercise?, “Why is that they don’t have self-control?”, “Why did they let themselves get so large?”, “Why can’t they just stop eating?”, etc, etc, etc… But it’s not as easy as they think.
How to stop fat body shaming?
We need to remove the association between fat and shame. Fat shaming does not work in your favor and fat does not equal shame. You don’t have to wait until you are slim to be lovable, you can start now.
A very important reason why we have to move away from feeling shame due to being fat is because feeling that way will promote comfort eating. You will eat to escape from the pain of feeling like a failure.
So from now on, love your body for what it does for you, not for how it looks and remember that there are many people out there who have been on the same path that are more than glad to help you on yours.
Remember no more fat body shaming.
Dr. Mayra Alfonso