Did you know that fat-shaming is essentially bullying?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary says bullying is “abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful, etc.”
When criticizing someone for their weight, you are adding to the emotional abuse they already receive regularly from our fat-shaming culture and probably from others close to them in their life. It’s bad enough if others are doing it, but are you doing it to yourself?
Many of us are our own biggest fat-shaming bullies.
Despite common assumptions, bullying just makes it harder to lose weight.
Many fat-shamers defend their behavior by saying they are trying to help those who struggle with weight problems through their negative commentary. People seem to think that if someone feels bad about themselves, they will be motivated to lose weight. It doesn’t work that way, however.
The more you hate yourself, the more you hate your body. When you despise your physical self, finding the motivation to do what is necessary to take proper care of yourself (both physically and emotionally) can seem practically impossible. Even understanding what is the right body weight to meet your desires and your comfort level can be a challenge when so much negativity is pouring in from so many different directions. How can you be expected to hear your inner voice, your compass, with all the negativity screaming in your ears?
Weight loss is very hard work.
You don’t need to let anyone tell you otherwise, either. Motivation doesn’t come from pretending something is easier than it is, but from facing these challenges with faith that you can overcome them. That takes self-love and confidence in addition to determination.
Why? There are a lot of steps to gaining control over your weight and a healthy attitude to your body. If you haven’t already, you may need to:
- Consider what you really want and where these goals originated. Is losing weight right for you? Consider seeing a therapist to help sort through any internal conflicts over how to best take care of yourself.
- Schedule and attend doctor visits to get an up-to-date snapshot of your overall health and figure out if there are any underlying medical issues that are making it hard for you to manage your weight.
- Change your eating habits, potentially with the help of a nutritionist.
- Find the best exercises for you. Look into joining a gym, your neighborhood walking group, a weekly yoga class, or even a personal trainer if you can afford it. Design a way to make your lifestyle more active in whatever way works for you.
Losing weight and being physically healthy is a process that takes a great deal of time and emotional energy. It’s hard enough to do it if you love yourself and want to take care of yourself, but much harder if you don’t. Without the support and love of your biggest fan (yourself!), how can you commit to taking on this difficult process?
You’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed.
And it’s not your fault.
Did you know that 90% of women are unhappy with how they look? The cultural pressures on women to be sexy have reached dangerous levels. With so many of us unhappy with how we look and consequently less motivated to put in the effort to take care of ourselves, our struggles with weight gain are only getting worse. Already, 1/3 of the US population struggles with obesity and another third deals with being overweight.
What do you think would happen if instead of fat-shaming other women and ourselves, we supported and stood up for each other? What if we began to appreciate and prioritize our inner beauty over how we look on the outside? What if these became the new cultural norms?
We have the opportunity to create a massive change in the way we approach ourselves and other women. And we already have the tools.
Join the Revolution! Let’s change the world!
If we can begin to expect this kind of acceptance and respect, we could start to love ourselves and our bodies. We would no longer be so focused on outside judgment and heartache. Then, maybe, taking care of ourselves wouldn’t feel so hard. We’d feel not only worthy of that kind of loving care, but like it is what we deserve.