Mental Health And Me: Fat Shaming
“If you could just loose some weight...”
This is a phrase that I deal with on weekly basis, not to mention the constant use of it in the media. Fat Shaming. That is what that is. Now, before you say, no- I am not saying that being fat is a healthy thing by no means. All I am saying is that fat shaming should stop...NOW!
It hurts. It really does. I am coming from personal experience on this. No wonder anxiety/stress/suicide levels are as high as ever when we have a society that puts a lot of pressure on people to look a certain way, to be thin, and that having a slightly higher waist line is somehow a bad thing! Personally, when people comment on my weight, it brings me a great deal of shame, and I know I am not alone in this. Also, speaking as someone who is a bigger size, we know we are fat. We don’t need to be reminded constantly. I remember waking up one morning and feeling so fat and dirty that I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror.
One thing to take into account is that obesity doesn’t necessarily mean just that they ate too much, although that may be a factor. There was a study done by Dr Vivek Murthy in America that showed that the highest underlying factor of addiction and obesity, is loneliness.
This is a vicious cycle because we live in a society that shuns fatter people. If the society is doing that, then no wonder we have an obesity and loneliness problem. I remember once going in to the "Abercrombie and Fitch" store in New York and feeling so uncomfortable with people looking at me like I shouldn’t be there.
One idea that we have to chuck in the sea is that in order to lose weight, just eat less and exercise more. Sure, you could do that and it may have unhealthy consequences. What I’ve learnt from my fantastic personal trainer, Claudia, is that it has to be a balance between what you eat, how much you eat of it, what you do when you exercise and how often you exercise.
You may be asking: when people notice that they are getting fatter, why don’t they take action immediately and get fitter and healthier?
It just isn’t as easy as that. Especially if you are new to Fitness, it takes a lot of courage to take the first step AND maintain it. When I went to the gym for the first time, or worked out for the first time, I was absolutely terrified.
I’ve only been doing the programme for a week and a bit and I am already starting to see results.
The notion that people who are fatter are somehow dirty and freak shows is totally wrong. This comes from the media and it is a dangerous point of view which is literally killing people.
Sometimes it makes me think: “why do we live in such a materialistic society that anyone out of what is portrayed in the media is somehow shunned for being themselves?”. I hope this view point from the media changes, and soon.
Anyways, be kind to each other- much better than shaming people. You never know, the person you may be talking to might need some kindness today. G xx