Fat Acceptance vs. Fat Shaming: Why They’re Both Wrong
I have to be honest...
I hate "Fat Shaming."
To me, it's sick.
I've been obese, and I can tell you from experience that being "shamed" because of your physical weight is neither pleasant nor productive for inducing change.
On the other hand, I think that "Fat Acceptance" can be just as damaging as fat shaming.
Simply accepting that you're destined to be fat is both self-limiting and catastrophic to your physical, emotional, and psychological health.
So what's the answer to this problem?
Should we be blaming and shaming people for being overweight or are some of us condemned to be fat and we should accept the fact that there is nothing we can do about it?
I say neither, and after reading this article, hopefully, you'll agree with me :).
Fat Shaming Only Makes Things Worse
First off, Fat shaming is straight up ineffective.
In fact, study after study has shown that fat shaming causes overweight people to experience even more stress which can lead to more weight gain and food intake (source)
Fat shaming has even been shown to increase the likelihood that slightly overweight individuals will eventually become obese.
And it goes without saying that shaming someone because of their physical weight can have a host of negative emotional and psychological consequences.
It's clear that fat shaming doesn't work to help people lose weight but, Unfortunately, there will always be individuals in the world who do it.
Most of the people fat shaming are naturally skinny people who've always been lean and don't understand what it's like to be overweight.
I believe that this is what sparked the revolution of the "Fat Acceptance" movement...
Okay quick"tunes-break". This topic is kind of a downer, so I want to break it up with one of my favorite songs.
I was reading Rusty Moore's posts (one of my favorite fitness bloggers) and saw he also enjoyed this tune. I'm sure he won't mind me stealing this in order to spread some good music! Here is the link to his site. Definitely, check his stuff out.
"Fat Acceptance" is No Better...
Now, believe me. I am all for loving ourselves and the bodies we live in.
Having a sexy & ripped body is finite, and putting your self-identity in it alone will ultimately lead to disappointment.
True happiness comes from body acceptance at any shape
With that said, you should NOT play the victim in your struggle with weight loss...
You see, a lot of people avoid the blame for their weight issues. They say things like:
- "I have kids, so I am supposed to gain weight."
- "I am old and my metabolism is just slowing down."
- "I work long hours AND take night classes, so my situation is unique"
Listen, I understand.
Losing weight is hard enough. Throw the stresses of work, school, kids, and life into the mix and things only get harder.
With this stuff going on, it can be easier to just throw the blame on someone else or situation.
The problem is that by blaming others, you lessen your confidence in yourself. You create in your mind that you are a "victim".
Taking a "victim mentality" is only going to poison your life
A victim mentality can leak in and negatively impact your energy, mood, and general wellbeing.
So how can we "block out the haters" and learn to love our bodies while ALSO taking responsibility for our health?
Ignore the Shamers and Becoming the Owner of your Health
While there are many psychological and emotional components of being overweight (some being simply unfair), it doesn't mean you have to crawl up, die, and "accept" your fate.
Suck it up.
Life is tough, but you are still the ultimate decider of your destiny.
You are the "Owner of your own Health"
Don't allow what others have to say or your unique situation in life dictate your ability to lose weight and become the healthier person you long to be.
It's very clear that having excess body fat drastically increases your chances of developing a disease.
You simply can't be overweight and have optimal health too. (source)
At the end of the day, the choice is yours.
Are you going to let other's opinions of you get inside your head and keep you from achieving your goals?
Hopefully your answer is NO.
The only way you'll find long-term weight loss success and happiness is through self-motivation and a personal drive to be healthy.
Forget what other people think. Make the decision to be healthy not for them, but for YOURSELF.