25,000-29,999 SparkPoints 29,364

An Angry Call to Stop Fat Shaming

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I felt called today to talk about fat shaming and fat phobia, and whaddya think I see, but this article on Yahoo!:


"Employers tried the carrot, then a small stick. Now they are turning to bigger cudgels...So companies are taking advantage of new rules under President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul in 2014 to punish smokers and overweight workers."

NOTE: This is a somewhat angry post, because this sort of thing makes me somewhat angry. Sorry in advance!!

Because shaming a person works SO WELL into making them lose weight.

You know what fat shaming does? Fat shaming makes a person avoid a doctor for over 4 years. Fat shaming means neglecting health for fear of a reprimand from a doctor - for being told to "lose weight" instead of having a solution to a real health issue. Fat shaming means that a person doesn't even TRY to improve her situation - why bother, when everyone is going to stare at you in the gym, wondering why you even bother to be there? Fat shaming means living a mediocre life of a second-class citizen. Because the clothes are ugly, people look at you like a burden, and the world groans as it has to accommodate your larger derriere.

Would a NORMAL person go up to an anorexic and shove bread into her mouth, screaming, "Just eat!"? Would a sane individual tell a bulimic, "Just don't force yourself to throw up"? Would you go to a crack addict and say, "Why don't you just stop snorting?" Of course not!

Being fat for many people is just like that. *I* was just like that. I was addicted to food. I was addicted to the sugar, salt, and fat. I couldn't get out of it by myself. The only thing that really helped me was a REASON to get better (health crisis), the support of family, and a big dose of HOPE. Shaming me into losing weight never worked - I just stopped going to the doctor or avoiding the people who were like, "It's so easy to lose weight!" Losing weight for a food addict is like telling a heroin addict it's easy to stop shooting up. It's not easy - it's TOUGH!

I understand our nation's concern with obesity. I totally get behind that - we need to be better about what we put into our bodies! I talk all the time about being Healthy over being Skinny (I believe that complicated idea that you can be healthy at a variety of weights, but being overweight/obese is a point of concern). But going after the hurting people isn't going to help - especially in such a mean-spirited, harsh manner.

When we had the war on drugs, didn't we try going after the drug cartels? To fix the body image disorder, isn't the focus on society and its small-minded view of beauty? Why then should we fix the obesity epidemic by shaming the PERSON?

No, the way to fix the epidemic is to get back at the root of the problem: the FOOD INDUSTRY. These are the people pumping our foods with chemicals designed for MORE MORE MORE. Our portion sizes are enormous. The calories in even a decent portion are ridiculous. And the pervasiveness of food and fatty foods is obscene.

Where is the government regulation to them? Where are the mandates that these industries have to make sure that foods aren't more than X calories with Y carbs and Z grams of sodium? They don't exist. Sure, things are wee bit better now than when books like "The Fast Food Nation" first came out. A lot of places don't have the "super size" option, Burger King came out with the "Satisfries" and most places put a salad on the menu. But the amount of things the food industry is allowed to do to our food and never is checked is wrong.

Instead, it's the addicted's fault for being fat. Instead, the regulations come upon US.

This needs to stop. We need to stop the fat shaming. We need to stop looking at a fat person and calling her "lazy" and "stupid". We need to stop the fat jokes, the fat phobia, the farce that "losing weight is easy and fat people are just lazy". No, we aren't "lazy" and "stupid" and losing weight is HARD WORK when we walk around with temptation every day. It's like a smoker working in a hookah shop, a sex addict working at a brothel, a shopaholic driving by a Nordstrom's every day or an anorexic in the modeling industry.

Instead, we need to focus on a person's HEALTH. What's more important than a number in your jeans or on the scale is your HEALTH. Yes, sometimes HEALTH = WEIGHT, but not all the time. At 180 pounds, I was healthier than I had ever been, I was still considered "overweight".

I thank you for putting up with this emotional, angry post. But I remember how I was 110+ pounds ago, and I am speaking up for that girl, in the hopes that the many, many other girls just like me won't suffer the same shame and mistreatment than I did. I may not be "fat" anymore (though at hovering around 157, I'm still "overweight" according to the BMI atrocity), but you are my family, and I hold you close to my heart.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I agree that it is an industry and the workers at Kraft see the stock numbers at work and then decide that they should put more sugar in things so it will taste sweeter than the competition and make you want more. How much sugar does yogurt need?

    Also, even though I was lucky enough to not have any health reasons to lose weight, my doctor reports to my insurance company what my BMI is and that I need to get it fixed. Their idea was to send me to a weight watchers type group. That made me do crazy things like not eat for the 2 days before weigh in and dress as light as I could for the weight in the 8 weeks that it went on.

    Next year I weighed even more at my physical. Still no health problems thank god. I told the doctor that the last 8 week deal didn't help. I started working out and tried a few different things. I was able to get rid of 45 pounds. Then I got stuck at a plateau. More likely was I could not out run my bad diet anymore.

    I started medifast and now I am about 15 pounds from a healthy BMI. I realized I needed to lose weight because of my family history and I realized what I was doing was not working anymore. I was getting too old to be this heavy.

    My doctor telling me I was obese didn't help. The weight watchers thing didn't help (although it might now!) Not fitting into any pants didn't help. People calling me "Fatty" didn't help.

    In the end I had to decide that I was tired of what seemed like an endless yo yo. And it was up to me to find a REAL solution.
    1682 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/14/2013 8:37:21 PM
    The food industry is just that an industry, and hardly regulated at that. I have my grandkids over and the cartoon advertisements on TV tell them nonstop to eat candy and junk food or fast food. Well the TV isn't on much at my house but it's just everywhere, the advertisement to eat quick fat, salty and sweet junk processed food.
    1683 days ago
    I see your point. And to those who have said it isn't fat shaming should acknowledge the fact that every doctor has a different definition of what fat is. I've read blogs about doctors telling heathy overweight women that they were obese when their numbers were fine.

    This has potentially to be finacially hazardous to individuals who are perfectly healthy. Just because someone has more than 25% BMI does not necessarily indicate they are unhealthy.

    1683 days ago
    I wouldn't necessarily call it fat shaming. It's just the reality of the situation. Healthcare costs a lot and on average, overweight individuals have more health problems. Smokers pay the most. If you chew tobacco or consume too much alcohol that also increases risk. Employers are protecting themselves. My company has a wellness program.

    I do agree that fast foods need a bit of reigning in. But that is a blame on our entire society and culture. We are somehow all brought up to eat this crap on a daily basis.

    1683 days ago
  • 3016DEBRA
    1683 days ago
  • -WISPY-
    I did reply to this blog. I'm with you babe. I decided however to post a blog of my own as I feel very strongly about it as well.

    Hugs Wispy

    1683 days ago
    This isn't fat shaming. In fact, smokers are called to the carpet just as hard as obese individuals. Being fat is high risk. If you're an aggressive driver and your car insurance rates go up, is that aggressive driver shaming? I think your anger is misguided.
    1683 days ago
    I'm with you on stopping the fat shaming. My BFF has horrible asthma as well as GERD and IBS. She's on prednisone, migraine meds, etc, and she has put on a significant amount of weight as a result of her maladies and meds. "Shaming" is not going to help her, it's not productive, and it does not provide her with the tools she needs to take better care of her health. Also. . . how can you POSSIBLY be in the overweight category? You look marvelous! emoticon
    1683 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.