Fat Attack: shaming obesity does not work
The headline in the summer edition of a women’s magazine informs me that there is a way to ‘get the perfect beach body this summer’. Similar headlines have been around as long as I remember. ‘Lose fat, be fabulous’ is the message.
The underlying message is that fat is not ok. This sentiment is so mainstream it is part of our common speech, with not a thought for what it conveys. "I feel fat", is a way of saying "I feel bad". The compliment of "You have lost weight", infers that you look better thin than fat. Fat is not only bad, but calling someone fat is an insult.
Those of us carrying a little weight may have had the experience of ‘concerned’ friends asking: “Do you really want to eat that?” or, “Is that good for you?”(1) We KNOW that our slim buddies will not be questioned in the same way. A fat person who eats a burger and fries is considered to have no discipline to lose weight; the slim person consuming the same unhealthy food is not questioned, even though the ill effects of the food may be the same.
Sadly, fat shaming appears to be so acceptable we are not even aware of it.(2)
Shaming obesity doesn’t work
It is no secret that there’s far ‘more’ of ‘us’ than ever before. This is not a reference to population explosion, but the global issue of obesity. However, shaming obesity doesn’t work to reverse this trend – it is not an effective way of encouraging people to change their ways. These destructive attitudes towards obesity(3) exist in the wider population, with obese people being viewed as irresponsible or weak willed.
Obesity is not about fat – it’s about people
When we make it about fat instead of people and the emotional undercurrents that foster obesity, we overlook the cause and all we see is the effect: a fat, overweight body, not the person within. Food + exercise = body weight. However, there is a missing link to this science – Quality of Being – our relationship with ourselves, the way we see ourselves and our place in the world and with others. From this our choices are made.
Our quality of being = our choices = the body we have
When we focus on weight, we lose perspective of the person inside the body, as the way we look becomes what counts.
When we have lost the connection to ourselves – to the sensitive, beautiful quality we come from – we miss it, and food becomes a filler and a way to medicate the anxiousness and the emptiness: no different to alcohol, porn, excessive exercise, drug use, reading, riding, movies, games or gambling. Food is less ‘messy’ and more acceptable than alcoholism or drug addiction, but far more visible.
Do we dislike being overweight because EVERYONE can see?
We cannot hide our size (but we can hide behind it)
"You want an answer for why there is so much worldwide obesity and why it is still escalating? People put on weight to hide their light and or hide their emotional pain. It is as simple as that."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 613
No matter how much we smile and take on . . .
A jolly person persona
The rebellious stance that has us making our own fat jokes
Go for a given up, “I don’t care” attitude
Or make it about genetics and heredity issues out of our control
. . . with belly fat and an overweight body, we can’t hide that something is wrong, that we haven’t got a handle on things.
No matter how much obesity, dieting and weight loss is addressed, until we begin to look deeper at what we are feeling (or trying to not feel!) and the quality of the connection we have with ourselves, we are going to continue to try to solve a problem without seeing the full extent of it.
Food by itself did not get us to the size we are, so focusing on food will not lead us out of it either.
Rather than shaming obesity (which doesn’t work), rediscovering who you are inside your overweight body, reconnecting to the person you left behind, getting to feel the fullness that is within is the way back to permanent weight loss. Connecting to the absolute ‘more-than-enoughness’ of you and allowing this connection to be the compass, is the way back to your true body size, shape and weight.