Have you ever said this to yourself “When I weigh _____ pounds I will finally be happy”? Essentially we are not allowing ourselves to enjoy life until we weigh a certain weight.
We are influenced by what society thinks we should weigh and we starve ourselves to meet this unrealistic goal. We are afraid of being judged by how much we weigh. This is known as weight bias and it has been scientifically proven that weight bias exists at our workplace, schools and in our personal lives. It has happened where people have been denied a job or even adopting a child because of their size. Let’s stop the weight discrimination and stop torturing ourselves to reach this “ideal” weight. We need to start looking at weight as another component of diversity, just like height, skin color or eye color. There are so many factors that influence our size and shape, such as genetics, environment, spirituality, social and occupation, that losing weight is not as simple as going on a diet or exercising.
Let’s stop feeding the diet industry. We spend more than $40 billion dollars a year on diets that have been proven to not work in the long term. Did you know that dieting can be dangerous? Research has shown the more times you lose and then regain weight the more at risk you are for heart disease and long-lasting negative impacts on metabolism.
Let’s start taking away the judgment because of size and let the full person they are define them. For ourselves let’s focus on eating a variety of foods with no evaluative labels (for example: good vs. bad) and listen to our hunger cues to tell us when we are hungry or full. Let’s be active because it is fun, not because you ate cake the day before and need to work it off. By shifting our thinking, hopefully we will be less discriminatory towards those of different sizes and everyone will be treated equally. By removing this weight bias it will mean less pressure on everyone to lose weight and instead we can focus more on our health!
Start being happy now with the body you have and start treating it right.
For more information about size discrimination check out these websites:
1. National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA): www.naafa.org
2. Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH): www.sizediversityandhealth.org
3. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior: www.sneb.org