Journalist Julie Cook recently wrote an article on why she believes it’s her duty to tell her partner if he’s putting on weight. Apparently, she noticed her husband had a “a slight paunch where his flatter tummy used to be” so she patted his stomach and said: “Get yourself down the gym!”.
But, does this tactic work? Well, here’s my response to Julie's piece...
When I was a teenager both my mother and my father told me I was getting fat and that I needed to do something about it.
There was no discussion about why I was getting fat or what I could be doing to get rid of the weight, it was just a constant stream of family fat shaming - “You’re fat, do something about it”.
Of course, I knew I was putting on weight, I didn’t need it pointed out to me. And did that pointing out spur me on to lose weight? Hell no! It just led to more eating for comfort.
I lived in a toxic environment at home, I was being bullied at school, there was no security for me anywhere, so food provided those feelings of comfort and safety and until those issues were addressed no amount of anyone telling me that I was putting on weight was going to stop the binge eating.
The REAL problems weren’t being looked at – my low self-esteem, the bullying, the toxicity, the fact that the love from my parents came with conditions, my lack of self-confidence, my inability to speak up for myself and even if I did nobody would listen anyway, I would just get shouted at –there were so many factors involved and I was using food to push all of this pain away.
It was only many, many years later that I realised that food wasn’t the issue at all, the issue was everything that was going on in my mind as a result of childhood trauma.
When I started looking more deeply that was when I was finally able to get rid of the weight and find food freedom. Because the whole time we’re carrying emotional weight it’s very difficult to get rid of the physical weight.
So, please let’s get rid of any fat shaming - including family fat shaming. People who are putting on weight can see exactly what’s going on, they don’t need to be fat shamed.
What’s needed is help, support and understanding. What’s needed is investigation into WHY the overeating is happening in the first place. What’s needed is compassion.
Only then can we begin to release the weight and the need to use food for comfort.
If you never want to worry about food again or count calories or live by restriction anymore then let's talk today - click HERE!