Oct 30, 2015

Dealing with Fat Shaming - From a Former Fat Person

I literally did not know about "fat-shaming" until a couple of hours ago.

It's 4:45pm, September 8th, 2015.

I've found articles dating back to 2013 on this topic. How am I so behind-the-time on this topic? How can I be so out-of-the-loop?

... Not beating myself up about being unaware of this topic is a terrific example of how I've overcome my own self-shaming.

May I introduce you to a much younger ME? This is the body and the girl who taught me about myself and about the nature of others... and mostly, how to have compassion and how to heal.

I Wouldn't Trade my Fat-Shaming Experiences for What They Taught me...

I've weighed over 100 pounds since I was 9 years old. The average 9-year-old weighs 60 pounds.

Sure, I was sad about my clearly abnormal condition, about how kids treated me, and the underlying health conditions that disturbed my well-being, sometimes on a moment-by-moment basis.

On the outside and in public, often showed a different character. I would console classmates who beat themselves up for weighing 70 pounds or more. Then, when I finally felt confident to stand up to the bullies and no longer had issues with them, I would even stand up for others... I learned some interesting lessons; many of which I share in my book You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding.

Somehow helping others and standing up for others (even when I suffered) helped me feel stronger...

Fat-Shaming used to be just called "bullying", "teasing" and the like. As a linguist I've recognized that we learn words by the feelings we associate with them. 

No matter what you call it, "bullying" or "fat shaming" it doesn't feel good!

While being bullied was one of the most traumatic times in my life, I also consider it a blessing in my life. I now have tools to help others... and so I share with you... with LOVE...

What I Would Tell the Young me Who Was Experiencing Fat Shaming...

  • There will always be bullies. The people who are the closest to you right now may turn into bullies. Bless them and leave them be. Don't try to teach them, convince them- just let them be. It is more worth your effort to help those who are seeking help. Be the beacon of hope.

  • Your response to their (the bullies) words is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. Begin to identify those feelings and where they come from, without blame or attachment to a story. It's ok to feel hurt, upset and even get mad. Remember though, there is healing power in those emotions. When you turn those emotions to into fuel, to cultivate a state of more compassion and love, that their power is truly healing.

  • This experience will help you to be stronger to deal with challenges in the future.

  • It will be more worth your effort to seek to understand yourself, than to try to get others to understand you. 

  • Beware of being played by media. Develop your own inner compass pointing to that which you value.

  • Lastly, what would you say to another to help them through? Sometimes a look of "I feel you" or a warm embrace is enough. 

This is the foundation of my Weight Free Wellness online programs. Included are recipes with wellness insights, simple and effective self-exploration to develop self-compassion, advice on finding helpful resources, and much more. 

The title Weight Free Wellness means:
  • We must remove the weight from our own shoulders (guilt and shame are big ones!) before we can healthfully address weight.
  • When we address weight in a healthy way, the wait on weight decreases.
  • The most important weight to address are the heavy emotions we take on and put on ourselves.

I am happy to consult and present on this topic to aid others in this very emotional journey.


As a side note, I have always received such media updates at just the right time. I already had on my list of "articles to write" "Shame and Weight"... Apparently it is TIME for this topic!

It's Time for the Topics of Shame and Weight to be Addressed! WeightFreeWellness.com