Saturday, January 18, 2020

I think fat, therefore I am...or not?

Seen on Facebook recently, a post which makes excellent food for thought (oh I do love my puns) about body image and fat. The question was asked why we say we (or others) ARE fat or thin. It was noted that we don't say "I am brown hair" or "I am beard." We say "I HAVE brown hair or a beard." These are physical attributes and so are body sizes and shapes. Isn't it bad enough that we fault ourselves for being overweight (or underweight)? Must we also let the scale tell us who we are?

I've worked very hard for several years to shed some excess pounds and keep them off. I'm proud of this weight loss. But the inside core has not changed, now that I am smaller. I may look and feel different, better, healthier, etc. but Marilisa is no different. I am still kind, friendly, easily annoyed, loving, somewhat lazy. Arguably I'm happier and less self-conscious but my me-ness remains. And it is TONS bigger and more important that a scale number.

Why do we let our body size become us? It stems from plus-size negativity regarding bigger bodies. Unkind words, shaming, social stigma, bullying, media messages all focus heavily on weight, more than any other physical feature. And it has become socially acceptable, even encouraged, to shame people who are fat...oops, see, even I said it...I mean who have extra fat. It's as if fat negates every other aspect of us.

Some people feel it's their duty to call attention to someone's weight problems. Hilariously,, it's often people who themselves could stand to lose 10 or 90 pounds! And overweight people come to expect it and sometimes even mock themselves! This is a deadly vicious circle. Are you caught in this cycle? Do you shame yourself and/or allow others to?  I'm going to assign some homework to help you break it. I'll blog more on that shortly.

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