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Is Fat Shaming Always Wrong?

 
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Dianamoon



Joined: 05 Jun 2015
Posts: 15
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 5:58 pm    Post subject: Is Fat Shaming Always Wrong? Reply with quote

I live in a part of the country which, as yet, hasn't been too affected with* the obesity epidemic. But I'm beginning to see it.

Today I am sitting next to a man who is morbidly obese. He just finished eating a slice of cake, by the way.

Yesterday in a heavily trafficked tourist area I saw four women, probably tourists, three of whom were morbidly obese. The oldest one hobbled on a cane. There were three younger women, one moderately obese, two morbidly. They were quite young and could scarcely walk.

This disgusted me. Of course I didn't say anything to them. But I felt horror.

Am I wrong? I don't think I am, but I do feel guilty.

*I was going to write "afflicted with" and changed it.
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r.jean



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a saying, "There but for the grace of God go I...."

I am blessed with a decent metabolism, yet I am still overweight (though not "morbidly obese").

Where would I be if I were less fortunate in my genetics?
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Dianamoon



Joined: 05 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r.jean wrote:
There is a saying, "There but for the grace of God go I...."

I am blessed with a decent metabolism, yet I am still overweight (though not "morbidly obese").

Where would I be if I were less fortunate in my genetics?


I don't think these people are morbidly obese due to genetics. They are unfortunate in their environment, perhaps, but not genetics. As far as 'there but for fortune,' none of these people looked deprived. They all looked like middle class Americans. I'll save my compassion for people who are starving.
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gingerpie



Joined: 06 Apr 2014
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Location: Pennsylvania, US

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'll save my compassion for people who are starving.



I wasn't aware compassion has a border or that it is reserved only for those of whom I approve.

I don't pretend to know someone by passing by them in a shop, sidewalk or restaurant. I don't know their history, their circumstances, or struggles. My struggles are mine and theirs are theirs. What purpose would it serve to shame them? I see no point in it and I can think of many better uses of my time and my words.

I know of no one who has been changed through shaming. I can think of many who have changed with kindness.

Kind regards and good luck with your quest.
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bjalda



Joined: 06 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gingerpie wrote:

I know of no one who has been changed through shaming. I can think of many who have changed with kindness.


YES!
Nobody should feel ashamed about their bodies. NOBODY. It doesn't do any good.

I guess we can just ask ourselves: What if we where in their shoes? And I mean really imagine being born like them, raised like them, loved like them.. If we looked exactly like them, had all their thoughts, feelings and memories. Wouldn't we necessarily be exactly like them - morbidly obese?

How could we be different, with the exact same problems thrust upon us? If we think we could: what could make that difference? Do we somehow have a better 'soul' that manages to stay thin, whatever the circumstances? Could we just exercise more 'control', because we are born with some kind of superpower - unlike 'them'? Or are we somehow all sitting in the same boat? All of us, the human family

We ALL have our baggage. They might carry it around for everyone to see, wheras the rest of us is lucky enough to deal with it somewhere behind the curtains.

It's not fair to shame them for that.
It's not okay.

Please don't feel guilty for having these thoughts. I think we're all guilty of judging to fast - I know I do it all the time. I guess the best we can do is just to observe ourselves having these thoughts, KNOW that we DON'T KNOW what that person is actually going through and just wish them well.

And just to draw the connection to the No S Diet here - I love that Reinhard's system manages to take away body shame to a certain degree. You feel shame when you brake the rules. But you don't have to feel shame about how your body looks. You don't have an ideal weight, you just have ideal behavior. And wherever your weight falls then is fine.
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r.jean



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good commentary bjalda. I agree completely.

You are correct that it is not just genetics but also environment and learned behaviors that contribute to obesity and other unhealthy conditions.

I would also agree that it is difficult to have empathy for people who are contributing to their own condition by continuing negative habits. Just the other day, a friend and I commented on a woman we know who continues to smoke (a lot) even though she has COPD. At the same time we commented how difficult it is to let go of ingrained habits.

And yet I continue my own battle against the last few pounds to reach a normal BMI. I am proud of my success so far but recognize I am not so different than those who struggle more mightily than I. Thank goodness for No S.
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eschano



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funnily enough there is a lot of research that suggest that the more people are shamed for their obesity the more obese they will get. It psychologically messes with you.

Now, have I judged obese people who are stuffing cakes on my commuter train home? I am the one who is ashamed of myself as the answer is yes, many times.

I have three friends who are beyond morbidly obese and it is heart breaking to hear them talk about their struggle. It affects everything in their lives.

No one wants to be obese.

I think we need to change something on a societal and educational level, stop photo-shopping on magazines and TV NOW as personally I find that the most damaging, stop any food advertisement during ad breaks outside of dinner time and create safe and free playgrounds for kids and adults where urban physical activity is encouraged.
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Dianamoon



Joined: 05 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:50 pm    Post subject: Fat Shaming Reply with quote

Interesting reax.

The consensus is that fat shaming doesn't work. But in Japan, France and Italy, it does work. I can't say I know Japan well, but I know that the reason why women are thin in France and Italy (at least in the big cities) is because in a word they get fat shamed. I am generalizing, but your average middle-class French woman will start starving when she goes over a certain weight. That's why French Women Don't Get Fat. I've read about Japan, same deal.

"I have three friends who are beyond morbidly obese and it is heart breaking to hear them talk about their struggle. It affects everything in their lives.

No one wants to be obese."

Yes, it's a terrible dilemma, which is why I brought it up. When I saw those morbidly obese young women I honestly wanted to walk up to them and tell them to wake up! Do something! You are young - you are wasting your youth! You can hardly move....!!!

I totally agree about the obsession with unhealthy thinness, and the photoshopping. But to me this is the opposite side of the same coin. We have a crazy society that idealizes ultra skinniness, while we then maintain a rigid code of "no fat shaming" for the morbidly obese.

I cannot tell a lie. I disapprove morally of morbid obesity. I'm not asking other people to agree with me.

I guess I don't feel that way about anorexia because I see anorexia as a true mental disorder. Anorexics want to eat but they can't - they have a mental disorder.

If you can convince me that morbid obesity is a mental disorder, I would change my opinion. But people seem to be saying here that morbid obesity is not a mental disorder, it's just the way some people are, and I should not judge. I don't see it that way. Note, I am speaking not of overweight, but morbid obesity.
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bjalda



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japan, France and Italy - you name three countries with still powerful cultural structures around their eating. That might be the reason why people are thinner there - not fat shaming. As a matter of fact, that is slowly changing too. People here in Europe get fatter and fatter as well, as everybody takes on a more Western lifestyle. And how can you be so sure that this 'shaming' actually works?

A French woman would get too fat and starve herself - I guess we all agree that eventually she would have to stop starving herself, OR develop an illness (anorexia, bulimia etc.). At that point her metabolism is so down, that it's almost inevitable she would gain some of the weight back, if she started eating 'normally' again. Then at some point she'll have to start starving herself again.
I'm sorry, but can we call this 'working'?! What a miserable state of being! And for what?

I don't like 'convincing' people, most of all because it doesn't work. So I hope I don't come over to strongly (I just somehow happen to care about his topic) But I just wanted to say one more thing:

I think that empathizing and setting a good example yourself is everything you can do. By shaming people, all you really do is damage them. That doesn't mean that you have to treat everybody with kid gloves - there is a place for 'tough love' and wake-up calls. But are you - as a street passerby - in any way entitled to take on that role? SHAMING on the streets, without even KNOWING ONE THING about a person. I'm sorry, but that just sounds brutal to me. And in the end just a waste of energy.

I guess you have to ask youself whether you want to FIGHT (shame, hate, wear them down) or HELP (understand, love, support) obese people.
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Last edited by bjalda on Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dianamoon



Joined: 05 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:05 pm    Post subject: Fat Shaming Reply with quote

I was clear that I didn't actually walk up to the women and say those things. I was clear that I restrained myself. I'm being honest about what I thought. And yes, I did think it. And a part of me said that I might have been more compassionate to say something. It's called tough love. But being a coward, I kept my mouth shut.

Regarding the "French Women Don't Get Fat" meme, I don't see that it is an eating disorder to cut back when you gain weight. How else do people maintain a svelte figure in a world of caloric excess? Yes, I agree if you go all OCD about going from a size 0 to a size 2, there's a problem.

But the cultural norm in Japan, Italy and France countries is thin. I call it polite fat-shaming.

I don't know what things are like in Germany, there's only so much you can tell by statistics, but I can tell you that here in the US, the situation with morbid obesity is worrying. I paid no attention to it until recently when the signs became apparent in my own relatively thin locale.

This is not merely a case of aesthetics, although yes, I am being honest when I said that to see a young woman whose figure was totally obscured by rolls of adipose tissue was aesthetically disturbing. If that offends people I'll have to take the consequences. Tough on me. Shocked
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Dianamoon



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:16 pm    Post subject: Fat Shaming Reply with quote

I want to say two more things about shaming in general:

1. I was shamed into quitting smoking. Long story short, a nosy lady I encountered in a social situation sweetly told me I was choking myself to death by smoking. There were obviously many other factors that went into my quitting, but I'm not sure I ever would have quit if I hadn't heard those magic words.

2. I was shamed into going from a 190 pound teenager into a 145 pound adult. Again, a long story, but if everyone I met had patted my head and said, "Oh poor baby, it's OK for you to weigh 190 pounds," would I ever have lost it?
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eschano



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dianamoon, I do believe morbid obesity is a mental disorder. I have three morbidly obese friends. I have at a minimum seven friends with anorexia/bulimia. The latter one is directly related to the fact that they come from a fat-shaming society (Austria). All of them basically say the same things but deal with it in reverse ways and all of them have a much bigger underlying problem. The gist of the thing is that people either "want to be seen" or "don't want to be seen" (not always in the way one would guess) and there are different reasons for it. Of course obesity is a mental challenge. I'm not talking about being overweight or even slightly obese.

As for fat shaming I thought I would tell you my story as I come from a fat shaming society and I want to warn you against putting this on a pedestal. I come from Austria where people on average are more like the Italians and French, much slimmer than in the US or UK.

So this is what happened to me in this fat shaming society: I grew up hating my body. I grew to believe that I'm not good enough and not worth loving because I could not maintain the skinny standard of a BMI18. I am much taller than the average and more curvy. I can tell you now - I'm pretty attractive (I know how that sounds but alas there you have it) and probably one or two dress sizes away from the "standard attractive".

I started to eat out of frustration when I was thinnish as I was still shamed for not being skinny enough. My mum's friend once told me at a BMI of 19 that I should train my hips as they were getting too big. Now I know my body is curvier than other bodies, although I developed late. I have also been 175cm tall (5'11'' or a bit over) since I am 15 years old. I am muscly as I grew up on a mountain by a lake so my tights at my skinny will never look like her sedentary tights at 154cm unless I stop eating. Girls in my school called me fat. I mean, I was perfectly healthy at that point, winning swimming competitions, feeling good.

But as I was shamed for years I eventually took it to heart as a teenager. The fatter I felt the more I ate. (I was still only 120lbs) I was also "lazy" because eventually being shamed meant that I didn't want to hang out with people. I didn't want to go swimming anymore with them because they would shame me. I didn't want to go hiking because they would shame me. I stopped my swimming competitions because it was hard. I was lucky because I stuck to the friends I had and met them away from everything to still do those things "in secret". Other people just stay home. That makes them even more overweight. Being in a fat shaming society can make you overweight.

I only ever got to being overweight after about 5 years of this isolation and frustration and for about 8 years of my life and never to obese but it took me to find NoS, which very much taught me to separate food from self-worth to understand that I am beautiful, love worthy and that no person in the world is allowed to shame me for not being Kate Moss.

We also hold the skinny societies in high regard but the amount of people there with eating disorders is scary. Have you watched Italian TV lately? It's disgusting how many "fake" women are in it. There is tremendous pressure on Italian women to be sexy and have massive boobs and no waist. I lived there for one year and my female friends hated how sexist their culture was. I know people who will never be healthy with food because of their extreme relationship with it.

This is the deal: Had I not been shamed I would have happily had BMI 20 naturally and for a long time. It was the shaming that caused the problem. That made me go on my first diet. It took me 12 years to get back to my natural body which now is about BMI 23 as this is where I feel comfortable and beautiful.

What we need is to make sure people are healthy. Mentally and physically. Shaming is not going to achieve anything. We as a society need to inspire people and make sure they feel comfortable around other people. How else are they going to lose weight - which big person wants to go to the gym if they are shamed there? Who wants to seek help?

As a now healthy and active person I can tell you it's incredibly easier to lose and maintain weight if you're not at home all the time. Being at home doesn't make it impossible but so much harder.

Shaming people can create isolation. If you had gone up to these women - how would they have felt - what would you have achieved?

I do want to gently suggest though that you might also have a reaction against your former bigger self when you see big people, not just against those people in general. I know that I can look down on people who are struggling with things I have overcome in the past. Particularly as one of my parents is an alcoholic and I have a real contempt for people who stick with addicts but I understand this is my reaction to my own past. Because from this end it looks easy. Then I remember how I struggled and suddenly my desire to go to them and shame them disappears.

I do think there is something to be said for an honest and concerned word from a friend or a family member about being overweight. But the people who helped me most are the people who never shamed me. They were the ones who I could turn to when I did need help. Funnily, they are also the people with the healthiest relationship to food themselves and they had plenty of positive advice.
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bjalda



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow eschano. Thanks for sharing your story!
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gingerpie



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dianamoon, it would help me if you define shaming. I can't imagine how anybody could be "sweet" and shaming at the same time as you describe the woman to have been. I can understand how one could be sweet and direct at the same time but that isn't the word you used.

As for your question of "would I have lost weight if everybody around me patted me on the head". . . I have no idea. Our lives play out the way they do for a myriad of reasons. I have a feeling you have quite a stong and determined personality which I admire. So, perhaps shaming was just what you needed in order to get you moving. But again I'm not actually sure what you mean by shaming. Was it public? Was it ongoing? Was it accompanied by education and support? Was it in response to you reaching out to others?

To be very clear - I don't expect answers to any of this. I fully understand these are private issues. It is just meant to provoke thought about how exactly We might approach someone directly but with compassion. I do completely agree that sometimes doing/saying nothing or sugar coating the truth aren't necessarily the best options.

Regards
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Dianamoon



Joined: 05 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gingerpie wrote:
Dianamoon, it would help me if you define shaming. I can't imagine how anybody could be "sweet" and shaming at the same time as you describe the woman to have been. I can understand how one could be sweet and direct at the same time but that isn't the word you used.

As for your question of "would I have lost weight if everybody around me patted me on the head". . . I have no idea. Our lives play out the way they do for a myriad of reasons. I have a feeling you have quite a stong and determined personality which I admire. So, perhaps shaming was just what you needed in order to get you moving. But again I'm not actually sure what you mean by shaming. Was it public? Was it ongoing? Was it accompanied by education and support? Was it in response to you reaching out to others?

To be very clear - I don't expect answers to any of this. I fully understand these are private issues. It is just meant to provoke thought about how exactly We might approach someone directly but with compassion. I do completely agree that sometimes doing/saying nothing or sugar coating the truth aren't necessarily the best options.

Regards


Perhaps I should have used the phrase, "setting a norm." I used the phrase "fat-shaming" because it is au courant. I swear, I never heard the phrase before, oh, 5 years ago. (The older you get the more the years smush together.) Google Trends backs me up, have a look:

https://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=%22fat%20shaming%22

I don't mind telling you the story about the lady who "smoke-shamed" me, to coin a phrase. It has some personal details but so what. This was in the South, 30 years ago. I am a real Yankee, from NYC. (For the Europeans who read this forum - there are as many differences among Americans as between an Italian and a German. A New Yorker down South, wow.)

We were at a crochet/knit get-together and I mentioned that I smoke, and that my father smoked, and that it ruined his health. I probably did give her an in by saying that, but her response culturally surprised me. She said, "And you're smoking like he did, when it just choked him to near to death?" She repeated for effect, "Chokin' to death!" and shook her head.

She was Southern and had a voice as sweet as a peach pie with vanilla ice cream. (Sorry, hope this isn't your S day.)

No Ginger Pie, I didn't flush with shame, but I just had....no words. I'll never forget my astonishment at how nosy she was - by my norms. In my part of the world, people don't do that. They mind their own business. If some girl wants to kill herself with cigs, tough, but that's her business.

This Southern lady didn't see things that way. She felt it was her duty as a mother and as a Christian (yes, her Christianity was very much a part of this, that's a long story, don't want to go into it) to save my soul and to stop me from killing myself with cigarettes. She felt cigs were not only unhealthy, but sinful. As a non-religious person, I don't emotionally share that - but doesn't she have a point? To do something so unbelievably harmful IS kind of a sin...

It worked. Her words were among the many things that helped me to stop smoking. I'll be forever grateful to a woman who broke my rules of decorum and who I would probably disagree with on everything else. Go figure.

Let's get back to how I was shamed as a fat person. I didn't experience much overt discrimination but the few situations where I did were horrible. Insults, people saying nasty things, that stuff. Mostly, however, my history of being overweight was a knowledge deep in me that I didn't have to be this way, it was caused by habits, and that I did not look or feel my best. And yeah, I was downright jealous of all my thin friends and acquaintances, who could wear cute clothes and physically do things I couldn't. I got sick of this and I'm not ashamed to say that part of the reason I lost weight was because I was tired of being treated like crap and I wanted pretty privilege. So I fought my way down to a normal, but not thin, BMI. It's my recent health issue that has motivated me to finish the journey and become truly lean for the first time since I was 10. (And no, I'm not giving details of height and weight. I'm not going extremist, the weight I am aiming for is very healthy.)

I have a question for you. Do you think that a society has a right to set norms? A friend and I were discussing changing norms, and he said that "200 pound woman" is a norm - of sorts - in parts of the country. I can't accept this. My ex was 6'1" and when he approached 200 it was time to cut back. Two hundred pounds on a 5'4" woman is to me unacceptable. To me.

If that's fat-shaming I'm a fat-shamer, or rather, fat-normer. I think that there is an innate, genetic sense we all have of symmetry and proportion and no, I am not talking about model anorexia, just "normal," and that when someone is too thin, or too fat, we all feel that something is wrong.
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Swuddly



Joined: 22 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for sharing your story, eschano.

In general, unless you are very close to someone, you should say nothing to them about things like: weight, food choices, drink choices, smoking, etc. If you are not someones: partner, parent, physician, counselor, or priest/spiritual adviser (and, perhaps, dearest of friends), then you do not, and cannot possibly, know them well enough to comment on something so personal.

Binge eating disorder is just as real a mental health disorder as anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

Here is my story:
I was a fat child before there were so many in each classroom. My parents fed us healthy foods--plenty of vegetables and fruits. We had dessert for things like birthdays and holidays, almost never just to have it. We didn't have sugar-laden cereals in the house. We were limited to one box each year of junk cereal for our birthday. We didn't keep snack foods in the house. No twinkies or brownies in my lunch bag. Pop (soda) as a treat, only. Water or skimmed milk for beverages, with juice showing up sometimes. Honestly, I cannot think of a single thing my mother and father could have done differently. I was hungry, and they fed me healthy foods. Perhaps, if the sweets wouldn't have been so restricted they wouldn't have had such an allure? They wouldn't have been so loaded with emotional meaning? I don't know. I do know that whenever my crooked little heart was wounded, food soothed it.

I was a fat, mildly obese, teenager. I was on the swim team, and in show choir. I wasn't one of the popular kids, but I was generally well-liked by my peers. I was a good student. I was also sneaking off to the bathroom after lunch to make myself vomit. Despite purging, I was still fat. Bulimia was, for me, a method of maintenance. A plea for, "Dear God, not any fatter!" In high school, I didn't purge every day, but it was cyclical--I was "fine" for three months, and then some type of stressor would come up, and I'd be back to purging for a period, until I could regain a sense of equilibrium.

In college, I was so afraid of the "freshmen fifteen" that I became incapable of keeping anything down without stressing out about it. Nothing was safe any more. The day I seriously considered purging an apple, I knew I was sick. From that day on, I began purging less and less. Not that I didn't want to, I did. I just knew that I could not continue on that path and keep any bit of sanity. I remember scolding myself for purging to avoid the natural consequences of my binges. By age 20, I no longer purged.

As a result of handling my bulimia on my own, instead of seeking treatment, I gained a lot of weight when I stopped purging. I had a lot of emotions to deal with. I was strong enough to not purge, but I was not able to stop the binges. Bingeing, like my bulimia, was cyclical. I would be "fine" for months, and then some stressor would present itself, and I would binge in response, feeling entirely out of control. At my highest weight, I weighted 340.

At age 37, I weight 290. I have lost 50 pounds, and have maintained that loss for ten years. At this weight, I have hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (and back out). I have learned to kayak. I met and married my husband. I gave birth to my daughter. All of the best things in my life have happened to me at this weight. I still have occasional binges, but they are much more infrequent now. I can now acknowledge what stressor is making me want to binge, and then find other ways to provide self-care.

I haven't purged in 17 years. I will never, ever return to that hell. I would rather be fat for the rest of my life than live one more day on the hunt for a "safe" bathroom to vomit in. I would like to lose weight. But, really, what I want more than anything, is for my daughter to grow up never seeing her mother eat to soothe her feelings, and for her to grow up seeing that I love myself as I am, not for who I might one day become.

I have tried a myriad of other diets--vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, ketogenic, Weight Watchers (both exchange system, and the points-based system), Medical Weight Loss, hospital programs, plain, old calorie counting. I like the structure of No S. The simplicity of it. I like only having to think about food three times per day. I like being able to enjoy my S days without stress or shame.

I know that not every person's story is the same. But this is exactly why we shouldn't make comments to practical strangers about their lives. We don't know them, or their story. Looking back at my story, who should you have sweetly shamed? My mother when I was a child? A 19-year old eating cake in public before finding a bathroom to dispose of it? Someone who has lost 50 pounds, but still might offend your eyes? Your words would have brought nothing but tears to me as a child. As a 19-year old I would have binged and purged. As an adult, I'm sure I would blush at your boldness, and inwardly cringe, but I would hope that I would have the grace to not say something mean back. At no point would your words have ever helped me.
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Dianamoon



Joined: 05 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:11 pm    Post subject: Fat Shaming Reply with quote

I've said several times that I didn't say anything directly to the morbidly obese people I encountered. Yet several times people have asked me about what I would have done if I had.

I didn't. OK? I didn't say anything. I said something here.

This has become kind of a drain to me, so I'll bow out. I'm in the minority and that's fine. But I can't keep engaging with people who are hostile and who accuse me of doing things I didn't do!

"Gingerpie" said something about compassion. You know what? I'll save my compassion for people who are starving. For people who feel the fist of real hunger in their bellies every night and who have to work brutal, hard labor jobs. For the guy I saw looking in a garbage can today.

Great that someone can be 290 pounds and hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, but this person is still young. 37 is really young. Will her joints hold out until she's 50?

One person is irrelevant anyway. The costs of obesity are staggering. Obesity is correlated with a variety of metabolic disorders, and with orthopedic difficulties.

Thanks, you've all done a great job of convincing me that there's nothing wrong with fat-shaming. Tough if you don't like it.
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Swuddly



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Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:15 pm    Post subject: Apology Reply with quote

My intention was not to make you feel attacked, Dianamoon. I am sorry for that. Your post hit an emotional nerve for me, and I'm sorry for over-responding. I should have waited to craft a more dispassionate reply, or just not responded at all. Best wishes to you.
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RAWCOOKIE



Joined: 18 Jun 2015
Posts: 1229
Location: Cornwall, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say, that I also find myself a bit embarrassed; I don't know what to say - it's like we both know we're not mentioning the obvious thing - it's a really taboo subject. One of my best friends is morbidly obese & we don't talk about it.

However, for a couple of years' now, I've been a member of the Spark People community - and through reading blogs and people's stories, becoming 'friends' with a large number of people who are trying to improve their health and fitness and overcome struggles with food and weight - I have come to understand it much better, and to relate to people as people (!) not as 'fat people'.
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eschano



Joined: 18 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Swuddly,
thank you for sharing your story. It's beautiful to be honest and vulnerable on these boards.
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Swuddly



Joined: 22 Sep 2014
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Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, eschano. Smile
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Currently using No S in conjunction with intermittent fasting (IF). Learning to skip snacks has made IF so much easier and enjoyable for me.
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Norma J



Joined: 19 Nov 2015
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These people are normally much more sensitive and you can hurt their feelings very easily. So I would suggest to take extra care in your words around them and try to behave normal.
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Lili M



Joined: 31 Dec 2015
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, we should think about these people's emotions as normally they are over-sensitive about this. So I don't think anyone should do this
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Shuggernaut



Joined: 15 Jun 2015
Posts: 33
Location: Vinnland

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thanks, you've all done a great job of convincing me that there's nothing wrong with fat-shaming. Tough if you don't like it


Despite the fact that Dianamoon entitled this thread with a question, it's apparent that she really isn't interested in hearing what people think about the issue of "fat shaming." Rather, she came here seeking validation for her lack of compassion for people who are morbidly obese, and to the credit of those who responded, she did not find it. The only hostility I can identify here is hers, and it is directed toward those who disagree with her.

I am unable to find any evidence that fat shaming, either individually or as a cultural norm, leads to weight loss. Honesty, sure. "Tough love," sometimes. But insults from complete strangers? No.

Kudos to those of you who shared your personal stories, and best wishes as you continue on your journeys.
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oolala53



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
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Location: San Diego, CA USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't read the whole thread but will comment anyway!

I think I've said before and will again that I feel a little bad talking about this because my thoughts run counter to some expressed-very briefly- in the No S book.

I wonder if anyone has studied the difference between the pressure of cultural norms and shaming. I know SOME people say there is uncomfortable pressure on thinness in French culture that few talk about. but it doesn't sound like women there respond by bingeing. And others say the slimness has more to do with a general sense of valuing savoring high quality food in moderation; eating to excess is considered counterproductive to actually enjoying the food.


As far as I know, out-and-out shaming is actually counterproductive as well. Research shows that the incidence of obesity in children actually rises when fat-shamed. This doesn't mean those not shamed stay thin, but just that the odds go up with shaming. And every compulsive overeater knows she probably couldn't feel any more shame than she heaps on herself. Undoing that is often the door to more rational, reasonable eating, counterintuitive as it seems. I say it is because it is very hard to cooperate with someone-yourself- who is so damning.

It's a difficult issue because overeating can be so complicated. But regarding fat-shaming, you can do it, but you won't likely get the result intended, unless the result you want is simply to feel superior and justified in your disgust.

I admit that I can be as internally conflicted over this when I see others out and about, but I'm very sure that I don't want to get involved in commenting to individuals who haven't asked for my opinion on THIS topic. I've got plenty of other likely misguided soapboxes that I keep on wheels!

Oh, I've been entertaining a theory that a person who doesn't already have an emotional attachment to food or to body image is probably less damaged by "shaming," because it's rather mild for them. They don't really believe it's a reflection of their true worth at all. Men tend to be a little less charged on this. Statistically, men have to be a lot heavier before they start thinking of themselves as fat. I guess that's why a lot more of them will go public making their belly fat into lips that talk than women do. Yes, yes, I'm aware that some men are very ashamed of their fat, but the stats are the stats. How many men would say that they wish they would die over their eating? If you give them truth serum, you would find that many women have had that thought. A survey of 1000 college age women showed that more than half of them said they would rather be run over by a truck than to get fat. Is fat so morally reprehensible that a person deserves to be hit by a truck for it? We don't even do that to murderers.

My final word is that shaming others might work for some things, but it doesn't work for decreasing eating in our culture.
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Shuggernaut



Joined: 15 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, oolala53.
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Over43



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 1614
Location: The Mountains

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe shaming does work. There are many things in my life I have avoided due to the idea of my grandparents being ashamed of me. I avoid certain behaviors in middle age because of the shame it would bring to my children.

Possibly if we in the States were not so shamed by shaming other people's, as well as our own, behaviors, we might be a bit more respected by countries that do have more structured cultures.

There is no shame in having expectations.

Edit: I write this in terms of behavior in general. My kids would be mortified if I were to "fat shame" someone. They are correct in thinking that it would be a classless act. And certainly as my chest becomes more barrel shaped, I certainly need to look in the mirror first before I start in on someone's body mass index.
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bunsofaluminum



Joined: 15 May 2016
Posts: 337

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my mom started commenting on my weight at age 13, which btw was when I actually started gaining. She didn't care where we were or who heard her. "Yes, this is Heidi. She's done growing up; now she is growing out" (verbatim quote, from coffee hour at church, when I weighed a "whopping" 160 lbs.) It finally ceased when I came to visit one day, with a friend. I walked in the front door and she greeted me with "When ARE you going to go on a diet?"...no "Hello" no "Good to see you"

I was PISSED and I pretty much lost it. I told her to quit harassing me about my effing weight. (I NEVER use the F word around my mom, but that day, I did)...and she has never said a single word to me about it since. Guess what? Her non stop "shaming" did NOTHING to convince me to lose weight. In fact, as an adult out from under her control, I gained weight. And when I did some self-work years later, I came to realize that I did it ON PURPOSE, to show my fat-shaming mother. You wanted me to watch my weight? Well WATCH THIS! nyah.

Mind you, I got to a dangerously high weight, over 300 lbs, and so large I couldn't get a seatbelt around me>>>life threatening. That's when I went on my first diet, in my mid-30's and dropped several sizes. NOT because my mom or anyone thought I was too big (I was WAY too big) but because *I* realized it, and was highly alarmed at putting my own life on the line by being extremely unsafe in motorized vehicles. Up to that point, like anyone else with an addiction disorder, I was deep in denial and it "didn't bother me much" to be so fat. pfft. Really, it did, but I couldn't admit it to myself.

Since then, though I've lost and regained, I've never weighed that much EVER again.

As for shame working. Hm. Yes, there are things I do that I know my parents or grandparents, or my former religious community, wouldn't approve of but in my case, I sometimes do them anyway, and then hide it. The only thing shame does for me is make me want to present a false front to the world.

so in my case, shame is very negative. I can't think of a single thing I've chosen not to do, or that I have pushed myself towards, based on feeling ashamed. It just makes me feel bad about myself and angry at the "shamers"...what good is that?
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heliz



Joined: 06 Feb 2017
Posts: 31
Location: Northern CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I think there needs to be a balance. I feel the same way about smokers basically.
I see no problem putting advertisements talking about the health dangers. And I think people should be kindly discouraged from smoking (or being fat). Which can be tricky of course. But I don't think smokers or fat people should get nasty looks or be yelled at.
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