I think it’s safe to say we are all familiar with body shaming in some form or fashion. Usually when we think of it, ‘fat’ shaming comes to mind. But what about ‘fit’ shaming? It’s a very real thing and something I can speak about from both sides of the coin.
Can I be totally honest? Good, I hope you expect nothing less of me. I also hope you’ll read to the end and realize I’m not a horrible person.
I have never had a weight issue. I have been at the top of my weight range (hence what started my journey) but never truly overweight so I honestly can not relate to that struggle. But I do have a very mental/emotional struggle and that is not discriminatory. Over or underweight, we are ALL facing a mental/emotional battle.
When I was younger I took my metabolism for granted allll the way through my late 20’s. I remember seeing overweight people and thinking not so nice thoughts (which was stupid because it’s not like I was some perfect fitness guru). I remember seeing girls thinner and in better shape than I was and thinking ugly thoughts. We are ALL guilty of judging at some point or another and if you say otherwise, you’re lying to yourself. Here’s the deal though, it doesn’t mean we have to be nasty and actually express those thoughts OUT LOUD!
Fast forward to my 30’s when I truly began my journey. In the beginning I remember looking at the fitness models and being so jealous. After all, they were born like that and didn’t know what it was like to struggle, right? I mean, they didn’t have two babies at once and suffer from PPD. *insert eye roll here because there are women who had it FAR worse than me who are way farther along in their journey than me!*
It’s crazy what a low self esteem and lack of confidence can do to a person. Am I right?
In my journey I have quickly realized that healthy is NOT a one sized fits all thing and it can look drastically different on everyone.
I have a couple friends who are overweight. I’m not talking about the ‘curvy’ or ‘big boned’ either. They are overweight. Aside from the weight, they are insanely healthy. Like, eat better and exercise harder than I do. Due to medical issues out of their control and the need for medication to simply function each day without debilitating pain, they gained weight. So they choose….weight gain with the ability to live a normal life OR be thin and miserable with a sh!t quality of life.
My point? Don’t judge. Unless you are in someone’s shoes, you have no idea what they are going through or have gone through.
I also have friends on the opposite end of the spectrum. Underweight (by society standards, healthy and unable to gain weight despite exercising to build muscle and eating massive amounts. Most of these women would LOVE to be able to gain weight. You know why? So they don’t have to shop in the junior’s department. So people won’t make snide remarks all damn day. So they can fill out clothes and feel confident.
In our society, you can’t win for losing.
You’re made fun of if you’re overweight. You’re told to lay off the cheeseburgers and exercise. You’re made fun of if you’re too thin. You’re told to eat more cheeseburgers and quit exercising so much.
What kind of message is that sending to our children? Exercise and eat right, don’t get fat but don’t get too thin either. Huh?!
You know what it all boils down to? If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. If you wouldn’t say it to your daughter, keep it to yourself.
Okay, one more…If you can’t lift someone up with praise, do us all a favor and take a long walk off a short bridge.