Of course you think that losing weight will make you feel better about yourself. Certainly you want to be healthier. How could you not think, "That person really needs to go on a diet?" And is it really possible to watch TV, search the Internet, or walk into a magazine store and not be confronted with advertisements about losing weight? (A $60-billion dollar industry has little hesitation banking on your pain, shame and failure to lose weight).
But before you jump in, sign on the dotted line, resolve to lose weight, or muster the chutzpah to finally speak to your friend, please listen to the words I have heard clients say to themselves about their bodies:
You are fat, disgusting.
Look at those arms, those breasts, those jowls.
Food is evil and will make you fat and ugly.
No one is ever going to want to be with you.
You don't deserve anything.
You lazy stupid shit.
Better to stay home, where people can't see you.
You ugly, stupid, worthless, fat bitch. What is wrong with you that you can't lose a few
a few pounds?
Take a moment and imagine listening to a person talking like this to someone you loved. Would your first impulse be to suggest a new diet program or exercise strategy? Or would you be moved to stop the violence and assess the damage first? Please, dear readers, be kind to yourselves and those around you who suffer from body shame and struggle with their weight. The violence and wounding is darker and deeper than you may think.