I read this article today from NPR, “Hating On Fat People Just Makes Them Fatter.” It’s interesting because here we are in 2013 and it’s one of the first time a study like this has been done. I am a little amazed by that fact but, given the state of America today compared to even 20 years ago, I suppose it’s not that shocking.
The study observed over 6,000 people who had been discriminated for whatever reason. Four years later, they followed up with those people and found that those who had cited weight as their discrimination factor were still obese and possibly even heavier than they had been before. While I’d like to think America is over being racist and discriminatory, I know that it’s not. Look in the department stores. See if you can find the “Women’s” sizes. If you can, how small is the section compared to the rest of the store? Then compare the prices…
I remember having times in my life where people would tell me that no one would want me if I kept gaining weight. Mind you I was around 13, 14, 15 when those things were said. It makes an impact to hear words like that come from someone who thinks they are “trying” to help you. I remember feeling like I wasn’t good enough then so what was the point?
The worst part about it all was trying to understand that what was being said was being said out of love. I remember on time, for a birthday in middle school, I had a friend come and stay with me at my Nana’s and she made a comment along the lines that it was too bad I wasn’t thin and pretty like my friend. It was her weird way of trying to encourage me to work on my weight. Needless to say, that was the last time that friend did anything with me. I wonder sometimes if I reacted badly after that comment – it’s quite possible.
I am fascinated that people needed a study to realize that these types of “motivators” are really detrimental to people who are struggling with obesity. Some people think it’s as simple as “Just don’t eat it.” Sadly, for some of us, it’s not that simple.
The worst part is when you are working on it, because there is no quick solution that instantly transforms your body, people don’t always know you are working on it. People just let their mouths flap, despite the fact that you are going to your doctor every three months for check-ins and you go to your weekly weight watchers meeting. They don’t see it. They just see the fat person that they assume is lazy.
As I work toward my goals, I have to not get angry at those comments. I have to let go of the hurt that was caused by those “helpful” comments. I have to just move forward and keep working toward a better me, no matter what names are thrown my way.