Content/Trigger Warning: this post contains talk about self harm, weight loss and disordered eating, if this is not for you, please do not read on. Also I just want to say, I’m not fat shaming myself or anything like that I am just talking about my personal experiences and what I have been through up until today. I still believe that every body is worthy and will continue to support that.
This is not a post that I thought I was ready to write yet, but yesterday something happened on the internet and I cannot keep it in any longer. I actually had to take myself away from my children and have a little cry yesterday to get all the emotions that I was feeling out. I filmed a ranty video that I was going to post, but I decided to try and articulate my frustration from that video into this post instead.
The UK government announced its new obesity strategy to protect the nation against Covid-19 yesterday. To justify the measures, in the report they said that 8% of critically ill patients had been obese. In the report, it said that doctors would be offered “incentives” to ensure that people living with obesity are given the support for weight loss they need. This is the part of their strategy I want to talk about. To start I want to just say that I’m not stupid, I know that just walking down the street I am judged on my size, so people spouting crap on the internet yesterday shouldn’t have bothered me, but the comments were so flippant it actually physically upset me to read some of the stuff I did. I want to explain why and to do that I want to give you a little back story.
I have suffered with my mental health for as long as I can remember. At age 11, I started to self harm and this continued until I was 21 and pregnant with Maisie. I did this to help me manage my anxiety and emotions. I never received the proper help for that really as back then mental health was still something that was very much hidden away, particularly self harm or anything like that. I remember visiting the school nurse a few times and them handling it very inappropriately with my Mum (another story) but that was it. At University, it was skirted over too when I was in therapy, but something changed when I got pregnant. I wanted to stop doing it so I managed to progress and I can sit here and say that I haven’t cut myself for 9 years and 11 months which is a great achievement.
What I didn’t realise at the time is it’s not just as simple as that, it’s like an addiction and over time I replaced the loss of cutting myself with emotional over eating.
It’s so easy for people to sit on the internet trolling fat people and telling them that “it’s easy to lose weight, stop eating” but what about when that eating is linked to deep emotional issues, that when you have spoken to your GP about it, you have basically just been told that it’s not real? I know so many people who are in the same position as me and we only talk about it to each other because we are told that we have no self control and that’s the issue. But sure offer them incentives to target fat people
In reality the issue is that I have harmed myself since I was 11 years old and have never learned another way to cope with those emotions and that has now progressed into emotional eating and here I am today.
What is not healthy here, is the governments message. And Lottie L’amour sums this up perfectly in one twitter thread
I guess this is my long winded way of saying, what happened to be kind? It shouldn’t be about fat Vs skinny, I do know that skinny shaming is also a major thing in our society which to me is just as bad as fat shaming, but you can’t back up a fat phobic argument by using the excuse of “well, I get skinny shamed” NO! Be better! You therefore can relate in some way to how you are about to make that person feel, so why comment?
A few other simple things to remember before you tweet/comment on anything:
- Don’t go onto the internet and berate fat people for simply daring to exist
- Don’t go onto the internet and tell someone how to loose weight when you literally know nothing about them or their journey
- Don’t go onto the internet and share your before and after photos using a body like mine in your before photo talking about it negatively
- Don’t offer unsolicited medical advice or concern for someones body/weight/size. You cannot comment on a persons health based on a photo/video of their body
I’m in no way promoting obesity and I am all for you doing you. If you want to lose weight, amazing for you! Just realise that some people don’t want to. Some people want to but medication/disabilities/illnesses are stopping them from doing that. Everyone is on a different journey and everyone has different circumstances in their life.
In the last decade I have done so many amazing things with my body. I have married my best friend, travelled the world, given birth to my two babies and had alot of laughs and fun along the way. I will deal with my emotional eating if and when I am ready to try to get help again if I can have the trust in a medical professional to do so, but for now I will carry on existing in my small corner of the internet and enjoying my life!