Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Healthy-shaming, the new fat-shaming!

I constantly read reports, see social posts and hear about fat-shaming. People being named, shamed and blamed for their eating habits, weight and appearance. I myself have thankfully never been the victim of such bullying but would never like to be on the receiving end of such hateful comments. I have always felt there was no need to put someone else down for their lifestyle choices. I am all for assisting a friend who is struggling when they need it but I would never stand there and jeer at them or reject them for their food choices.

Whilst fat-shaming is very often spoken about health-shaming is not. Just as some feel they have a right to comment on a larger person’s lifestyle, others feel they have a right to comment on others being too skinny, eating a healthy diet or exercising too much.

Today for the first time I truly felt like I was being shamed for my healthy lifestyle choices. Two friends, who I live with, love eating out, enjoying a cheeky takeaway and treating themselves with food. Tonight, was one of those nights. As I was eating dinner they shouted out to me that they were going on a food expedition. Knowing they are both trying to be healthier I jokingly shouted out in return, ‘make healthy choices.’ 

Later I heard them return, excited to see them I rushed downstairs to chat. As I opened the door they were both sitting on the floor munching on their dinner of choice. Whilst one looked at me guiltily the other turned around and said, ‘this is a judgement free zone.’ I stood there shocked. I hadn’t even opened my mouth yet and already it was being presumed that because I choose to eat well, I would condemn them for not doing the same. My friend then asked me to leave the room so they could eat without being ‘judged.’ 

As I shut the door I was so angry. How can you justify ostracizing someone for trying to be healthy when in essence it is just the same as fat shaming? It really got me thinking, why is skinny-shaming ok, if fat-shaming is not? 

To the next person who says ‘you are not welcome’ for choosing to be healthy, commenting on the food that I eat or putting me down for not eating ‘fattier’ or seemingly ‘unhealthy’ foods I say to you: 

~ I love myself. I choose to be healthy and gift my body with the best nutrients this wonderful world has to offer. I eat nutritious healthy food because I enjoy it.  I exercise because it makes me feel good. It eases my mind and jump starts my body for the day ahead. I choose to be the best possible version of myself that I can be. I will not listen to anyone who tries to tell me differently~

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