Don't Wait for Culture Change to Lose Weight


If you are an obese woman you know you meet prejudice every day, and it hurts. It hurts so much that you will eat to numb that pain.  You dress to hide your body. You may isolate to create a safe place for yourself. When you need help

you may have to confront disdain when other people are unwilling to give you adequate and respectful attention.

In the Los Angeles Times, Valerie Ulene has an article, "Doctors and nurses' weight biases harm overweight patients."

It seems that even when an obese person seeks medical care she is often discounted.

Yes, fat people seem to lose their humanity in the eyes of others in this culture. Eating and the weight itself becomes a defensive barrier to guard against the ridicule and demeaning attitudes they face every day. More ridicule can translate into more depression, loneliness, anger, fear and yet more eating.

If you are obese and want out of this nightmare you can't wait for the attitudes in our society to change. Such change, if it happens at all, takes generations.

You need to step out of the system and look for environments that do give you the respect, care, support and genuine information for living well and happy.  I am an eating disorder recovery psychotherapist.  Some women come to me because they want to lose weight.

I appreciate this, but I can't guarantee weight loss.  I work with the woman who wants a way out of personal misery or anxiety or shame and knows her relationship with food is an issue. As she experiences respect, caring and the bond we create by working together her inner life reorients to her outer world.

Losing weight is often part of this change for the better.

Obese people do not have to wait for a cultural change in order to create a better life.






0 # Having been obese for much of my life, IKymL 2010-12-16 12:47
Having been obese for much of my life, I can attest to the discriminations and internalized hatred that comes with Obesity. I don't want to down-grade the pain larger women may be feeling; but on the flip side of this, I think it's also important for people who may be underweight (like myself now), to not wait for culture to stop praising the thin! The constant praising of my weight lose feeds into my ED and the fear of the past discrimination I faced when obese, makes it hard to risk gaining weight. We all need to not wait for a change in culture before becoming healthy!
0 # You make a terrific point, Kym. Praisinpinkjoanna 2010-12-16 18:25
You make a terrific point, Kym. Praising ultra thinness is just as damaging as condemning obesity.

The challenge seems to be how to keep our own humanity and health intact while living in a judgmental culture.

I'd like to hear more about your experience going from over to under weight, especially your response to the reaction of the people around you.

Would you consider writing a guest blog post?
0 # Sure, how do I do that?KymL 2010-12-18 20:15
Sure, how do I do that?
0 # Wonderful. Write a post between 250 - 5pinkjoanna 2010-12-18 21:20
Wonderful. Write a post between 250 - 500 words. Send it to me at: .

I'll look it over and maybe discuss it with you. Then I'll post it as a guest blog.

You can include a picture if you like.

Sound good?

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