The F Word

Fat. When did our world start to revolve around fat? Fat hate is everywhere. Around every turn, we are constantly blasted with messages villainizing it and anyone who carries extra weight. Fat has become a 4 letter word. We have been socialized to criticize and shame it outwardly and inwardly. The truth is, fat is just adipose tissue. It is just a chemical composition of biological material that resides in our bodies. It is necessary for survival. Women need a certain amount of fat to support our monthly cycles and pregnancy. Our brain is mostly fat. It is only a part of our body until we assign judgment to it. Life doesn’t have to be this way. Fat shaming gets you nowhere. Don’t believe me? How do you typically respond when you feel shame about your body? Do you commit to treating it better? Maybe for a short period of time, but generally the commitment is to lose weight as quickly as possible. That is not treating your body better. It is just a different side of the same coin as overeating. When we shame our body, we continue building an adversarial relationship. The more we fight it, the more it fights back. I am not asking you to love your body “as is”. I am simply asking you to stop hating it and treating it like your worst enemy. You cannot change your body in this moment. Wishing it to be different will not change it and will only lead you to feel more shameful. We spend so much energy hoping for something different in the present. Accepting your body as it is in this moment doesn’t mean you need to give up the desire to change your weight. It just means that you aren’t going to continue wasting energy on something that cannot be changed in this moment. Instead, try focusing your attention and emotion on changing your thoughts and actions. Focus on small steps that will get you closer to your goal.

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Weber State University and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. She has been working in the mental health field since 2001.

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