My Weight Loss Motives Are My Business!
I want to run up and down the streets screaming this. I want to give every woman who has chosen to lose weight a tee shirt with this statement printed on the front. I just may post it on all of my social media accounts too.
Some of the champions of the Body Positive Movement are making their cause look just as vile and ugly as the weight loss industry’s tactics of shaming women into buying their products.
Here are just a few of the super general and slightly judgmental remarks that I have come across recently.
Wanting to lose weight is self-hate.
You don’t need to lose weight. You need to lose the self-judgement.
You don’t need to lose weight. You need to focus on health.
HOW. DO. YOU. KNOW???
Listen. I am all for encouraging women to love themselves and accept themselves at ANY size- even if they are working on changing that size. However, when you get on a pedestal and judge whether or not someone’s preference for her HER OWN BODY is fueled by love or hate, you are OVERREACHING AND OVERSTEPPING. I think Girls Gone Strong said it best- “My Body My Business”.
In my heart, I believe that the Body Positive Police have good motives. They don’t mean to be condescending, judgmental, or alienating. However, when enthusiasm to help is taken too far, you become an extremist. You become someone who is more excited about spreading HER TRUTH than truly connecting, helping, and serving. Here’s why it happens…
ENLIGHTENED PEOPLE OFTEN BECOME JUDGMENTAL PEOPLE
I get it. We don’t mean to do it but we do. I said we because I initially did the same thing when I discovered how to lose weight.
The Path from Enlightened to Judgmental
Here’s how it goes…
You figure out why you struggled. (Enlightenment)
You fix your struggle. (Freedom)
You want to help others. (Enthusiasm)
You assume that your struggle is hers and that YOU can fix it by enlightening her. (JUDGEMENT)
So, armed with your enlightenment and enthusiasm, you set out to save the masses- whether or not they have the problem or want your help. You hurt the very cause that you want to champion because people do not like to be judged. They will run AWAY from you rather than toward you.
Like I said, I have done it too. I have since pulled out my chair to have a seat. I am asking that the Body Positive Police sit right next to me. Do not sit because your movement is a bad one. I want you to sit down because your movement is amazing and you are killing it!
The difference between helping and pushing away is NOT ASSUMING. Ask a question. Qualify your statement, if you are going to make one without the privilege of knowing the other person’s story. Here’s one to try on for size: “If you are losing weight because you think the sweet stuff is reserved for the smaller people...”
If you believe that it is your job to spread the gospel of body positivity, consider taking off your police hat to reach more people who actually WANT AND NEED your help.
Here are the three things I want you to remember as we part…
My motives for losing weight (or not) are not your business unless I make them so. Please quit with your blanket statements that assume that you know my motives. Please realize that you don’t know my story. Please realize that my choice to lose weight is equal to your choice to color your hair, straighten it, pierce your ears or your nose, or get that third tattoo. You don’t know why I did it. And, unless I share them with you, my motives aren’t yours to know or to judge.
Judging people for wanting to lose weight is no more honorable than shaming people into losing weight.
Ouch. I know you won’t like this one. But, your statements sound just like the ones you hate. “Wanting to lose weight is self-hate” falls on our ears the same way “Get rid of bat wings with this workout program” falls on yours.
Recognize the difference between your opinion and fact.
You may believe that the only reason that I would want to lose weight is because I believe that lighter bodies are better than heavier ones. You may think that I believe that my current body is unacceptable. I know that you are concerned that I have swallowed the poisonous Kool-Aid of the weight loss industry and therefore am trying to make myself more worthy by shrinking. In reality, I want to lose what some would consider vanity pounds to feel lighter on my feet when I run. I want to keep up with my kids with more ease and know that being lighter helps. I actually want to feel more powerful when I hoist my body up and over that pull up bar while screaming, “GIRL POWER”.
In closing, if you want to help spread the love of body positivity- start a conversation. Ask a question. Listen to the other side. Share YOUR story. Allow me to see myself in your story if I can. But, please stop assuming that your story is mine. Stop trying to fix me just like the weight loss industry that you claim to fight.