You may have seen an article today regarding ‘fat shaming’. A group named Overweight Haters Ltd, have been handing out this card to people THEY consider to be overweight on the London underground. 

Let me start by saying that the language being used on these cards is completely outrageous, it is completely offensive and derogatory.

What I really really dislike about this is that they are making an assumption that overweight people just eat, don’t think about their weight, and don’t care about themselves. Perhaps in some cases this is accurate, but for most of us battling with excess pounds that couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

We spend our days plagued with what to eat, what not to eat, are we going to the gym, do I look ‘fat’ in this, does this cover my stomach…

Who decided that being slim equals complete happiness including love? 

Being slim, means you are smaller, and your clothes are smaller. This doesn’t create happiness. Happiness comes from self acceptance, creating a lifestyle you can love and live every damn day. I found a partner when I was ‘fat’ (and apparently an ugly human!) the man even proposed and married me.

Now to the part I somewhat agree with…I do agree that a lot of money is spent by the NHS for tackling obesity and related health issues. 

However I think perhaps we need to stop and look at the bigger picture! 

Knowledge and understanding!

When I was about 17 I went to my local GP, she leant over and touched my arm and said to me dear, there is a bit too much of you isn’t there…’

I was a teenager, who had been on and off diets since I was 14, and was being told by a very obese Doctor that there was ‘too much of me’. On what planet does this help my confidence? At 19 I was advised I could not train at Bannatynes gym because my blood pressure was too high during the gym induction – at the time I had a bit of an irrational fear of blood pressure machines and didn’t expect to be having all kinds of tests to use a gym. I was told I couldn’t train and must go to my Doctor to be ‘signed off’. This time a different Doctor, she was stunned at this, she couldn’t believe I had been shunned away from trying to make myself healthier and gave me credit for not just quitting!

You see on both of these occasions my confidence level was already pretty low and I was made to feel even worse about myself. Yes, the GP was right to be concerned by my weight, but there was a better way of saying it. Yes, the trainer at the gym was doing his job, but again there could have been a more tactful way of explaining why I had to get my GP to agree to me exercising. 

So rather than handing out these cards to members of the public who are going about their day, what could be done?

I firmly believe there needs to be more education in schools regarding healthy foods and exercise, grocery stores also need to make more effort in promoting the healthier options #NotJustInJanuary but Doctors need to work with trainers and coaches who can build a personal relationship with clients. A trainer – client relationship is delicate, and is built on trust and understanding. Your trainer will push you, but it’s because they know you can do it!

Gyms need to offer an incentive to keep clients coming, not just an incentive to join and then not turn up for the next 11 months. These January offers really irritate me because a cheap deal doesn’t keep someone motivated!! What are the gyms and trainers doing to keep clients coming weekly, monthly and yearly?

I do not agree with fat shaming in any form, but I do agree that we need to help one another to build better, healthier lives. With the support of others we can achieve anything, but negativity will just continually keep us battling our demons. 

Read the article here

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