Ok, I'm probably going to get a lot of backlash over this, and to be honest I welcome it.
I want to give you a bit of background on this first before I delve into my opinion on the matter.
This is not me having a go at over-weight people, I was an overweight person and mentally I still am. I struggle with food ALL THE TIME!
I over-eat on occasion, then I beat myself up for doing it than force myself to work twice as hard as punishment. It's not the healthiest thing in the world to do, but so much do I value the weight-loss I have achieved, that I never want to go back to that overweight, unhappy, unhealthy person I was before. I internally criticise myself for the choices i make.
Am I internally fat shaming?Maybe, but it keeps me on track, and keeps me healthy.
When I was a lot younger than I am now, I was a chunky kid, so chunky in fact, the other kids called me Chunk, and it bothered the shit out of me. I was really unhappy about it but had no idea why I was fat, I would play all day, but I would be a machine with food, constantly overeating and getting fatter as I got older.
The bullying was horrible, I was constantly laughed at or had comments thrown at me. "Shut up fatty", or look there's "Chunk". It was not a good time for me, looking back on my time in secondary school, I don't have the fondest memories of it, something kids should have.
When I hit college, I discovered nights on the booze, smoking, and kebabs on the way home. I piled on the weight, became even more ashamed of myself for how I was and seeing other guys out, looking lean, having girls want to talk to them.
Then my dad got sick, he was not overweight, but he was extremely unhealthy. Very bad high sugar diet, smoked over 40 cigarettes a day, did little exercise. Pretty much me except I was overweight.
That initially made me spiral out of control, I ate to deal with the hard times, I smoked and drank more to escape, all the time, beating myself up for making myself worse and worse.
But eventually, I had the realisation that this way of life can't go on, or ill get sick too and with a lot of trial and error, I eventually got the determination to make a change to myself.
I trained like a man possessed, I was up every morning early, cycled into Dublin city, went to the gym, trained for 90 mins, went to work, cycled home, then some evenings id go for a walk. The problem was again, my food wasn't in check, I didn't know how to eat properly.
I considered a healthy meal to be a large bowl of pasta.After more time though, the weight did slowly shift as I learned more and more, I got to a healthy weight and life was good.
So good I decided I wanted to help people that were overweight, lose the weight properly, so I sold my bike and a few other things, saved money, and got my qualification as a personal trainer.
I worked my bollox off, going to work all day, then coming straight home to train people in the evening, it was exhausting but I loved it because I could see people getting really healthy, losing weight and feeling great about themselves.
Personal training was the job I was born to do!
So what has all this got to do with fat shaming?
Well I wanted to give you some background about myself, so you know I was fat, so you know that I care, and so you know I'm not saying this to bully, or make people feel small or ashamed.
I'm saying this because with this snowflake generation we will put a label of discrimination on anything just because we can.
Let me define what fat shaming is.
"the action or practice of humiliating someone judged to be fat or overweight by making mocking or critical comments about their size." - This is the Google definition.
So essentially this definition is bullying someone for being overweight, and rightly so, any form of bullying is wrong and should not be tolerated.
Unfortunately, we cannot criticise anyone for being overweight these days without being labelled a bully. Which I believe is completely wrong.
Being overweight is extremely unhealthy and leads to all kinds of diseases that are preventable.
I looked at urban dictionaries definition...
fat shaming is the act of poking fun of someone for being overweight or telling someone they are worthless, useless, lazy, or disgusting because they are overweight.
Like most terms, this has been adoptwisted by Radical Neofeminists to mean something very different. Under the RNF definition, it means " to make an overweight female feel in any way uncomfortable, usually by telling her anything is wrong with her weight."
This, unfortunately, includes Doctors telling them to lose weight for their health and suggesting diets or friends saying that their clothes are too tight, even men very politely refusing dates because they just don't find them attractive.
So we have changed the definition from bullying to any kind of criticism, even when it's from a position of respect and concern about their personal health.
Does commenting on someone's weight make them feel ashamed, even when it's from a perspective of concern and love? Yeah of course in most cases it probably does make them feel ashamed.
Say if we made a comparison to the smoker.
We could openly tell a smoker, they smell bad from smoking, it's disgusting, it makes them look unhealthy, I wouldn't date a smoker, their breath smells, they will get sick, do you know what you're doing to your body etc.
So, peoples, personal opinion is that smoking is wrong, and they have no problem telling smokers about it, but its a smokers decision to keep smoking or quit.
Does the same process not apply to overweight people or are they exempt of criticism because it's more visual to other people because an overweight person can feel offended by criticism.
I think there is a big difference between criticism and bullying, especially when criticism is from a concerned person trying to help someone on a path to self-destruction.
My biggest pride as a personal trainer is helping someone that feels a lack of self-worth and confidence in themselves, lose weight and feel good about themselves.
Then you have the argument from overweight people that they are not ashamed of their body, they have so much confidence and self-worth that they don't feel they need to lose weight.
And I have no problem with that, good on you, but...
What about the health implications, if nothing else, isn't that the most important thing? That this unhealthy lifestyle will catch up with you and eventually lead to health problems.
You could make the argument that you are fit, you exercise regularly so you have nothing to worry about, but that is definitely not the right way to view the situation.
There are plenty of people that exercise and still abuse their bodies in various ways. Rich Piana, the bodybuilder, worked out nearly every day, pumped his body full of steroids, energy drink and other processed garbage, and he died of heart disease.
There are plenty of cases of sudden death syndrome in athletes probably consuming caffeine products or other products that create problems internally even though they are extremely fit.
You may, or someday you may have children, and as important, as it is to teach them confidence and self-worth, its also a parents responsibility to teach them how to live a healthy lifestyle.
So you shouldn't overshadow what you claim to be a personal insult as something it's not when in a lot of cases its simply a show of concern, especially when it's from a person that cares about your own wellbeing.
So maybe we should try and remove the word fat shaming from language and break it down into two categories.
Fat bullying and fat criticism.
Fat bullying is just wrong, making fun of someone for being overweight is childish and immature.
Fat criticism, commenting constructively about their weight to induce a change in someone's behaviour or attitude is something I think needs to be accepted in society, as long as the intentions are from a good place, this I believe should be common practice.
The leading cause of death in the world today is coronory artery disease, which is basically fat deposits on the walls of the artery which comes from the lifestyles we lead, consuming too many bad foods, no exercise, smoking and drinking.
If this is not a reason to criticise someone's weight to push them towards making changes, I don't know what is.
If you want or need help with your own weight, struggle to get the motivation, or just need guidance, contact me at www.bodycoach.ie
No one that ever loses weight, regrets it!
Im gonna keep it as real and as vulgar as possible