Ok – I need to get this off my chest! A few months ago I posted something on our FB page that received some harsh comments:
The last thing I want to do is “fat shame;” I want to explain myself.
First of all, you are beautiful. No matter what your size is or what your skin looks like, you are beautiful. Big, small, and all shapes in between.
Our media has for too long glorified an unrealistic body image, especially for women, but men too. How many times have you been watching a movie and thought to yourself, “Hmmm. Everyone in this police department looks like they were recruited from a fashion magazine.” Soooo unrealistic! I actually appreciate some of the newer shows that show regular people – of all backgrounds and sizes and shapes. I love it. I love to see diversity. I really do think all people are beautiful.
BUT – yes, there is a “but” – being overweight is a health symptom. As a health practitioner, it’s something that indicates to me some type of imbalance in the body.
Can you tell if someone is overweight based on how they LOOK? Sometimes. But not always. Some people can hide excess fat very well because they are tall or have very little muscle tone.
In Chinese medicine, there are 5 elements: water, fire, earth, metal, and wood. People who have a more ROUND shape tend to be more weighted (no pun intended) in the water element. I can think of several examples of people who are water element folks who are in excellent shape!
Sammo Hung has been a Kung Fu master for years, doing his own fight scenes, as is expected in Kung Fu theater. He can move and is in great shape! Is he overweight or unhealthy? I have no idea – I’m not his doctor. But he’s certainly talented, flexible, and strong.
For another example of a water element body shape person in great shape and an amazing athlete, check out Amanda Lacount, a modern, young hip-hop dancer.
Weight loss – for the sake of changing the look of the body alone – is a sad path. If you’re not happy with your body, focusing on changing it is usually unsuccessful and stressful. The stress of not loving yourself actually causes more weight gain.
What I like to help people with is getting healthier. The side effect tends to be – your weight goes into a healthier range. It has nothing to do with changing the look of your body. It has to do with giving your body the nutrients it needs; the rest it needs to have healthier hormone balance; and movement to have great blood circulation.
So, here, Little Debbie snack cakes are shown with their logo altered. Debbie has a rounder face and a double chin. Maybe that’s really her natural shape and she’s totally healthy! In that case, I apologize.
If someone were to eat a lot of Little Debbie snack cakes, which are not only full of sugar but also processed grains and food chemicals, it would have an adverse effect on their health. Perhaps it would lead to type II diabetes or weight gain or many other health issues. The point of the cartoon is just to say “don’t eat this shit.” So here is my public apology for body shaming Debbie. I’m sorry. I meant to take aim at her shit-food, not her body.
The advertising for junk food is out of control. Watching TV you see one ad for an unnaturally huge ice cream sundae, and the next ad is for a pharmaceutical drug. The creators behind these ingenious ads are geniuses. They know how to make both seem like very attractive options.
We unfortunately live in a time where over 71.6%(!!!) of Americans are overweight and 30.3 million(!!!) Americans are diabetic. Excess weight is hard on your joints and your heart. I’m all for body positivity. Even if you’re diabetic or overweight, you are still gorgeous. The goal is not to change what your body looks like but to feel good in your body.