Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Weight Prejudice

I admit I wonder what other people eat and how they relate to food.  At Dunkin Donuts this morning, the woman ahead of me ordered hot chocolate and a bagel with butter. Were they both for her, does she exercise, what will she eat for lunch, does she eat lunch?

All these years removed from compulsive eating, anorexia and bulimia, I’m still curious how “normal” people eat and  wonder who is a normal eater and who isn’t and how that is defined, anyway.

In my last post, I talked about supermodel Tess Holliday, a plus-sized woman with seemingly fantastic self-confidence. I love her attitude and her message – love yourself at very size.

Holliday has gotten backlash for her weight and her message – some feel she’s a bad role model for women, particularly young women. They say she’s saying it’s fine to be fat, and that’s bad.

Most naysayers point to health-related issues that may occur with excess weight. I suppose that could be part of it, but woman’s intuition tells me that many people just don’t like fatness.

When I was 60 pounds heavier than I am now, I was in fine health. I wasn’t physically comfortable, but all my vitals were good and there was nothing wrong with me. But I can’t tell you how many people insisted I needed to lose weight. Near strangers raised eyebrows when I ordered dessert, asking if I “really need that”?  

When I weighed my current weight, but suffered from severe bulimia, puking frequently through the day and over-dosing on laxatives, the compliments flew because I was thin.  No one made any comments about how or what I ate. In fact, many sought my advice on how to lose and maintain a slim weight. But I was so sick and did permanent damage to my health.

So, you can’t really gauge someone’s health by her weight.

I am curious about someone like Ms. Holliday’s approach to eating. I don’t judge her – it’s her body (!), but just wonder if it is possible to have a healthy diet and healthy relationship with food and still weigh 280 pounds at 5’5? It seems it would take a lot of food and a lot of eating to maintain that weight.

My curiosity stems from my own lifetime of food and body issues. I always wonder…


  1. I do that too sometimes. Like there are still foods I'm afraid of and when I see people nonchalantly eat a piece of cake or two I'm wondering if they feel panic at all. Not bc I judge them but bc I'm curious bc like you- I've been disordered for so long that even though I'm healthy now those thoughts remain.
    I like Tess and her message but it is so upsetting how mean people are to her. I can't read any of the comments on her online posts bc it's awful. but I do follow several body positive accounts on Instagram and it is cool to see normal people of various sizes being happy in their skin. I wonder if seeing something like that would have mattered to me when I was a teenager? Who knows!

  2. Shawna; i don't understand the hatred of fat - it's just skin. What are we so afraid of that we have to torture someone else? It's like racism - it's just a different skin pigmentation? it makes no sense. We must be a really insecure race that we have to put others down. Thanks for writing, my friend. Glad you're posting on your blog!!!!!!

  3. I totally agree with you! It's not about health but people's hate of fatness. I've experienced this most of my life. I've been super skinny from starvation diets only to gain double or more back. Now I'm considered bigger, but I eat super healthy and work out four times a week. My lifestyle is healthier than most thin people's lifestyle, yet you probably can't tell by looking at me. I've started taking turmeric pills and drinking turmeric golden milk daily (turmeric fights inflammation). I've lost 20lbs since January. It's not always about what you eat, but inflammation. Sadly there is too much money to be made with diets for the truth about weight loss to surface.

  4. Amber; Good to hear from you! I agree with you, there is such prejudice against fat. I will never understand why. Why does anyone care what someone else weighs? it has nothing to do with me. Thanks again for writing