Fatshaming/Fitshaming/Skinnyshaming: A Discussion

reflection

(Note: I am not here to tell you that you’re too fit, too skinny, too fat, etc. This is your body. Not mine. This is just a discussion of what I have experienced on my end of things.)

My friend Bri wrote a blog post today about her journey and the bumps she has run into when being with other people. Bri has experienced Skinnyshaming and Fitshaming. I am here to discuss both with special guest, Fatshaming.

Most of my life (after High School) I have been overweight. A long time ago, I didn’t even see myself as being overweight. I was happy. I was curvy. There was nothing wrong with me. I started to get into the idea of being overweight wasn’t a bad thing. I was young and had years on my life so why should it be a problem?

This is when I experienced Fatshaming. It is 100% real in society and people experience it so very often. I was called aggressively and passive aggressively every derogatory word for fat that you can think of. I became so upset by it, that I refused to be healthy out of spite.

But, the more I researched, the more I found out there were other kinds of shaming. Fitshaming seemed like something people didn’t do, really. But, Skinnyshaming was just as real as Fatshaming. A lot of my friends would grok at skinny people, saying that they made fat people look bad. For a while, I joined in. That’s until my friend Heidi cleared that up really quick.

Heidi is a beautiful, slender girl who is hilarious, amazing, and intelligent. When Heidi pointed out that there was Skinnyshaming, I watched all of it happen at once. People would tell her to eat something or tell her she’s too skinny and some people even said she looked anorexic. Heidi just has fast metabolism. And she looks really great. But, people constantly railed her for her slender frame.

When I started Crossfit, I didn’t think that I would understand Fitshaming. I thought it was a myth. Something that would never happen. I surrounded myself with so many amazing people from Crossfit that I didn’t notice.

That is, until my husband started discussing that he was doing it.

My husband (and may the gods bless him) friends people at random on social media with no intent of filtering them out or unfriending them. If someone is mean to him, he lets it roll of his shoulder.

“You’re going to kill/hurt yourself!”

“Fitness? Gross.”

“Wow. So, you’re going to just get all nasty and bulky?”

“You talk about Crossfit too much.”

“I bet I can outweigh you.”

To some, this isn’t a big deal. To me? It was.

I didn’t think that someone could be angry about Mike’s or my choice of being healthy and bettering ourselves. But, they were. Some hate it. Some mock it. Even on his photographs from the Competition, people made passive aggressive jokes about it.

In getting excited for Mike’s weight loss, the comments were mixed between cheers and jeers. Some people even pinned me about making it about his size and not his personality. The truth of it is, I married Mike at his heaviest. I am going to love him no matter what happens. But, I will not be shy about being proud of him.

That’s when I learned:

If people can’t support you bettering yourself, screw them. Never feel bad for bettering yourself and being healthy. You should never let someone’s poor choice of words stop you from achieving your goals.

If they keep it up when you tell them you’re not comfortable with their comments? Do you really want to surround yourself with those types of people?

It’s a hard lesson I had to learn when I started Crossfit. I have less friends than I did but I am happier because I have friends who are willing to cheer me on. You have to surround yourself with people who lift you up and not push you down.

Now, I know that there are people out there who don’t support our decision to be healthy. But, a lot of them kind of keep quiet about it. This is something I am fine with. You don’t have to be vocal in supporting me but you also don’t have to be vocal in not supporting me.

At the end of the day, just remember: Your body. Your choices.

You wanna be healthy? Do it.

You don’t wanna work out? Do it.

You don’t wanna eat healthy? Rock on.

You feel awesome in that dress you worked so hard to get into? Hell yea.

Ain’t my business.

To people who are rude consistently even after you express discomfort? Bye Felicia.

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