Many of my friends are celebrating Thanksgiving today, many are having a “Screw Colonialism Turkey and Stuffing feast day”, many of my friends are just having Thursday. For those of you who are having a feast holiday today, or have one coming up in the next few months, or ever deal with people pushing your boundaries about your health and weight, here are some ideas to help get you through:
The holidays in the US seem to bring with them a much higher chance of having to deal with unsolicited health advice, weight bullying, diet talk, diet encouragement, negative body talk etc. There are some things that you can do to prepare and deal with it.
Consider the idea that your body is amazing – it breathes for you, pumps blood around all the time and does all kinds of cool things. It deserves respect and admiration. If people don’t recognize that, it’s 100% their problem and a big flaming sack of not yours.
Things that people say to you are almost always a reflection of where they are in their life – if they are engaging in body shaming, food policing or other inappropriate behavior, remember that it’s about them, not about you. You do not have to take it personally or internalize it.
That doesn’t mean that you have to allow it to happen either. You decide how people treat you and then you teach them how to treat you that way. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and consequences and then follow through. It’s ok to stand up for yourself, it’s ok to leave the room, it’s ok to leave the State. It’s also ok to just get through it, but if you take that path may I suggest that you spend a lot of energy making sure that you aren’t internalizing those messages.
Good intentions do not negate bad behavior unless you decide that they do.
It’s a feast holiday, so it’s possible that feeling guilty about eating defeats the point.
People are allowed to be on diets, but if they feel the need to be incredibly vocal about it consider that they may have some issues that they are dealing with. Again, this is a big flaming sack of not your problem. Other people’s choices do not invalidate your choices, and vice versa. Some dieters have a hard time with this – they need everyone to buy into dieting so that they can feel comfortable about their decision. That doesn’t obligate you to buy in.
Once more with feeling: Consider that your body is amazing – it breathes for you, pumps blood around all the time and does all kinds of cool things. It deserves respect and admiration. If people don’t recognize that, it’s 100% their problem and a big flaming sack of not yours.
Looking for your input:
I’ve decided to write another book. I’m an unwilling combatant in a war against me because of how I look. So is every other fat person. The other side of the war has a battle plan, and I think it’s time that I had one too. So the working title for my next book is “The War on Obesity: A Battle Guide for the Fat Side.” It will include sections about armor (studies that we can reference, facts and statistics etc.) as well as situational scenarios (both offensive and defensive) with real situations (at the doctor’s, at the gym etc.) and options and suggested scripting for handling them. I’m in the proces of outlining the book now and I wanted to ask for some input:
The first chance for participation if you are interested is to let me know what scenarios you would like me to cover in the book, or what information would help you feel prepared to fight back against the war on obesity. It would be awesome if you would e-mail your ideas to me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!
Like the blog? Check this stuff out (purchasing these also helps support my activism work, which I really appreciate):
The Book: Fat: The Owner’s Manual The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here to order
The Dance Class DVDs: Fun classes for all levels! Click here for the details
Become a Member and Get Special Deals from Size Positive Businesses
I do size acceptance activism full time. A lot what I do, like answering over 4,000 e-mails from readers each month, giving talks to groups who can’t afford to pay, and running projects like the Georgia Billboard Campaign etc. is unpaid, so I created a membership program so that people who read the blog and feel they get value out of it and want to support the work I do can become members for ten bucks a month To make that even cooler, I’ve now added a component called “DancesWithFat Deals” which are special deals to my members from size positive merchants. Once you are a member I send out an e-mail once a month with the various deals and how to redeem them – your contact info always stays completely private.
Speaking Schedule 2013 – I am now working on my speaking schedule for next year. If you would like me to give a talk at your university, job/company, or organization just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org and we’ll talk about the options to make it work for your situation and budget.