How Weight Stigma Hurts


What does weight stigma mean to you?

weight stigma awareness weekOver the next few months, the Binge Eating Disorder Association is spearheading a blog carnival designed to bring attention to the issue of weight stigma.  It’s a lead-up to National Weight Stigma Awareness Week, which I blogged about last week.

The focus of today’s carnival is the question, “What does weight stigma mean to you?”  I asked a few women at Green Mountain right now for their thoughts…and feelings.  Here’s what they said:

Weight stigma makes feel defeated.

“No matter what I do, I can’t be the “ideal” size.”

I get angry.

“I am mad at the world for making me feel bad about myself.”

I feel rejected and insecure because of weight stigma.

“People judge me because I’m larger.”

I don’t get the respect I deserve because of weight stigma.

“For instance, when I am job hunting, I am subject to preconceived notions because of my size.  I’m not evaluated as much on my skills as on my looks.”

I lack self esteem.

“I feel like I’m not good enough because I am larger than my friends.”

Our psychologist Darla sums it up.

[quote]”Weight stigma is soul crushing. Judgment based on size crumples the tender, budding esteem for which we are desperately searching. Deciding that we are not okay because of our size interrupts our ability to engage in living and we become more isolated and thus more vulnerable to depression, anxiety and feeling like we are okay in our own skin. Weight stigma scars, damages sense of Self, and invites self-loathing.”[/quote]

What does weight stigma mean to you? Let us know in comments.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha has been a guiding force at Green Mountain at Fox Run since 1986. In addition to overseeing a professional program that helps women establish sustainable approaches to healthy living, she is a respected thought leader when it comes to managing eating, emotions and weight. She has been a voice of reason for the last three decades in helping people move away from diets, an area in which she is personally as well as professionally versed. An accomplished writer and speaker, Marsha is the author of six books, including the online course Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals (co-authored by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Human Kinetics), What You Need to Know about Carbohydrates (Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics [The Academy]), What You Need to Know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (The Academy), and The Pregnancy Cookbook (co-authored by Donna Shields, RD, Berkeley Publishing). She has worked extensively on a national basis to educate the public about nutrition and the impact of dieting on eating behaviors, including binge eating and emotional eating. Active in many organizations helping to further the cause of health and wellness, Marsha currently serves as vice chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating and has been active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health in support of Health at Every Size(R) principles.

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