How Weight Stigma Hurts: Hating Our Bodies

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As part of the Binge Eating Disorder Association’s build-up to Weight Stigma Awareness Week, we offer this second post on weight stigma.  It’s part of a blog carnival; check it out to find other what other folks have to say about  weight stigma.  You can also check out our first post on how weight stigma hurts.  Here are my thoughts for today’s topic of how weight stigma increases body dissatisfaction.

Body dissatisfaction permeates our culture and psyches. “If only this part wasn’t so….”  Or, “If only if I looked like her….”

The focus on our bodies takes us away from the connect with the Self. The Self is that part of us that breathes deeply in the moment, experiences of pleasures of a light wind on our face or the crackly of the fire on a crisp fall night. It is a part of us that is not tuned into the critical voice, the judging and frequently damning assessment of our weight or size.

I was reading a poem the other day which speaks to this issue of weight stigma, body dissatisfaction and self worth.

Unrecognizable–by Jace

I am untrained in the teachings of how to love me.

Another wounded soul, I can love so easily.

But the soul that whispers inside me, bones deep

Is too tortured and skeletal, too dusty to sweep.

It cries in the sunshine, it cries in the dark,

I ignore its sounds and reflection, its images too sharp.

I don’t want to know its pain, so I suffocate and strangle.

Once so full of potential, now it can barely dangle.

If I keep you inside me, can you help let me see

What a few others have seen, who have bothered with me?

If I acknowledge you’re real and really alive

Will you uncloak the truth, if I take that dive?

Can you answer my questions, can I trust your word

Will I lie to myself with all I’ve said yet not heard?

 

When we are dissatisfied with our selves, be it our body, weight or being, we are only half alive. It is through satisfaction and enjoyment that hope is born for the possibility to embrace the moment and the Self.


One response to “How Weight Stigma Hurts: Hating Our Bodies”

  1. body imagemania says:

    I liked this.Self love is an important aspect to living happier lives.We need to love and accept who we are regardless of our body sizes and shapes.To do this, we have to acknowledge that everyone is different and so are we.

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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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