Weight stigma – judgment or stereotyping based on a person’s weight, shape or size – is everywhere we turn. With this epidemic of shaming people about their bodies, is it any wonder that women who struggle with eating and weight often find it nearly impossible to like their bodies?
According to Marsha Hudnall, MS, RD, co-owner and president of Green Mountain and chairwoman of Weight Stigma Awareness Week, “Weight stigma haunts our personal lives, where we are often the biggest perpetrator of the problem for ourselves as we stay mired in body dissatisfaction based on the society-wide belief that beauty and worth is about how we look, and it’s contained in one size, one shape.”
With our culture’s beauty ideal only coming in one size and one shape, many participants at Green Mountain tell us that the thought of loving or even liking their bodies seems impossible. Therefore, in our program, we focus on moving to a place of body neutrality. If “body like” or “body love” doesn’t feel authentic, moving toward body neutrality is a more realistic destination and helps shut down the negative self talk.
When we engage in negative self talk and body hate, the worse we feel, the more we eat to cope, the more our self-loathing grows (body and self), the more we eat to cope. Negative body image, fat talk and self-loathing are issues that are intricately intertwined with emotional and binge eating.
So, how do we shut it down? What do we do when hating our bodies or the negative self talk feel engrained?
Today, Marsha interviews Amy Pershing, LCSW, ACSW, chair of 2013 Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), about body acceptance, size diversity, weight stigma and healing in the webinar, “When Liking Your Body Seems Impossible.”