"Fat Applauding" why it may do more harm than good
I am absolutely without a doubt ALL for woman of every shape and size to love themselves! Everyone has the right to feel beautiful no matter what their size, weight or BMI may say. We also have the right to feel worthy and valued for who we are not what the scale says either. I believe that acceptance is the first step to making important changes in both mindset and nutrition that will have a positive impact on your health and mental well being. We should all be grateful for our body, the amazing things it can do and the life it affords us.Saying all that, today I want to address a “trend” that doesn’t sit quite right with me. This trend has been coined “fat applauding” and involves woman who are very over weight and I’m not talking 20-30lbs. I’m talking about woman who are medically classified as obese. As I do with my clients, I’m going to get real with you here. If you are currently healthy, although obese, you have much to be thankful for because the risk factors for someone with this disease are severe. However, we are all “healthy” right up until the day when we are NOT. With Obesity comes the high risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes and that’s the short list. The reality is, the question is not “IF” you will develop a disease related to Obesity, it is “WHEN”. I know I don’t have to further discuss just how serious cancer, diabetes or heart disease are. You also don’t need a tutorial on the impact these diseases are having on a large majority of our population, not to mention our children. Due to the childhood Obesity epidemic, now, for the first time in our history, it is predicted that many young children will not out-live their parents. Really??? With all of the advances in modern medicine, this is what we have come to?? Clearly there is something VERY VERY wrong with the state of our health in North America. We indeed have a serious problem. A problem I am passionate about helping people with by adopting a whole food diet, but more importantly by helping them FEEL GOOD and treat themselves and their body with love. It is with these concerns in mind that I wonder if “fat applauding” is doing much more harm than good. I have owned and operated two commercial weight loss clinics and I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am for that experience. It humbled me and helped me truly understand how difficult losing weight really is for most people. Many times I have spent in excess of 2 hours in a very small room during an initial consultation listening to their stories, providing support, offering lots of hugs and wiping their tears. After hundreds of these consultations, I can say, without a doubt, none of these woman seeking weight loss counselling *just* needed nutrition or exercise advice. The reason is simple- the disordered eating that led them to put on weight is the “symptom” not the “root cause”. The root cause can certainly vary greatly, we are all unique. However, If there is one thing I could hang my hat on and say most of these clients had in common, it was their lack of love for themselves. None of them wanted to be overweight, to feel uncomfortable in their own skin or to deal with the health issues such as PCOS, diabetes, thyroid disorders etc. All of them struggled in very different ways. These woman and yes a few men were absolutely AMAZING. They sacrificed themselves for their friends, family, kids and often this sacrifice was part of their “job” too. There were many nurses in my clinic. But what they didn’t do was prioritize themselves. They didn’t show themselves the kind of love they were pouring on everyone else in their lives. They would do ANYTHING not to have attention showered on them. I’ve been there, (click here to learn about my transformation) and that’s why I feel their pain because many of these woman are mothers. They KNOW they don’t have the energy, patience and longevity they need to be the best mother/caregiver, wife, sister etc. they could be. I would always use the analogy “if the plane is going down, you have to put the oxygen mask on you first, otherwise you are NO GOOD to your kids”. Inevitably this is when what I was saying would really sink in, this is when they finally “got it”. So my point here is this. I believe strongly we all need more love. Part of showing yourself more love, means feeding yourself real whole food that will nourish you and make you FEEL GOOD. If you are REALLY honest, I think most of you would agree that processed, fast, fried or nutrient devoid food does NOT make you FEEL GOOD! Rarely do we binge on food because we are ecstatic. Eating subpar food often leaves us feeling, full, gassy, bloated, guilty and regretful. None of those things FEEL GOOD. When someone is over-feeding themselves, especially with the wrong food it is due to multiple underlying factors such as stress, anxiety, depression or feeling unloved, not just by others, but by themselves. We have to recognize there are MUCH greater issues at hand. There are so many underlying factors as to why we have an obesity epidemic in North America. Yes, the “Standard American Diet” is certainly one of them, sugar, processed food, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, GMO’s etc. But underlying all of that, there are millions of people out there who don’t FEEL GOOD and that is fuelling a global health crisis that is Obesity. We CAN NOT just say its “ok” to be obese and be proud of it because that is not going to support or encourage the change that needs to happen. Our children and future generations depend on it. If we are to say its “ok” and “applaud” Obesity, then we may as well say any other addiction or disease such as “alcoholism” or “drug abuse” are ok and should be applauded also. They too are just the manifestation of what is going on deep beneath the surface. They are diseases and so is Obesity!
So I stand against “Fat Applauding”. I’m not going to say “bravo” to a “real woman” (aren’t we all “real woman”?) campaign of obese woman posing in lingerie and embrace it as the new “normal”. I believe doing so undermines the seriousness of this global health crisis. I absolutely want my daughters to love themselves without feeling they have to be “perfect”! However, there are MANY different shapes and sizes a woman can be and still be “healthy” as shown in the picture posted below.
We do not have to strive to be a size 0 or even a size 8. But we do have to strive to be healthy and FEEL GOOD and Obesity is NOT HEALHY it is a DISEASE! Let’s treat it as such and support those people who suffer from it by helping them take baby steps to FEELING GOOD from the inside out. It doesn’t have to be complicated! Just provide your body with nutrient dense food to give it the raw materials it needs to thrive and top it off with a little sweat too! Most importantly, love yourselves enough to make YOURSELF and your HEALTH a priority!
Best in health,Ciara Foy xo