A celebrity recently posted about her weight loss and there was a response from 2 different sides. This episode was inspired by Adele’s recent weight loss but what we talk about is true for anyone you know who loses a significant amount of weight.
One group of people were praising the weight loss and one group were upset by the weight loss.
The first group are dieters - those who believe that skinner = better, that weight equates to health, these are people that subscribe to the main stream diet culture that we live in, no surprises at all here really. We know people get praise for weight loss, it’s one of the many reasons we can even get sucked back into wanting to lose weight ourselves. This reaction is Predictable and quite frankly boring. We all knew people would have this reaction, they always do, its old it’s played out so lets move onto the next perspective that is mostly what we’re seeing online now.
The second group were mad, they were triggered, they were upset. These are the people who are working on their own relationship with food and their bodies. They are working to get out of the diet mentality. They see a prominent person go from being a fat person to a thin person and it causes feelings - these may include worry that maybe they SHOULD be pursuing weight loss after all, and disappointment that yet another prominent, fat woman has now fit herself into the mold of what a famous person is supposed to look like, one less fat woman to represent other body types in the media.
It IS upsetting when we see ourselves in someone and that person changes in a way that we no longer identify with, it feels like a break up almost. Like “you understood me and now you don’t”.
We get it!
And it is okay to respond in whatever way you responded - having compassion for every person is the best way to find peace for yourself. Most people still live entrenched in diet culture not even KNOWING they live in a diet culture - we all lived in that space at one time or another.
Our response to this persons weight loss is about US, not them.
Just like we always say, others people’s comments about your body is about them not you, it’s the same thing here.
So yes praising weight loss promotes fatphobia and we could talk about that for the whole episode but we’ve already seen a ton of people discussing this side of things- and it’s obvious for those who already are working on disentangling themselves from diet culture which is everyone listening to this podcast.
What is less obvious is why comments like this are not useful either:
This is a comment I saw on an article from the fat acceptance side of the argument.
"She will probably just gain the weight back since DIETS DON'T WORK".
Yes, drastic weight loss is usually not maintainable. BUT IT IS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS.
Can you imagine if we made comments like this about another woman on a topic other than weight loss? Like- oh she won the lottery? She’ll probably spend it all and be broke again anyways…
And truthfully It’s completely fine if she gains the weight back, it’s fine if she doesn’t - it’s her body and it has nothing to do with us.
We know someone else’s weight loss can be triggering and we might turn to undermining the person who has lost weight - this is not the answer.
The key is to heal OUR relationship with our own bodies so that others’ bodies don’t effect our body peace.
If no one reacted to her weight loss - her post didn’t even mention weight, she was thanking front line workers during the pandemic -
Bodies would just become free to fluctuate and do what they will without judgement, shame or praise.
Ironically, this would also be a world where we wouldn't feel like we have to manipulate our bodies in order to not be judged, shamed or to seek praise…
Win win all around.
If you are ever upset by someone’s weight loss, turn it around to you - what does this reaction say about my beliefs about bodies, weight and the trust I have or lack of in my own body.
Triggers are hard but they are helpful. It gives us so much insight into what we can continue to work on.
Also - we want people to stop judging our bodies, we want the world to accept all bodies, we want our bodies to be nobody’s business but our own but then we so easily have so much to say about someone who has lost weight.
NOBODY’S BODY IS OUR BUSINESS - whether they gain weight or lose weight it is not our place to say a word.
If you are looking to find more peace in YOUR body so other’s weight loss doesn’t affect you be sure to take a look at our 4 week course - it will be open until May 30th. We go over food, movement, body image and mindset all from a body acceptance and non diet perspective. www.thebodylovesociety.com/course