Are you aware that last week was Eating Disorder Awareness Week across Canada?
Here in Vancouver BC Place was lit up light purple to bring awareness to eating disorders (which I was totally unaware of!) and there were multiple ways to spread the message across social media.
Even still though, it’s not something I heard a whole lot about. This is something I truly believe we need to shed more light on. There is a sad world of unhealthy behaviour and negative self-image hiding right under our noses. In some cases we can’t see it and others we pretend we don’t, most often because we don’t know what to say.
While reading health & fitness articles and scouring social media for fitness-related topics I see multiple stories each day about individuals who have overcome eating disorders or are working on beating them. Some chose to not eat, some chose the binge-and-purge cycle, and others combined excessive exercise with minimal food intake. Some partook in all three.
For some reason the amount of people writing about beating their eating disorders never shocked me. I think oh that’s awesome they’re working on it! Good for them! and that’s about it.
But what really horrified me was coming across some of the pro-eating disorder hashtags on Instagram. It was one of those cases where you really don’t want to keep looking but you can’t help yourself. Young girls writing about feeling “fat” because they ate 150 calories (I’m totally serious). Pictures of collar bones and hip bones and thigh gaps. Horrible comments made by women about their bodies. It broke my heart.
And yet while I cringe when I see people having these feelings towards their bodies, I have to admit I’m totally guilty of fat-talking myself as well. “I feel so fat.” “I look fat right now.” “I’m having a fat day.” While I know I’m not overweight by any means, there are days where I legitimately feel like this, and then other days I just make these comments because I’m too full from breakfast or dinner.
I’ve decided that it’s time to remove the adjective “fat” from my life, and I invite you to do the same. The word “fat” has such a negative, hurtful connotation to it, and it makes me so sad to see people define themselves by the size of their body and put it down for what it doesn’t look like. Pardon me, but your weight doesn’t define how smart you are, or how funny you are, or what a nice person you are. It has absolutely nothing to do with that.
It’s okay to have days where you don’t feel like yourself or phases where your pants are a little tighter than they used to be. But don’t put yourself down because of this. Eat something that will make you feel good, get sweaty, and do something nice for yourself. It’s okay to want to improve yourself, but look at the big picture. Eating too much at a family dinner or indulging in your favourite meals here and there isn’t the end of the world.
Stop working towards your goal weight or body fat percentage. You can’t let a number control how good or bad you feel about yourself. Stop striving for thigh gaps and abs and hip bones. They may be beautiful, but just like every other body, it’s because they’re unique. They’re these fucking crazy piles of cells, just like you are, that do millions of little tiny reactions to keep themselves alive, just like yours do. Next time you want to bash your body, think of all the wicked things it can do! Put them to use!
Find things to love about yourself in your current state, don’t think about how you’ve love yourself once you reach your goal state. If you don’t have a thigh gap, guest what….that’s okay! You can eat on the couch and if you drop your food your legs will catch it. If you do have a thigh gap, that’s great too! You can stand with your feet together and have someone throw something between your legs. That’s pretty cool.
YOU are you, regardless of your pant size and what you look like. We receive so much negativity from external sources throughout the day. Don’t our souls need a little TLC when we’re in the safety of our own company? It’s time to end the fat talk people. No more feeling “fat” after a big meal. No more looking “fat” in those jeans. No more comments about that old acquaintance that got “fat”. Let’s just stop it, okay?