It's the latest trend for the political correctness lobby. Apparently using the word 'fat', or warning loved ones they are too fat and putting their health in jeopardy, means you are a bully, and wait for it, 'fat shaming'. Now we all know that running around the streets teasing people because they are too fat is both wrong and cruel, however the latest PC hook known as 'fat shaming' is dangerously misguided. Why? Because if someone is too fat, they are putting their physical health at risk. I would actually suggest to these folk that they are 'life shaming' by criticising those for warning loved ones that are too fat, and for wishing to ban any conversation about the dangerous risks of being morbidly obese.
So if the definition of 'fat shaming' is talking about fat for purposes of saving life, or helping someone to feel better about themselves, then in my opinion it is all for the good. If someone is fat (and I used to be), then they are fat. So yes, fat shaming can actually be good for one's health. And let's remember that motivation is about stick as well as carrot. Many fat people are actually massively motivated to lose weight by being told they are too fat, and being instructed to take appropriate action to slim down. But of course, I fully appreciate that what works for one, may not work for the other.
One also has to remember that being ashamed of being too fat is actually positive. Who wants to be fat and proud and likely to die early from health complications? Shame is a strong motivator and is in my view something, when used constructively, that will motivate those who are unhappy and fat to lose weight fast. And numerous fat people welcome this breath of fresh air approach. They welcome the opportunity to face the truth head on, be directed to take action, and reprimanded if they dare raise any excuse as to why they are not losing weight. Yes, fat shaming works for many more than you may first think. Perhaps that is because as a society we have become nervous of delivering home truths, for fear of being labelled 'the nasty one' when in fact it is arguably the politically correct lobby that are most cruel.
Take Christine Drane from Scunthorpe who lost an incredible 10 stone by being told she was too fat, and told in no uncertain terms that she would lose weight. Christine at one point weighed in at 24 stone and was so fat she broke her sofa. Having tried numerous commercial diets she turned to a process of authoritarian and motivational coaching and hypnotherapy. She explained 'I had tried everything and was so unhappy. I resonated with the authoritarian approach and my mind soon became motivated as I realised I could be the person I desperately wanted to become'. Having lost nearly half her body weight Christine smiles and adds 'I now wear make-up, have more self-belief, and am able to walk without being in pain'. If Christine's experience was fat shaming then you can't really argue it has no place.
Constructive Fat Shaming
So what constitutes constructive fat shaming? Listed below are the 'Do's, and from those, common sense can be applied to understand the 'Don'ts'.
1. Use the word 'fat' constructively by ensuring your tone is considerate and non-aggressive.
2. Support friends and family to be anti-fat. Do this by agreeing an action plan to help them reduce their weight.
3. Be a role model. Demonstrate to others how you are mentally in control of food, and how you choose to enjoy living the fat free life.
4. Be proactive and deliver constructive fat warnings. If you observe loved ones becoming too fat, sit them down and explain your concern with an arm around their shoulder.
5. Tell loved ones to observe fat people's habits and create an aversion to them. Remember to encourage them to judge the habit and not the person.
6. Remind loved ones about the realities of being too fat. This may include the fact that employers often discriminate against fat people, most people are not attracted to fat people, and that fat people often die early. Yes the truth hurts, but it can also motivate.
7. Always explain why you are being anti-fat. If you are talking 'fat' then it must always come from a good place. You are talking about it because you care.
Being too fat is becoming a common occurrence for too many. Many try diets and fail badly. Perhaps fat shaming isn't so bad after all.