Unfortunately, health shaming is a thing.
Whether it’s family members teasing you around the holidays for signing up for that 5k or your coworkers making fun of your healthy meals that you bring from home, health shaming exists. In fact, it’s a form of bullying in which a person is made to feel embarrassed or ashamed for making health-conscious decisions around their eating habits, exercise and personal health.
“So that’s why you’re skinny. Maybe you should eat dessert after all.”
“You’ve already eaten before meeting us? That’s weird!”
“Aren’t you going to eat more?”
“Wow, so you’d rather workout than meet us for drinks?
It may seem a bit harsh to label health shaming as actual bullying, but think about it, if the roles were reversed, how would the other person feel?
“Have you seen the studies on fried food contributing to increased cholesterol?”
“Do you realize you’re eating more chemicals than actual beef in your burger?”
“So you complain about not having energy and wanting to lose weight, but you still sit on the couch every evening right after sitting every day at work?”
“So you’re obese. Get off your rear end and workout.”
All of these statements are extremely negative and clearly lack social and verbal discretion. So why is it okay to do the same to those who are making a huge effort to make healthy changes in their lives? The simple answer, is it is not!
Here are 5 quick tips to ammo up against any health shaming bully!
Know why you are doing this.
Motivation is the key to knowing that you have laid a foundation that reflects what you want in your life. Truth be told, what you want is all that really matters.
Have an army of support.
People, places and even things can make this journey to the best you be much more seamless and fluid. So when someone tries to take a jab at your hard work, then you will always have a little backup to remind you that your efforts are worth it!
Know how far you have come.
Whether it’s weight loss, improved blood pressure, increased energy or something in between, know what you’re getting out of your hard work. Before your bully can even say anything, you’re already beating them to the punch by telling them about how much payoff your investment has had.
Misery loves company, but you are the only company to those you choose to keep. Simply explain why you do what you do, and ask that it is respected. If not, then you can always walk away.
A personal favorite. When someone mocks your healthy habit, just let him/her know how much you are enjoying it with a smile. If you are enjoying yourself, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says.
Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey