I say this as someone who struggled with her weight for most of her life. Fat, heavy, overweight people, know what they look like. They don’t need anyone to remind them what they look like. We all see ourselves every day. They also likely have gotten a lecture from their doctors about their weight. Lectures they received more than a few times.
People use to say to me, “don’t you see how big your getting?” “When are you going to stop eating?” “Have you seen yourself lately?” Just a really small sample of the things I heard. Yes I did see myself, and yes I did notice how big I was getting. I avoided weighing myself because I saw what I look like, and was aware of how my clothes fit. Even as I noticed all of this, I made no changes. I made no real effort to change my eating and to become active. I’m sure there were deeper reasons behind this, that could be delved into. However, my point is nothing anyone said motivated to me “to put the fork down”.
I don’t buy this idea that berating, bullying, or “fatshaming” someone is going to somehow give them the kick they need to get going. I don’t think bullying and “fatshaming” is encouragement. Don’t get me wrong, it will work for some people, but I don’t believe it works for most. While I was never bullied or “fatshamed”( the word is fairly new), I know it wouldn’t of worked for me. I would of cried and stuffed my face when no one was looking. That was how I dealt with most things at that time.
Someone people think that the body acceptance movements encourages people to be unhealthy. I won’t offer any opinion on that because I haven’t thought much of about it, but if it existed while I was nearing 230 lbs at 5ft. 5inches, it wouldn’t of encouraged me to stay fat. Why? Because I saw myself, and I knew the reason why I didn’t want to weigh myself, I notice that I was buying larger sizes at the store. I knew deep down, even if I wasn’t actively trying to change.
Yes there are people who make excuses. I just think those people aren’t ready to make any changes. That is what people need to understand. People are going to make the changes they need when they are ready and willing to. You can not force people to do something they aren’t ready and willing to do, whether you do it nicely or with mean intent. Just be there for them when they are ready. Its not easy, and a word of support will go a long way.