It’s worth remembering that not all weight-loss, especially rapid or extreme weight-loss, is because a ‘healthy’ person made ‘healthy’ decisions and had ‘willpower’. It’s often due to trauma, eating disorders, illness, surgeries and such. Let’s not automatically celebrate it.
I would, of course, go as far as to say that no weight-loss should be celebrated, as it perpetuates the myth that ‘fat is bad’ and ‘thin is good’. But I know that’s a step too far for some of you.
Saying ‘she looks amazing now!’ about someone who has lost a lot of weight isn’t a compliment. It’s basically saying ‘oh god, she was ugly for a long time’ which isn’t nice. It also isn’t nice to do to all the fat people watching.
People gain or lose weight for many different reasons. Sometimes gaining weight is a sign of recovery after a long period of sadness, eating disorders or illness. Sometimes it’s just what your body needs to do. Gaining weight can also mean you’ve had fun with friends.
I know that it makes a lot of people very emotional and angry when you suggest that weight loss shouldn’t be celebrated. Because we can’t let go of the idea that ‘one day I will be thin’ and ‘if only I work hard enough’ and ‘unless I am celebrated, I will fail my diet.’
So just a casual reminder that 95% of diets fail. You don’t fail your diet, your diet fails you. A doctor once told me that the only difference between all the diets is the time it takes before you gain all the weight back. It was never your fault.
I’m so sorry that so many will be severely triggered by the photos and people congratulating her weight-loss. Try muting any words to do with it or stay off the internet for a bit. And remember how awful dieting is and that you’re happier now.
Today is ironically #InternationalNoDietDay, so go have an ice cream or whatever you want. Let yourself live and let your body make the decisions even if just for today. Give yourself what you want and need.
You can follow @SofieHagen.
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