At War With Myself: #BodyPositivity #Fatshame

Monday, July 21, 2014

Recently, my twitter and Instagram feeds have been blowing up with two different social media movements. There is the #fatshame and the #bodypositivity. I have taken some time to think about these trends carefully and I am now at a war with myself.

I was a little nervous to post my thoughts on these subjects as both hit close to home in many ways.  As most of my close friends and family know, I have been on a journey to improve my health for approximately 2 years, to not much success. People think that to help me is to offer their opinions or tips, but the last thing I need is the opinion of someone who doesn't know what it is like. I know most of the reason why I have not been successful is my own fault and that I am my own worst enemy in this process, but I also know that my life right now does not bode well to making a complete lifestyle change overnight, it costs a lot of time and money, both of which I don’t have a lot of. Now, saying that I am trying to change the way I am is not me saying I hate myself the way I am, or that I will put up with someone else fat shaming me either, but I also don’t feel like we should be praising a person for being this way, because the fact of the matter is they, like me, are morbidly obese.

Instead of the popularity and press the body positive (BoPo as it is known in the social media world) movement is receiving, we should be voicing the problem and try to see the middle ground between both camps. I also would like to stress again that this is not me fat shaming myself or these beautiful people that feel the need to spread themselves all over twitter and Instagram, I am truly worried about the long term effects that these people think staying this way will cause. I am worried for myself to stay like this.

Truth is, to lose the amount of weight that I need to, diet and exercise alone will be a long drawn out process. I am most likely looking at surgical intervention (I have been on a waiting list for 1.5 years already) of which is not easily accessible unless you can pay for it yourself, but I can’t. It is extremely expensive and the only surgery that is covered in Manitoba is highly invasive, irreversible and is a minimum 3 year wait.

I feel that success cannot be a solo achievement in this war and it will not be helped with shame or praise, it will be defeated with truth and change. In order for any change to happen, we must voice the problem, a problem that our governments, society and even we, the ones it affects, are so quick to ignore. I need help. If there is a big health risk to being anorexic or bulimic and they get help through health insurance and your provincial health plan, why can’t they help the other end of the spectrum, both are a disease. If we start helping and fixing the problem now, the positive implications will be aplenty. Health costs will go down because the population will be healthier and not need as many prescriptions and medical treatments, there will be less depression and more happy people.

I ask the question every day, “should I embrace the me I am today, or strive to be something better?” I believe that if we stop trying to better ourselves, how do we reach our goals or grant our wishes? And if we don’t fix this now, if I don’t fix this now, will we (will I) be around to do that?

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