The F Word

I feel that this NY Times article is too important to pass by.  We live in a society that values thin and derides fat.  We live in a society where a woman shows her strength and ability by shrinking herself.  We live in a society where fat embodies all that is wrong and thin embodies all that is right.  
Picture Source

“Our collective fear of fat and idealization of thinness has resulted in a seriously askew notion of the physical self that has produced an epidemic of body-dysmorphic illnesses like anorexia and bulimia.” I know this to be true, because I work almost exclusively in the field of eating disorders. And I have a wait list.  Food, weight, and body concerns are an epidemic.  And the culture we live in feeds the illnesses.

This article does not necessarily answer the tough questions and doesn’t offer to solve any problems.  But it is open, honest, and gives all of us an opportunity to think.

  • What if we spent more taking care of ourselves, rather than hating ourselves?
  • What if we lived in the pursuit of making a difference in the world, rather than shrinking the number on the scale?
  • What if we felt good about the essence of who we are, rather than how much we weighed?
  • What if we were as liberated as the women in this picture appear to be?
Of course I believe in health.  But our obsession with thinness hasn’t gotten us any healthier.  In most cases it’s created a lot more sickness and a lot less happiness.  

Sorry for the downer blog.  It’s important stuff.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Eating Disorder Nutritionist in Cambridge

4 thoughts on “The F Word

  1. Oh how I wish I thought less about food, weight and body concerns. If I was able to channel that energy into something good I probably would be much better off. Finding a balance between home, kids and health (eating/exercise) is a struggle for me. I wish it were easier and that I could find that right balance. Things get busy and the first thing to go is my diet and exercise. I try to be more conscious about what we eat and it becomes so overwhelming. Why is that? I’m not sure. I completely agree with what you said. Our obsession with thinness hasn’t gotten us healthier.

  2. I think you’ve touched on something really important Lynsey. And it’s a point most people can identify with. How can I pay attention to my health (and make time for it!) without obsessing over it? There’s a line between eating well/exercising and hating yourself for not looking the ladies on the cover of (fill in the blank here). How to be healthy both inside and out? 1.) Acceptance- we can only do our best 2.) Small steps make a big difference 3.) Compassion for ourselves What thoughts do you guys have?

  3. To be honest, I have hated myself for so long I am not sure how to change that and actually have compassion and love for myself.

  4. Thanks for your honesty. I think it can feel impossible to move from self-hate to self-love. Often it takes a lot of therapy and a lot of work to move from self-hate, to a feeling of neutrality (which I think is the first start). I’d encourage you and anyone who can identify with what you are saying to seek therapy as a resource. But another good resource is a book called “The Body Image Workbook” by Thomas Cash. Anyone else have thoughts, feelings they’d like to share?

Comments are closed.