#endED Recap with @BEDAorg

Thanks to all that joined our #endED Twitter chat this Wednesday with @BEDAorg as we talked about weight stigma. For those of you that missed it, here were some of the “highlights.”

(If you don’t know about Twitter, the @ symbol is the way a username is signified on Twitter. The # before a word makes the word searchable in Twitter.)

Q1a: How has #weightstigma affected you or someone you know?
@MarshaHudnall Seems like #weightstigma affects almost everyone I know. Creates dissatisfaction with life and distracts from what’s important.
@JanetZimmerman research suggest #weightstigma increases body dissatisfaction and can lead to disordered eating behaviors

Q1b: How has #weightstigma affected your or their own ED journey?
@CounselorMusing Can lead to an increase in stress/anxiety/depression, can harm relationships, and can lead to isolation
@mmarzipan My least favorite #weightstigma aspect is when people ignore the mental health aspect of weight/body politics.
@marciRD Many people invalidate the severity of their #eatingdisorder if they feel they don’t “look” a certain way.

Q3 What have you done recently when you recognize a thought that is stigmatizing?
@BEDAorg We must begin to each look within. I have my own stigmatizing thoughts about myself and others at times.
@VoiceinRecovery I catch it in a net & usually say WTF and throw it out. Weird but instant thoughts dont define me. I KNOW what I stand for
@mmarzipan Stop. Process. Think: who is this comment really about? Realize that it’s NOT about me. Move on.
@BEDAorg We must begin to each look within. I have my own stigmatizing thoughts about myself and others at times. 

Q4 How can the eating disorders community better recognize and address stigmatization based on size?
@akaMemily I think it’s helpful to look past appearance differences & see the internal similarities & shame found in EDs regardless of dx
@BEDAorg #weightstigma interferes in the treatment of eds. In the BED population, the ed is often put aside to focus on weight loss.
@BEDAorg Nurses in study: 31% would prefer not to take care of obese patients, 24% agreed that obese patients “repulsed” them
@BEDAorg There are studies showing that #weightstigmakeeps people from getting proper physical & mental health care
@mmarzipan Q4: not assume that someone of a certain size isnt suffering. Eating disorders manifest differently in people

Q5 How does #weightstigma contribute to body image issues?
@castlewoodtc Neg Body image is deeper than societal prejudice, but prejudice breeds discontent with oneself.
@BEDAorg I feel we cannot talk about body image issues without first acknowledging that weight stigma fuels them.
@MarshaHudnall #weightstigma makes anything outside the societal ideal unacceptable. and the societal ideal is for the most part underachievable 
@BodywiseProgram I think too we need to challenge our own eyes; expand our ideas about beauty to include all sizes/ages/colors…… #weightstigma
@marciRD When a single body size/shape is presented as acceptable, it is easy for false assumptions and negative self-image to grow

Q6 How do we best address those who believe that a person’s worth & will are based on that individual’s size?
@marciRD Make a list of the top 10 things you love abt someone you love. Be surprised if includes size/shape of their body.
@MarshaHudnall Modeling is one of the most effective ways to promote change. “Be the change we wish to see.” 

@mmarzipan  Relentless compassion – those people are a product of their experience. Educate, breathe, and remember it’s not about YOU

Q7 How do we keep all people-of-size from being bullied and discriminated against in a society that equates thinness and health?
@ScritchfieldRD it starts w/ us – being authentic, we have to use our voices, find our tribes of supporters, and believe in a better world #endED
@mmarzipan We can’t. But we CAN create safe, nonjudgmental, loving spaces and live our lives by not buying into the bias.
@BEDAorg After a lifetime, I have learned to accept my body today as it is and each day this opens the door to something new.

Join BEDA during #weightstigma awareness week Sept 26-30. www.bedaonline.com to continue to spread the word! 

Also, check out @VoiceinRecovery’s blog carnival on weight stigma. It is an awesome resource.

About #EndED
The goal of #endED is to bring anyone and everyone together who cares about ending eating disorders. My hope is to end the silence and myths about eating disorders, create a place for honest and informed discussion, while offering hope and encouragement. The next chat will be on 10/19 with Michelle May. Find her on Twitter at @EatWhatYouLove!

1 comment

  1. Thank you Marci and BEDA for an enlightening event. This has been such a taboo topic for so long and we in the ed world all know how much damage has been done by NOT talking about it. Thanks for bravely and respectfully starting the conversation. Stopping

    weight stigma will take a while but it is open and brave conversations like this one that are getting this next civil rights movement into gear. Bravo! Becky Henry

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