Stand Up to STIGMA
Shift your thinking to overcome weight-related negativity.
We started about talking about the definition of the word "stigma". I think we all knew the word but maybe not the exact definition, and we all agreed it was a negative word. The definition of stigma from Merriam-Webster dictionary is:
a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something.
Without a doubt that there is a stigma attached to being overweight. Many of the ladies in the WW group shared stories that had affected them. One lady told us that she has two Masters degrees and considers herself to be strong and intelligent. She was applying for a job that she was completely qualified for. The interviewer told her that he didn't think she had the "energy" needed to do the job. He made that judgement based on what she looked like rather than her capabilities. Our leader, Lovely Lana, told a story about when she was in sixth grade. Some of the girls in her class called her "Pillsbury Doughboy". It is hard to imagine that happening because Lana is a petite little lady. I wouldn't even believe she had gone through WW, but I know she has because she is a leader and they have to reach goal and go through maintenance and get lifetime status. Other ladies talked about how they would order dessert and the servers would roll their eyes or how they felt embarrassed by asking for a seatbelt extender on an airplane.
I didn't share this story in the meeting, but I remember vividly an experience I had at work. Someone had brought in a big bowl of homemade salsa and some chips. I was going to get some and a guy said, "Everybody better hurry and get some because here comes Sandy," implying that since I was the fat girl, I would eat all the chips and salsa. I remember that I looked at the guy and said, "Did you really just say that? You're an asshole." I ended up not having any chips and salsa and I went back to my desk and didn't talk the rest of the day. My feelings were really hurt and thinking about it even now makes me a little choked up and happened almost 20 years ago. It was just words, but words can be so powerful. I thought that guy was my friend and his words made me feel like a bag of crap.
The sad thing is that most of us feel like we deserve to be made to feel inferior because of our size or our weight. Our discussion in the meeting focused on how to overcome feeling bad and changing our thoughts. It's hard, especially when you have felt bad about your weight for a really long time. I am constantly battling myself. Even though I know I'm dope AF, sometimes I'll look in the mirror and all I see is a chubby girl. Quickly I tell myself that I may be a chubby girl, but I'm working on changing and getting healthy. I don't think I'll ever be skinny, but I can surely get more healthy and I will always be awesome.
The bottom line is that when people are mean and rude, you have to shake it off and remember that your size doesn't determine whether you are a good or valuable person. You are good and valuable. You are freaking awesome. For every mean person that tries to make you feel unworthy, remember that there are people who love you and who think you are beautiful and amazing and who support your desire to change and become your best self.
Whoa...this is a heavy topic! It ended up kind of being a pep talk for myself. My mom thinks I worry too much about my weight and maybe I do, but it's not the only thing I worry about! LOL I am hyper-aware of my size and weight though, I guess. If I don't think about it and take care of it, who will? I've been heavy for most of my life and I'm glad that I finally found it within myself to take better care of my health and that means losing weight and trying to get a little muscle tone and learning how to eat better. It's a lifetime challenge. :)