Slimming World has recently come under fire for suggesting you should drop your fat friends if you want to lose weight. Well Thanks. What if you ARE the fat friend? Are we are too fat to fit in? The reality is that those of us carrying excess weight are already put off socialising and exercising out of fear of judgement and ridicule. Yet it need not be that way.
Having dropped 5 dress sizes (60lbs) and kept it off, I can confidently say that size has no influence on my friendships or social life. At all.
Even today, my fellow social circle members have said how they want to introduce close friends to our events, but their friends put joining us to meet new people as ‘they had put on a few pounds.’
Its not a surprise that if we are reluctant to socialise given the daily fat-shaming we get from the media.
I was the same.
I used to proudly show my before and after pictures until one of my friends stopped me in my tracks. She called me out for body shaming myself. I remember her words clearly:
“That girl was and is a friend of mine. I thought she was funny, brilliant and beautiful.”
Damn. That hit home.
My size did not matter to my friends at all.
Some of my best friends are overweight. It does not detract from how I feel about them as friends, or the relationship we have. In fact, my fat friends are often the ones who have been cheerleading the fact I am making healthier life choices, encourage me to get out and socialise or ask the hottie out on a date. (“what have you got to lose?!)
Our true friends are those that share similar values and support you in this journey called life.
Size is f**king irrelevant to that principle.
Being fat does not mean you are a bad person, or any less worthy of love and respect and a life you love.
You are still more than your body and are perfectly entitled to pursue the life, career and relationships that you dream of.
Love does not happen exclusively to thin people. People of all sizes are making their dreams happen. Go anywhere and you will see a mix of people enjoying themselves.
I found that as I took steps to enrich my life, I lost weight naturally.
Instead of gorging on takeaways when I had a tough week, I went out to a restaurant with friends. Eating food with friends means you take longer and can share dessert. I made healthier choices when deciding what to eat too.
My trigger was emotional eating and I felt the need to reward myself with food. I replaced comfort food with treats such as theatre tickets or would take myself to a movie. Of course, I made space to reach out to new friends for coffee, as well as taking time to pursue other hobbies such as writing and blogging.
I started going on walks and to classes with friends so I could increase my physical activity without feeling like the only fat person at the gym. You are never the only one at the gym who has to lose weight but I appreciate its nerve wracking.
You know what happened when I tried those things as a size 20?
I had fun. I felt great. I made friends.
No one laughed at me. No one shamed me for my size.
Of course they didn’t.
Because to mock my body size would be an extraordinarily sh*tty thing to do.
There is a sliver of truth in the slimming world research though.
To keep the weight off you have to keep away from toxic habits and people who keep you in the mindset that would let you believe you are not worthy of a happy healthy life.
When I realised that; I slammed the door in a few peoples faces, and cancelled my slimming world membership.
So, don’t put off what you want to do because you are packing a few pounds.
You can decide to be accepting of where you are at the moment and pursue your a life you love. Right now.
If you don’t, you may be missing out on spending people who love you for exactly who you are.