“I’m going to the gym, so I can eat this.”
“That person is way too skinny for me.”
“You look so great! Did you lose weight?”
“You need to put some meat on those bones.”
“Can you believe how many calories are in this sandwich?”
“You eat so much and stay so thin. I wish that I had your genes.”
These are only a few of the fragments that I overhear in conversations. Most of us have heard or said similar phrases before. Some of them may seem like compliments…until we take a second look. It’s a societal norm that throwing around comments and criticism about body weight and shape – especially our own – is fine.
“It’s just a joke,” we have said. And yes – for most of us, commenting about the calorie content of our sandwiches does not stop us from eating them. But I guarantee that the comment has lasting effects. Maybe you didn’t order the dish you wanted because your friend joked about it. Maybe you pondered the calories in other foods on your way home. Maybe you wondered if others think that you’re too skinny, or too fat, or too out of shape.
Maybe the only way to stop it is to ensure our words are coming from a healthy place before we say them. To say how great the food tastes instead of how many miles we must run because we ate it. To not laugh at body shaming but clearly, confidently say that it is wrong.
And then – finally – society’s body image fixation will no longer have a place at our dinner tables.