I’d like to end with a little word about how we influence society. We feel the pressure from everywhere around us to change our bodies, to conform. We wonder when it will ever change, but have you ever thought that you could be a part of that change? It all has to start somewhere. Why not with you?
There are things you can do every day to influence the world around you. Some are bigger than others, I know. Some require a little bit of courage to stand up for yourself, but hell, when you do, it feels AWESOME!
Don’t perpetuate weight stigma. Choose your words carefully, and make sure that you aren’t commenting on people’s bodies. Be the example to others, and let people know what is acceptable and what is not. Challenge or change the conversation. If you are involved in a conversation around weight loss or weight gain try to shape that conversation into a more positive one, that shows the group that there is more to a person, more to life, than the numbers on the scales or the shape of your body.
Accept diversity yourself. Are you practising what you are preaching? It’s human nature to look and to compare, but the more you see people of different shapes and sizes as part of life’s rich tapestry, the more your thought pattern will go in that direction rather than a critical, negative path. It takes some work and some practice, but when you start seeing everyone around you as having something unique to bring to the world, the better that world looks.
Remember, and advocate for, the fact that you can’t tell by looking at someone what they eat, how much movement they have in their life, what their abilities and disabilities are, how their personal circumstances are, and what their health is like. These are all assumptions that we are guided to make by diet culture and beauty standards, and they are unfair. You only know what people are willing to share with you, so always be kind and don’t make assumptions.
Finally, be the advocate for people like you. Stand up for yourself in a doctor’s office, ask for better facilities at places you attend, demand better and equal services for all body types. Be the change you want to see.
If every person influenced one person in their life, imagine how massive the change could be.