Feelings > Health? The toxic side of body positivity

Today, obesity is one of the leading cause of premature death. Around 70% of the worlds population is overweight or obese. While being underfed and underweight is just as dangerous, obesity now is a more serious problem than malnourishment in the world. In the last 8 years more people died of obesity than malnourishment or starvation. This is frightening.

Malnourishment can happen due to a number of reasons and unfortunately it is still a very serious existing problem, mainly in underdeveloped countries. But what’s the reason for becoming overweight? It’s pretty simple: we are consuming way more calories than we are burning off. A few decades ago this wasn’t such a problem, as we were more active physically. We had to run to catch the bus or walk to the supermarket, or we maybe even would enjoy a nice walk in the forest. Also back then we ate just the amount we needed to feel well. But today everyone has a car, we have computers, Netflix, calorie dense yummy snacks and sugary sodas. We are used to the convenient, the easy, the cheap, the readily available.

We already have a huge problem. But with todays trend of normalizing being overweight covered with the “body positivity” movement it is just getting worse. The young, impressionable people are growing up in an era, where body positivity can be the answer for being lazy and not caring about themselves.

Body positivity meant to be a powerful and positive thing, however it definetely has a toxic side.

Body positivity promotes that we should accept and love ourselves in any shape or form, without comparing ourselves to others. And this, I completely agree with, moreover, I am constantly teaching it to my clients. However, when drastically owerweight people claim that they are happy and helathy as ever, and you can be too, even with an excess 50kgs on your body, so dont worry about what and how much you eat is just nonsense.

Denying reality by pushing what makes them comfortable just to pretend that they are OK is a very irresponsable thing to do. It is likely that these people need other people to accept them so they can accept themselves. In the process, they make people, who can relate to them believe that whatever they claim is true.

By doing that, they are taking years off peoples lives. It is powerful.

“As long as you love yourself…” To lie, just to not hurt someones feelings is the new normal. If you tell an obese person that they are 80% more likely to have chronic diseases and die early, you are discriminating. You are the villain. Let me tell you; offended people are usually the ones who don’t want to face reality, simply because they are comfortable. But it is the new normal. You can’t promote a transformation photo on social media anymore because Facebook and Instagram tells you that the ‘content is too sensitive and it might hurt peoples feelings’.

So instead of showing them that it is possible and motivating them that the person on the photo could be them in a healthier, happier life, we just hide it from them. Let them be comfortable and make them believe that once fat always fat and it’s OK as long as they love themselves.

Today there are fat Victoria Secret models, and fat mannequins in the Nike stores. What is the aim with this? To stop body shaming? This is turning into a culture where, I dont know, maybe obese people will discriminate “normal” body types, just because body ositivity gives them the right to. Who is to blame though? The media? Marketing? Parents? Or maybe it’s ourselves? Today, when everything is so accesible, it is hard to stay on track and say no. Especially when eating a Big Mac menu is normal but eating a salad promotes “unhealthy eating habits” and it needs a trigger warning. What on Earth are we even talking about?!

The thing is, we do not stress the health and the economic consequences of the global epidemic of obesity. Obesity is associated with poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality and years of life, alongside with the much higher risk to a long list of diseases. Not to mention that treating obesity and obesity-related conditions costs billions a year around the world. But all we care about today, is acceptance. We need other people to accept us to accept ourselves.

But the solution is just as simple as the reason. Prioritize. If I told you, that you can live 10 more years and spend time with your grandchildren just by changing your lifestyle, would you carry on? Or would you make yourself ready to change? We are responsible for our health. You can stay in your comfort zone and think that you are OK without ever experiencing what is it to really be okay. To reach your mental and physical potential. Or, you can take action and really experience and embrace to be OK! The decision is yours.

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