Brittney Pereda is taking the right approach, especially for her career as a health professional and coach. She’s educating herself, thinking critically and leading with kindness.
Thanks for being thoughtful, Ms. Pereda, but let me take this one step further for everyone else: stop judging, and if you can’t stop then at least STFU.
My fatness is complicated by a disease called lipedema, which literally means “fat swelling.” You can’t look at me and know that or anything about what I’m doing to combat it much less my vitals (i.e. I don’t have diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. — but thanks to the assuming jerks who yell comments at me in public about those diseases. No, not really; fuck all y’all.)
In a time when celebrities like Bill Maher are rallying bullies to pick on all of fatdom with little more to go on than how a person looks, it’s time to retreat on this idea that fat people need skinny folks to intervene.
I don’t need you making comments about any part of my fat status, or any other aspect of my person. Neither do I need to educate everyone I meet about my diet or exercise habits — not that you’d care, because you’re doing you, right?
With all of the judging, bullying and unsolicited advice offered to any random fatty on any given day, it’s no wonder the Healthy at Any Size folks have a sometimes aggressively defensive edge. I, too, have experienced it as a fat person with an organic garden, health goals and my own experiences with obesity, as bizarre and hurtful as it was to receive a mini-flood of hate mail for blogging about healthy recipe alternatives, produce and hiking ages ago.
What I learned then was to focus on my journey; there’s no need to share every curve and bump in the road. (Side eye to you, fitspo people.)
Everyone is judging everyone, and I’m here to say first look in the mirror, focus on yourself and leave everyone else alone to choose their own journey.
And always remember this: The only time to offer an individual your opinion on their body, diet or anything else so personal is when they explicitly ask for (or pay for) your advice. Otherwise, STFU.