This morning I was the presiding body image expert for the Huffington Post Live segment "What I Miss About Being Fat." The segment was inspired by Kelly Coffey's article "5 Things I Miss About Being Over 300 Pounds," which recently went viral. Kelly was on the show as were other bloggers who wrote about the complex feelings following weight loss.
My departing thoughts were:
1. Step away from your scale. I repeat: step. away. from. your. scale. After the call, I was speaking with the other bloggers and Kelly said it best: a scale is a weapon. When your sense of accomplishment and self worth is based on your weight you will constantly deal with a skewed sense of your accomplishments and self worth.
2. Weight loss is not a useful measure of actual outcomes. We have been taught that weight loss is literally synonymous with beauty, health and happiness, but the truth is: it isn't. Figure out what you really, really want (happiness? to wear a bathing suit? run a mile in 10 minutes?). I think you'll find that weight loss is not actually necessary for the outcomes you desire.
Note: This segment features weight loss talk and discussion of weight loss surgery. I don't think weight loss talk is good for humans. And I absolutely will do just about anything to talk people out of weight loss surgery but absolutely don't hate on people who have decided it was right for them! #prochoicefeminist
Virgie Tovar, MA is one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp (a 4 week online course focused on helping people break up with diet culture) and the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, 2012). She writes about the intersections of size, identity, sexuality and politics. See more updates on Facebook.