How to Deal with Health Shaming

Do you know what “health shaming” is? Being shamed for what you eat can be a terrible feeling, so Kelley Rose is offering advice is this happens to you.

Root to Rise

Health shaming. It?s a real thing, and if you?re conscious about what you put into your body you?ve probably experienced it. It usually sounds something like

  • ?You?re no fun.?
  • ?Live a little.?
  • ?Ugh, you?re making me feel guilty.?
  • ?Really? That?s all you?re gonna get??
  • β€œJust have a little bit!”

This commentary is tiring and it can make eating with friends a drag. Here?s what you can do to avoid being brought down by health shaming:

Laugh it Off

  • The same people who shame me for what I eat, whether its ordering ?only? a salad, or making substitutions to the menu are the same people complimenting me on my body in a bikini. Realize that although it?s a bummer they?ve got something negative to say, it?s probably only because they know deep down that they should be making similar choices but may not be ready. Accept that, laugh it off, and…

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22 thoughts on “How to Deal with Health Shaming

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Christy. I’ve seen this happen so often and have just as often been the target of these unkind remarks. Shame on those who are so thoughtless.

  2. I literally hear all of those bullets you pointed out in your article. Being someone who is constantly working out and living on the edge being frugal, I get pointed at a lot. How I deal with it is simple! I just continue to do me and don’t care what others think. It’s funny because after a while they ask me for tips. πŸ˜‚

  3. This is a great post and I am glad that you are bringing attention to this! I was just wrestling with this issue- there is one woman who volunteers at the same organization as me. When I was two months pregnant with my first daughter, I ordered two tacos at a charity fundraiser. After paying for them, she saw me in line and told me, “Oh no! You cannot each tacos! You need to get your nutrients directly from the source! No processed foods for you! Only fresh fruits and vegetables!” I tried to laugh it off and said, “Okay, very funny… I ordered two, and I think that plate is supposed to be mine… can you hand it to me?” She absolutely refused and would not let me have the tacos. I REALLY struggled with this, but just let it roll off of my shoulders and tried to convince myself she was trying to help.

    Just a few weeks ago, we were at an event for the sponsors and I was carrying my 9 month old boy through the buffet line. I had a cupcake on my plate and walked past her. She stopped me and said, “Oh wow! Look at that healthy choice! All of those carbs and sugar are SO good for breastmilk! I am glad to see that you are taking such great care of that baby!” My face turned all red from embarrassment and I just walked away. I could not even eat the cupcake, so my husband took it!

    Can I add that I work out regularly, eat sweets maybe once a month, eat mostly eggs, meat, fruits, and vegetables grown on our farm, and weigh 110 pounds? She is very overweight, which kind of makes me more frustrated… I am still struggling with resentment on this, which doesn’t help anyone! The suggestions here are wonderful, but I am curious to hear what other think on this. Is this worth confronting since I do actually care about this woman? She really is a phenomenal person… I think this might just be a blind spot for her.

    Sorry for the long post but this really struck a chord with me!

    • Jessica, it sounds like the reblog of this post was really good timing for you! I think sometimes people walk OVER the line when it comes to interactions and preach rather than suggest – and without knowing the full picture either! Plus it sounds like you barely know this woman so there’s also the intimacy factor of it all. I cannot believe she wouldn’t give you those tacos!

      • Lol! I couldn’t believe it either. She is a nurse, so I really think she means well and just wants the best for everyone. I struggle though because it is tough to see the best in people when you feel like you are being shamed! Perfect post for me today!

        • Shaming isn’t the answer.. even though she meant well.. It’s too bad that as a nurse she hasn’t realized that. What’s sad is that you’re likely not the only one she acts that way toward.. You eat that taco and enjoy yourself xx

  4. Oh, such a good post, can I ever relate. I’m gluten and dairy-free. I have been for years and although sometimes eating out poses a problem because of my diet I’ve found many ways to work around. But let me say, we have certain friends that I don’t appreciate their eyerolls if we’re out for dinner together. When eating out I always have to ask questions about what’s in the dish I’m ordering, how it’s prepared, etc. Some people find it annoying. Well guess what, I find them annoying and let them know I hope they never have to suffer with stomach disorders but if they do, they won’t be so quick to eyeroll others. πŸ™‚ That’s my rant. ❀

  5. Beyond shaming women must also
    Cope with not being taken seriously by medical professionals, especially when it comes to chronic pain. Good post. -Dr.K

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