A couple weeks ago, I was having a pretty lousy week (understatement). Instead of going all DEFCON-drama-1 on social media and posting the truth about my miserable state of affairs, I opted to update my Facebook friends on my weight loss progress. This news will typically, oh hell– predictably, generate glowing feedback, and I was sheepishly trolling for much-needed attention and support.
But, even I was surprised at the result.
Facebook will occasionally tell you what your most popular post or photo is. My most popular photo UNTIL THIS ONE (see image to left), was a snap of my kids looking very attractive on a park bench in Brooklyn. This post far surpassed that one by nearly a third. Once Facebook’s feed claw gets ahold of a popular post, it keeps serving it up to your friends and voilà: 162 of my Facebook friends reacted to the post with a like, a wow, or a love. There were over 30 comments of good cheer and a few questions. So, I achieved my goal of getting attention, but it really unsettled me as the post kept racking up “social” points.
Granted, I did this for attention, so that’s on me. I literally created a “piece of content” with this news as a cheap attempt to feel good about myself during a pit of depression.
Getting that out of the way, I had to ask myself, is losing weight the best thing I ever did? After over a decade on Facebook, and all the achievements I’ve accomplished in that time, is losing a few dress sizes the most notable? The most laudable? The absolute pinnacle of my success? If we went to the grave with our most popular post on Facebook chiseled on our tombstone, would this be how I was remembered?
“In January of 2018, she lost 46.5 pounds.”
Seriously? What does that say about me? What does that say about our society that looks is so paramount that it trumps everything else? It’s made me feel terrible for exploiting my weight loss for attention in this way, perpetuating the myth that ONLY thin is beautiful and right. It prompted me to re-examine, as I have earlier on this blog, having empathy for and self-identifying with the health-at-every-size movement.
So, in the end, I fat-shamed myself. Shame on me.
p.s. I’m not ending my weight loss. Just not holding it out as some great accomplishment in and of itself. In subsequent posts, I’ll attempt to explain the whole mind, body, spirit makeover path I’ve been on. Need to push through this dark period first.
5 thoughts on “Fat Shame on Me”
It’s hard to get the right words to respond, but what you expressed in this post is something I think about frequently when I post or respond to posts. Most times I tell myself to lighten up and celebrate this moment. It’s not the sum totoal or the defining moment of that person’s life – just like my posts aren’t for me.
I appreciate how you put it out there.
I am proud of your weight loss and you should be to. On the personal level, being some one who has lost weight and battles daily to keep it off. I can understand the daily ups and downs of weight loss. On the professional level, being in the trenches daily, I see no shame in using any tool available to keep making forward progress to your goal.
Keep moving forward Susan. You got this.