I used to think that body shame was motivating, that if I wasn't ashamed of my body I would either gain weight or not lose more weight..., both options were out of the question in my mind at the time.
The thing is, self-talk is ridiculously powerful, and thinking or speaking negatively about our bodies (and ourselves) isn't an effective way to "hold ourselves accountable." (more on that here)
Yet, it is an agrument I have heard countless times by women I work with.
Like... "If I don't beat myself up, I will gain a gazillion pounds and shit would hit the fan.
But, how effective has body shaming really been?
If you're like most of us, you've been shaming yourself for a long time, and if it really was effective and motivating, wouldn't you be at your goal weight by now?
"Body shaming doesn't move women closer to an unrealistic body ideal" according to Renee Engeln in her book Beauty Sick.
On the contrary, as the body ideal has gotten thinner and less attainable, fatphobia has increased right along with the waist size of Americans.
Meaning fat shaming has increased and we aren't getting any smaller.
So again, it is ineffective.
Rather shame is closely correlated with depression and typically depressed people are not in a better position to take care of themselves.
As counter intuitive as it may seem, feeling bad about our bodies typically triggers a disordered relationship with food.
When our self esteem is attached to our body, we are obsessed with and attached to food, which is why negative thoughts about our size lead to binge eating.
I'm sure you can recall a time where you felt bad about yourself and your body, so you skipped a night out with friends, stayed home and ended up binge eating.
On the flip side, when we respect our bodies and are grateful for them, we want to take care of them which is why those who have self-worth outside of their body size do not binge eat.
Lets end the body shame is motivating conversation.
Body shame contributes to a disordered relationship with food, not the other way around.
If you are ready to leave body shame and binge eating behind you then I invite you to join my next group coaching program, you can learn more here