Saturday, 17 June 2017

How Fat-shaming Attacks Women's Root Chakra

When I was a teenager, the two worst things someone could call you as a girl were "fat" and "slut". While its been over 20 years since I've been a teen, sadly this hasn't changed. I think that for many teens and young women these insults are still used against them in an attempt to shame and control. One of the good things about getting into my 40s is that I don't care so much what others think and have a lot more confidence. These words just make me laugh, because I see them for what they are.

It struck me the other day that the reason these two insults hurt so much is that they attack us on at a root and sacral chakra level. They are attempts to make us feel ashamed of our very existence at a basic level. It then struck me that many of the insults directed at women, are attacks on us at different chakra levels. Thinking about this made me angry of course, though it did make me think about what we can do to counteract this.

I thought I would write a series about how insults towards women (though men have been called some of these things too) affect us on each chakra level and ways to counteract it and strengthen ourselves.

Root Chakra insult - "Fat" 
Every woman I know has been called this at one time or another no matter their size or shape. The word is  thrown at women directly, but also implied to us through the numerous diet and fashion ads that tell us we need to lose weight and be as skinny as possible. Its reinforced in pop culture, as we are encouraged to criticize our bodies, apologize for eating a cupcake, and encouraged to order salad when we really want the burger. It attacks us at a root chakra level because it shames us for taking up space, and for doing something as basic as feeding ourselves. While teen boys are praised for the amount of food they can consume, as girls this was not encouraged. This attacks our very right to exist in our bodies, to be able to eat and nourish ourselves, and creates a dysfunctional relationship with food. When I was a teen I had a terrible relationship with food , and often starved myself in an attempt to attain a level of acceptable skinniness in my mind. Never mind the fact that I weighed 110 lbs, it still wasn't good enough. it took me a long time to have a better relationship with food. I'm happy to say that these days I have a much better relationship with food and eat whatever I like and listen to my body. I no longer let this word affect me to the extent it once did. 

 
Yum - Burger and Fries

Below are some of the things that have worked for me, and to help strengthen my connection to my root chakra.

1. Eat what you want. If you want to eat a burger order a burger, don't order the salad just because you think you should. Numerous studies show that depriving ourselves doesn't work anyway. It only creates a yo yo cycle and messes up your metabolism.
2. Eat unaploagetically. How many times have you heard another woman or yourself say "I'm so bad for eating this." You are not bad for feeding yourself! You are not bad for enjoying a treat! Telling yourself that you are bad reinforces a sense of guilt for eating, and sets us up to desire the foods we label "bad" even more. Food is not good and bad, its just food. You should not feel ashamed for eating, by feeding yourself you are caring for yourself.
3.Listen to your body. This can take some practice, as for years we have been conditioned to see our body as an enemy. Your body is your friend. It's the vessel that's going to carry around your spirit for the rest of your life. Check in with your body at regular intervals and ask it what it wants. Is it thirsty? Needing vegtables? Tired? Wanting to dance? Ask yourself regularly what will make you feel better.
4.Exercise joyfully. Dont punish yourself doing push ups if you hate them, or going to the bootcamp you dread. Find an exercise you love and feels more like fun. Personally I like running on my treadmill, as I like running and I can catch up on watching Youtube while I exercise. I also like dancing, going for walks, and yoga. Find what you like to do. Make exercise into a celebration of being in a physical body, not a way to lose weight. 
5.Know you have a right to take up space. Whatever your size or shape, you have a right to exist and to enjoy the body you inhabit. Forget about the articles that tell you "how to dress for your body type", or how to cover up the "troublesome" parts of your body. Your body is to be celebrated, not shamed. Dress how you want and love your body. Don't wait until you are some unattainable "perfect" size (whatever that means) to enjoy yourself.

What methods do you use to counteract fatshaming? I'd love to hear your stories and suggestions.



1 comment:

  1. Fat shaming is terrible and toxic! And people act like it's justified because in their minds you have to be thin to be healthy!

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