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We live in a world that constantly dehumanises and scrutinises fat bodies. We are socialised to believe that fat is synonymous with lazy, unworthy, unloveable, incapable, ugly, shameful etc. We are socialised to be afraid of becoming fat. We are taught that fat is the worst possible thing that you could be. We are bombarded with messages from diet culture that reinforces these beliefs and ideals. We are terrified of becoming fat.
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Over time, we internalise all of these messages. We believe that one body type is more desirable than another. We don’t want our bodies to look like the bodies that are ugly, or unworthy. We hold on to the belief and the ideal that a slimmer body is a better body. 
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Internalised fatphobia is something that EVERYBODY has. Me. You. Our friends, family and colleagues. Even all of our wonderful HAES friends, allies and activists. We all have a degree of internalised fatphobia. AND, that’s OK. This is what we, as professionals unpack in supervision and our own therapy sessions. In terms of the clients we work with, we can support people to unpack their own internalised fatphobia. The fact that we all hold some degree of internalised fatphobia doesn’t mean we have failed in any way; it doesn’t make us any less human. In fact, we are human, we are not immune to the messages we have been surrounded by. 
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We can offer ourselves compassion. It’s OK. We can observe these beliefs if and when they arise. We can be gentle with ourselves. We can explore these beliefs. We can acknowledge that we have essentially been indoctrinated into diet culture without our consent, so of course we are going to have some degree of internalised fatphobia. Be gentle. Observe. Notice. Offer compassion.
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#centreforintegrativehealth #cfih #feminism #fatpositive #socialjustice #eatingdisorderrecovery #healthateverysize #haes #fatactivism #intersectionality
If we truly want to shift the discourse around bodies, body size, health, wellness and worthiness, we’re going to need to have some tough conversations. Whilst diet culture harms ALL of us, it is particularly harmful for folks whose bodies don’t necessarily conform to societal standards. We also have to continually examine the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, socio-economic status, religion and trauma. We are complex beings, each with our own stories of how our bodies have been shamed, ridiculed or weaponised. The world isn’t a safe place for folks in bigger bodies who are trying to recover from an eating disorder. It is our hope that we can all start to change the conversation. Nobody deserves to be shamed for their bodies. Nobody’s worth deserves to be questioned. Nobody’s existence deserves to be weaponised or diminished. Nobody. 
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#centreforintegrativehealth #cfih #feminism #fatpositive #socialjustice #eatingdisorderrecovery #healthateverysize #haes #fatactivism #intersectionality
Something pretty extraordinary happens when folks feel heard. It’s is a great privilege to bear witness to the insurmountable resilience that our clients possess. We’re all trying to get by in a world that constantly tells us that we aren’t enough, and none of us are immune to the messages we hear about our bodies always being wrong. Bodies are not objects that need to be fixed, altered or changed in any way; all bodies are worthy bodies. You deserve to feel at peace in your body; it houses an untold narrative, your personal imprint in space and time. You deserve to feel heard; your story matters.
Take up space. Your existence on this earth is not contingent on you shrinking your body. You are valuable, just as you are. You are worthy, just as you are. You do not need to shrink yourself in order to justify your worth. Take up space. Be the whole damn universe.
We think that the prescription of intentional weight loss as a treatment for an eating disorder is utterly outrageous. It’s completely unacceptable, not to mention dangerous, to be encouraging weight loss in someone with an eating disorder. We hear of this, particularly for folks in bigger bodies, and our hearts break. The prescription of weight loss, solely because someone’s body is bigger, upholds so many dominant, harmful narratives about folks in bigger bodies. We want to see each and every person with an eating disorder receive the individualised, compassionate and respectful care they deserve.
Diet culture assumes that we are passive participants; conforming to the status quo - the heteronormative, Eurocentric ways of being. Diet culture assumes that all of us who do not conform, and who exist in the margins, are somehow deviant. According to diet culture, difference is considered deviance. Body Liberation, on the other hand, invites us to be active agents, where body autonomy is the goal. We examine the impacts of racism, classism, sexism, transphobia, ableism, homophobia, ageism, ableism & fatphobia. We examine the intersections of these experiences, and we work from a social justice informed space. Body liberation work challenges the dominant sociopolitical discourse; it aims to challenge and dismantle systems of oppression and marginalisation.
Your providers should be invested in your care. They should be supportive, compassionate, and allow YOU to be the expert of your own body. Your providers are not allowed to shame you. It is their job to first do no harm. They are not allowed to shame you, even if they believe it is “for your own good.” Shame is not a motivator. Shame is an emotion that we internalise, and it swims inside our veins until it threatens to drown us. Shame should never be a part of the provision of health care. Period.
A difference of opinion is liking cats over dogs, or cappuccino over a latte, NOT whether marginalised folk deserve to be treated like human beings. If your opinion is rooted in my dehumanisation, I am not interested in what you have to say.
Social Justice is at the very core of body liberation work, and we cannot ignore the intersections between fatphobia, transphobia and homophobia. We are committed to working towards dismantling systems of oppression and marginalisation. We are committed to learning how we can be better allies. No matter your pronouns, your gender, or your sexuality, you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. No matter your pronouns, your gender or your sexuality, we hope CFIH can serve as a brave space.
Whist our society continues to subscribe to anti-fat discourse, we will continue to see increased rates of eating disorders, chronic dieting and body dissatisfaction. We need to dismantle the belief that fat is the problem. Fat is not the problem. Fatphobia is the problem. Anti-fat bias is the problem. And the ways in which folks in bigger bodies are scrutinised, ridiculed, surveilled and policed is the problem. We cannot place individual responsibility on a systemic issue.

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Centre for Integrative Health (CFIH) is committed to bringing an intersectional feminist and social justice approach to all that we do, and thus, we seek to amplify and elevate the voices of folks who would normally exist within the margins. We believe that we can learn so much from lived experience. We are committed to learning from others, and decentring the dominant, sociocultural discourse that so often surrounds body politics.If you would like CFIH to feature your content, or if you have suggestions for content that you would like the CFIH team to create, please feel welcome to submit the form below.

 

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