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Why Your Weight Is Not up For Public Discussion (ever)

It's just a paper cut, a teeny-weeny paper cut, but boy it hurts. It stings, and each day it is a surprise how something so small almost invisible can be so painful.

But even small injuries can still have major impacts on ones wellbeing.

It can hurt like this when comments are made about someone's weight. The comment may have been made with good intent.That is, good intent from the person making the comment. But here's the thing: Ones perception of what is good intent can be destructive and painful for the person on the receiving end of the comment.

So, those seemingly innocuous comments that a relative, family member, or family friend made at the dinner table when you were eight years old about how perhaps you shouldn't eat that cake because you need to watch your weight or that you are such a pretty little girl or handsome young man but if you keep eating like that you may gain weight and be like aunty so and so when you grow up arehugely destructive. Two insults in one hit! Somehow aunty is less than, and you will be too when you grow up.

These words sear into our skin, burrow down deep under the layers of self and sit there hurting and confused. We were only young and innocent and may not have even understood what the words meant. But we knew they hurt. They are etched into our memory and sometimes lie dormant until later in life when a similar comment or situation triggers a pain, a humiliation or a feeling thatsomehow fills us with shame and that is related toour feelings about ourselves and our body.

Sometimes people in their eighties reflect on the pain they still feel from comments that were made all those years ago at the family dinner table. It has influenced their actions, choices and feelings about themselves their whole lives.

In a culture that places so much value on body size and shape and sets up ridiculous notions of what is considered good and bad eating we have a lot to answer for about the role we play in hurting others. It is NOT our right to make comments about someone else's weight, and the defense of its only because I care is not an acceptable defense as it runs the risk of humiliating and shaming someone you love, and that's never ok.

Ginette Lenham 2018 ©

News for May 2018

I am excited to announce that I am now starting to consult regularly at Health Space in Potts Point Sydney, as well as in my rooms in Bondi Junction.The counselling process is a service unlike any other. Its process, outcomes and experience are quite intangible. Unlike a hair cut, a massage or a work out which are all services you pay for but walk away with external evidence of your time and money spent, therapy is deeply private and insular. However it is a very important and significant part of self-care.I offer counselling for: Anxiety, Depression, Loss, Grief, Trauma, Relationship conflicts, Work place conflicts, Interpersonal conflicts, Intrapersonal conflicts, Shame, Guilt, Existential Worries, Loneliness, as well as Weight Management. 

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