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Thinking about praising people for weight loss? Literally please don’t!

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Supplied with permission, open letter to Linkedin written by Mel Riley Snr Accred Psychotherapist.

"Oh you have got a cracking figure, lucky you"

Yes lucky me who lost a family overnight, all safety and stability too!!

Time to speak out, I am not healthy, thin is not always healthy. I wince every time people say this to me. I try not to fill up, I struggle to eat, it's been causing massive problems.

Lack of fuel starves, your brain, you can't think straight, cognition is seriously impacted. You get sports injuries; your muscle mass drops significantly. Rapid weight loss are signs something is drastically wrong.

I am prized for having a cracking figure, looking good in a wet suit. It's not OK and we just need to stop it.

We have no idea what trauma someone is living through, so. just like we don't fat shame people, maybe we keep comments about slender people to ourselves too.

It’s not a badge of honour, I'd take the 3 stone back in heartbeat.

Truth is I was happier and healthier fatter; I just did not know it at the time and what was to come.

Brain fog, panic attacks as your body screams feed me, but you're too sick to your stomach quite literally, to keep food down or find an appetite.

Our body size is nobody else's business!

Asking what's your secret is not OK. Fighting back tears I muttered "Stress" and left.

Should you wish to support people better, I suggest Bernie Wright for resources and support around disordered eating of any kind.

So that’s my rant today, I left a class in tears, as I am praised for my body, that’s not in any way healthy right now. I felt I had been praised for something I had not done.

We are often living struggles we don't talk about.

You know now, if you have been here a while, I will keep it real. Going with good enough, doing my best on any given day!

Remind yourself you too are doing your best.

I know you’re out there and you matter, we are so much more than body shapes.

No calls to action at the moment, diaries busy, so many people are not OK.

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1 Comment

Nov 08, 2022

How brave of you to speak out so eloquently and honestly Mel Riley you are clearly talking about the plight of an army of people who can relate to trauma impacting on their eating behaviour. It highlights the desperate need for all of us NEVER to be tempted to congratulate anyone on weight loss EXPECIALLY if we are aware of any personal issues that they are going through that may impact on their ability to nourish themselves as usual. We need to remember that hunger can be a powerful sedative as can overeating and sedating ourselves with food, they both achieve the same result they numb us to what is often too unbearable to face. Be careful as to what…

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