For some people, being “fat” or “skinny” is seen as a lifestyle choice, like deciding to get a tattoo or a piercing. Sure, many people are overweight because of America’s dependence on sugar and sodium-rich diets coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, but for some being overweight truly is the byproduct of a medical condition, an eating disorder or a psychological disturbance. The same can be said for the social impact caused by a society which idolises and worships models and celebrities.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to throw everyone into tiny groups or classify each and every individual. I’m merely suggesting that it’s harmful to view weight as a lifestyle. If we accept someone for who they are and never reach out and say, “Look Girl or Guy, I really think you might want to talk to someone about your weight,” it sometimes does more harm than good. I said in a recent post that to love oneself is the greatest step toward happiness, but there is a difference between love, acceptance and ignoring an issue.
If you know that someone might be hurting and that they are taking out their frustrations on themselves by starving or binge eating, the best thing you could do for that person is tell them that you care and want to see them happy. I’m not a psychologist and chances are you aren’t either, but people rarely seek help on their own. You don’t have to stage a full blown intervention and you don’t have to try and analyse their problems to try and figure out a solution. All you need to do is offer a hug and a friendly ear. Listen to what they have to say and suggest that it might be a good idea to find someone who will analyse and who will be able to present any possible solutions.
After all, you hopefully wouldn’t ignore a friend cutting themselves or threatening suicide and issues like these are quite similar and just as serious.