At the ASDAH conference (yes, I am going to be blogging a lot about everything I heard/learned at the ASDAH conference – it totally rocked), someone brought up the grieving process as it relates to fat acceptance. This may not apply to you, but it certainly does ring true to me and my personal experience on the road to fat acceptance. The point where you realize – you have a fat body that will probably remain fat.
The 7 stages of grieving are:
1. Shock and disbelief
7. Acceptance and hope
My 7 stages of fat acceptance are:
1. Shock and disbelief – OMG! I’m fat!
2. Denial – I’m not that fat. I’ll just go on a diet and lose it.
3. Anger – Everybody knows it’s calories in/calories out – how can I be plateauing? I must be doing something wrong. I need to try harder, be tougher on myself.
4. Bargaining – Okay, if I lose this much weight, I’ll take dance lessons (or go on that cruise, or buy that dress …)
5. Guilt – I can’t believe I’ve put on all that weight again, and then some! What is wrong with me? I am such a terrible person.
6. Depression – I’m never going to be able to do anything. Nobody will ever love me. I’m so fat.
7. Acceptance and hope – I’m fat, but I have friends who love me, I have a great job, I am smart (talented, etc.). In fact, my life is pretty good, and there is no reason I can’t take those dance lessons (or go on that cruise, or buy a nice dress …).
And then I would add one more step!
8. Realization and Education – There is science that shows diets don’t work? Fat people can be fit? Fat people can have successful relationships? WTF? Why didn’t I hear about that? Why didn’t anybody tell me? Let’s get this information out there!
And a fat activist is born.
Do you see what I’m getting at? Do you see the stages you have passed through? Maybe by understanding the process, we can jump ahead. Unlike grief, maybe some of the stages of fat acceptance can be skipped. Or maybe just recognizing what you are going through will help you pass through the stages quicker.
I also think society is working its way through the same stages; although society seems to have been stuck at anger for way too long.