By: Elizabeth Friedman
Somewhere in the eating disorder community, you’ve probably heard someone say that they are afraid of getting fat during the recovery process. You may have thought or said this yourself. I did! However, after building a solid recovery foundation, I learned what a lie that fear was.
Eating disorders lie. Shocker, I know. Turns out, I wasn’t afraid of getting fat. I was afraid of being less accepted, less appreciated, and less cared for if I were fat. Here’s the thing: that is not a lie.
Fat bodies are marginalized bodies. If you live in a larger body, you are constantly being hit with the message that the world is not made for you. Day-to-day life is full of obstacles. Here are a few examples:
All bodies are deserving of respect. They all deserve treatment when they are sick. They all deserve to be taken care of and honored. They all deserve to ride the ferris wheel. Being fat is not a bad thing; the way that our society treats fat people is. Fat phobia at its core is not a fear of being fat. It is a fear of being treated as lesser.
Elizabeth is an eating disorder survivor and body positive advocate. Her greatest passion is speaking out against diet culture and encouraging men and women to love the bodies they call home. She first participated as a SMASH Ambassador at UNC in 2017. Since then, she has attended multiple Southern Smash events, spoke on the SmashTALK panel at Meredith College, and took on the role of Program Coordinator for Southern Smash. She hopes to make advocacy her full time job so she can devote all her time and energy into smashing the stigma around eating disorders and weight bias.