People judge how others look. The actions that can arise from judgements, especially around weight, is a big problem.

We are constantly told by the medical and dieting community that losing weight is simply a matter of fewer calories in and more calories out. If we buy into this oversimplified equation, then it becomes way too easy to start thinking that those who are overweight are “lazy” and lack “willpower”. They must eat too much and not move enough, right?

I have a very different view.

During my studies of eating psychology, I discovered that there are many factors that influence our metabolism and food intake. These include our beliefs, thoughts, emotions, stress, and relationships. There is also scientific evidence which proves the lasting effects of nutrition received in the womb, early childhood nutrition and gut bacteria on weight.

To say we are complex beings is an understatement. Yet many people who are overweight are told that they just need to “try harder” or exert their “willpower”. These people are shamed and abused by the medical community. They are made to endure flippant and rude comments. This behavior is unacceptable. Nobody is born with a label of how much they “should” weigh. There is an excellent book called Health At Every Size. This book explains how weight is not an accurate indicator of how healthy we are. What we perceive as overweight could very well be a healthy weight for that individual.

Whether we think a person is “overweight” or “underweight”, the truth is we don’t have a clue what’s really going on for this person emotionally, physically or mentally.

Let’s give ourselves and others a well-deserved break around weight.