T Nation

Fat Shaming: Truth or Feelings?


The cynic in me suggests that in many cases it’s actually not about the person being shamed, and more about making the person doing the shaming feel better about themselves.


Conveniently on the T-nation social media pages…


That’s more like bullying. Somehow you can fat shame someone by posting a photo of someone who’s fit and thin.

In today’s society of the perpetually offended, women like my wife are shaming fat women. She’s thin, eats vegan, and runs marathons for fun. Shame on her!

When directly addressing a fat person I think people take one of two approaches:

  1. You’re fat and lazy. It’s offensive to my senses.
  2. Can I help you?

I prefer the second approach but to ask that question you have to address the elephant in the room without pissing them off. It’s a tough line to walk.




I read this as “eats vegans” on the first pass. Cannibalism ftw.


Sounds like a great way to eat your veggies AND get plenty of protein!

That would definitely count as some sort of shaming.


I take the third approach, which is to assume their life choices have nothing to do with me and not mention it at all. I like to think people would do the same when they meet me, although it’s fair to say many don’t.


I recently learned the term edgelord.


Alright, my guy, I wasn’t even in this conversation, no need to personally attack me like this!


Every. Single. One.

I like to be grandiose and all encompassing

That’s like you’re opinion, man.

Of course.

Thank you. I think I will…


How often in your life do you find yourself addressing a fat person on the subject of their fatness?


I just thought of the movie Heavyweights with Ben Stiller as I was scrolling through this.

That was actually a pretty funny movie.


I love that movie!


Rarely because I choose option two and we never get to that point. Occasionally I get to try to help people at work. Sadly, they are usually dealing with a serious health issue when they finally reach out. I spoke with two last year and just offered advice. One was trying to lose 50 lbs for a knee replacement (and he did, 365 to 315). The other had recently been hospitalized for heart problems.

If there’s a reasonable opening in the conversation then I’m happy to offer my help.

I can’t imagine being so crass that I just blurt out “You’re fat and need to lose weight. I can help!”

The passive approach. I was thinking in terms of actually saying or doing something when encountering obese people but you are correct.

This is actually my approach unless they reach out for help. People can’t be forced into making changes and guilt is not an effective/healthy strategy.


I just want to say, I’m not much for confrontation, and I’m very much a “leave people to their opinions” type of person. And, I don’t know you from a hole in the wall. I am definitely not one for online forum disagreements, either, but I felt it was important enough to respond to your comment because it’s an unfair generalization. I spent over 10 years as a “fat person”. And I wasn’t lazy, or apathetic, or any of those things. I was fat because of medical complications, something that was completely out of my control.

I know how people looked at me, and I could just imagine their thoughts. It was hurtful, and it affected me in ways I never even knew until years later. And they had no idea how hard I was working to not be that “fat, lazy chick” anymore.

All I’d ask id that you take into consideration that you don’t know every person’s backstory, and while sure, a lot of overweight people get that way due to poor life choices, it’s not always the case. Assume the best of people, and that’s what you’ll see.

I’m looking forward to exploring the t-nation site, meeting people in the forums, and learning all I can about lifting and living well. I certainly don’t want to start off on the wrong foot, but it was important to me to address your comment.



What medical complications/conditions cause weight gain? Never heard of any that are direct causes. Same goes for certain medications, none are direct causes.


I have Polycysic Ovary Syndrome - makes it very easy to gain weight, and incredible difficult to lose it. I also have hypothyroidism.


Glad to hear you recovered. Now are you just fat, or just a person? Inquiring minds want to know.

Cool. You were in the vast minority of fat people.

Also, I’m assuming you could control the intake of food? You had a medical condition which is pretty damn vague wrt medical conditions.

Unless the medical condition was you converted everything you ate into adipose tissue I have to assume you didn’t adjust your diet to accommodate the decrease in activity. Just a guess, but you didn’t really explain how you became fat b/c of a medical condition…

I do agree that your medical condition was out of your control. But your diet was not.

So it was hurtful to imagine their thoughts? So why did you continue to imagine their thoughts?

Are you an expert mind reader? At body language?

I have an interest in body language (non verbal communication) but am by no means an expert. However, I do know that it’s foolish to ascribe any specific thoughts to looks on peoples faces. There’s a lot more to it.

You ascribing disgust or w/e you said to stranger’s faces when they “looked at you” (how do you KNOW they were looking at you and not just kind of staring off into space i…e looking through you?) without any kind of baseline to compare it to says a lot more of how you thought of yourself than what any one person was thinking…

But it’s mostly the case.

Good advice. You should take it sometime given you ascribed negative thoughts to people you didn’t know…

I hope you do. Not joking. A bunch of great people here. Also, learning to lift and “living well” (this last part is pretty vague but I’ll take your word for it) is represented here in spades. Stay open to other people’s experiences and opinions and be humble. Or we’ll make you stay humble :wink: (that’s a joke. We joke here. A lot. It’d be best if you developed a bit of a sense of humor.)

You didn’t. We’re open to debate and other people’s opinions/experiences. Just be prepared to defend your position if need be. Welcome dude.


Phew, ok:

I’m now a person, as I was before. There’s just less of me now.

Sure, I was able to control my intake of food. But, in the interest of honesty, sometimes I didn’t. But as much as I could, I did.

My medical condition is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (as well as hypothyroidism). Easy to gain, very difficult to lose. And that’s straight from the mouths of a variety of medical professionals I’ve seen, not just me trying to excuse my size.

I really didn’t need to always “imagine” other peoples’ thoughts. Some people have glass faces, and often yes, I’d see them looking directly at me with disgust. You don’t need to be an expert at body language to see someone making an “ugh, gross” face.

Sure, mostly the case. But not always. Which was my original point.

I take my own advice regularly, I find I’m often full of good ideas.

“Living well” - deliberately vague. Because it’s different for everybody.

I have a sense of humour - I’m still talking to you, aren’t I? :wink:


I’m acquainted with it. My mom had/has it. She’s managed to keep her weight down after she as diagnosed through diet, exercise and medication.


I doubt this is measurable. I’m sure it happened. But I doubt it was often, relatively speaking.

Could have been in your direction. Could have been wrt to something independent of your fatness. You really do not know and are taking a guess…

Am I a joke to you? That’s rude bud. :wink: