Recently I encountered an instance of diabetes body shaming that left me angry and disgusted.
I am still on the mailing list of a fairly popular gym that I used to attend before COVID. I don’t typically take the time to read the stories they send, but one of their recent emails contained a story about diabetes, so of course I was excited to finally find a gym highlighting the importance of this topic.
But what I read was not exciting.
What I saw really horrified me.
In very large font, there was a statement from the gym’s founder that said:
Type 2 Diabetes is a punishment for being fat.
There was an attempt to buffer this with a crass statement with a rewrite in parenthesis that changed the word “punishment” to “consequence”. But the damage was already done, and regardless of the word chosen, it’s still an offensive statement.
I read further to see that this was the gym founder’s response to a social media post of a woman holding up a sign that read:
Diabetes is not a punishment for being fat.
He shared the woman’s picture on his social media account, along with his opinion on her statement.
The comments from the gym’s followers baffled me even more. They were mean. They were shaming.
The gym guy did not tag this person, so I’m not sure if she is aware of the horrible things that were said in response to her post. They were so cruel, I honestly hope she never sees them.
The write up on the website went on to say:
We should celebrate how simple and easy it is to fix Type 2 Diabetes.
While we know that Type 2 Diabetes can improve in many cases with changes in lifestyle, shaming and blaming is NOT acceptable.
It is unfortunate when others believe that weight is the only indicator of health. It is even more unfortunate to shame someone who may be struggling.
In reality, weight is often only the surface of the challenges that someone may be facing. There is no excuse for any human to judge another human being about their weight or physical appearance. Period.
This email and comments on the image disturbed me.
However, when I switched my focus back to the support, compassion, education and resources that I and my team offer through Diapoint (my diabetes-focused brand and company), this awful event lit a fire beneath me.
I had just encountered the perfect reminder of why I created Diapoint, and why we do what we do.
It’s also why I offer my support as a Wellness and Lifestyle Medicine Coach – for anyone, whether or not they have diabetes, to not just live, but thrive.
If you need non-judgmental support to achieve your health and wellness goals, set up a FREE health planning session now, so that we can support you in your health journey.
You can schedule your call now at this link.
Have you experienced body shame or diabetes shame? Tell me your story in the comments below.