One of the first questions I get when women dig into The Food Freedom/Body Love Method and have their eyes "wide-opened" to the pervasive fatphobic, diet culture we live in is....
"How do I teach this to other people? How do I convince my family/co-workers/in-laws/friends to STOP spreading stigmatizing beliefs about weight, health, and food?" (I'm paraphrasing, obviously. The question typically contains more expletives).
You don't (and often can't) teach anyone anything, in the beginning.
Here's how I describe it:
The Food Freedom/Body Love Method tears down your entire health, weight, and food belief system. And once we've "burned that barn down" we start to rebuild.
But at first, the new frame work we patch together is rickety as hell. It's made of Popscicle sticks or toothpicks or "other material conjuring the image of a grade 2 craft project". It's fragile and the last thing you need to do in that moment is invite someone into that frame work where they might cause damage.
As we work through the process and you learn and INTEGRATE new ways of thinking about your body, your framework fills out. It gets stronger. You stuff in hay and paper mache and modge podge and things begin to feel stronger.
With MORE time and experience and new levels of understanding you begin to magically transform. You show up in the world differently and people notice (Truly! Almost everyone I've ever worked with has reported comments from people on how they seem different, more comfortable in their skin, more calm, confident, at ease, etc).
All of a sudden you realize that the frame work you've been building has transformed to brick (or maybe sandstone...brick takes time;) and you feel more sturdy and stable. Ready to say 'yes' when you want to eat and 'no' when don't. Completely cool about eating dessert in front of others or jogging in your neighbourhood. Ready to wear what you want to wear, confident in your ability to challenge the comments and talk that come at you and around you, without feeling or being defensive. At this point you are more prepared to shrug off the person who just won't listen or change or hear that there is a different way of seeing this....you're solid because YOU know how YOU feel about it.
Don't get me wrong. There is no single right way to manage an oppressive culture. You do it how you want to do it, I'm here for it all!!!!
And there will be certain kinds of comments or rhetoric that continue to sting for some time (I just like to think of those as small indicators for areas of next growth:) but I do like people to keep their energy focused on themselves while they work toward transformation. To give themselves time to sort through things and figure it out before opening themselves up to even more criticism and confrontation.
As with most things, you BEING a different person will inspire others to change. They will see something in you that they are also searching for and they'll want to know more....
And if they don't? (Compassionately) forget them. After all, you'll remember what it was like waaaay back when you also lived in that world. And how awful it was. And thank goodness you're free.
Skipping into the weekend without a restriction in sight....
PS This is also SUPER important for those who work in helping/healing fields. If you want to pass this message along to those you work with - whether it be in yoga studios, ND offices, nutrition consults, group homes, medical centres, health food stores, or schools - you deeply changing your beliefs about food, weight, and body image is the best way to pay the message forward. You'll be more attuned to the struggles of others and have the proper language for shifting perspective. Consider doing my 1:1 program if that's YOU!!!