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Monday, October 21

My Confession and Tips on How NOT to Be a Health Troll

  I have been blogging about exercising and I have been trying to be sensitive on not fat shaming. I shamefully admit that years ago I used to be a "health troll".  Now you are probably asking yourself what is a health troll. Well here you go this is the best definition I could muster up...

A health troll is a person who pretends to be or is concerned about another person/s health and reaches out to them with their concerns even though they are not a doctor and are most likely regurgitating information about health they have been socialized to believe that support biases against fat people. Note: A person can be health troll against a thin person as well.

According to a study medical doctors may be biased against obesity as the general public. Sadly, I wasn't alone in my attitude. I had this habit of being "concerned" until I came across a woman expressing how hurtful it is. I don't remember if it was an update or an actual blog post I just remember how it made me feel after telling her experience of encountering a health troll. No one ever expressed to me that my concerns were not helping and for some just flat out annoying. I felt ashamed. When I thought about all my comments of concern which were really ignorant were hurting people it was pretty sickening. Studies also back this up that fat shaming doesn't really work as well as we think it does and for some it leads to even more weight gain. Although I wasn't name calling or making degrading remarks in relation to weight I still wasn't minding my own damn business.
"Research has already shown that stigmatizing overweight people leads to psychological factors that are likely to contribute to weight gain – things like depression or binge eating. This new paper takes that a step further, linking what the Internet likes to call “fat-shaming” to weight gain and suggesting that you can’t scare people skinny." nbcnews.com
 When I came to the realization that my health troll concerns were really hurting people it humanized my friends and other people. I knew they were human of course but I actually realized that I could have been causing pain. After this realization, I shut up and minded my own damn business. It made me accept people for who they choose to be and not what I have socialized to accept as the ideal of what they should be. I accepted them for who they are because if they are happy with themselves, I'm happy. I accepted for who they are because if they are not satisfied with themselves right now when they want my support that will ask for it.

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