Become Your Healthiest Self With Kim’s New Book Here

Stop the "fat" shaming- TRIGGER WARNING-

Kim Shapira
August 16, 2023
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What does the word “fat” mean?

(Excerpt from This Is What You're Really Hungry For)

Is it something we eat? Is it something we have? Is it something we are? It’s shocking how one word can represent so many different things. Fat is fat, but also fat is definitely not fat. I have heard endless definitions for “fat” over the years, but one theme appears again and again: shame. Fat shame is a universal prejudice. As a society, we are obsessed with thinness. Burn fat, reduce fat, get leaner, get lighter, and do it faster! We tell each other, and ourselves, that fat means laziness, a lack of willpower, and weakness. Lose it, lose more!

Take a deep breath.
We need to redefine this word.

The six simple rules offer a daily check-in with how your body is feeling and what you need. We need calories every day — but we never need to count them. Trust me — growing up, my parents never talked about calories, diet, weight, or nutrition. I mean, never! My family’s pantry and refrigerator were stocked with everything from chocolate milk, cereal, ice cream, and fudgsicles, to drawers of vegetables, bowls of fruit, and a basket of fresh bread. We were never told no when it came to food, so my siblings and I did not grow up with fears and stigmas around food. We were also never given food as an exciting reward or treat. It was just always available, so I ate when I was hungry and moved on. (On the other hand, we saw others search through our pantry with

glee, stocking up on foods they didn’t have access to at their own homes.) Today, I have three daughters, and much like my own mother, I stock our pantry with everything. As a parent, I might say, “Let’s wait on a snack so you are hungry for dinner,” but if my child asked for ice cream for dinner, I gave it to her—and I never treated it like a special occasion. I just put the ice cream in a small bowl right next to the other foods on the table. I never forced my kids to eat when they were not hungry or made them finish their plates. I did not worry if they didn’t eat fruits or vegetables, though I always served two or three at every meal. I put tiny cookies in their lunches every day until they got tired of them. As a result, of having free reign over their own bodies, they paid attention to what they needed and what made them feel good. Recently, one of my daughters told me she couldn’t believe how many kids seemed obsessed with their bodies, their weight, and what they could and could not eat. She didn’t understand this mindset. I felt that I had achieved a personal victory when she told me, “You know, Mom, fat is not a bad word.” That is exactly how I want you to feel as you read this book. We are removing the shame spiral and the fear these words provoke.

As always, I am here to remind you that we are on this journey together.



Kim Shapira

Kim Shapira

dietitian and nutrition therapist.

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