Focus On You > Stop Blaming Yourself

Focus on You

Ending the Blame Game



Weight bias is a serious issue in our society. Not only are many other people biased against those of us with higher weights, quite a few of us judge and blame ourselves for our weight (internalized weight bias).

So how do we reduce weight bias internalization?

One way to address weight bias internalization is to educate ourselves more on weight control and to reframe obesity as a chronic disease. The information below offers some suggestions to help us understand weight control and to reframe obesity as a chronic disease.


Weight control is simple! It is all about energy in and energy out. If I eat less and move more, I will lose weight.


Consider that weight is highly genetic and that the body will always defend itself against weight loss. Weight is controlled through our brains. This weight set point theory stipulates that every time a person loses weight (whether it is voluntary or not), the brain will release a cascade of hormones to try and prevent weight loss. For example, some hormones that are released will reduce our feeling of satiety and other hormones will increase our hunger. Other parts of the brain will tell our bodies to reduce metabolic activity to save calories and to store more body fat. The result of these neurohormonal responses in our bodies are not controllable through our behaviors. We have zero control over this. And the more we try to lose weight, the more our bodies will resist weight loss. So there is no need to blame ourselves for something that is out of our control

What this indicates to me is that many individuals living with obesity have been engaging in weight-loss efforts rather than evidence-based obesity treatment. This is an important distinction.


I have obesity because I am lazy, unmotivated, and lacking self-control. I am just not able to stick to my weight loss plan, so obesity is my fault.


First, consider that a person’s weight is not directly associated with their intelligence or personal characteristics such as work habits, self-discipline, or self-control. These are stereotypes about people who have higher weights and are not based on any scientific evidence.

Second, consider that like any chronic disease, individuals need support from their healthcare providers, their families and their communities. You do not need to manage your obesity alone!


My ability to control my weight is directly linked to my value as a human being. In other words, if I cannot control my weight, I am not normal and therefore I have less value as a human being because I am just lazy, unmotivated, unsuccessful, etc.


This is internalized weight bias and it can lead to individuals feeling that they deserve to be treated unfairly by others because they are not normal.

Do you believe it is ok for others to treat you unfairly because of your obesity?

Have you considered critically why you believe that your weight or obesity is linked to your personal value as a human being?

Consider if you believe that other people living with diabetes, cancer or heart disease are more valuable than you?

Individuals come in different sizes, shapes, colors, heights, etc. Our weight or body size or even the chronic diseases we live with, including obesity, do not affect our value in society.

Ximena Ramos Salas is Director of Research & Policy for Obesity Canada. Obesity Canada is Canada’s leading obesity charity made up of healthcare professionals, researchers, policy makers and people with an interest in obesity. Get involved:
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