Stop the B.S. and the B.O. (Stop the Body Shaming and Body Obsessing)

Paola Bassanese
6 min readJun 15, 2021

As a food and lifestyle writer, I am passionate about healthy eating — I don’t stuff my face with greasy or processed meals as a rule, because I choose to avoid added salt, sugar, preservatives etc in food as they are linked to the risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and other degenerative diseases. If something has a long list of chemical man-made ingredients I won’t touch it. This is just my preference and it is what works best for me, my body and my long term health. I grow my own vegetables and I don’t use pesticides in my garden, because that’s a shared space with wildlife: birds, insects, neighbourhood cats all come to visit. I couldn’t bear the thought of using poison to get rid of slugs, for example. They are my arch enemy but I just try to allocate a few “sacrificial plants” for them to munch on.

I digress. I want to talk about our obsession with bodies, both fit and unfit. As a society, we all seem to be entitled to an opinion; not only that, we are supposedly even entitled to pass judgment on other people, as if that was our divine right.

Trigger warning. If you are suffering from an eating disorder, it is best not to continue reading this article.

In my formal career as a massage therapist, I have worked in an eating disorders clinic and I am fully aware that mentioning weight can be triggering and I don’t want to cause distress.

I am just an average woman with an average body growing her own vegetables and cooking all her meals from scratch

Stop the B.S.

I cook all my meals from scratch using the freshest ingredients I can find, including freshly picked vegetables from my garden. I exercise every day. I have a sedentary job because I still haven’t mastered the skill of writing articles while standing up or running on a treadmill. Therefore, I know I need to take regular breaks during the day to do some squats or press-ups (or both).

During recent medical check-ups, the nurses I met implied that I am too fat. They didn’t quite spell it out for me but they expressed concern about my weight and BMI (body mass index). Now, if you exercise every day and have a healthy diet trying to avoid processed food as much as possible (I am human, I have had the occasional take-away once every two months), how would you feel to be made to think of yourself as overweight? How…

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Paola Bassanese

Author and freelance writer. I work with clients to create engaging communications. Keen forager and on a mission to have a low carbon footprint