On the 8th February 2021, Dr Asher Larmie (then Natasha) went on a British Morning Television show called This Morning to discuss weight stigma. They had a “friendly debate” with a self-styled “weight loss guru” Steve Miller about whether or not “children needed more ov*rweight heroes”.
Whilst it only lasted a few minutes, it caused a bit of a stir within the so-called health and fitness industry. Well known social media influencers like James Smith posted about it, and within a few days Asher was launched into fat activism and they have never looked back.
Since then, they have been trying to find the answer to the most common question they are asked; What can I do about weight stigma? How can I access fair and equal healthcare when all my practitioners care about is the number on the scales? Where can I find information about my condition that doesn’t focus on weight loss?
Exactly a year to the day, they launched the #NOWEIGH campaign in answer to those question. It is a labor of love, born out of their desire to advocate for those who struggle to advocate for themselves; fat people.
They have combined a wealth of scientific literature with people’s lived experiences and their own clinical knowledge and skills to create a free resource for anyone struggling with weight stigma and for professionals who want to learn more about why weight loss causes far more harm than good.
How Does #NOWEIGH Work?
If you’re sat in front of a medical professional and you want to avoid being weighed, there is a card you can carry with you and hand over as well as a section of the website that tells you when it IS medically necessary to weigh you and what to say if it is not. There is also a list of conditions with specific weight-inclusive advice and letters that you can download and give to your healthcare team in advance.
Healthcare professionals are overwhelmed. The vast majority of them have your best interest at heart but they live and work in a world where anti-fatness has permeated every area of society, especially the medical community. In this ever changing world, health professionals need to be educated about weight stigma and the aims of this campaign is to take the onus off you and put it back on the professional where it belongs.
Most people don’t understand what weight stigma is, let alone how it is impacting them individually. Whether you are new to fat studies or have been an activist for the past few decades, we hope to provide the resources that you need to share your knowledge with others and to signpost you to other incredible activists and educators who are working in the fat liberation space.