Time to end fat talk every day and change your life!

Fat talk has hit the headlines three times already this week, and it’s only Wednesday! It’s time to end fat talk, starting here.

Fat Talk Round One

First up, research from the UK ‘proved’ what a bitchy lot we women are, judging one another based on weight within 20 seconds of meeting! If that isn’t an indication that we’re ‘educated’ by media that fat is morally bad and fat talk is okay, even when it becomes body snarking, I don’t know what is.

end fat talk The only good news is that six in ten women said they didn’t mean to judge another, it just happens.

So most of us are aware and notice we’re fat talking and judging other women. That’s also good news! Awareness is the first step to change so if you’re one of the six-in-ten who don’t mean to be judgey, good on you.

If you’d like to be less judgey, you have to start by being kinder to yourself.  Yes I know you judge yourself more harshly than you judge anyone else – kindness rubs off, I promise, and you can end fat talk.

You can start with my lovely self-loving freebie. You can read more about the study here, but only if you’re ready for some challenges to your habits!

(aside: men judge women in a millisecond, but they’re not shallow…… so says this scientist! LOL!)

Fat Talk Round Two

The second fat talk incident shouldn’t have been any surprise, based on the research findings above.

I sit on my bottom most of every day, it’s a job requirement! So I’ve developed the habit of going for a walk around the very-hilly block. A new colleague noticed I’d been doing that and her response was something like, “Oh we should all do that, imagine how much weight we’d lose”.

I blinked.

I go for the walk to move energy around my body, it clears my head and keeps me sparkly so I can go home feeling alive alert awake enthusiastic, not buggered. Which I said.

But you know, I said nothing about the weight comment… some days it seems too hard to challenge the perceptions and end fat talk.

One thing I am sure about is that the conversation will come up again!

Fat Talk Round Three

The third fat talk incident was another automatic comment by another colleague. I was discussing with her that a short video of her explaining the heart of the project she’s working on would be a really useful way to help people understand and enroll in it. She’s passionate about the research, very engaging and incredibly smart. As well, she is a high achiever in her profession with a Dr. in her name, and well regarded.

Her immediate response was, “Oh well, no, I’m so fat…”. (Actually she’s probably average sized, very well groomed and presented).

I said, “Eh, that’s just a female thing, you can film very close in so people see mostly your face” and repeated a few benefits of doing the video. She then engaged in thinking about how she normally talks to groups, and went away thinking that a video might be a possibility.

But this fat talk body snarking thing is so endemic and ‘normal’ that most of us engage in it.

Time to end fat talk

The thing is – we women can relate to one another in ways that build real trust, build one another up, not mutual pulling down.

If you’re not sure whether or not you’re fat-talking yourself and others down, I made a free fat talk game to help you notice. (If you’re already signed up for my newsletter, it will be coming to you shortly so no need to get it again).

What do you think? Is it possible to end fat talk, or am I dreaming?

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10 Comments

  1. Julia Manson Cheng on June 1, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Great article Sandy.

    At this point in time I don’t think we can change how our culture normalizes “fat talk” until we start by changing how we individually think. Each of us has the power to refuse to engage in it, set boundaries around it, and not react to it. I too hope that it will change one day but we have to start with ourselves first and make changes there.

    I resonated with the part in your article about the colleague who presumed that you were walking to lose weight. Recently, my husbands work associate commented that I looked great and asked if I lost weight? He always says the same thing each time I see him. LOL – next time I should look invisible… at the rate I’m going! I mean really….have we lost the ability to be sincere & think for ourselves? While comments like this may be the “norm” it doesn’t make them right or acceptable. I feel insulted by comments about my weight because my worth doesn’t come from a number on a scale. It used to, and that was a painful existence & a total waste of time. I refuse to be dragged back down to that level ever again.

    Anyone else feel like this? Love your message Sandy. Julia

    • Sandy on June 2, 2011 at 5:48 am

      Oh yes – me for one! For about 20 years of my life – okay more like 30 – the number on the scales set the tone of the day, what a waste of time and energy! I used to think it was all so important, and wondered why I felt so terrible! Then I finally clued in, as Janine said in another comment, that the right food actually makes me feel good, and everything changed for me…

      You reminded me about a place I used to work. The book keeper was very focussed on body weight (her partner was 10 years younger than she). She worked part time so would only be there mid-week. Every time she’d see me for the first time in the week she’d say “so you are losing?” in her European accent. And sadly, I would then launch into what was ‘working’ and what wasn’t, and as I write this I realise I’d always come away from that weekly conversation feeling really crappy about me. LOL! I’m so far away from that Sandy now, I can hardly believe I did that – hehehehe. Got to love the journey :):)

  2. Lainna on June 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Our thoughts happen so subconsciously that we are usually unaware of them until it gets brought to our attention! Thank you for bringing this to the forefront our our awareness! I will humbly admit that I do judge far more than I would like to. The funny (or maybe not so funny) part is that I HATE when others judge. Debbie Ford talks about this in her shadow work. Yes, I need to be more aware of how I judge the outside instead of admiring the individuality of every person.

    • Sandy on June 2, 2011 at 5:43 am

      Lainna, yep it’s so automatic isn’t it? That critical voice must be a trim toned size 0, with all the workouts it gets – LOL!

  3. Mary Lynn on June 2, 2011 at 12:21 am

    I dont think that judgment will ever go away. We all do it and mostly to ourselves. Seems that added to the split second judgment is a quickly following comparison, to our peers, our neighbors our family members. . . it all happens so fast. If only we could train ourselves for an intervention that happens that fast!

  4. Janine Lattimore on June 2, 2011 at 3:55 am

    I have to confess – I’m a ‘skinny bitch’ – naturally slim. I always find the ‘fat talk’ of other women interesting and a little heart-breaking. The one that I particularly notice is the ‘I can’t eat that’, ‘I shouldn’t have this wine’ etc the constant association of food with weight. Personally, I always think about food in terms of health.

    And, there is ‘skinny’ talk too – “I’m not sexy I have no boobs”, “My fingers look like bony witch’s hands’ . . . At high school I was nick-named ‘the white ethiopian’ and I hated wearing togs because my hip bones stuck out and of course I had no boobs.

    I am far more accepting of myself now. I did a lot of healing using EFT/Meridian tapping and surprised myself what was embedded in my sub-conscious.

    Not sure that we can do much about the ‘fat talk’ of others or the media, but we can begin a journey of healing for ourselves. The real blessing is that when we begin to change our mental perception and beliefs our world begins to magically change around us all on its own.

    • Sandy on June 2, 2011 at 5:41 am

      Yes for sure! 🙂 When we get gentle with ourselves, the whole world suddenly seems gentler – or perhaps gradually rather than suddenly 🙂 And I agree too – tapping is a-m-a-z-i-n-g – the bodybliss 101 course is all tapping on various issues, seems to help 🙂

  5. Sandy on June 2, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Oh yes we do do it to ourselves – what the? On one level it’s very funny 🙂 I imagine a time in 50 years or so when young women study the history of this era with all the slicing and dicing and injecting of toxins and weird food-like substances, and they will be so astounded that we actually paid to do that stuff to ourselves… they, of course, will be the evolved selves we’re working towards so our awareness right now is serving an important purpose I think…

  6. Lisa M on June 2, 2011 at 6:41 am

    This is a great line of thinking and one that we should all pursue within ourselves. It is so automatic that we think about “weight” and then make assumptions about why someone wants to go for a walk, join a gym, change eating habits etc. I agree with Julia that we should begin with the individual and that means both parties in a conversation.

    If we hear someone make a disparaging comment about someone else’s appearance and we don’t like what they’ve said we should feel free to call them on it (tactfully if possible but some people just don’t get it). If someone makes a comment like your colleague did I hope I would be quick enough to point out that walking is useful for lots of things, including the simple pleasure of being outside in nature, not just weight loss.

    I think the key to changing things is no longer accepting the automatic pilot way we lead our lives but to really analyse the things we do and why we do them. Maybe we won’t like what we find and make some positive changes.

    • Sandy on June 2, 2011 at 6:43 am

      Yes indeed, take ourselves off automatic pilot and get conscious! Chicks changing the world 🙂

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