Stop Fat Talk – Is it Possible?
Fat Talk is that part of a conversation where we talk about our bodies in terms of the amount of fat on any given body part.
It’s that part of a conversation where someone says “Oh I’ll be ‘bad’ and have the cream/sugar/icecream/cake/rice/whatever”.
Or when we congratulate ourselves for choosing the salad over the cheesy risotto.
Or make a disapproving comment about someone else’s food choice, or clothing choice based on what we think is appropriate for their size.
Or an envious comment about someone else’s body, or part of their body.
We’ve all done it.
We’re encouraged to fat talk in fact
We’re encouraged by the media, our friends, our family, medical professionals, even fitness professionals to compare ourselves to every other person, usually unfavourably, and to bring fat into the conversation as often as possible. Fat talk is part of negative body image.
Somehow, it’s not okay to simply accept ourselves as we are.
I can already hear the questions:
- How is okay for someone who is morbidly obese to accept themselves the way they are?
- How is okay for someone to eat junk food day in and day out?
- How is okay for someone to never exercise?
The only response I have is this:
- If they’re not directly hurting you, why is what they’re doing your business?(No their future medical problems are not your business, they might never get cancer, heart disease or diabetes – it’s not automatic, thin people get those diseases too)
- Why do you care about a perfect stranger’s health?
- Who made it your business? (The media? Please….)
It only becomes anyone else’s business when we’re encouraged to compare ourselves to everyone else.
I’m thinner than her, she’s got bigger boobs than me, oh but hers are tiny, I wish I had her legs, she looks great in that [skirt] I wish I could pull it off, oh my god she should not be eating that icecream!
These kinds of fat talk comments are part of a conversation that runs around in most women’s heads allllll the time.
Research tells us that the average woman thinks between 13 and 20 negative things about her own body every – single – day.
That is a lot of negative fat talk energy, energy that could be much better spent on life-affirming things. Like eating great icecream with a good friend 🙂
So here’s a challenge for Stop Fat Talk Week:
Set up an internal ‘watcher’ to watch your thoughts when you’re out, say at work or out shopping.
Have the watcher alert you to the comparing, judging fat talking thoughts you make about other women’s bodies, or your own.
Notice how many there are in five minutes.
If you’re like me when I first started noticing this constant stream of fat talking nastiness in my own mind, I was pretty shocked.
I’ve been aware of this for years now, and yet just two days ago I found myself thinking an envious thought when I saw the woman walking ahead of me, wishing I had her well shaped and toned calves. What the? I thought, when I noticed myself thinking that thought 🙂
It’s not easy to stop doing because so many of our thoughts are purely automatic, but it *is* easy to notice when you’re doing it.
When I noticed my own thoughts two days ago I smiled because it’s bloody funny (funny ha-ha not funny weird. Actually…. it is kinda weird!) and then let go of judging myself for falling into the old pattern of comparing and judging and finding myself very very lacking.
And instead of that stomach-sinking feeling of I’m-not-good-enough that automatically followed for so many years, controlling my life in the worst way and believing that I deserved no better than the relationship and job that were both really pretty toxic, I found myself smiling at my human-ness and then turning my attention back to my business of the day.
And all I had to do to stop that spiral into feeling bad about myself was notice my fat-talking thoughts and give them a different meaning.
Yes I know it sounds easy. In fact it’s taken years for me to get here but it has SO been worth it, it has turned my life around in the best way.
If I can do it, you can do it.
If you’re serious about changing your fat talking habits and thoughts and feelings about your and other people’s bodies and want to do it easily, check out the Body Bliss 101 ecourse.
So what do you think? Do you fat talk, to yourself or others? What do you think of fat talk? If you choose to notice and stop doing it, what’s your favourite way of doing that? Please join in the conversation below.