Today I want to emphasize exactly how I feel about today’s topic. STOP. IT. NOW!!!! Stop what? Putting yourself down or “fat talk” as this dialogue has recently been coined. Caitlin discusses it in her Operation Beautiful book at greater length, and while I am not going back and referencing it specifically this morning, some of what I share while writing is likely impacted by that book. If you haven’t read it, you must!
We all know about fat talk. Even if you have never heard the term, you have experienced it. It lies in that inner dialogue of self-doubt that puts down our image and denies us of our true beauty. I actually like to think of it as “self-doubt talk” because I believe it plays in more than physical appearance. It comes when we commiserate with other women about how “this dress makes me look fat” or “gosh, I’m so stupid to think the boss would like my idea”. Maybe it even hides behind those times we refuse to accept compliments.
Just like Caitlin, I don’t even begin to think we can fully stop such negative thoughts. They will always find a way to creep back in. We need to become more aware of them and work hard to stop them in their tracks. I have more confidence than ever in who I am, my ability to care for myself, that I have much to offer others, and that I am in fact beautiful. I still face fat talk more often than I care to admit. Maybe even to the likes of once a day. The difference is I can stop it in its tracks.
Yesterday for example, while out to eat I went to the restroom which had (for some reason) a set up with numerous mirrors. When standing to pull up my pants, I look in front of me and bam there’s a reflection of my behind. Dun dun dun. Enter fat talk in its evil combat suit.
“You worked sooo hard to get that thing in shape and now its just gotten lumpy pancake disease again. It will never look nice.” “You’ve been eating so TERRIBLE. You won’t be able to lose the weight.” “And just look at how you’re dressed! You don’t fit in here!” …shake head in realization…
What are some steps I take to stop the “self-doubt” talk when it begins?
- Remember those gifts of the body. Remember how the part you criticize works for you. I am not in the best shape right now because I am carrying a child! It would be a sad situation if I was because then I wouldn’t be providing for my baby first.
- Replace with a positive. My butt may not be looking too pretty, but it will again. And my legs are still in pretty dang good shape. So there! (I think I actually stuck my tongue out to the mirror at this point…I don’t make these things up)
- Be realistic. I’m not eating TERRIBLE. I know it’s not my best, but its not terrible. Heck! The dinner awaiting me outside that restroom was hummus, veggies, pita, and one all meat crab cake! The birthday cake I ate earlier? Naturally sweetened apple cake made from scratch by my sister in law. Yea. Soooo TERRIBLE!
- Reaffirm yourself. Think outside the physical quality or whatever you are tearing down and consider your strengths. I know I will have the drive to care for my health and get back to a comfortable and healthy place for me after this baby. I did it once and I will do it again. I know that.
- Tell someone who you trust will support you and not turn it into a game of “who has it worse”. After recognizing these thoughts, I later shared them with Peter. He reminded me of the advice I give to others and bluntly told me to take it myself. Touche my man. Touche. It snapped me out of it.
One last thing – be aware of when others participate in fat talk. Don’t allow them to! It makes it easier for you to participate as well. As women, we should be lifting each other up instead of standing by while we tear our own selves apart. Simply say “Stop. You’re smarter than to put yourself down like that”. I think this works best because you’re not handing out a compliment to reaffirm the behavior. Also, you’re still showing you think highly of the person and want what is best for them.
This post has gone on long enough! What do you do to stop fat talk? From yourself or from others?
Check out the blogs below for their own personal posts about the 30 DSLR.