Make a rule: No more "fat talk." Ramani Durvasula, PhD explains why the word is more dangerous than you think.
"Do these jeans make me look fat?”
"No dessert for me, I’m fat."
Most of us are guilty of this “fat talk,” or dropping the so-called "F-bomb."
Fat talk is such a regular part of our vocabulary that most of us don’t think about it. But the fat talk does its damage quietly. Chronically leaving us with a poor sense of body image, that trickles into a poor sense of self. Chronically leaving us feeling like we don’t "measure up" unless we look the way that an out-of-touch fashion industry tells us to look.
Lots of people write this off as the "usual," so how harmful could it be? Perhaps seeing it through a different mirror can be useful.
How would it feel to hear your 8-year-old child, or niece or goddaughter preen in the mirror and ask, “Do my Hello Kitty pajamas make me look fat?” Or if they say no to birthday cake because they think they are chunky. Children do as we do and say, so they listen to us, watch us and learn from us. It’s not enough to eat healthy in front of them, we also must maintain a healthy body image – at any size. And that starts by ending the fat talk.
So how can we stop dropping the almighty “F-bomb?"
Put The Best You Out There Each Day
Too many people who engage in "fat talk" believe that their lives will change one day down the road if they could only lose 15 pounds or wear a size 8. Do not equate weight loss with happiness. You will just have the same problems in smaller pants. So instead, dress to your size today.
Many people who engage in fat talk wear clothes that are too small for themselves as punishment, or wear designs that are unflattering. Wear the right size, be beautiful – it won’t make you lazy or complacent! Instead it will make you enjoy you, and then you will feel beautiful, say kinder things and take better care of yourself.
Take a One-Day Fat-Talk Challenge
Women engage in fat talk in packs. Issue a fat-talk challenge to each other – get together, go shopping, hang out, eat – and every time anyone drops the F-bomb, call her out on it.
You can’t take that old classic fat-talk tape out of your head without replacing it with something else. Generate five adjectives about yourself and your soul, not your body or your appearance, but about you. Then take them and write them on a sticky note that you put on your mirror. Are you really going to F-bomb someone you just described as a good mother, compassionate and friendly?
Stop the Fat Talk and Talk About Something Else
Fat talk is negative energy you put out there about you. It’s often easier to issue a compliment than it is to take one, so a thoughtful compliment can change someone’s day. When you notice good things, comment on them: It will make the world around you warmer, and you may find yourself the recipient of more good words and energy.
Finally, Let's Go Back to Those Kids.
Great rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t say it to your kids, or a loved one, why would you say it to yourself? Many of us are taught to be overly humble to the point we put ourselves down, especially where our appearance is concerned. The only way you will get to your best you, is by loving yourself. So if you wouldn’t talk the fat talk to someone you love, why would you do it to yourself?
Radiance, beauty and happiness are a head game. And you can change it today. By changing how you talk about you.