Have you ever heard a friend say to you, “I need to go on a diet” or ask “Do these jeans make my butt look big”? Maybe you’ve even said (or thought) things like this about yourself. If so, you’ve experienced “fat talk”. “Fat talk” is a term used to describe the constant remarks people make about weight and body shape. This includes the things people say about their own body and also the comments they make about other people’s bodies. The internal comments (self-talk) we make about our own weight or body shape are also forms of “fat talk”.
As part of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, I’d like to share my excitement about Operation Beautiful, a website I recently discovered. The mission of Operation Beautiful is to silence “fat talk”.
Caitlin, the editor of Operation Beautiful, lists ways to consciously cut back on “fat talk”. One example is to correct yourself by turning a negative thought (in this case, “fat talk”) into something positive and more realistic! I was really inspired by this, so I thought of a couple of examples:
- Instead of “I’m too short,” how about: “For my size, I have a lot of love and courage!”
- Instead of thinking “I wish I was more toned and muscular,” how about telling yourself: “By doing the things I enjoy (such as yoga), I can gradually become more toned and muscular at whatever level is natural for me!”
- Instead of thinking to yourself, “I’m not pretty,” how about turning it around by saying “Says who?”
Talking about yourself in a positive way may be tough at first, especially if you’re used to being critical. I’d like to challenge you to come up with some examples of your own.
I’m happy to report that the moreyou do it, the more natural it becomes. One last thought about Operation Beautiful: If you wouldn’t say something negative about your friend’s or loved one’s body, is it fair to be critical of your own?