Friday, January 13, 2012

No "Fat Talk"

One of my favorite blogs is a blog called "Espresso and Cream". The woman who writes it is a food editor, and she posts recipes along with tidbits about her life. I have made a few of her recipes and they are some of the best I've tried. She's a very health conscious person, so she often gives tips on how to make a recipe healthier. Recently she wrote a post about her New Year's Resolutions and one of them really stood out to me: "No 'fat talk'". Meaning, no saying "I'm fat" or "my thighs look huge". She was quick to emphasize that this didn't mean she was going to stray from her fitness goals; just that she wasn't going to say mean things to herself about her body. I was surprised to hear her say this, because she's absolutely gorgeous, and I would have never thought she was insecure about her body. Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Her no "fat talk" goal really struck a cord with me. I've been dieting lately and I find that often (always) when I diet, I tend to get a bit whack-a-do in the head. As in:

(standing on scale) "Are you serious!? I've been dieting all day and I haven't lost a pound!?"

(looking in mirror) "Baby got back." or "I don't think you're ready for this jelly." or "No one is ever going to love me!"

(sitting at desk at work) "I can't believe I ate a potato chip this morning. I hate myself."

(looking at pictures people tagged of me on facebook): "How can anyone even stand looking at me!? I'm a monster!!"

Some of those might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight. It's really hard for me to be kind to myself, even when I'm not dieting and so focused on my body. I am definitely my worst critic. (As far as I know, anyway. If you're a worse critic of me than I am of myself, please stay far, far away from me. )

So, no "fat talk" for 2012 sounds like a great goal to me. I'm still working on a theme for the year, but I think I should make the ban on fat talk a general goal for me (for life). I want to keep up with my healthy eating changes and exercise without the increased negative body focus it brings.

I will need to come up with things to say that replace the negative, so that's something I will be working on. I need some mantras, and not something like, "a lot of guys like big derrieres" but instead something like, "my toes are freaking awesome."

What do you all think? Is this something you struggle with? Why is it so hard to have a positive body image?


Kristin McElderry said...

great post Elizabeth. And a great idea too! We are all way to hard on ourselves.

Limequat said...

A fantastic goal! I think that it's really easy to start absorbing everything the media tells you. It's important to remember that a lot of (if not all) companies make money by convincing you to feel bad about yourself. A focus on health as opposed to a prescribed look created by someone who is assuredly NOT Prince Charming is a great way to shift your perspective.

I think a nice way to assess things is to wake up, look yourself in the mirror, and say, "I feel great!" Maybe say it twice. (Don't say it three times, weird things happen when you say things into a mirror three times.) And then ask yourself, "Do I actually feel great? Do my arms feel like they can do arm things? Do my legs feel like they can do leg things?"

If so, then you rule, keep it up. If not, then maybe do some arm things and leg things to practice. Boom. You are back at being awesome.

violet50 said...

I'm a big believer in the power of positive thinking. Keep up the good work!

Jessica said...

Body image is definitely something I struggle with. I think this is a fantastic goal and I'm definitely going to adopt it. I know I make snarky comments about my body especially since having a baby.. And I have to remind myself, "I'VE HAD A BABY!! HELLOOO!! OF COURSE MY BODY IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT!" But it's still hard. It's interesting though when one of your girl friends will say something about their body, like, "I have a large nose" or "I carry all my weight in my hips" and my reaction is always, "Really? I have never noticed that." Just goes to show we need to be softer and gentler to our perceptions of our body images.

Katherine said...

Great post!!! I am often too hard on myself, too, but it's usually with my profession. I think things like, "I could never get that job. I'm not skilled enough." Or, "I'll never be accepted to that exhibit-my paintings aren't that good." I'm trying to snap out of it, too, and use more "I can" and "I will" statements. We can help each other!!! :D

Stephanie Curtis said...

Such a great post. I have to remind myself I am changing my habits to be healthy and losing weight could be an unintended consequence. One thing that has really helped me is this blog She is dealing with an eating disorder and I really like her perspective on body image and the relationship to food.

Elizabeth you are really pretty and I love your humor. You really are so funny it makes my day.