As many of you might know, this week is End the Fat Talk Week.
I think most people can admit to participating in “Fat Talk” at some point in their lives. I know I spoke my fair share.
I am actually really embarrassed to share this, but 10 years ago in college I worked with young kids at an elementary school – their before/after school program. One day I was having a “fat day” (as so many people refer to it), and I remember sitting next to a little 5 year old girl and coloring with her. The thoughts of how my pants felt tight on my stomach were going obsessively through my mind. So I finally asked the little girl, “Do I look fat?” (It actually makes me laugh out loud to think about her answer now….she tilted her head to the side, examined me and said, “Kind of!”)
Was I overweight at the time? No. Would it have even mattered? Absolutely NOT. I am so embarrassed that I actually asked this young, impressionable girl that question.
My oldest niece is 6 years old.
My little Reesie Cup
She has a raging sweet tooth (just like her Aunt Holly ;-) and is very tall and of average weight for her age. My sister (her mom) is worried about Reese growing up with the same insecurities that she and I had as kids and teenagers. I know there is no way to “prevent” eating disorders, but since Reese (and my other nieces and nephews) came into my life, I have made it a point NOT to fat talk around them. In fact, I’ve made it a point not to fat talk at all.
Katie had a great post the other day in which she mentioned a friend who constantly complains about being fat. This friend, however, is not fat. In Katie’s words, “Even though she’s directing the comments at herself, not at me, she is quite obviously smaller than I am. So if she thinks she’s fat, then – by logical extension – she thinks I too am fat. Fatter, even.”
I think we’ll all been in this type of situation, and only results in us (usually) feeling bad about ourselves. A friend of mine recently complained to my sister (who had a baby 6 months ago and looks beautiful and amazing) about being “Fatty McFatterson.” This friend has lost weight recently off of an already small frame, and quite frankly, has no fat to lose! But this statement immediately made my sister feel bad about herself.
It makes me so sad and almost angry to hear of statements like these. Not that I am judging people when they make them, because as I said, I was the QUEEN of Fat Talk for years! But we need to remember not only to be kind to ourselves, but to be aware of our “audience.” One of my friend’s mom passed away years ago….so I consciously don’t wax on about my Mom/Daughter time in front of her. Another friend was layed off from her job recently – so I make it a point not to complain incessantly about how much I hate dislike mine.
Above all, remember that our attitudes are contagious – if you are around positive people, chances are you’ll start thinking more optimistically. If you’re around people who love to laugh, chances are you’ll find yourself cracking jokes and laughing more, too. And if people around you notice that you love your body and aren’t criticizing it constantly, hopefully, they will learn to love theirs, too.
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