Humans thrive on connection. Being able to communicate, commiserate, and relate to one another bonds us. They make us feel part of a larger community. Whether it’s with your family, friends, or society as a whole, there’s no doubt we all do things for the sake of fitting in. We all ‘follow the crowd’ at some point or another.
Going along with the group is a protective action. It makes us feel accepted, understood, and even valued in some ways. Of course, it’s also important to speak your mind and have your own opinions, but on some occasions, conforming can be comforting. There is one instance in particular however in which ‘fitting in’ not only hurts you but also those around you. Engaging in Fat Talk.
No, not just Fat Talk. Body shaming, self-deprecation, the judging of other people’s bodies, and any analysis of yourself or another person based on physical appearance. Fat Talk is rampant in our society. Whether it’s chatting with girlfriends about how your thighs have out grown your favorite pair of skinny jeans or hearing your mom complain about the weight she’s gained post-menopause. Women are especially ravaged by it and it’s not uncommon for them to use it as a form of social bonding and intimacy. Something about decrying our bodies and having others return with their own self-critiques makes us feel accepted. It makes us feel like we are less alone.
In fact, it’s not too often that a negative comment someone makes about their body is met with silence. People even view those who don’t engage in Fat Talk as pompous or arrogant. As if not feeling badly about yourself is crime and means you feel like you’re above those around you. Quite the opposite. Not engaging in the Fat Talk with those around you could be the most positive thing you could do for them.
Contrary to what you may think, Fat Talk is not motivating. It doesn’t provoke change in how we care for or treat our bodies. It doesn’t make us want to be healthier, love our bodies more, or take healthy actions. It only serves to perpetuate the negative emotions we feel surrounding our appearance.
Fat Talk fosters eating disorders, does nothing for our already diminished self esteems, and reinforces the negative opinions that the people we love have about themselves. By participating in Fat Talk, you are not only actively degrading your own body, but you are confirming that what those around you are saying about theirs is true. Don’t feel like you need counter their comments with pleas of their falsity, however. The best thing you can do yourself and for your friends is to STOP ENGAGING in Fat Talk.
So here’s what I propose. Stop toeing the line. Disengage from the usual body shaming that takes place among your friends. Take a moment, think about your response to a negative body comment they’ve made, and make a concerted effort to CHANGE THE CONVERSATION. Move towards self-love and body acceptance. Discuss things that empower and inspire you. Redefine the compliments you give. Train your brain to start focusing the good in others and in yourself. The less you focus on your exterior the more room you have in your mind to cultivate your passions, learn about the world around you, and explore new topics you’ve yet to discover.
I’m not saying to totally disassociate with your body. Instead, form a new connection with it. A healthy, thriving one that will bolster your physical and mental well-being. Our bodies are amazing. Without them, we wouldn’t have a home for everything we are as people. How can we be so miserably ashamed of something that does so much for us on a daily basis? Now’s the time to make a change. With a bit of mindfulness you can break free from the restrictive chains that society has set for you and ban the presence of Fat Talk in your life.
I am making a concerted effort to be more positive about myself and others in my daily life. I often struggle with negative self talk and I admit I’ve sat by while others do it in front of me. Well, that is no more. We can do this, friends. It’s time to stop hating ourselves for what makes us US. I am not saying you have to be in love with yourself…but at least work towards acceptance. Or better yet, indifference. You HAVE a body….you are not your body. So just live. Just be.
No specific questions for today…just think about how this applies in your own life and leave your thoughts in the comments below! I look forward to hearing what you think.Stay connected:Subscribe to Healthy HelperFacebook: Healthy HelperTwitter: @Healthy_HelperInstagram: HealthyHelperPinterest: Healthy_HelperBloglovin’: Healthy HelperGoogle+: Healthy HelperTumblr: Healthy Helper BlogSnapchat: KailaProulxWant to get FREE products for review and make money as a blogger? Check out Linqia!