Get Rid of the Fat Talk!

Written by: Lauren

Recovering from an eating disorder takes a great amount of physical and mental energy. Patients are taught to cover mirrors, wear clothing that isn’t body conscious, don’t read fashion magazines, and refrain from watching tv shows and movies that promote an unhealthy body image. But what about everyday conversations that seem “normal”, yet are actually damaging to an individual’s recovery and self esteem?

Case in point: I work as a personal trainer and yoga instructor, and constantly get comments from clients such as, “Oh, you have a great body!”, “Wow, I’d love to have your legs”, and, “I need to get rid of this disgusting fat around my middle.” Yes, those are all ACTUAL remarks I received within the past few weeks, and let me tell you, I was caught quite off guard when I heard them. I tend to surround myself with individuals that don’t care how big their arms, legs, and stomach are–they’re more concerned with how those body parts are used in conjunction with their entire being to be the best parent/spouse/friend/family member they can be. Because seriously, aren’t we more than just BODY PARTS?! Anyway, I wasn’t too sure how to handle those remarks about physical appearance, so I merely steered the conversation in another direction, and tried to forget that they were every mentioned.

“Fat talk” like this, however, is actually more common than you expect. Walk around any high school, college, or even middle school campus, and you’ll hear groups of girls (and even guys) gossiping about how so-and-so looks in jeans, or how their backside is too big-too small-not round enough…..the list goes on. How do we then combat against this “fat talk”? The first step is to acknowledge the comment (sometimes even recognizing what demoralizing conversation sounds like is difficult enough), then steer the talk to another topic (preferably something not related to food, body or weight). The Proud2BeMe website found here also has great resources on how to love your body and then disseminate that positive vibe to those around you, but ultimately it takes compassion and an internal power to refrain from engaging in “fat talk” that is so prevalent in society today. Once you find your inner beauty and strength, however, no amount of “fat talk” will deter you from knowing and showing the love you have for your body.

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