Fat Free Talk Week

October 19-23 marks the 2nd annual Fat Free Talk Week; an international 5- day body activism camapign to draw attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the ‘thin ideal’ on women in society. Please watch the following powerful video:

So I've been thinking a lot about what "fat talk" is. It may be different for everyone, certain phrases we use more often than others to describe ourselves or others. For me, the traditional "I feel fat" is one I used to use a lot. It makes absoultely no sense really because fat is not a feeling or emotion. What I was really saying was, "I feel insecure" which is what I felt a lot. I will never forget one night several years ago, it was the weekend before I married my ex husband. At that point I had starved my way down to my own "thin ideal". We had gone out with friends and were coming home, my ex husband and his brother and myself were walking up our front porch. We were laughing about something, I can't remember what, but out of no where I said, "Wait, stop, I need to ask you something" They both stopped and looked at me, "Do I look skinny?" They both cracked up laughing, and I laughed too, but I never told them that I wasn't joking. As ridiculous as the question was, it was my own fat talk, my own cry for help. I was the thinnest I had ever been, and the most insecure.

The women of Tri Delta are asking you to make an honest effort to stop the fat talk during the week of October 19-23. This goes beyond making comments about yourself, but also about other people.

Do I hear crickets chirping?

Here are some examples:

She shouldn't be wearing a 2 piece.
Ew, he has man boobs.
Is she fat or pregnant?
Holy cow, did you see her picture of Facebook? She's gained like 50 pounds since high school.

I know, I know, we're all guilty of a little crap talking now and then and we may think it's harmless. But I think the damage that is done is that it reinforces the fact that thin is better than fat. And really, isn't that the root of the problem?

I should also mention that fat talk also is also phrases like, "If I only had your thighs, I could..." or "I would give anything to have a flat tummy like yours." Talking badly about yourself or comparing yourself to others is what I consider an all out assault on your self esteem.

So for 5 days let's all try to make a change, and hopefully (fingers crossed) it will make a difference in your life and in someone else's that you tell about it. Hint, hint. Pass it on.

Go to this website to sign the pledge to end fat talk!

Love vs. Peace

This is a post I have been thinking about writing for some time now, but the topic is something I have been somewhat confused about.

I talk a lot about loving your body. I've had my own body image struggles and have tried hard to heal them. I think I've come a tremendous way and it's become my mission to help others. However, I've come to the realization that as I spew "Love your bodies, girls!" it's a much bigger journey than expected and harder than just saying "let's do it". I have this image of us all running through the daisy fields in our bikinis with rainbows in the background, singing about how much we love our bodies. Not likely, I know.

So how do you do it? Well, I don't have a hard and fast answer. It's a different journey for everyone, but I do have some steps that will help. The first thing I want to tell you is that instead of thinking you need to love your body, first try to make peace with it. Some women really hate their bodies. They've grown up hating the way they look, have trouble looking at themselves naked in front of the mirror and have a hard time being intimate with their partners. If these are some feelings you have, starting out by making peace with your body may be what you need to make the first step to be free from body loathing. These steps are small, and the bigger picture is just that, much bigger, but here are some simple things to get you started.

First off, and this may sound crazy, but start off by admitting how you feel about your body. We live in a world where it has become so normal to hate our bodies, we have become accustomed to it and are not feeling the feelings and emotions that go along with it. If it means having to strip down naked and look at yourself in front of the mirror, go ahead and do it. Take the time to really ask yourself what you think of your body. Don't feel like you have to lie about what you see. Be honest, even if it isn't nice. If you're going to make an honest effort in making peace with your body, you need to start by really understanding your own feelings which may be hiding. If you have to cry, then cry. Trust me, I've been there. This isn't a time to beat yourself up or make you feel worse, just a starting off point. I encourage you to journal about this.

The next thing, which is so important (they're all important, but this one is grand), is to stop the fat talk. Take note of how cruel (yes, cruel) you are to yourself when you talk or think about your body. You may want to do something so you have to stop and notice it. For instance, I always wear a pony tail holder around my wrist. What I do is switch it to the other wrist every time I say something negative about my body or even have a thought about it. This can even be if I am watching TV and see someone that I wish I looked like. The rubber band goes to the other wrist. You may be surprised how often you are switching it back and forth. This is to make you realize how often you beat yourself up and hopefully will slow down.

Hopefully these two things will get you started. Don't underestimate how much body loathing bleeds into other aspects of your life. Once you learn to accept and love your body for what it is, you'll be amazed at how much it will change your life.

I'll close with this short video. I think this 4 year old little girl sums it up best...