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Experts Share 11 Tips To Stop Fat Talk

Saturday, September 14, 2013

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I receive a number of newsletters that I find helpful and sometimes I feel I just GOT TO share them! Hope someone else finds this helpful too!

Experts Share 11 Tips To Stop Fat Talk

Fat talk has many faces. It’s anything from “I hate my body,” to “I can’t believe I had cake,” to “You think you have big thighs? Umm, hello, look at mine.”

On Monday, to celebrate Fat Talk Free Week, I shared my 10 tips to stop bashing your body.

Today, I’m honored to share the wise suggestions of several experts from the Eating Recovery Center.

These tips are important for building a positive body image and leading a healthy, joyful life. Because the last thing fat talk brings anyone is health or joy.

1. Adjust your perspective. “If your mom, spouse or best friend gained five or 10 pounds, would it change the way you feel about them? Why would it be different for you?” said Jamie Manwaring, PhD, primary therapist at Eating Recovery Center’s Behavioral Hospital for Children and Adolescents.

The reason our loved ones are in our lives is because of who we are, not what we look like, she said. And here’s the thing: If people are only in our lives for our looks, do we really want them in our worlds in the first place?

2. Evaluate your surroundings. There are just some shows and some people who make us feel terrible about ourselves. The ones who boost our body-bashing and perk up our inner critic.

Ask yourself, “Do I feel better or worse about myself and my body after watching that show or hanging out with that friend?” Manwaring said. Surround yourself with positive media and supportive people.

3. Focus on your body’s abilities. “Our bodies help us run fast, climb mountains and swing in the park,” according to Julie Holland, MHS, CEDS, a chief marketing officer at Eating Recovery Center. “Don’t forget how important those things are over how your body looks,” she said.

4. Get rid of clothes that don’t fit — and buy what makes you feel beautiful right now as you are. “Keeping reminders of what we used to – or want to – wear only reinforces the negative voices in our heads that say we should look a certain way or be a certain size,” Manwaring said.

5. Be aware of what you say about others. “When you comment on a celebrity or close friend’s weight gain – or loss – others around you might take that comment more to heart than you think,” Holland said. You never know where people are coming from and how they feel about their bodies. Anyone can internalize these kinds of comments.

6. Accept compliments, and dish them out. When someone compliments you, how often do you say, “yes, but…”? According to Jane Miceli, MD, a psychiatrist at Eating Recovery Center, our minds go to this place fairly often.

Instead, “Learn to truly hear a compliment and say thank you to whomever gave it to you,” she said. She also suggested expressing genuine compliments to others three times a day for a week. “…And watch your world change.”

7. Compliment yourself. It’s hard enough accepting a compliment. Saying something nice about yourself may seem utterly impossible. But as Holland said, “Instilling a positive body image starts with you.” She suggested making this into a game. For instance, compliment yourself at every red light, she said.

8. Go beyond food and “fat.” Fat talk is usually a facade. It usually means that something else is going on, said Bonnie Brennan, MA, LPC, clinical director of Eating Recovery Center’s Partial Hospitalization Program. If you notice that you’re engaging in “fat talk,” focus on what’s really bothering you, she said, “without using any words having to do with food or body.”

She gave the following examples: “I feel out of control”; “I’m going to be rejected”; or “My life is changing.” Often, fat talk has less to do with calories, food, fat and stretch marks and more to do with fears “of not being loved or accepted in some way,” she said.

9. Go beyond “Do I look fat in this?” If you find yourself asking this question, instead ask yourself, “What am I seeking?” Brennan said.

If someone else asks you this question, consider these responses, which Brennan received from groups of patients with eating disorders: ”I love you just the way you are”; “You are a beautiful person inside and out”; “There is no answer that is the right answer.”

10. Embrace acceptance. The more we embrace acceptance, the more we can relinquish “unhelpful struggles,” according to Dr. Miceli. Often, she said, we wage a war against ourselves and our biology.

The next time you’re engaging in a certain activity, ask yourself: “Is this a joyful activity or a control strategy based on fear?” she said.

11. Cultivate compassion — both for yourself and others. “As humans our minds see the flaws first, in ourselves and in others,” Miceli said. She suggested working to “love more and judge less” and “to see the other 95 percent of yourself and those around you.”

What’s your favorite tip from above? What helps you stop bashing your body?

To read more on this and other interesting weight-related topics:

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD6572876
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2817 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13364544
    What a fabulous blog! Thank you so much for sharing! emoticon
    2835 days ago
    I was checking in to see if I missed something by you since I've been on hiatus. I see I totally missed this valuable post!

    Definitely there is some wisdom here. Thank you for sharing it. I needed to hear these things too. #8 is the obvious biggie to me.

    Miss you! *hugs*

    2862 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13423281
    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
    2866 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13629552
    Oh, boy! I need to send this to the girls in my BLC23 group! A bunch of us (me, too) gained several pounds over the break between BLC22 and 23 and feel like saboteurs and failures instead of like people who can get back on track and carry on.

    Thanks, Katy! Perfect timing!
    2868 days ago
    thank you these are great. emoticon
    2869 days ago
  • LILYPAD12311
    Great tips FelineBetter! Thank you
    2872 days ago
    Great post! Katy,These are fantastic tips I need to remember. Thanks, keith emoticon
    2873 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13975762
    Thank you for sharing!

    2876 days ago
  • KITT52
    great tips...I have been working on learning to love my self no matter what the scales reads....


    have a healthy day
    2876 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14148396

    This was great.
    I am one of those bitches, quite honestly, who takes some crazy glee in the fact that Oprah can't keep her weight off. That is terrible of me and I won't be doing that anymore.

    Love, Ginger
    2876 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12146214
    Oh wow what a great post. I have printed it and put it on my Race Wall!

    2877 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13227574
    Great article! I may use this for a program in my TOPS weight loss group.
    I did get rid of clothes that didn't fit, and the few items I kept now fit great.
    Thanks for this wonderful, inspiring, thought provoking blog.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    2877 days ago
  • DALMOM2007
    Great article, thanks for sharing.

    The tips I'm working on now are:

    3. "Focus on your body’s abilities" - I keep pushing my body just a little bit further each month.

    4. "Get rid of clothes that don’t fit — and buy what makes you feel beautiful right now as you are. " I've been slowly packing up my clothes and bagging it for the next charity pick-up. (Both large and small sizes.) This is a great tip because it's also making more room in my closet and dressers for the new stuff that I'm looking forward to buying.
    2877 days ago
    Thanks for sharing.

    I have evaluated my surroundings a lot this year. Let's face it, if you feel bad after an experience--why bother?

    And #5 has greatly changed my life this year. The things I say and think are so powerful to me and I have no real way of knowing what it does to others. This is what prompted me to adopt my "attitude of gratitude" and the sage old rule of "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything."
    2877 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/15/2013 7:38:10 PM
  • no profile photo CD13994672
    Well, first of all you had me at Margarita! emoticon

    #2 is difficult but working with it - some people you just can't shake.
    ... and #6 whoa! Do not take compliments well at all. I give them all the time, even to strangers, but nope, don't take them well at all.

    Feel like I should by lying down on a chaise lounge!! emoticon

    Thanks for the emoticon . Will think on it.
    2878 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/14/2013 8:18:24 PM
  • no profile photo CD8522718
    I think the complimenting one seems to be the best for me. Complimenting seems to be pretty powerful!
    emoticon for posting!

    Have a great weekend!
    2878 days ago
    Hmmm... I like them all I think. But it occurred to me to not only say thank you for a compliment, but "I appreciate hearing that" without explaining why. I simply need to hear more compliments until I start believing they are true!
    2878 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12499805
    The one that I am learning is really powerful in my life right now is "“When you comment on a celebrity or close friend’s weight gain – or loss – others around you might take that comment more to heart than you think."

    I take the public bus everywhere with all kinds of people and I am noticing that when I help others around me in little ways, people notice and are kinder to others too (well, some of the time). Also I am noticing that when people cut themselves down verbally in front of me, I will say something positive that isn't complicated or fake and people smile and seem to feel it and feel better. BUT most of all, I am noticing what it is doing FOR ME. It is a powerful aspect in my life now and I love it!

    Thanks for this great blog that gave me the chance to share with you as well. Have a great weekend!

    Love, Chelsea emoticon emoticon
    2878 days ago
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