Fat talk is a common conversation style that involves belittling our bodies and worrying about weight gain. It reinforce the idea that thinness is more acceptable than fatness.
What does Fat Talk sound like?
OMG I look so fat in this picture!
I really need to go on a diet!
I can’t wear that! I dont have the legs for it.
No your arms are fine, look how jiggly mine are!
It may even sound like a positive statement. For example:
Ahh she’s so thin, she looks amazing!
You look great! Have you lost weight?
Fat Talk affects our body image
Fat talk can have a negative impact on body image and nutrition for both those saying and listening to it.
A 2017 study asked college students how frequently they engaged in or heard fat talk. The results showed that both participating in and just hearing fat talk were associated with higher body dissatisfaction, higher drive for thinness and stricter diets.
Interestingly, the women in this study were classified as “normal” weight. This shows that fat talk can affect our body image, regardless of our actual weight.
We never really know who’s struggling with their body image, and who could be triggered by a seemingly harmless “do I look big in this” comment.
The And Challenge
This challenge was devised by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. It allows us to feel our feels about being uncomfortable in our body. But instead of staying stuck on these thoughts, we remind ourselves that we are more than our appearance.
Step 1: Use a neutral way to describe how your feel. For example, instead of “I feel fat today”, think “I’m having a tough body day”
Step 2: Add “and _____, _____, _______”. Fill this statement with 3 things you like about yourself that have nothing to do with your appearance.
Example: “I’m having a tough body day, AND I’m funny, kind and good at my job“.
This helps to remind us that we are so much more than our appearance.
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