Don’t stand still. Fight Fat Talk!
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post in corroboration with Special K and Tyra Banks about Fat Talk. More specifically: about stopping fat talk. It’s all about refusing to speak negatively about our bodies and about seeing our own beauty, no matter our size or shape. You can read that post here.
One reader left a comment in response to the post that I feel compelled to address, because I’m sure she’s not alone in her thoughts. This reader challenged the sincerity of the #FightFatTalk campaign and argued that the campaign couldn’t really be about fighting fat talk and loving ourselves when the bottom line is still, ultimately, weight loss.
It’s really not an unreasonable argument, although when I first read and replied to the comment, all I saw was cynicism.
But as I’ve chewed over the comment in my mind and thought about the reader who left it, I’ve been filled with the strongest urge to find her and give her a warm, reassuring hug.
Because now I hear what she was trying to say: why are you still telling me I’m not good enough? Why tell me to love myself exactly as I am, but still encourage the weight loss?
It is, in fact, paradoxical that the two, self-acceptance and weight loss, should work side by side in this campaign. But that’s only because we tend to think of weight loss as changing who we are, and that we shouldn’t need to change who we are if we’re already happy with ourselves. But this isn’t necessarily correct thinking.
I think this campaign, fighting fat talk, is empowering women to think of weight loss and their bodies differently. Losing weight doesn’t mean we are becoming someone different. In cases where weight loss is needed, it means we are becoming HEALTHY. We can and should still see the beauty of our bodies and of our whole person through all stages of our physical being, including times of weight loss endeavors.
Accepting ourselves and our bodies as beautiful doesn’t mean we have to stand still. It doesn’t mean we don’t stop trying to lose or maintain weight where weight loss or maintenance efforts are needed. In fact, this is the exact philosophy Special K and the #FightFatTalk program are trying to spread: being accepting of and loving our bodies as they are will actually serve to enable weight loss where it is needed.
Negativity, fat talk, will do just the opposite: it will serve as a barrier against losing weight and other healthful progression.
I’ve seen the truth of this in my own life many, many times. When I truly feel good about myself, I want to take care of my body. And I’m so happy in that feeling, I no longer desire the comfort that emotional eating provides for me. Instead, I find myself eating for fuel. And when I would normally exercise to simply burn as many calories as possible (to compensate for all the “fat” eating I’ve done), I exercise to strengthen my heart or tone my muscles. There is a HUGE difference in the way I treat my body when I am happy and satisfied with myself, and the results each mentality yields is drastically different as well.
I lose weight and become healthier when I feel good about myself. I gain weight and feel sluggish when I don’t. It’s as simple as simple gets.
And that’s the bottom line to this campaign. #FightFatTalk isn’t about being happy while standing still. It’s about finding things we love about ourselves and others, silencing the negativity, and moving forward into good health and happiness as a result.
It’s time to take care of and be kind to ourselves and to others. I’m grateful to Special K for inviting me to be a part of this movement, and I hope you’ll take the time to be a part of it as well. Shhhhhhhhut down the fat talk this New Year and find new levels of happiness and good health!