PowerHouse Performance Coaching is proud to be a partner in the second annual Fat Talk Free Week this week (October 19th-23rd), a nation-wide body image education and eating disorders prevention program. This campaign is designed to draw attention to the damaging impact of the “thin ideal” on women in society.
What is Fat Talk? “I feel fat today.” “I can’t eat that, it will make me fat.” “She shouldn’t wear that because it makes her look fat.” While it seems harmless, research shows that just 3-5 minutes of engaging in Fat Talk substantially increases body dissatisfaction (Stice et al., 2003).
While body dissatisfaction is not strictly a female phenomenon, we are the ones who have perfected it to an art form. And those of you out there who have children, I urge you to think about whether you engage in fat talk in front of your daughters.
I spent more time and energy in my twenties hating my body and obsessing about food than I care to admit. What a waste of energy. As I get older, I’m more fascinated by what my body can DO than by how it looks. My body is a tool that allows me to be a great mother, athlete and entrepreneur. If I take care of it, give it optimal fuel, train it, and make sure it gets the recovery it needs, it serves me very well. This body is the only one I have and instead of ripping on it and abusing it, I respect and nurture it to ensure its functionality and longevity.
I’ve written about this before, but Fat Talk has never been allowed in our home. As a nutritionist and exercise physiologist I am often asked if my daughter eats healthy and gets exercise. My answer is always “Yes, she eats very healthy, but we also eat treats on a regular basis” (meaning daily). I want my daughter thinking about more important things than whether or not she can eat something or if she measures up to the airbrushed and photoshopped ideals in magazines.
Go to endfattalk.org and learn more about Tri Delta’s program. Pay attention to how you speak and think this week. Make a promise not to Fat Talk about yourself or someone else.