Choosing to say NO to Fat Talk
I honestly didn't think it would make much of a difference when I made the goal of "no fat talk" in November.
I just knew that I was tired of listening to myself wallow while I examined myself in the mirror and whined to my husband about how fat and how chunky and how flabby I felt.
Before pregnancy, I was far from a perfect size, but I didn't struggle so much with so much negative talk about myself. Sure, I had moments when my jeans didn't fit, and I grumbled about it. Still, I was pretty content with my body--with all the curves and non-perfections.
But after pregnancy, I've struggled more. Perhaps it's because my body changed so much, and I realize that it will never look quite the same. I have stretch marks and stretched skin. I have some dark spots on my face that haven't gone away. Even though I shed a lot of weight right after having Luke since I was breastfeeding (I actually weighed less than I did pre-pregnancy just a few months after Luke was born...it was pretty sweet burning 500 calories a day by simply nursing), I gained the weight all back (and then some) after Luke weaned this summer.
I think that a pretty quick jump in weight was the trigger that heaped up shame and lots of negative thoughts and complaining.
I would stand at the mirror and assess the damage--all the while feeling more and more overwhelmed and guilty about the situation. I felt ashamed that my jeans no longer fit well. I felt like I had given up on my body because I had had too many snacks or junk that day. I felt unmotivated to get moving because I felt like it would never help.
So, November's choice of "no fat talk" was a way for me to say enough.
Enough already. Enough self-critism. Enough shame. Enough blame. Enough. Enough. Enough.
You know what saying no to "fat talk" did for me?
No "fat talk" gave me the freedom to think a different way about my body. Want to know a few other ways it impacted me?
- Not verbally criticizing my body resulted in me thinking a whole lot less about the way I looked--for example, I wasn't constantly thinking "oh, I look fat in this" or "everyone is thinking that I've gained a lot of weight."
- I was able to accept what my husband said about my body rather than discredit it with my own words.
- I didn't feel as much shame about what I ate or didn't eat.
- I feel more thankful for my body (just as it is)
- I feel like I am able to look in the mirror and not feel unworthy because I'm not the size I used to be or want to be.
Can I tell you that I didn't have any negative thoughts about my body while I choose to not verbally criticize my body to myself or my husband?
No. I definitely had some thoughts ;)
But, taking away the option to verbally criticize my body to myself or others (hubby, friends, family...etc), opened up the airways for more positivity and gratefulness.
It's not on my list of goals for December, but I've decided to continue on with my "no fat" talk rule of thumb (indefinitely) because it's made a pretty significant impact in my life. It's such a simple thing with such a surprising impact :)
Maybe you, too, feel like you spend too much time sitting in front of the mirror and feeling ashamed about your body, or maybe you are always whining to your husband or significant other about how chunky you feel, or maybe you mention to your friends that you just feel so fat lately...or maybe you just know that you, too, have spent enough time verbally criticizing your body...
I want to encourage you to take a day, or a week, or a month to say "enough."
Choose to stop. Choose to stare at the mirror and not say something about those darn love handles. Choose to accept a compliment about the way you look from a friend without crushing it with a negative response. Choose to be thankful for every part of your body--even if it's not the size you'd like to be.
If you want some accountability to do that, just let me know--I'd love to encourage you (and for encouragement myself too!).