Category Archives: joy

Spring Cleaning: Wiping out Negative Body Talk

Let's do some "spring cleaning"!

In honor of spring, I’m initiating a little spring cleaning.  But instead of cleaning closets and windows and cars, this year I’m going to try clean up some of my habits, and assumptions and attitudes.  When cleaning closets or the garage, I’m pretty brutal about tossing out things that I no longer need or want.  So this year, I’m going to throw away a few habits and attitudes that just aren’t working for me any more.  I’m going to pull out the big trash can, and I’m going to start with negative body talk.

Does this sound familiar?

“I hate my thighs!”

“Does my butt look big in this?”

“I can’t believe she’s wearing that.”

“Why can’t I have hair like hers?  Mine is too flat.”

Yup, those phrases represent negative body talk–those little phrases we say inside our heads or share with friends in conversation that put down that most magnificent and beautiful and personal gift, our bodies.  Negative body talk is everywhere.  Our friends do it.  Our families do it.  And most of us do it from time to time.

So what’s wrong with it?  Plenty.  Negative body talk has an immediately detrimental effect on our physical and mental health.  A recent article highlights some studies that indicate that “fat talk predicts changes in depression, body satisfaction, and perceived pressure to be thin across time.”  According to one study, the more fat talk a person talked, the worse they felt–resulting in lower body satisfaction and increased depression after 3 weeks.

Negative body talk is bad for us, and it’s everywhere.  So why do we do it?  I imagine sometimes it’s to fit in and sometimes it’s because we feel bad.  But a lot of times, I think we do it because we don’t even recognize we’re doing it.  You see, negative body talk can be kind of sneaky.  Sure, we recognize a phrase like “I hate my butt” as negative body talk.  But negative body talk can also be much more subtle:

“I’m exercising so I can tone up and look good in a swimsuit.”

“I can show my arms because they look okay, but not my thighs.”

“That dress just doesn’t look good on certain body types.”

“I don’t need to look like a supermodel.  I just want to look good in shorts.”

This kind of negative body talk can be harder to recognize, but it’s negative body talk all the same.  It’s still damaging.  It’s something that “doesn’t work for me any more.”  And this spring I’m working to throw it all out.

So my little chicklettes, how about you?  Ready for some spring cleaning?  Let’s get out some big cardboard boxes and the super big industrial-sized trash bags and get ready to clean house!

Love,

The Fat Chick

Heavenly Bodies: The Joy of Being a Rock Star!

This past weekend, I did my new “Divaluscious” workout (honoring the academy awards) at the Operation Fitness Expo at the Century City Mall near Beverly Hills, CA.  I was so very lucky and honored to have some very, very special women with me from NAAFA-LA including Coral, Julianne, Anita and Terry.  We all donned our feather boas, big blingy sparkly rings and strutted on to the stage.  We boogied down to some great size-positive tunes and rocked the crowd of several hundred people that were hanging about.  Perhaps the best part is for minutes after we finished, brightly colored feathers continued to swirl about in the breeze like a super-awesome technicolor snow.  Yup, we were so powerful we changed the WEATHER.  That’s just the way we roll.  The event producer called the next day to say how much he loved watching us.  “You guys were ROCK STARS!” he exclaimed.

I have to admit, being referred to as a “Rock Star” feels pretty darn good.  I mean compared to all of the other things I’ve been called in the past few weeks, rock star is one that I’ll take.  But it struck me what an amazing contrast this posed to the recently released (and subsequently unreleased, soon to be re-released) Habit Heroes exhibit at Disney’s Epcot Center in Florida.  This exhibit was designed to help kids learn healthy habits by highlighting healthy heroes like “Will Power” and “Callie Stenics”.  Unfortunately they also highlight some bad guys like, “Sweet Tooth” and “Lead Bottom” and “The Snacker” (pictures below) who look an awful lot like terrible caricatures of fat people in our country.  Amidst the epic poo storm of controversy over the potential for this exhibit to shame and harm children of all sizes, Disney has closed the exhibit and the accompanying website for “retooling”.  (Which is Disney speak for rethinking the exhibit while the studio marketing folks retool their resumes).

Which leads us all back to the rock star thing.  Why can’t we make healthy role models for kids who don’t look like SI Swimsuit Models?  Why can’t the health role models for kids be as diverse as, you know, the kids?  How can we help ALL kids feel like rock stars?  I humbly submit that there are some answers in the picture below:

This picture shows the NAAFA-LA girls strutting their stuff in all their boaed and bejeweled glory right along with some thin people.  Up front and center, you’ve got a little kid dancing along.  And what message is this kid learning?  That fat people are sad and should stay home and hide until they get skinny?  That fat people never exercise?  That fat people and thin people are different species from one another?  Nope!  She’s learning that people of all sizes have the right and the ability to get out and shake their stuff!

This is why we women of ALL sizes need to let our inner rock stars shine through.  Not just because it feels awesome.  (And it CAN feel awesome!)  But because it gives kids of all sizes some REAL healthy heroes to admire and emulate.

So my dear chicklettes, I implore you.  Get yourself some bling, some righteous tunes, and go shake it like the rock star you are!

Love,
The Fat Chick