Category Archives: panic

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

Tubby Bunnies, Moral Panic and A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Let’s truss up Santa!  (Photo provided by Coley Chen under Creative Commons License.)

 

        
Over the past few months, few things have driven home the overblown panic surrounding fat people than this recent article on the Hopper Home Bunny Blog declaring an “obesity emergency” among pet rabbits.  That’s right.  Although rabbits consume the lowest amount of “junk food” among household pets at 26%, they are BLOWING UP at an alarming rate.  26% of British Bunnies apparently equates to over 430,000 rotund rabbits!  These thousands of rabbits are “at risk of developing obesity related and certainly life-threatening disease if their diets don’t improve.”  Lock up your children!  Stay indoors!  Somebody better develop Lapin Band surgery for these corpulent cottontails.
One week later, this statement came out demonstrating the moralistic food police in a total tizzy over trick or treating.  UPI hosted a statement that pointed out that kids gather between 3,500 and 7,000 calories during trick or treating.  Oh the horrors!  They even noted that (gasp) the U.S. President and First Lady handed out CANDY to trick or treaters at the White House.  Donna Arnett, head of the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health suggests that people give kids money instead of candy (because kids love money), and that parents hand out pedometers to their kids and give a prize (non-food of course) to the kids with the most steps.  Okaaaaay.
Well we’re smack dab in the middle of this holiday season, and I wonder, who else is going to be implicated in this obesity epidemic?  Will we truss up St. Nick next to the holiday turkey and serve him up as a bad role model?  I mean, that guy could stand to lose a few, right?  Are we going to put Baby New Year on a diet?  Maybe that kid could live longer than a year if he ate a little broccoli, right?  And the prescription for the Easter Bunny goes without saying (see above).
I’d like to suggest that we all take a holiday from weight obsession.  Can we take a few weeks to work on managing our stress and getting a little bit of good sleep?  Can we choose to enjoy holiday treats openly and while we’re hungry for them, rather than denying ourselves, and then closet eating all the Christmas cookies?  Can we engage in regular, rational and pleasurable physical activity, rather than doing nothing until New Years and then weekend warrioring ourselves right into an injury?  Can we all just take a deep breath and calm down?  That’s my plan and my holiday gift to you.  Sleep in heavenly peace my friends.
Love,
The Fat Chick.