As someone who has been there and who teaches women to eradicate their negative body talk, I am keenly aware how often women actually bash themselves without even batting an eyelash. This negative self-talk has become so ingrained in their being that they are no longer aware it even comes out of their mouth.
Negative body talk also known as “fat speak” is prevalent everywhere. You don't have to walk far to hear this kind of personal ridicule.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of having lunch with a dear friend. I treasure these times because they don't happen often. (Insert an active 3 year old into your life and you know exactly what I mean.)
So as I was enjoying my scallops with coconut cilantro chutney, it was impossible to ignore the conversation the table in front of me was having. And no I wasn't eavesdropping...they were truly that loud and if a conversation involves “fat speak,” my ears immediately perk up. A hazard of the job.
“Ugh! I am so fat!”
“If I don't stop eating, they are going to roll me out in a wheelbarrow.”
“Yeah I know, if I put on any more weight my boyfriend is going to leave me.”
Unfortunately, that kind of talk is very common. It's sad, really.
Here these three women sit, eating homemade gelato and a piece of cheesecake, and rather than enjoying each bite, they were demoralizing their behavior without even realizing it.
Of course, being who I am, I wanted to rush over there and slap their inner critics but knowing that would not have been well received, I kept mum.
Instead I went about my lunch, enjoying every morsel of my meal and being very grateful that I have my “fat speak” under wraps.
Here's the truth...this kind of negative body talk is harmful. It does affect you. It leaks into every area of your life. Think about it?
How much time do you spend focusing on your food intake, your weight, the number on the scale, your shape, what your life would like if only you were thinner, smarter, prettier, etc.?
Could you imagine how much more you could accomplish if you lost your negative body talk?
So how do you shift this unconscious behavior? How do you change this destructive habit? Where do you start?
Well, with any habit you want to shift, it all starts with awareness. You have to realize you are doing it to be able to change what you are doing.
So, grab a notebook. Start documenting when you use negative body talk. Start to notice patterns. Are all your thoughts the same? Do you find you have more of these negative thoughts when you are around certain people or in certain situations? What fuels them? How do you feel when you are having these negative thoughts?
Next, decipher what is really going on. The truth is most of our negative thoughts we aim at our bodies have more to do with other unpleasant circumstances in our lives...our frustrating jobs and unfulfilling relationships, not knowing our purpose...than with the fat on our butt, how horrible we look in clothes or the number on the scale.