My favorite classes in this healthy weight loss program revolve around the issue of body image. It’s a huge topic that holds great importance when one is trying to change and develop a healthy lifestyle. You need to feel good enough about yourself to do the hard things that will make you healthier. You need to feel good enough about yourself to enjoy the successes and not flounder when struggles come along. You need to start appreciating your body so you can treat it well.
Five years ago, before I started my journey of living a healthier life and long before I came to stay at this amazing weight loss retreat, I didn’t appreciate my body at all. I hated it. I felt trapped some days, I felt ruined other days, and most of the time I just felt a great apathy towards the situation. I just didn’t care enough about myself or my body to do anything good for it. I sought the temporary comfort of food because it was easier than trying to fix how I felt about myself. I looked in the mirror and at pictures of myself with disgust instead of love, all because I thought I was fat. I heard other people call me fat every day until I absorbed the words into myself. They became my words. The insults, the bad names, the torturous ideas about my lack of worth gifted by other people became the backbone of my negative self-image.
I don’t remember the exact moment when I decided to change and start getting healthy. All I remember is the decision to try. I hated my body, what I had become, what I had let other people make me feel about myself. So I decided to try for once to change my situation. Enter exercise, healthy food, and a few good stray thoughts about myself. Fast forward a few years and I am now much healthier and a million times happier all because I decided to just try and shake off both the physical and mental strain of hating my body.
It wasn’t easy. I still have days where I think my thighs are too big or my fingers are fat. But I don’t let those thoughts stay like I once did. Before, I would take that thought and let it fester in my mind, running over it again and again until I convinced myself it was true. Now? When a thought like that pops up I immediately recognize it and then replace it with a positive thought to stop the fat voice inside my mind. Instead of thinking my thighs are too big I realize that they are so strong and can carry my body through hikes up a mountain. Changing my perception of the situation changes how I feel about it. The positive thought is the one I will now run through my mind until I believe it.
This week is Fat Talk Free Week. Started by Delta Delta Delta Sorority, it encourages us all to put down the fat talk and talk to ourselves differently. Be positive about your body. Be kind to yourself. Be honest about the good things. It might seem strange at first, and the positive things might feel like a lie. For me it did. I felt like I was lying, trying to trick myself. But eventually the thoughts stuck and my perceptions changed. So I challenge you to finish this week without any negative “fat talk” or any negative self talk at all. Eliminate it from conversations with your friends, your family, yourself. When a negative thought comes along, change it. If you feel like you can’t, just try.
Will you take the challenge and promise to eliminate fat talk?