I am diligently working on the first draft of the second Operation Beautiful book (hello, Starbucks). So I thought I’d share a wonderful guest post to keep you entertained and get your gears turning.
Fat Talk is an issue that I hold near and dear to my heart – I always say that if you wouldn’t say it about a friend, you shouldn’t say it about yourself. Fat Talk is negative self-talk about your body or your abilities. In fact, the Operation Beautiful movement was born out of a moment of intense ‘Fat Talk’ about my own intellectual abilities. Fat Talk has nothing to do with how much you weigh or what you look like, but with how you see yourself. Perhaps the biggest side effect of Fat Talk is how it impacts the people around you, especially if you’re a role model who Fat Talks.
Kaity emailed me and asked if I’d ever considered exploring the impact of a Fat Talking-parent. Her guest post was so eloquently written that I just had to share it with you. I also think her post is important because it speaks to how subtle Fat Talk can be – it doesn’t have to be overtly passive aggressive remarks that sting and haunt you. Fat Talk can be quiet remarks that add up over time, especially when you’re speaking to an impressionable young girl (or boy).
Mothers and daughters share one of the strongest, most special bonds in the whole world. Mothers teach their daughters all the secrets to love, life, and happiness, and are always trying their hardest to protect their little girls from the dangers of the big bad monster, known as the real world. But as much as they try to shield their girls from negative images projected by the magazines, and television shows, sometimes they forget the importance of projecting self-love and respect to their daughters.
My mother and I have always had an amazing relationship. Even after she moved to another state for work, we always talked daily, and monthly visits were a must. My mom is a successful and smart woman, and knows the importance of speaking your mind when it comes to getting what you want, and I have looked to her for advice about everything from boys, to prom dresses, and she has the biggest influence on choices I make.
For as long as I remember, my mother has always engaged in some kind of diet and exercise program. Low-carb, high-protein, fat flushes, and endless workout sessions were always around. Growing up, I would hear my mom constantly put her self down. Talk of how fat she felt that day, or how she really needed to work out longer and harder spilled from her lips, and plagued my mind. She would look at her self in the mirror and say aloud to herself how she hated her stomach, or her thighs. To me, my mother was strong, beautiful, woman, who used her body to give birth to 3 children who looked to her for everything, but hearing her negatively talk about something I thought was so outstanding really began to affect how I viewed myself.
When I was 18 years old I began to over-exercise and under-eat. I, like my mother, began to loose sight of the positives, and focus on the negatives. My weight rapidly dropped to an unhealthy 97 pounds, but yet when I looked in the mirror I was still only seeing the things I wanted to fix. I needed help, and I needed it fast, and my mother was the first person to step in and get my body and me repaired.
In a therapy session during my recovery process, I broke down and revealed to my mom that hearing her put herself down constantly was really having an effect on how I viewed myself. I told her how hard it was listening to someone so beautiful nit-pick every wonderful aspect of their selves. She never knew how much of an effect it was having on me because I was a silent observer; she never realized I would take comments she made about herself so personal.
Through my recovery we both worked on focusing on all the positives. Fat Talk was shown the door and self-appreciation quickly replaced it. We both went through a bit of recovery during the process that was intended solely for me. We now focus on keeping our bodies healthy and strong, through exercise, whole foods, and a ban on all Fat Talk. My mother is my hero and such an inspiration, and I hope she knows how much I look up to her and how much I aspire to be like her. Showing love for your self is one of the most important lessons a mother can teach her daughter.
Mothers spend so much of their time telling their daughters how proud of them they are, but they can’t forget to show how proud they are of themselves. Moms do some amazing thing, starting with giving life to another human being; not everyone can do that. That right there is enough reason to walk around with that “Queen of the world” attitude. So moms, show your daughters love, and more importantly, show yourself some love, because that respect you project about yourself will shape your girls into some amazing women who are equally amazing as you.
You can follow Kaity on Twitter or check out her photo blog on Tumlr. She also just started a blog!
I also wanted to share this video! I’ve linked it numerous times before but it never loses its impact.
Was your role model a Fat Talker or did she infuse positive self-talk into your thought patterns? Have you ever approached your mom or a friend about their Fat Talk or stopped your own Fat Talk?
Growing up, my mom would always tell my sister and me how beautiful we were. Even back in the day when I had a horrible self-imposed haircut and buck teeth like no other. On my first trip home from college, though, she made an ever so casual comment that I was “filling out a bit.” That scared me to no avail and made me SUPER self-conscious. A couple months later, still slightly freaking out and paying great attention to what I ate/ my workout regime, I mentioned the comment to my mom and she apologized profusely. She had NO idea it had affected me that much and immediately took it back, saying it was “filling out for the best,” that the extra weight was good for me. Goes to show: even a seemingly casual comment from a pivotal role model can really effect us as young girls!