Happy Fat Talk Free Week!

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I’m really excited that it’s Fat Talk Free Week.  Operation Beautiful is the week’s official partner, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for Operation Beautiful to be a part of such an important week. If you’re a college student, I hope you see Fat Talk Free Week efforts on your campus!  If you’re not a student, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate, too!  For example, you can join in the #FTFW Twitter Party on Wednesday at 2:30 PM EST.


Fat Talk Free Week is an Tri Delta initiative meant to draw attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the ‘thin ideal’ on women in society. This week is meant to change the way women think and feel about their bodies. We also aim to promote a healthy lifestyle and one that urges individuals to live a balanced life in mind, body, and spirit.


I’ll be traveling all over the country this week to speak at three Tri Delta chapters (tonight – Elon University; Wednesday – Indiana University; and Thursday – Creighton University).  If you’re not familiar with my other website, Operation Beautiful, it’s basically a random acts of kindness movement that encourages people to write positive messages on Post-It notes and leave them in public places for strangers to find.


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The site originally started on Healthy Tipping Point back in 2009.  I was having a terrible day and felt inspired to write a note for stranger.  It said, “You are beautiful.” I posted it on my blog, never expecting it to go anywhere, but the concept quickly went viral, spawning a separate website, a popular Facebook page and Twitter account, a book for adults, a book for tween girls, and speaking events (I’ve done about 70 at various colleges, high schools, and churches).  I’d estimate that hundreds of thousands of people have posted or found Operation Beautiful notes; I’ve gotten photographs of upwards of 15,000 notes since the since began. Notes have been posted on every continent (including America!) and by men and women, young and old, of many different nationalities.


I truly love the idea of a week dedicated to encouraging people (especially young women) to think more constructively about their negative self-talk and be more proactive in saying and thinking positive things.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the last 4+ years of Operation Beautiful thinking about internal negativity and how it impacts everything you do.  Negativity is something that I’ve struggled with in various forms throughout my life – I’ve written before about my own struggles with self-doubt, anxiety, self-harming – and there’s one thing that I know to be true…. Negativity does nothing but make the rest of your life a heck of a life harder.  It can be so hard to go from the ‘dark side’ to a happier place, but it always starts with one simple step: choosing to reframe your thoughts in a more positive life.


Choosing to see the bright side, the goodness, the opportunity can be challenging.  But it makes everything that comes after seem so much better.  (And trust me – it gets easier with practice!).


One of my favorite quotes:


Positive anything is better than negative nothing.

~ Elbert Hubbard


So, although Fat Talk Free Week is mostly about body image, I challenge you to take a big step back this week and study your internal dialogue about all things.  How do you put yourself down in work, relationships, health?  How do you create self-doubt and set yourself up to fail?  How can you change that dialogue into something more positive?

I wish you the happiest of Fat Talk Free Weeks!  Say a kind word to a friend, give yourself a compliment, post an Operation Beautiful note (e-mail it to me at operationbeautiful@gmail.com).  Remember… you are worth it.  You deserve happiness.  You are a beautiful person.  <3 


May your thoughts and actions be loving and supportive to everyone – including yourself – this week and every week after.



  • Whitney @ Pancakes and Tulips October 21, 2013, 12:10 pm

    I really like the video you posted. I think fat talk ends when we start accepting our bodies for what they are and begin to find gratitude within ourselves. It’s impossible to think negative thoughts about your body, when you’re grateful to have a body that allows you to live. In being grateful, we realize that what truly matters is underneath. It’s unfortunate that most girls are brought up thinking that the only way to be validated is through their appearance. Hopefully, more woman will begin to realize that they are enough, worthy, and meaningful and that those qualities have nothing to do with outward appearances.

  • Erica House (@Erica_D_House) October 21, 2013, 12:12 pm

    I still remember the first time I saw a ‘you are beautiful’ note out in public! On a mirror in the bathroom at the college I worked at. Absolutely made my day.

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun October 21, 2013, 12:14 pm

    Love every time you do this! Sometimes we are our own worst critics and I know myself am guilty of fat talk and being too hard on myself especially during this time of injury for me! We need to not only be loving and supportive to those around us but also to ourselves! Thanks Caitlin!

  • Liz @ The Shrinking Owl October 21, 2013, 12:31 pm

    Why does fat have to be a negative thing? I am fat and I am fantastic and beautiful. Fat does not equate with worthless or ugly. How about instead of equating the word “fat” with negativity, we work on not using the word “fat” as a negative descriptor?

    • Caitlin October 21, 2013, 12:36 pm

      I TOTALLY agree with you! Tri Delta and I had a few talks about this topic. Over the years, I’ve been very lucky to speak with some extremely well-educated and thoughtful fat acceptance activists about the use of the term ‘fat’ in ‘fat talk free.’ I actually agree with you (and them) that the phrase FTF isn’t the best, and we should just refer to it as negative self-talk and not give the word ‘fat’ any more negative associations. That’s why I try to call it negative talk now (as opposed to before, when I wasn’t as educated about this issue). Sometimes I slip up, just out of habit, but I agree with you that this is one of those language choices that we should be thoughtful about.

    • rachel October 21, 2013, 1:56 pm

      so glad you said this! i was thinking the same thing! fat isn’t bad – fat is essential. it has such a negative connotation, though.

  • Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac October 21, 2013, 12:38 pm

    I love you Operation Beautiful campaign and I am so happy to see Tri-Delta getting involved. I was a Tri-Sigma at James Madison University and we spent the month of February celebrating “Eating Disorder Awareness Month.” We basically put on a bunch of events centered around talking about body image issues, etc. I love that you’re bringing this situation to the forefront, especially with college aged sorority girls – an area where “fat talk” and eating disorders thrive.

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 21, 2013, 12:52 pm

    Lovely reminders! And we can all use a reminder to be kind to ourselves — being kind to others is easier sometimes than being kind to yourself!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats October 21, 2013, 2:15 pm

    I love the idea of having a Fat Talk Free week on college campuses. I know that during college especially, since I was around women all the time, there was a LOT of fat talk. It’s so hard to feel good about yourself when everyone else is speaking negatively about their own body image; it makes you question yourself and think negatively about yourself. I’m so glad there are people like you to help promote these types of campaigns!

  • HeatherFromKC October 21, 2013, 3:57 pm

    What time and where will you be at Creighton University? My cousin goes to school there, we just dropped her off there yesterday, it is a beautiful campus. She would love to attend, but can’t find the info. Thanks in advance.

    • Caitlin October 21, 2013, 10:34 pm

      Let me look into room and time info. Hold tight!

  • Alex October 21, 2013, 5:07 pm

    Ah, do you know if your talk on Creighton’s campus is open to the public or just for the Tri-Deltas?!?

  • Susan October 21, 2013, 5:50 pm

    Wow! I have to applaud you for all you are able to do. Operation Beautiful/Fat Talk Free Week is a worthy cause, but if I were you I would be totally self-consumed with my upcoming tri! I wouldn’t be able to focus on anything BUT. Good luck on your speaking engagements and on the tri

  • Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen October 21, 2013, 8:26 pm

    Still post Operation Beautiful post its everywhere I go .. you are such a positive role model

  • Jeannine October 21, 2013, 9:26 pm

    Did you know your newest book is sold in a store in Downtown Disney in Orlando? I saw it there while I was on vacation and thought it was so cool!

    • Caitlin October 21, 2013, 10:33 pm

      Really???? That’s awesome!

  • Jonelle October 22, 2013, 1:56 am

    Is your talk at IU open to.the public?

  • Anna October 22, 2013, 10:30 am

    I love Operation Beautiful!! I think you have a typo in your post–notes have been posted in Antarctica AND America!! 🙂

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