I unexpectedly (and reluctantly) moved back to my hometown. I unexpectedly fell for an old high school classmate, and he unexpectedly proposed to me. We unexpectedly found out I was pregnant, and we got married sooner than expected. Now, we're experiencing the unexpected daily...the good, the bad, the funny, the frustrating. Read all about it...

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Fat Talk Free Week!!

I am famous for staring at the mirror (or a car window, a glass door, my cell phone...anything that shows a reflection of me) and checking myself. Some people think it's because I'm full of myself, but it's actually the opposite. More times than not I point out things I don't like about myself rather than the good things. I am pretty self-conscious about my body. My upper arms have always been an issue for me. I get bloated any time I swallow any piece of food, so it seems like I have an ugly beer belly. I know I can tone my body a whole lot better with more dedication to working out. And it doesn't help that I just had a baby two and a half months ago. My body is all out of whack because of it -- my face is chubby, my stomach still makes me feel like I swallowed a watermelon, and my legs are ginormous.

BUT WAIT. It's Fat Talk Free Week, a full week dedicated to preventing people from talking themselves down, critiquing every part of their body that sags, and asking the questions, "Does this make me look fat?" or "Have you lost a few pounds?"

Therefore, I cannot look at myself and think negatively about my body. I cannot ask my husband if my arms look huge in the tank top I'm wearing. I cannot stare at my belly and hate myself for not starting my workout routine sooner after having my son. I cannot look at another girl wearing a skintight dress and measure my body against hers.

I have never heard of Fat Talk Free Week until I read about it on Time.com (the article is the link I provided above). I think it is an awesome way to help people make a conscious effort of looking at themselves in a different, more positive way, avoiding any talk about weight. In the same manner, it helps people talk to others without mentioning weight gain or loss (for instance, it is better to say something like, "You look great in that top!" instead of, "Wow, it looks like you've lost some weight!").

It is so much easier said than done. As a matter of fact, just while writing this post, I looked in the mirror and straight at my protruding tummy thinking, "I gotta get on my ab routine!" It is such a subconscious and natural act for me to critique myself in a negative way rather than point out the good parts about myself. It is just as natural for me to size up other girls. 

Then and Now
It's hard for me to even share these before-and-after shots! While I was pregnant, I refused to take belly pics, but honestly, I didn't have a huge, huge belly. In the latter part of my pregnancy, people could not believe that I was as far along as I told them. But, being self-conscious, I figured they were only being polite. Recently, however, I stopped untagging "fat pics" of me on Facebook because I think being pregnant is a good excuse for why my body isn't in the best of shape yet. I guess that's a step in the right direction?

My body in August 2009, about three months before I conceived my son

My body two months after Jamari's birth

By substituting negative thinking with positive, we automatically start feeling better about ourselves and start believing the positive thoughts over the negative ones. I am definitely going make an effort to shift my focus in the way Fat Talk Free Week encourages. The article I've shared shows examples of what "fat talk" is and how it affects a person's body image. I think this is a phenomonal step toward alleviating poor self-esteem and encouraging self-praise.

Instead of saying "Eww, how'd I get so fat??" I want to be able to look at myself and say, "For someone who had a baby just two and a half months ago, I could look a whole lot worse than this!"

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