Day 10: Smack Talk, Fat-Talk
DAY 10: SMACK TALK, FAT-TALK
Last week during “Small, Beautiful Details,” you were asked to share an adored body part. It wasn’t so easy to do, mainly because of something I call “fat-talk,” which is a powerful, inner critic we all have, whose main priority is making sure we don’t feel good about our bodies.
Fat is natural, and being fat does not make you a bad person. But with years of conditioning of learning fat = ugly, worthless and wrong, fat-talk is the judgment created in relation to the fat on your body. One of the goals of MTLCourse is to help you separate fatness from badness, and one major milestone on this road is learning how to shut the ruler of the body-myths—fat-talk—up!
Fat-talk takes power, respect, and dignity away from us, leading us to believe that who we are isn’t good enough. The thing about fat-talk voice is that is sounds oh-so convincing, so much like our own voice, that it's very hard not to take it seriously and for the truth.
But fat-talk is a potent body-myth and, just like the other myths, begins to fall apart the more you call it out. So use your body-myths from last week and reread them; conjure up a character, a mental image of what type of person/thing would say something like this.
TODAY, YOU WILL ADDRESS YOUR FAT-TALK DIRECTLY, GIVING IT A NAME, AN IDENTITY (NOT SOMEONE YOU ALREADY KNOW!), BECAUSE IN ORDER TO MOVE PAST THE VOICE THAT KEEPS YOU FEELING UGLY AND UNLOVED, YOU NEED TO PULL IT APART FROM YOUR OWN TRUE SELF.
An example of fat-talk would be:
“Every time I see my stomach in pictures, I get a voice in my head that loves to mock and judge me. The voice sounds like a cackling witch . . . named Rudella. She is rude! Nasty! I’m trying hard to love myself, but Rudella’s unwanted opinions keep gnawing at me. Next time she appears, I’m going to throw a bucket of water on that bi***—I mean, witch.” :)
For the sharing part, create a collage of words & images that best represent the personality of your fat-talk. Include what you've chose as a name (don't get caught up in selecting the "perfect" name) and include a message you want to say back to your inner, not-so-nice, voice.
Examples could be: “We are so over!” or “I’m not listing!” or “Go away, you’re fired!” Tell it what you’ve been wanting to tell it for a loooong time!
If you go back to my article called “The Repairer,” you will see how I interacted with my fat-talk voice, how I gave it a personality, even a back-story, and then called it out. This exercises is by no means meant to be a quick fix—it’s a process, but you’ve got to start somewhere. You can also read a more recent article, “3 Easy Ways to Shut Up Fat-Talk.” I wrote on fat-talk to understand a bit more its messages and tone behind the voice.