Men ARE affected by these issues, Men DO talk about their bodies and it DOES make them feel just as bad, we know this, but why isn’t it being highlighted in the same way?
So Fat Talk Free week is in full swing and I have a bit of an unannounced treat for you all! A lovely lady got in touch today and said she would like to write something on the subject, so instead of me going on, I would like to introduce you to the wonderful Emma who has written about her experiences of Fat Talk & Anorexia.
Emma – Anorexia & Fat Talk
A dangerous spiral comes into action in that you lose weight which leads to you receiving compliments. Your work has been noticed so you then think you have met the bar of competitiveness, you need to maintain the positive attention you are receiving so you continue exercising and restricting.
Your appearance becomes normal, causing people to stop commenting, you feel as if you have lost your ‘special skills’ so you think you have let yourself down and you cannot compare to others around you. This means you continue to work out, eat less and loose weight to have that buzz which you previously received.
With each compliment you are made to believe the idea that you have been accepted and have met the high standards of competiveness around you. In fact, you are sinking lower and lower accepting the fat voice as your own.
Fat talk effects me in the respect that when I feel down, sad or tired I focus more on myself and less on my surroundings. I find it hard to share my feelings to the outside world so all of my problems and issues circle inside. Everything is internalized and I cannot escape. When this happens I find that I highlight all of my flaws and issues causing a doubting voice to emerge. The doubting voice takes over and means that I do not believe I can do anything, I do not believe I am good enough. This feeling of inferiority causes the fat voice to emerge meaning that I believe I am fat and cannot compare my body image to anyone else’s. When this gets started it doesn’t stop. The fat chants go round and round in my head making me feel worse and more inferior, causing there to be an even larger decline in my mood. I go more internal and this means that I keep all of my feelings locked up in a cage inside.
The only way that I get through these dark times is with the belief that it will pass. Soon the bad feelings will be over. I have to push through, continue with my eating plan, keep myself busy and surround myself with people who make me feel good and appreciate me for who I am. These factors all make up for the bad feelings on the inside.
Before you can rid yourself of fat talk you need to work on the idea that not all of what you see is truth. I know as much as anyone how hard it is! But the media doesn’t always tell us the whole story or the truth. Images of slim models can be manipulated in a way which makes them more attractive and slimmer, teachers can make you feel inferior and not worthy of their praise, people surrounding you may not appreciate you for the beautiful person you are and the skills you have, as an individual you may not be accepted for who you are or you may have lost your way with education, relationships or work. When these things occur you have to remember you are a worthy and lovely person who deserves every piece of praise for persistently trying your best. Don’t feel disheartened if you do not feel accepted, it is because the people around you are too judgmental, don’t sink to their level and return the hostility. There will be plenty of people around you who will accept you, and love you for who you are and the qualities you possess. Don’t waste your time with doubters and haters.
Finally just be happy to be you because you are an individual, you are beautiful; you have everything to live for! Have courage and be strong.
Thank you Emma! What do you think about Fat Talk? How does it affect you?
Fat Talk Free Week - Promotional Online video… Take note & Enjoy!
So the Fat Talk Free week theme continues and today possibly my biggest pet hate of subjects, the DIET!
I could get started on the whole thing of diets, how most of the time they fail and that living a healthy, balanced life is the way forward but I shall refrain (thought I would get it in there!), because today I wanted to talk about the thing that angers me more than the diet itself and that’s the way the person doing one just loves to shout about it and throw it in your face…
A friend of mine has recently been on a ‘diet’ (despite my attempt at education) and it seems to worm it’s way into EVERY conversation we ever have.
“I lost x this week”, “In total I have lost x”, “I need to lose x more”
Congratulations if it makes you feel better about yourself, if it increases your self confidence that is amazing and as they are doing it in a very healthy way then I don’t have much of a problem with it, but I do have a problem with constantly hearing about it. This is where we start to get into the realm of how fat talk affects others, as opposed to the person talking.
I don’t know if it is just me, I expect it isn’t, but every time I hear it, it really does make me feel uncomfortable, like I have nothing to report on that topic, like I should be losing weight just so I can say “oh same here, I have lost x”. It makes me feel pressured to say something in return, something along the conventional “it shows, you look great, oh well done”. The fact is, I couldn’t care less, I don’t want to hear it and it makes me feel very awkward. Given what I do with my life I try to educate this person, but it seems to make little or no difference.
But it gets so much worse and you start hearing about how this person tells the “fat” woman at work about how much weight they are losing in the hope it will “inspire” them to do the same. Then you start to realise that it is not just an obsession with the diet, but the big picture, the way they view body image in its entirety.
Now this person knows about my past and you would think that knowing that they would be a little bit careful about the way they talk about it to me of all people, but in general it is bad for everyone around this kind of talk. It’s almost like using your own new found self-esteem to crush everyone else’s. It’s repetitive, boring and damaging, yes for some reason, if one person is doing it, everybody must participate because you are not their idea of what you should look like.
Diet’s, like cigarettes should come with a warning;
“May make you talk obsessively about yourself, your weight loss and make everyone around you feel like shit”
You only have to look at some of the figures out there, unfortunately not that many out there which include men, but;
- A study found that over half of girls and a third of boys between 7 and 12 admitted feeling unhappy with their body and wanted to be thinner
- In the US as many as 70% of adolescent girls thought they were overweight and had dieted at some point
Many articles out there blame the media portrayal of image and how it affects young people, but the fact is the way we talk about it affects them too. How many people reading this have heard one of their parents talking about their weight or diet? How often did you engage in this talk in school? With record numbers of young people dieting the talk is rife in school, out of school and on social networks, everywhere you turn, someone, somewhere, is talking about their diet. Does hearing it make you think you should diet?
This is one of many reasons why Fat talk Free is such an important concept, dieting is just one example, possibly one of the biggest and most talked about subjects and without a doubt one of the things that not only do we hear so often, but makes us think about the way we look and if we, like everyone else, should do it because it is expected.
So Fat Talk Free commitment time, if you insist on a diet, can you go without sharing it with everyone else?