Monday, October 19, 2009

FaT TaLk


Ahhhh, how often does fat talk play into our daily conversations? We talk about it with friends, co-worker's, and family members. There is always someone on a diet, someone talking about how they shouldn't eat this or that, someone complaining about how much they despise certain parts of their bodies. I do it, you do it, we all have done it at one time or another. It amazes me how often talk turns to weight, and how often others will make hurtful comments about someone else's weight. Too fat or too thin.
I was around seven or eight when I began to worry about my weight. My aunts and grandmother were heavy, and constantly struggling with their weight. My mom was never happy with her body. I heard her often complaining about her calfs, her hips, her stomach. I took it all in, and when puberty hit, and my body seemed to betray me, I was horrified. I was somehow less than, but too much. It was such a contradiction, so of course, I was confused, and the confusion turned into self loathing, and ultimately into self destruction. I desperately wanted thin, because in my mind, thin meant good enough. Thin meant happy. Thin also meant denying that I had wants and needs. Denying my own hunger. So I went on diets, and off diets, and eventually into starvation mode, and what did I hear when I lost weight? Well of course, "You look great." "How do you do it?" "You are lucky to be so tiny." All of those comments reinforcing the idea that thin was perfect, and I wanted so much to be perfect. I know now that there is no such thing, and that it was always an unobtainable dream. I always wonder how my eating disorder would have impacted a daughter had I had one. What pressure this society puts on little girls and women to have the perfect body. I had to stop buying fashion magazines, which at one time was an addiction of mine, because I compared myself to those models, and could never measure up. We need to stop the fat talk, which gets me to Fat Talk Free Week,which is Oct 19th-23rd. It is an international, 5-day body activism campaign that draws attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the thin ideal on women in society. This annual public awareness effort was borne from Tri Delta’s award-winning body image education and eating disorders prevention program,
Reflections: Body Image Program™. I encourage you to stop the fat talk. I know that I'm going to try!


Lei said...

Sorry this isn't really related to your post. I just had to say, I love your blog's look!

Ann said...

What a great campaign. I'm guilty of the fat talk myself. I'm never satisfied with the way I look, always think I need to shed a few pounds. It's too bad that the fashion world has to put so much emphasis on thin

Anonymous said...

How many blogs can you post without talking about how fat or thin or how uncomfortable you are in your own skin. You can't stop the fat talk because that is the very essence and life of this blog so that is an unrealistic request. I wish you had better role models in your life growing up that would have given you more confidence rather than all of these insecurities. You never had anyone teach you about self esteem, confidence and the true meaning of beauty. Even though you don't have a daughter, don't think your ED is not effecting your sons. They are not immune to body image issues. And they will project this image on future girlfriends or wives with what they think is "right" and "wrong" for how a woman should look based on what you are teaching them.I wonder why you focus only on people who have commented positively about you being thin or tiny. Having a malnourished body that does not look like a woman but more like a 12 year old boy is only attractive to people who have the same issues as you. I wonder how you would perceive yourself if you heard all of the comments from people who are worried about you because you look so unhealthy, or question what is wrong with you because you look sick, or cry for you because just by looking at you they know you have an ED and they feel sorry for you. You only hear what you want to hear and you are listening to the wrong people. If you want to stop the fat talk, then start with yourself and start with this blog. Turn this into a confidence building, strong, self-esteem boosting blog. You have the power to to do but will you ever make that choice to live your life in the present and in a positive light rather than always hiding behind your ED and excuses from your past. Stop the fat talk and everything else will fall into place.

Zan said...

I think the campaign is a great idea. I'm definitely one of those who quickly jump to fat-talk.
By the way, this isn't the first time I've wondered if perhaps you should set your comments settings to be published after blog owner's approval? When upset, in pain and struggling, some comments just aren't very helpful. There are things that could be said a lot nicer? But perhaps you can deal with it a lot better than I would if it were my words that were being judged.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

I think we are all guilty of the fat talk, I know I am as well. What a great campaign.

Angel said...

Thanks Zan,
I have thought about changing my settings, but decided that everyone has a right to their opinions, and ultimately this is my blog, and I won't change it just for a few who don't like it. I will write positively when I feel positive, but this is also a place for me to vent, and be honest. I actually learn a lot about myself when I write here. I appreciate your concern though, and thank you so much for reading. If I can stop my own fat talk,even if it is only to myself, for one week, then maybe it will carry over into two weeks and so on. I can only hope.
Take care:)

Zan said...

Angel, that's a very good attitude to have! Keep it up!

Grampy said...

Good Morning Angel.Society is indeed into the fat talk.My wife has more of a problem with it than I do.But I still think about it at times.We all have to remember we are who we are.If you are happy in your life do not worry about anything.Don't dwell on the fat or the thin.We all love you and don't care what anyone else thinks.

Angel said...

Awww Grampy,
You are so kind. I'm really working on trying to accept who I am, and to have more self esteem. I think it really is improving. Thank you for your support and caring!
Take care:)

Anonymous said...

Hello. You do not know me.

I am currently studying in art school, and I wanted to do a concept based on what goes on in the mind of an anorexic. I stumbled onto your blog by accident, and reading your past posts has made me understand better on why it happens. It's good to know that you've broken the barrier to "be perfect", which we all know is unattainable, no matter how hard we try. Because there is real beauty in imperfection. You've got a loving husband, great kids, a job, friends. You just have to learn to love yourself, and everything else will fall into place.

Pardon me, I've not done this before to someone I don't know. But I think once you overcome it you'll be quite an inspiration to many females out there struggling.

Well that's all I've to say. I'm glad I found your blog. It's honest and extremly personal. Sorry for being long winded though.

I wish you well.


Angel said...

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad that I have given you some insight into what it is like to live with an eating disorder. Good luck in art school!
Take care:)

ghost girl said...

Thank you so much for your comments on my blog. It meant so much!

I try to make a conscious effort to not engage in "fat talk" in casual conversation or with my friends. However, I think that it is important for us to have open discussions about body image and the media and how it skews our perspective. I think that dialogue is a totally different thing than "fat talk."

I see your blog as being more about a personal journey with E.D. and your talk of food and weight are not based on vanity or solely on body size but about the events and feelings that trigger your food issues. I think your blog IS positive in the way that it honestly chronicles recovery attempts and does not glamourize sickness, or show the model-thin gaunt look as an ideal.
The campaign to end fat talk is not about ending HONESTY, it is about making us aware of the negative remarks we haphazardly make about our bodies and other peoples bodies. Yes, we do need to stop doing that. No, we do not need to stop blogging or venting about the struggle and effort it takes to end "fat talk" once and for all.

Sorry for being long winded, too, but i find your blog inspiring and honest and very up front about personal demons and I do not see that you are hiding behind your disorder.
I wish you the best

Angel said...

I really appreciate your comment. I worry that readers think this blog is negative, and a depressing downer. It makes me feel good to know that some people find it inspiring. Thank you!

stigma no more said...

Hi Angela,
Thanks for sharing your story, you will help someone I am sure. You raised my awareness. Thank God my daughter did not get an eating disorder. I never realized how much people do talk about it. So sad.'
Take Care Friend,
Janet :)