So, I’m on my way out of work, right? And the people behind me are talking, a man and a woman. They are talking about how the woman had looked so good about 6 months ago but then all sorts of things happened and she just stopped exercising and maybe what she really needed was a new treadmill.

This, even in conversation between men and women, is how we all relate to each other. Let’s stop that crap.

I challenge you – no matter what your stance on the whole anti-dieting debate – to go a full day without saying anything negative about your body to another person. Don’t discuss your thighs or your plans for when you lose that final ten pounds. If someone compliments you, don’t casually put yourself down.

You know the proper response when someone says something nice to you? It’s “Thank you.”

Do your best not to look at your body and think negative things. This one is a little harder because we get into habits of thoughts but give it a try. If you find yourself having a negative thought about your body, stop and replace it with something positive. And I don’t mean a weasely kind of positive like, “Well, I guess my skin is okay.” No, make it something fierce and positive and really mean it.

Don’t get a salad for lunch unless you really want one and don’t assign moral value to food.

If other people are talking about their bodies in a negative way, change the subject.

Give this a try, a real try just for today. Then tell me about it. In the meantime, spread this around! Share it with your friends. Work together to think and say only positive things about your body and food today.

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  1. Posted September 13, 2007 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I’m trying, I really am, but it’s hard to imagine I can ever get there.

    Good post, TR. Someday I hope I’ll be there.

  2. TR
    Posted September 13, 2007 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The point really is to just try, Sarah, and you are doing an awesome job. I think most people don’t even realize how negative they are about themselves during the course of a regular day.

  3. Posted September 13, 2007 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I try to practice this every day. I read “Overcoming Overeating” and “When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies” and have tried doing the mirror work and thought-stopping exercises they suggest, and examining my “bad body thoughts,” and really and truly rarely get them anymore (though I won’t say “never”). I also try to actively discourage “I’m so bad” talk at work. Just yesterday, I diverted a conversation about how someone was de-railing her “healthy eating plan” by having a couple of chocolate covered almonds. “Almonds are good for you, chocolate is good for you, everything in moderation,” I told her. And she said, “Thank you, Sarah!” I try not to proselytize, but I have a bunch of anti-dieting size-positive bookmarks printed out and posted in my cubicle and try to talk to my co-workers about HAES (not using the term, but the ideas) whenever the dieting or body-hating talk starts.

  4. Posted September 13, 2007 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I challenge you – no matter what your stance on the whole anti-dieting debate – to go a full day without saying anything negative about your body to another person.

    How dare you interfere with the Middle East Peace Process like that??

  5. Posted September 13, 2007 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    All the body hatred and dieting obsession is driving me mad. A couple of days ago I asked a friend how her husband was feeling. Her answer: HE’S LOST 27 KGS! I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean but I’m guessing he’s not feeling that well considering he’s not eating, only drinking ‘milshakes’. Yuck.

  6. TR
    Posted September 13, 2007 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    SarahMich, that is SO COOL!

    Emmie, yeah, what a ridiculous response to your question!

  7. Posted September 13, 2007 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    How dare you interfere with the Middle East Peace Process like that??


    TR, about trying not to think negative thoughts… that might be a bit hard for an introductory plan. I think just going a day without VOICING negative body talk would be a great step for most people.

  8. TR
    Posted September 13, 2007 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Oh, it totally is hard, Fillyjonk! Still, I think it never hurts to try – if only to be aware of just how habitual this negative stuff can become!

  9. sistercoyote
    Posted September 13, 2007 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I have cross-posted this to my livejournal. I’m presuming that’s okay based on your last paragraph.

    And I’m doing my damnedest to live up to it myself. But it is difficult.

  10. TR
    Posted September 13, 2007 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    sistercoyote, that is absolutely perfect – I hope more people start posting it! And, yes, it really is a hard thing to do.

  11. Posted September 13, 2007 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Amen, sister. I will never make a disparaging remark about my body or anyone else’s body. And if anyone makes a disparaging remark about their own body or diet, I will not acknowledge — I won’t tell them they’re right, I won’t tell them they’re wrong, I just change the subject.

    I just don’t find these things to be appropriate conversation… ever. And it makes me feel reeeeeally uncomfortable to hear it.

    Perhaps not coincidentally, I find myself in mild trouble at the office for not being sociable enough? *sigh*

  12. Dame Mel
    Posted September 13, 2007 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I suppose this means I have to forget about considering having a contract taken out on my uterus? Which is currently saying really mean things to me right now? *grrrr, sigh*

  13. Hannah
    Posted September 13, 2007 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly what I’ve started doing after discovering body-positivity blogs at the start of the summer. I have thin friends who don’t consider it an important issue, but I feel fucking AWESOME. And if there were a way to make everyone feel fucking awesome just like this, I’d die happy.

  14. Posted September 13, 2007 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Dame Mel, I hear you! Sometimes I fear that I’m just redirecting the negativity I used to feel about my figure to my uterus, sinuses, and guts, all of which I long to get replaced with robotic counterparts when they treat me poorly.

    I think maybe cutting out that kind of negativity would be a good next dare!

  15. Posted September 13, 2007 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Heehee I made a funny typo in my URL up there.

  16. Dorianne
    Posted September 13, 2007 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Just saw this posted over at Shapely Prose…great post! I get to feeling high and mighty because I think I’m REALLY good at not engaging in this kind of talk, even to myself in the mirror. But only a few weeks ago, a woman at a bus stop told me I had “lovely skin” and I immediately pointed to a couple of zits…I was trying to camouflage! Seriously!

  17. Posted September 13, 2007 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Like sistercoyote, I’ve gone ahead and LJ-ed this, and noted it on my Facebook as well.

    I’ve only recently discovered the Fatosphere, after about fifteen years of thinking I was the only fat chick in the world who thought she was just-fine-as-is-thanks. I can’t even begin to express my relief and appreciation!

  18. Ruth
    Posted September 14, 2007 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    A couple of work colleagues told me today how great they thought I’d looked in a turquoise dress I’d worn the previous day. My response was to say “Thankyou, but actually I look great every day!”.

    But then I’m the kind of person who’ll be sitting outside somewhere in the sun, realise that my t-shirt has ridden up and rather than pull it down to cover up my muffin-top , will sit there admiring how lovely my soft curvy flesh looks in the sunshine!

    Maybe I’m just strange…

  19. Peanuts
    Posted September 14, 2007 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what there is to say! I can’t remember far enough back to think of a day when I did not do this.

    In fact, every time I pass the mirror naked – which funnily enough is a large mirror and hasn’t been hung yet so all I see is “headless torso” images of myself – I make it a habit to look at myself and think something nice about my body. This is usually something along the lines of “Oooooo haven’t I got a fabulously squishy and plumptious tummy?!” and then I give it a little jiggle.

    Argh now I am coming over all narcisisstic!

    And I got two compliments on how I looked today! Wow!

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