Guest Author - Debora Dyess
Therefs a new kind of chat going on in America, one thatfs more common among girls and women than among boys and men, one that seems innocent but carries real risks, one that most of us engage in without thought. It even has a name now. Itfs called efat talkf.
Women discuss their weight all the time. Itfs part of our culture, part of what we think about. We see advertisement all the time about losing weight, looking and feeling better and being the most beautiful we can be. Without meaning to, some women adopt the idea that theyfre not quite good enough, not quite thin enough. It becomes a theme of their life, and of their conversation.
Of course, we are all aware of how we look and feel. We talk about it. So when does efat talkf become a problem?
Experts say that there are ways to tell if your fat talk is a symptom of a bigger self-esteem or health issue. Look for these signs.
Is it the primary conversation you have with your friends?
Are you always looking for ethe next big thingf in weight loss, and trying every one that comes along?
Do you (or a friend) have signs of an eating disorder? These can include low self-esteem, obsession with weight, dieting, calories and exercise, frequent trips to the bathroom, drastic weight loss in a short time period, weird eating habits, such as stirring food around on the plate, chewing and spitting instead of swallowing or flushing uneaten food. As eating disorders grow, so do symptoms. Hair loss, pale or grayish skin, dizziness, always feeling cold, headaches. swollen glands, low blood pressure, loss of your menstrual cycle and easy bruising are signs of a more severe level of eating disorder. Seek help from a medical professional or trusted friend or family member. If your friend has symptoms, address them directly with her or go to someone you trust for help.
Often the edoes this make me look fat?f conversation is a sign that you or your friend is having a bad day or feeling depressed. If you are feeling this way, donft beat around the bush. Talk to your friends about the real problem. If itfs not your weight, donft pretend that it is. If your friend brings it up, ask some questions to see if you can be of more help to her than just a thumbs-up on a new style.
You can have healthy conversations about your weight, of course, just as you can be healthy when you plan for weight loss. Set healthy goals, be realistic about what you can achieve and how long it will take, be positive about what you and your friends have accomplished, accept compliments without shrugging them off, and show real concern for your friends when you talk. If weight comes up, donft panic. It is a real concern for many of us. But keep it real. Donft use fat talk as a way to bring yourself down. Use it as a starting point to make some healthy choices about your eating habits, exercise and who you are.
The real value of you cannot be measured on a bathroom scale.