I need to be honest with y’all. The fourth of July party had some serious downer parts for me. There was a LOT of diet talk and a lot of discussion of good/bad food, and I spent a lot of time changing conversations to avoid it. Lately, I’ve been having a rough time with my self-talk, and it’s aggravated horribly by folks saying “Yeah, she’s really gotten fat lately” about a mutual friend, or the discussion of whether or not a certain friend was “allowed” to have the food we were cooking.
I have been trying for so long to just live HAES, but what Health At Every Size doesn’t do for you is block out all the messages around you. No matter how often I ask my friends to try not to slip into that mode of talking around me, it’s difficult for them, and I do understand. They’re bombarded by images and language that makes it clear that diet-talk is acceptable small talk.
My biggest coping mechanism right now is still taking care in what I’m wearing. While figure flattery doesn’t need to be a goal for everyone, it helps me suppress some of the negative talk when I can look at my outfit pictures and think “Damn girl, look at the booty.” I can’t pretend that it works every time(the above picture made me wince a little from both the visual texture of my thighs and the little back roll that came from cocking my hip), but most of the time, dressing well helps me work through it.
I also work on correcting the offhand thoughts. When I say to myself “I need to lose weight”, I try and combat it by saying “Nope.” I don’t need to lose weight. I might want to be more active, though summer makes that a somewhat miserable prospect with the heat nonsense. But losing weight won’t make me more healthy, and losing weight won’t magically make my thighs not touch anymore. (True facts, when I weighed 80 pounds less than I do now, my thighs still touched. This girl’s got legs that were always going to be facing chub rub.)
I feel like I’ve asked you guys in the past how you deal with diet talk or negative self talk, but I think it’s a conversation that bares repeating. I think it helps reinforce just how common it is, so that those of us who try and live HAES can also feel less guilty about “falling off the wagon” and thinking too much about changing our weight instead of improving our health.