‘Fat Talk’ probably helps no one

A bit of perspective might be useful when looking at body image

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

UTKellyRev2ColumnAfter a killer class at Kennett Cross Fit, my girlfriends and I hobbled over to the Produce Place for a smoothie and a chat. Inevitably, talk turned to body image and our own self-perceptions (as distorted as they may be). I was telling them about an article that I read in the New York Times by Jan Hoffman (read it here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/fat-talk-compels-but-carries-a-cost/) on the concept of “fat talk”….and how I saw myself in EVERY LINE.

I do it. I’ll admit it. On a daily basis, I engage in self-loathing to a point where I get on my OWN nerves.


Kelly1Ugh. Good question. I can only reveal my own warped philosophy. I think that I am constantly looking for reassurance that I am doing enough: enough cardio, eating cleanly enough, lifting enough, pushing myself enough. It’s exhausting. Instead of focusing on the things that I AM accomplishing (like getting up to do an 8:00am workout on a Saturday morning that included 100 squats and 100 pull-ups…whattttt?), I dwell on the extra five pounds that I have been trying to lose for months.

Five pounds? Really? WHO CARES. Who would even notice? NO ONE.

Reality check.

“Fat talk” between women becomes a competition of who is fatter. I have found myself arguing with friends (and you know who you are) over who looks worse!


Reality check.

I sound like a moron. There are people in this world who are sick or injured or have REAL physical disabilities that limit their performance. I do not. I am lucky. I should be grateful. But, I’m not.

But, I WILL be.

How can we (see? I’m lumping all of you in there with me and my dysfunction) fix it?

  • Stop comparing and competing
  • No one is perfect
  • Focus on the things that you LIKE about yourself
  • Surround yourself with POSITIVE people/influences
  • Do things that make you happy
  • Look at yourself as a WHOLE person…not a collection of body parts that need to be “fixed”

See? Easy.

Next week’s project: world peace.

Happy Weekend!

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  1. Kelly says:

    Thanks, LeAnne 🙂

  2. LeAnne says:

    Great thought, Kelly….I have been captured by these bad thoughts for YEARS…..and am still trying to undo the damage they cause. Thank you for sharing this so that the younger generations can grow up with healthy self-images!

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