• Emma Green

Why fat talk sucks



Photo credit: Kim Burrows

Discussion about what our bodies look like needs to be done mindfully. More often than not, I find these kind of conversations end up just reinforcing the negative ideas we have about our bodies. I was particularly angry the other day when I went to a yoga class and the teacher talked about ‘burning off the Christmas blubber.’ Wrong on so many levels!

For me, yoga is a meditative activity, it has nothing to do with how my body looks. I was frustrated that there was an assumption that the comment would be motivating to me or the other class participants. I wanted to go there and switch off from all the BS, not have it actively shoved in my face.

I’m in a good place with food, exercise and my body but comments like this can be so damaging. These comments shouldn’t be considered normal and acceptable.

The potential harm of these kind of comments isn’t just anecdotal. There was a study recently that looked at the impact of different comments by fitness instructors on class participants. Unsurprisingly they felt better if the instructor made motivational comments that focused on strength and health instead of on losing weight or changing the appearance of their body.

Our words matter, whether we’re aware of that or not. Yes, sometimes we will f**k up but we should acknowledge it, apologise and do better next time.

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