Fat Talk, Old Talk

A senior woman meditating in a yoga class.

You are never too old to start working out. If you are doing “old talk”, you are just making excuses.

It is very important to love your body if you want to be healthy. How can you put time and effort on something you don’t care, right? Still many people unconsciously make themselves hate their body. It is called “fat talk” and “old talk.”

According to University of Wisconsin, “fat talk” is overwhelmingly common among young women. Usually, they tell their friends that they look great, but tell themselves that they are fat even if they are not.

On the other hand, “old talk” is more prevalent among older women. Frequency of fat talk reduces as women’s age advanced and is replaced by “old talk.” They tell others that they are so old and start losing their shapes and getting fatter. Again, the actual body weight is not a factor for the frequency of old talk, according to a researcher.

Farther, according to Mount Alison University study, a woman feel their friends think she is fat if she thinks herself overweight even though her friends don’t think she is overweight. Since most people care what “others” think about them than what they think of themselves. This has a huge impact on their self-images.

It is not helping, however, if you keep doing it.

Sure, it is very important to recognize that you are overweight if you are. In fact, many people who are overweight don’t realize that they are. For example, if you live in a community where many people are overweight, you think that it is normal and won’t see any problems. The first step of weight control is recognizing the problem.

However, if you keep the negative thought about your body, you get discouraged every time when some unwanted things happen or something, which you were expecting, not happens. It is one of major causes that people give up of losing weight.

Still it is not easy to stop fat talk and old talk. We can even call it a minor psychological disorder.

Are there any medications for this disorder? In fact, we have an answer and you don’t need to see your doctor to get it: Exercise!

According to University of Florida study, regardless of the fitness level, their body image improves as they do more exercise. You don’t need to run 100 miles to get it. If you even just walk an extra mile a day after the work, it improves your body image.

Another thing you can do is pay attention to what you say and notice when you are doing fat/old talk. Don’t deny it, just notice that you are doing it. If you can change the subject, that is great, but if you cannot, that is fine. When your friend say that you look good, just say thank you; don’t deny it.

If you really can’t stop the talk; then you should try to add, “But I am working on it,” at the end of your statement. For example, if you just slipped and said “I feel so fat these days…” to your friend. Then just add the sentence “But I am working on it and I think I am getting some result.”

I also mentioned how to get rid of the negative thought in one of the previous articles. You can use the techniques mentioned in that article for sure.

In any case, the negative image about yourself does not solve anything. Look at the fact and move forward!

I’m not just fat, I’m old: has the study of body image overlooked “old talk”? Journal of Eating Disorders, 2013
“If You’re Fat, Then I’m Humongous!”: Frequency, Content, and Impact of Fat Talk Among College Women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 2011; 35
Actual reports and perceptions of body image concerns of young women and their friends. Sex Roles, 2012
Exercise Improves Body Image For Fit And Unfit Alike. University of Florida 2009, Oct

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