Fat Talk: referring to oneself as “fat” or “large”; discussion of body and weight in a negative manner.
I am amazed at how common fat talk is in everyday life. It’s almost as if it is a right to passage in our society today. If you don’t talk bad about your body, you are weird. If you do put down your body and appearance every five seconds, you are normal.
Hmm. And we wonder why we all have issues.
Today’s challenge is a little bit different. Today I am challenging myself to step out and put an end to fat talk in my own life and in others’. Today I am joining forces with the amazing and inspiring Caitlin, the girl behind Operation Beautiful, to end these ugly comments that dominate the conversations of so many women. All you need to do today is sit back, get to know Caitlin, and find some post-it notes.
I promise, you’re gonna need them.
Thanks for joining us today, Caitlin! So, what’s the story behind Operation Beautiful? There has been such an overwhelming reaction to your site. Did you ever think the concept would catch on so quickly and become so popular?
Caitlin: I had no idea it would be this big. The whole concept started on the spur of the moment! One day at work I was inspired to write “You are beautiful” on a post it and stick it to a mirror in the bathroom. I took a picture and posted it on my personal food and fitness blog, www.HealthyTippingPoint.com. I asked my readers to participate and within a few days, my inbox was flooded with similar pictures. I knew right away I had something special on my hands and launched www.OperationBeautiful.com within two days of posting my first note. I began Operation Beautiful because I really believe that “Fat Talk” is detrimental to your personal happiness, your health, and your relationships. It’s a bad habit that we need to stop as society – I don’t want my future daughter to grow up thinking she’s fat just because she doesn’t look like an unattainable ideal in a magazine. I think that by posting notes, we’re spreading positive self-image. Also, I think the posters are really writing the notes to themselves, and it gives them a boost of confidence, too!
When was the moment you realized that Operation Beautiful was really making a difference?
Caitlin: Almost right away, I started to receive emails from women who had either posted a note, saw the website, or even found a note. So many of these notes showed me that a little post-it could have a tremendous impact on a person, whether they were just having a bad day, recovering from an eating disorder, going through cancer treatment, or just in need of a smile.
In your mission statement, you say that one of your biggest crusades is ending Fat Talk. Why? How has Fat Talk affected you personally?
Caitlin: I think, like all women, my friends and I Fat Talked to some degree. One day I realized that when I told myself I was fat or lazy, I actually began more likely to overeat dessert or skip workouts. If you lift yourself up, you are more likely to achieve your goals. Life is hard enough without constantly putting yourself down!
How do you guard yourself against “Fat Talk” throughout your day? Do you find that it comes naturally, or is it a challenge to stop the talk?
Caitlin: I do not Fat Talk any more because I made a conscious decision to stop Fat Talking, both externally and internally. Like any bad habit, you just need to decide you are going to stop. I think it helps to correct yourself outloud when you do it.
There are so many stories of encouragement on your site. What is it like to receive those emails and see how one change in your own life has affected so many other people? Does it inspire you to do more?
Caitlin: I feel like the luckiest blogger in the world because I get to read all these emails and look at those notes every morning. It truly makes me a nicer person!
I noticed on your blog, Healthy Tipping Point, that you are working on a book. What is that book about?
Caitlin: I am shopping around a book proposal about Operation Beautiful, but someone has to buy it first! 🙂
What are your future plans for Operation Beautiful?
Caitlin:Truly, I would just like as many people to find out about the Operation as possible! And I would love to find an Operation Beautiful note myself. 🙂
Thank you so much for your time, Caitlin. One last question before you go- If you could say one thing to any girl or woman out there struggling with the image in her mirror, what would you say to her?
Caitlin: You are enough… just the way you are.
Be sure to head over to Operation Beautiful to find out more about Caitlin and her effort to eliminate Fat Talk. Make today a day of change. Get those post-it notes, write a message of TRUTH, and stick them on mirrors, diet books, etc. Anywhere and everywhere women look to find beauty!
Remember: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY GOD MADE YOU.