We say all sorts of mean things to ourselves. “I hate my cellulite. That cake is going to go straight to my hips.” You may think that it’s ok to talk down about yourself every now and then, but truth is, words like this eat at your confidence and self-worth. These little “Fat talks” stick to you like Velcro and will slowly become your identity. Let’s put a sock on it: The first step is to identity these fat talk habits. Then we will work on replacing them with positive, more forgiving, and accurate thoughts.  You need to handle your body with care. It does a lot for you, so you need to treat it with respect. Here are some helpful tips to bash those bad fat talk habits.

>Get up close and personal. Begin by looking in the mirror. That is usually the first place that our body bashing takes place.  We tend to focus on our flaws instead of our strengths. Next, try to spot when you silently fat talk yourself throughout the day. This is typically nonverbal things such as sucking in your stomach or pinching a roll here and there. Another term for this is “body checking”. Lastly, watch for small moments. These tend to be little things such as skimming a menu and saying “I really shouldn’t eat that burger” or “Man, I really wish I could pull off skinny jeans like her” Fat talk isn’t just stating “I am fat” or “I feel fat,” it is the actual way we are measuring our bodies. This can be done with calorie counting or comparing looks.

>Now act! Begin by replacing those negative thoughts with positive ones. It may seem weird at first because most of us are not used to talking about ourselves in a positive manner. Think of your positivity as a new pair of glasses. It will feel awkward at first, but you get used to it, and it will begin to feel like a part of you. Begin to go over the list of all the body bashing comments you had made earlier and ask yourself these questions. “Would I say that to my best friend, daughter, or son?” Most of the time you will find yourself saying no. Usually this is the wake up call to how badly we are treating ourselves. Next, begin by finding a body neutral zone. It’s tough to be positive all the time. You are allowed to have to vulnerable moments, but try to change the criticism. Instead of saying “I look awful in these jeans” try “I’m not awful looking; I just do not feel my most confident in these jeans, and that’s OK.”  Lastly, try to build up a positivity library for yourself. Create a whole list of positive things about you. It can be anything, not just body related. When you find yourself fat talking chase that down with something from the list. It can be things such as; I am a great listener. I give great advice.

>Pass on the kindness. Body bashing is contagious. It can spread like an infectious virus. Try to be more positive towards others as well. Start by creating a “no fat talk” zone. While in the locker room or out and about, if you hear someone body bashing, try addressing the issue head on by suggesting that no body bashing is allowed.  Next, don’t be so fast to judge. We look at social media and magazines and usually have a critical thought or condemn a stranger’s shape or appearance. Oddly enough, we are compelled to judge. Try to remind yourself that judging leads to fat talk, and it is not cool. Lastly, try to give a compliment every day. This will help change the tone of your day. It will work on the muscle of thinking with compassion.

We need to handle our bodies with care. Our bodies do a lot for us, so we need to treat them with respect.