Thursday, November 27, 2014

Overcoming Fear of Fat

I recently read a great post on the importance of fat in our meals.  Fat is a critical nutrient that is vital to our health.

But my first thought when I read the title was that the post was about fear of fat on our bodies.  Because that’s what drove the fear of fat in our foods in the first place.  And it drives disordered eating, which ends up taking us in the exact opposite direction we want to go.  Disordered eating means stress, which supports increased fat deposition.  It also often means overeating, which does the same.

So how do we overcome fear of fat on our bodies?  It’s not an easy task in this day of “ideal” images that are wildly unrealistic.  I know you’ve all probably seen the now-iconic image of the Body Shop rounded Barbie-doll figure with the accompanying phrase “There are 3 billion women who don’t look like supermodels and only 8 who do.”  Trouble is, too many of us 3 billion women still strive to be what we aren’t.

These four steps can help you start thinking more positively about your body, regardless of its size.

Step #1: Aim for neutrality.  Loving your body right now may seem too big a step to take.  So move to neutral.  Become aware of how you talk about your body — to yourself and others — and then work to erase the judgment from your words.  Example:  “I feel uncomfortable” instead of “I look horrible.” You’ll lay the groundwork for moving further when you’re ready.

Step #2: Be realistic. If telling yourself “I am beautiful” doesn’t feel believable yet, come up with a list of affirmations that sound and feel authentic to you: “I am more than my reflection” or “I appreciate my body for what it does for me.”

Step #3: Focus on your self-worth rather than your self-image.  Acknowledge what you do well rather than spending time thinking about how you look or or think you should look. Ask yourself where those ideals even came from?

Step #4: Surround yourself with images and art that represent women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Toss those magazines that feature air-brushed women who don’t look like that in real life. Remember, even super models don’t look like super models before airbrushing, hair stylists and makeup artists!  Check out these blogs about fashion and beauty for full-figured women for some inspiration.

You can read more about these steps in our article “Tips for Improving Body Image for Women.”

What tips do you have for overcoming fear of fat?

Comments

One Response to “Overcoming Fear of Fat”
  1. I try to focus on what my body can do, as opposed to what it looks like. In addition, often times when I have fat feelings, it’s really something deeper going on. We too often blame our body size for problems in our life. I try to honor my body at the size it is now by nourishing and moving it in joyful ways.

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