Good Day

Today is a good day for several reasons:

1) Today is Love you Body Day!

If you don’t want to follow the link, or just want the short version, today is about rejecting the idea that a woman’s value is best measured by the amount that her appearance coincides with current beauty standards. It also focuses on the idea of challenging the exact nature of these standards, which tend to be relevant only to white, able-bodied women*. I love that my body is able to run for two hours straight!

2) Speaking of running, today was the last run before my half marathon! I was able to run an 8:30 pace despite being barely warmed up, so I’m starting to feel hopeful again that I will improve my time at the half on Saturday. We will just have to see!

3) After reading some ridiculous article on Cracked about “food industry lies” yesterday (they had some good points about transparency but most of it was just fear-mongering), I was greeted with this from MyFitnessPal today. I much prefer myth debunking over spinning the truth to scare people, especially when it comes to food and fitness myths!

4) I found some old pics of myself…prepare for a Throwback Thursday!

I hope you all have a good day with love for your bodies, awesome workouts, and freedom from annoying fitness myths as well 🙂

*Note: I think I may have worded this somewhat poorly. The challenge isn’t to create ridiculous standards for other women; it is to challenge the idea that white, able-bodied women are inherently more valuable because current beauty standards apply only to them.


Lions, and Tigers, and Bears – Oh My!

How was my trip home, you might be asking? You know, the one that kept me from posting for like 4 days (oops)?

Well, I can say that the title of this post is a mostly accurate description.

You see, I’ve been listening to the same CDs in my car for about 4 years now. I had only taken a few when I moved out to Indiana, and then my husband threw away all of my old CDs because they were “ruined.” Just so you know, dear, I will never forgive you for throwing away “Nevermind” just because 2 or 3 tracks skipped too much to play – the others were still perfectly fine! And if you are learning anything from that last sentence, it is that everything in my CD collection was 10-20 years old. So basically I’ve been listening to a few hits circa “Wonderwall” and “Soul Meets Body” for four years now. So lately, I’ve decided to reach out and see what the radio has to offer out of boredom.

And mostly, it is offering Katy Perry. Though, to be fair, I probably had to hear “Roar” so many times because I had to keep switching the radio station. Here is the (ridiculous) video if you haven’t heard it yet:

I really don’t want to like it, but I sort of do now that I know every word. I feel like if it was sung by someone other than Katy Perry it could be my like awesome girl power anthem or something. It also reminds me of my soccer playing days, when our coach used to make us sing “Eye of the Tiger” while running warm-up laps. Ahh, nostalgia.

So, where do the bears come in?

Well, you see, I had to go for at least 2 runs while home: 5 miles on Saturday and 11 on Sunday. I had basically three choices on where to run: in the woods near my Grandpa’s house; in the tiny town my parents live in; or in the “big” town, where I could run on the college campus. I decided to opt for “in the woods” because it is more scenic than all of the other options. It also was WAY more hilly (like 3 miles of nothing but going uphill) which was beneficial to my training.

Fall leaves, fog, and fields. Who wouldn’t want to run there?

The only problem with this choice was that my family was FREAKING OUT. They kept insisting that I drive into town and run on the track (who wants to do 44 laps around a track?!) because it was going to be “too dangerous” to run anywhere else. And, to be fair to them, I did get “lost” in the woods once. I say “lost” because I knew where I was, I just thought that the way I was heading went back to the house when it went away from the house and I figured it out less than a mile after making the wrong turn, which is pretty impressive for me. They weren’t worried about me getting lost, though (the only thing I was worried about). They were legit worried about me getting eaten by bears, because a couple of people had hit bears with their cars earlier in the year. Now, I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the prospect of bears, but I figured that the danger level was similar to what I face elsewhere (city drivers and homeless people), so I figured I would be ok (for the record, the only animals I saw were 5 does). I was more worried about bow-hunters shooting me due to it being archery season (I promise I wore my orange hat!). My grandpa even went out and drove my route later in the day and told me it was “really out in the boonies.” Newsflash family: everywhere is out in the boonies. I don’t think I could have avoided running there. The grandpa I was staying with lives in a town of 1700; my parents and other grandparents officially make up nearly 1% of their towns population (I am not exaggerating, there are only 500 people).

Despite getting my good workouts in, not everything went well. I ate WAY too much (like peanut butter chocolate chex mix followed by large size Arby’s kind of too much), and came home to find that part of my bike was stolen. Yes, just part of it – the rear wheel. Yes, I know, I should have locked both wheels. I’m mostly complaining because the theft seems pointless – my cassette was all rusty and I had super cheap wheels on that bike (like so cheap the bike shop replacing it doesn’t carry anything that crappy) so I don’t know how much they are possibly going to sell it for. Maybe they will get some decent money out of the puncture resistant tire? It seems kind of silly that they would basically disable my bike for almost no benefit to themselves (they tried to remove my front wheel and failed, so I’m guessing they were trying to take the whole bike). I do feel very glad that I at least knew about quick release wheels – the guy next to me is going to come home to find nothing but a front tire attached to a Kryptonite u-lock 😦 I tried to warn him previously by leaving a note but it was on there for like a day and a half and it was all dewy and it was going to rain so I removed it and he was never told. Hopefully my bike will be back in working order soon, though, and my renter’s insurance will kick in a bit!

I will leave you with a picture of Belle being very happy to see me:

Biking Adventures

The other day I was reading this post from the T-Rex Runner (you should read her awesome blog by the way!) and it reminded me that when I bought my bike, one of my thoughts was that since I live in the downtown area of both of the towns that I live in, I would ride my bike EVERYWHERE. I’d ride to the bars, to the store, whatever! It would be awesome. I think I have only managed to do this one time, though, and that was because I was dropping my car off to get fixed and would have had to walk home instead, making biking preferable. Here are my numerous excuses:

  • I just ran/biked and now I’m tired.
  • Where would I lock it?
  • For awhile, Kris and I were sharing a bike lock, so we couldn’t go anywhere together.
  • Too nervous.
  • I don’t know, probably laziness????

Today, though, I could not really think of any excuse. I was planning to go to the grocery store to buy ice cream and shotbloks (needed now that I’m getting to 10 mile + runs). The grocery store is only ONE mile from my house. The only real excuse I could come up with for taking my car was that I would have to find a way to cross over into 2 left-hand turn lanes. I decided that since I have done far scarier things (I’ve gone through a 6 lanes each way intersection on campus) I could probably handle it, though, and that the scary turn lanes were not a good enough excuse. I did wait for traffic to die down a little, though. The only other excuse I could think of was that I could not recall whether there was a bike rack at the store, but I have seen so many people riding their bikes to and from the store that I just knew there had to be one somewhere (there was).

Overall, my first real adventure at biking somewhere in a non-recreational manner other than campus went well. The turn lanes were not the scariest part at all. In fact, the worst part was probably the GIANT hill. I never realized how big that hill is in my car! It was also sort of scary because the hill has no shoulder and I was afraid that a car would hit me due to lack of room, but they all gave me plenty of space without even going in the other lane (the lanes must also be wider than I thought they were).

My only real issue was that I am so used to hauling about 75 pounds of stuff (slight exaggeration) with me to campus that when I was biking around with nothing in my panniers except my purse and u-lock that I kept getting a bit off balance and almost fell over twice! Once, I was turning my head to go over into one of the left turn lanes and almost fell over sideways (that would have been bad because there was a car directly behind me). The other time I held my arm up to signal a right hand turn while going downhill and braking and squeezed the brake too hard with my other hand while correcting my balance and almost fell over due to almost stopping. That would have been less bad because I was at a red light with no one behind me (meaning the hand signal was largely necessary, but I do like to practice).

One thing that makes me sad, though, is that when I bought the bike I really thought it would make going to the bars downtown more convenient. I always feel silly driving 1 mile to go to them, but it’s a bit far to walk. The more I think about it, though, the reasons that I do not want to walk are very similar to the reasons that I don’t want to bike. Yeah, it might take me a few minutes longer to walk, which is one reason that I don’t, but the main reason that I don’t walk is that I go to the bars at night, and I would be too afraid to walk by myself at night. I’d probably have to have at least one man or multiple other women with me to feel safe enough to go that far at night without a locked car door between me and the outside world. It’s not that I live in a particularly bad part of town* – I’d be scared anywhere. In fact, the only time I’ve ever actually encountered a creepy person at night was in my small 7,000 person hometown with almost no crime! I’m probably being somewhat irrational, as I’d be faster than most assailants on a bike, but I can’t help it. I’m going to the bar with a friend tonight and I am going to drive the short distance (it’s on my street for goodness sake!) to this bar out of paranoia 😦

So that I don’t end on a sad/paranoid note, one final thing to mention: I have started using Twitter again! Follow me if you’d like!

*Technically, I do live in the “bad part of town” where all the “people from Kentucky” apparently live. I’ve lived in some fairly shady places, and I have relatives from Kentucky who are totally normal people. Let’s just say I think the Indianans are overreacting.

Some Links to Get You Through the Mid Week Slump

Usually, if I see something interesting on the internet, I just randomly add it on to a post. This week, I thought I’d amass a bunch together for your reading pleasure. Some of them might be slightly old news, but hopefully at least some of you readers will come across something new and interesting you had not seen on the interweb yet! Note, some are fitness related, and some are not; some are funny, some are not.

6 by 21. An article about 6 women riding the Tour de France (ahead of the race). I think this one might be a little old, but I just saw it for the first time yesterday. You *might* have to be a member of in order to read it, I’m not sure.

9 Signs You’ve Become That Person About Getting Healthy. I was relieved to find that I do not yet do ALL of these.

30 Signs You’re a Fitness Chick. Gifs make me giggle.

Man Says One Day of P90X Sent him to the Emergency Room. I actually know someone who this happened to in real life – don’t do workouts your body isn’t ready for! Start with small changes!

ESPN’s Body Issue. This came out like a week ago, but I’d never even heard of this before (I live under a pop culture rock). While imperfect (it could be more inclusive) I find it a nice contrast to typical portrayals of fit female bodies – yes, some are sexualized, but I’d argue that they equally sexualize men, and most of it is in an artsy way, and they are at least trying to do non-sexy pics of both genders.

Access to Panera’s Hidden Menu. I don’t know if this actually works, but it looks amazing (like yummy good for you food instead of “health food”). Someone should try this out and tell me if it works before I embarrass myself at Panera :p

How Pregnancy Changes a Runner’s Body. Interesting article in the NY Times. I saw someone arguing that all of the information is “duh” and that it seems to suggest women shouldn’t run during pregnancy, but I didn’t catch the latter vibe. And to be fair, much of science is providing evidence in support of the obvious.

Face It. An article about body image and parenting.

8 Hydration Myths Busted. Some of the evidence for and against claims about hydrating during exercise (specifically running).

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons why I Run Long Distances. I’m sure everyone has seen this comic from the Oatmeal by now, but parts of it really resonated with me (i.e. I will always be running from the fat person within). I was a little uncomfortable with his discussion of weightlifters, but to be fair it is true to his typical style of comedy through insulting exaggerations and I suspect some of it might come from his own insecurities (i.e. he had vain reasons to start running but that didn’t work out for him, so he dislikes people who work out for vain reasons now), so I might forgive him.

A few non-fitness ones:

I Understood Gender Discrimination Once I Added “Mr.” to my Resume and Landed a Job. A story about a guy named Kim who couldn’t get a job, obviously because he was a lady.

27 Life Hacks Every Girl Should Know. Some of these EVERYONE should know. It’s a little repetitive if you have Pinterest, but some of these were new to me.

Finally…DOGGIES!!! Nearly all of these apply to Belle. Or any dog. Gab: I can see River doing the upside down cereal thing.

Things I’ve Never Yelled at Men from my Car: My Personal List

Happy ‘Murica Day, everyone! Hope you are enjoying the taste of freedom (which you probably are, if freedom happens to taste like beer and burgers).

I saw this video today on r/running and thought I’d add a few personal additions to the list.

  • Unintelligible comments (if you are going past at 50mph, I can’t understand you)
  • Faster!
  • Whistles
  • Suggestive noises
  • People following me around yelling “smack”
  • To be fair, once, when I was jogging with Kris, someone did yell at us. They asked if I was going to tie his shoes (wtf?!)

At least they inappropriately signal their attraction to me instead of calling me fat? Personally, I find this odd as I spent most of my time running being rather overweight, and this seems to be a common experience. Perhaps I’ll know I’m a real runner when someone finally informs me that I am super duper fat. Ugh.

Foods on Fridays

I woke up feeling extremely sore this morning, and had no idea why. I asked Kris if he felt sore, thinking I might still be sore from our trip or something, even though this would make very little sense as I was not sore yesterday. He was not still sore, so the only thing that I can conclude is that this is delayed onset soreness from yesterday. What happened yesterday? Belle was so determined to chase a groundhog in the park that SHE PULLED ME FLAT ON MY FACE! This would also explain why my right arm (which was holding the leash) would be the most sore. Still, it didn’t hurt that badly at the time, so I’m fairly surprised.

Also: if your upper body and arms are sore, do not decide that today is a good day to clean your claw foot tub. Why? Because this contraption has not one, not two, but THREE shower curtains that are suspended from bars that hang from the ceiling and are higher than your head. This means you will be holding your sore arms above your head for quite awhile. Oh, and you will also need to remove that silly little quarter curtain thingy with bags in it to hold your stuff because that claw foot tub that seemed like such a good idea at first turned out to have zero storage. Actually, the moral of this tale may be to not get a claw foot tub. Just don’t – they are overrated.

This post is supposed to be about food, though, so I will stop complaining about my chores and move on to talking about food!

Overall, I was not too displeased with the choices that I made in New York. I kept it to a reasonable 3 meals and 1-2 snacks/desserts per day. Also, I did not eat enormous portions at any of the meals. For example, even on the pizza day, we ordered a small pizza, so eating half of it was more like my normal 1/4 (who am I kidding I still eat half) of a large pizza. I also tried to get small servings every time we got snacks like gelato or to share snacks (like fries or pretzels) with Kris. Even at the M&M store, we basically bought one serving of peanut M&Ms each (while still not healthy, I was tempted to get myself a whole pound, so this was quite reasonable in comparison).

What were my over-indulgences, then?

Probably coffee with calories and alcohol. I was just soooooo thirsty and soooooo tired and soooooo hot that I kept drinking those frozen blended coffee beverage things that probably have like 500 calories each. I also had beer or wine at almost every meal (though, due to expense, I usually just had like one).

Normally I don’t drink so many calories, so these felt like indulgences to me. I also ate  more in the morning than I normally do while being less full. This was partially the fault of the hotel and partially my fault. The hotel provided a free hot breakfast. They actually had lots of things that would have been healthier/more filling, but because I was in a rush each of the days, I had a toasted mini bagel with cream cheese and a mini muffin. This sounds reasonable, but because the empty carbs weren’t very satisfying, I usually wound up feeling hungry and needing a snack before lunchtime. These were the most accessible quick things at the hotel, which is why I give them partial blame, but to be fair, they did have hard boiled eggs, cinnamon raisin oatmeal, and fruit that I could have picked instead – I just can’t resist the empty carbs. In retrospect, a couple of mini pastries + another mini pastry later in the morning is probably not the worst food decision anyone (including myself) has ever made, though.

I was also glad to find that upon returning home I found I was truly wanting to go back to my normal healthy habits rather than continuing to eat millions of donuts (ok, I had 3, not a million, and it was the first day when we didn’t really end up eating anything else “bad”). It probably helped that yesterday when I was at the doctor she suggested that instead of focusing so much on calories that I focus on “eating the rainbow” and making sure I get enough protein. I assured her that I track protein and supplement when strength training, which she was very glad to hear, but I knew she was right about the rainbow thing – eating the rainbow means making sure you try to eat fruits and veggies of a variety of colors throughout the day, and I know I do not eat nearly enough veggies nor varied enough fruits. This discussion at least inspired me to buy tri-color peppers, baby carrots, onions, spinach, red potatoes, blueberries, bananas, and strawberries! I know that is still pretty basic but at least I’m trying. I am sure I will improve at this.

I haven’t cooked much since getting back from NYC, so I don’t have any new recipes/cooking ideas to share (I made fajitas last night with the peppers and onions but they were meh), but I do have a couple of reviews of foods I didn’t make.

First, yesterday, I finally decided to try Pita Pit because it was like right next to the doctor’s office. This place is basically Subway with pitas, so it wasn’t THAT amazing or anything, but it was a nice healthy fast food place to try out. A plus side was that the food was actually pretty low in calories, so they at least had that going for their health claims (often “healthy” fast food only seems healthy, but it really isn’t). Note,however, that their “secret” sauce has something like 200 calories, while most of the others have FAR less – the one I put on my pita (chipolte) had less than half the calories! This can be avoided by looking at nutrition info ahead of time, though – they had a ton of better options. Another bonus was that they had fancier toppings than Subway, like roasted red peppers and feta cheese, which tasted great (along with numerous other veggies) on my chicken souvlaki pita. Con: it was a little pricey at $9 for a drink, pita, and chips or a cookie (I got baked chips). I’d go there again, though – thanks, Gab, for the suggestion of this place!

Second, when I came home from vacation, a free sample of Quest bars was at my door! I believe I ordered these free samples through some promotion that Hungry Girl was having. I have a few friends who swear by these (they do low carb diets) and I thought I’d try them out since they had pretty cool flavors and these friends are recommending them, but I’d have to actually drag myself to like GNC or something, whereas I can buy Clif bars at the regular grocery store, so I’ve been putting it off. The samples that I got were apple pie and cookie dough, and so far I’ve tried the apple pie. It tasted really good, but the texture was odd because it was really grainy, even after following the recommendation to microwave it. Sorry I didn’t take a picture to show you how unappetizing these look, but an image search will show you what I mean about the texture. Compared to other low-carb bars, though, it was really really really amazing. It was also extremely filling – I ate half before and half after my run and I didn’t even feel like having lunch till after 1 pm (normally I am starving by like 11:30 because I eat breakfast at like 6:30). Because Clif bars still have a lot of good flavors, a better texture, are more available, and I am not super focused on macros (the Quest bar is nutritionally superior), I will probably still rely on those for “oh no I forgot to pack lunch what will I eat” type snacks that I keep in my purse, but I would not be opposed to buying the Quest bars if I happened to come across some. Besides – I’ve heard the cookie dough is even better, so perhaps it will change my mind.

One more silly (warning: it’s only funny if you’re liberal) thing for you to enjoy this weekend that is at least somewhat related to running: go check out the reviews of the Mizuno Wave Rider at Amazon. This makes me sad I’m an overpronator and can’t wear neutral shoes 😦

Talking About Body Image

My half marathon is officially very close – I ran the first run of my “taper” week this morning. Hopefully it is less humid this Saturday – when I ran this morning it was only in the 60s and I ran at a pace that is typically pretty normal for me for 3 miles (~ 8:30/mile), but I was having trouble breathing near the end and sweat was dripping down into my eyes and stinging them. The culprit: 89% humidity, at least according to my Weather Underground app (the Weather Channel claims the humidity is ONLY 74%).

But today’s post isn’t really about my half marathon or the weather. It is inspired by a couple of articles that I read lately. The first was in the New York Times Well blog, and the second  was some random article I saw linked on Reddit last night. Both discuss women discussing body image with each other and the social impact of that, and that is what I’d like to talk about today.

The NYT one was about “fat talk” among women. It basically talks about how women often bond by shaming their own bodies while at the same time assuring other women that their own bodies are fine (or at least flawed at a similar level). An example from the article:

First friend: “I can’t believe I ate that brownie. I am so fat!”

Second friend: “You must be joking — you are so not fat. Just look at my thighs.”

One of the things they point out is that women often say not what they actually think about their own bodies but what they think they are expected to think about their own bodies. This really hit home for me because I do this A LOT. As an adult, I have had very positive body image (I did struggle in high school when many of the other girls on my soccer team were very waif-like, and I didn’t realize I simply had a different body shape than them, and instead thought they were just more fit than me). Most women, however, don’t have very positive body image (or are perhaps in the same trap as me). This leads to very awkward conversations.

For example, I will say, in a factual sense, something like “oh, I have trouble finding slacks and boots because my legs are sort of big for the rest of my body size.” I don’t say these things to make negative comments about my body – I say them to make negative comments about availability of clothing! Still, the usual response isn’t something like “I know, I hate that – I can never find cute blazers because my shoulders are sort of broad! Why can’t they just make a few different cuts of clothing!” but rather something like “Oh, no, Chelsea! Your legs aren’t big! Look at how muscular and shapely they are! I would looooooove to have legs like yours!” Ok, well you are correct that my legs are pretty awesome – running miles and miles will do that to them. But that is also exactly why they are so big! Big and nice looking are not mutually exclusive, and I don’t need you to reassure me when I’m not even putting myself down.

I don’t blame these other women for making these comments, however, because honestly I usually respond in the same way as well. I am never sure when another woman says to me “I wish that they would make more [insert hard to find clothing item here] because of [idiosyncracy of my body]” what sort of response she is looking for, so I almost always go for reassurance about her body, just because I feel it is the safest route – what if she was feeling down about herself and I failed to reassure her? I would be a terrible friend! So I go with the better safe than sorry route.

I sometimes also feel pressure to put down my own body because of this phenomenon. This happens most when I am talking about my weight loss to people. People often assume that I thought I was “ugly” before and that I must feel like I look so much “better” now. Usually, I do not bother correcting them.

I make a very conscious effort to never bring up anything negative about my former body without being prompted – I did not dislike that body and I still don’t. I was never embarrassed to be  in pictures, wear bathing suits, or wear other revealing clothing. I honestly felt beautiful and still think I was beautiful. I do slightly prefer how I look now, but honestly the body I liked best was when I was about medium sized and curvy (and still overweight). My body type is very straight now and I have no idea how to dress it. Also, at that point I hadn’t really lost enough weight for the loose skin to set in yet. I now for the first time in my life feel like I need to cover up – I was never concerned about people seeing stretch marks or cellulite (honestly I’m sure most people don’t notice it on others), but now my skin literally flops around and hangs strangely and looks sort of deformed and I am self conscious of it. It’s improving vastly as I gain muscle and time rejuvenates my skin, but I can honestly say that this is not the most beautiful I have felt in my life (don’t worry guys, I still know I’m hot – just not the hottest!). Still, others expect me to feel most beautiful now, because thin=beautiful and now I am very thin. I said before I don’t correct them. Can you imagine with the culture of “fat talk” trying to explain to most people that I thought I was hot when I was 240 lbs? I’m sure they would just think there was something wrong with me.

Note that I do have to tread a fine line with this thinking I am awesome looking now, though – I would never talk as positively about my body in person as I am here on my blog, for fear of appearing like I was bragging or making the other person feel like I don’t think that they are pretty/hot/beautiful whatever because of some perceived difference between us. From what I can tell, women tend to perceive their own bodies inaccurately and judge them more negatively than a stranger would. Yesterday, a friend was feeling down about her body because she has gained weight as she has become older.  This friend began insisting that I was thinner than her and weighed less even though I am 100% certain that we are the same size – we seriously wear the EXACT SAME clothing size down to shoe size and are the same height! Because she perceives that she is fatter than me and therefore uglier than me, saying something positive about myself in front of her might offend her because she would see that as “well Chelsea thinks she looks good with her legs the way they are, but my legs are fatter so she must think my legs look bad” even though I have no freaking clue what her legs really look like because I have never really paid attention. I would like to think that these perceived offenses aren’t just things I have made up in my head – I have felt them before! I understand, now, however, that comments on one’s own body rarely apply to the other person in the conversation – they are usually relative to some past body or ideal body that the individual has in mind for themselves, and they are not even paying attention to the offendee’s body.

The reason that the second article inspired me to write this post is that it provides a link to perhaps how we could stop this “fat talk” from occurring. The article is about the mind blowing experience of a little girl hearing her mother refer to herself as “fat, horrible and ugly” for the first time. I don’t remember the first time my mother did this, but I know that she does it. And I’m sure that most mothers do. And I also know that this is incredibly inappropriate behavior that only perpetuates the cycle of “fat talk:” if you teach little girls that it is normal to talk about your body image in a negative manner, then they will think that is how you communicate to other girls and women!

I don’t blame mothers for doing this, as it is so normalized (it probably does not occur to most people that saying such things to their daughters shapes them – they have been engaging in fat talk for so long that they probably don’t realize that their daughters would have to learn about it to engage in it). I have long been a person that has thought about how I will try my hardest to not transmit certain ideas to my children, normalization of negative body image discussion being among them (another example would be accidental gender role transmission). I know I won’t be perfect, but I want to make a conscious effort – one of my biggest fears is that by focusing too much on fitness and calorie counting that I will cause one of my children (of any gender) to develop an eating disorder, regardless of how hard I try to teach them body positivity. Even without reading these articles, I know how painful it is as an adult child to listen to your own mother say such horrible things about herself and feel helpless to change her mind (my mom frequently calls me to talk about how awful and bad she is even though she is only slightly overweight and exercises near daily). As an adult only child who is quite close in age to my mom (she is only a few years older than some of my actual friends), I try my best to remember she means it as a friend and not as a mother and that I am there to support and reassure her, not necessarily to be her daughter, which makes it more appropriate. Still, I would never want to put an actual child child in such a position!

The take home point here: try your hardest not to engage in this destructive fat talk and not to contribute to perpetuation of the cycle. I don’t expect you to be perfect (I admit right in this blog that I struggle with it!), but remember the impact of your words, and remember that we all have positive and negative aspects of our bodies – try to dwell on the positive 🙂