How to Have a Fat-Talk-Free Holiday Season

From Dr. Robyn Silverman - click here for the full article

(1) Declare the Holiday Table a Fat Talk Free Zone: In Good Girls Don’t Get Fat, I talk about establishing a Fat Talk Free Zone in order to take charge of what kind of “talk” you surround yourself with on a daily basis.  Holidays, of course, are special occasions and times when we see people who aren’t in our every lives. While it may take guts, ask your guests to join you in making this holiday a positive one where you build people up rather than tear them (including yourself!) down. Hang it right on the door or by the Holiday Table; “You are now entering the Fat Talk Free Zone!”

(2) Don’t forget what Holiday Family Dinners are really all about: When you think of the true meaning of your holiday get togethers, they’re really about love, family, friends, and gratitude, right? I mean, what happened to the “Thanks” part of Thanksgiving? If we can focus on what we have—our strengths, our assets, and our support system—instead of what we lack, our Holiday dinners will surely be more enjoyable…and something to fondly look forward to and remember.

(3) Remember what Your Mama told you (if you can’t say something nice…): Whether it’s about yourself or someone else, snarky, rude comments hurt.  They impact our minds and our moods and poison the dinner environment. And let’s not forget that such toxicity isn’t contained to that day. We remember those negative messages for years to come—so let’s change the dialogue we say to others and to ourselves.

(4) Start a new tradition: Some go around the table and say what they’re grateful for while others retell old family stories. In the spirit of Fat Talk Free Holidays, why not start a tradition of celebrating our strengths? Ask everyone to say 1-3 things that they feel are assets they possess.  You can also go back around the table and flip it—what are 1-3 assets you admire about someone else at the table? This is not about competition or comparison but rather, about seeing people for their strengths rather than their deficits.

(5) Nip it in the bud: If someone starts to “fat talk,” pull them aside and remind them kindly about your Fat-Talk-Free Holiday plan.  While some adults may be able to filter out opinions about fat, calories, and weight, children and teens are very impressionable.  Your silence, in this case, can be seen as an endorsement of the behavior and what the guest is saying.  Speak up so that everyone can get back to focusing on enjoying family, food, friends, and some fat-talk free time.

Lisa Leebody image, holidays