How often do you find yourself at a party or with a group of friends and the conversation turns to dieting and fat talk? The holidays tend to be that time of the year when people get together to catch up, celebrate and acknowledge their relationship. Of course you want to look good and put your best self out there. It doesn’t matter your gender, age, culture and race. We all want to be accepted and recognized. However, the pressure and stress of performing can be high. We live in a society that seems obsessed with image and performance, diets, and weight. Speaking up or changing the subject requires a lot of courage. If you feel like the conversation is taking you to places in your mind that make you feel ashamed, anxious, judgmental, and critical of your body and who you are, politely excuse yourself and go outside or find a plant in the room that allows you practice the following grounding mindfulness exercise:
Take a deep breath and connect to the color you’re seeing, start to describe the plant or scenery in your mind (I see a green plant with long leafs, it has….)
Green is a calming color and a color that represents change. Connect to the fact that you can change your thoughts at any moment.
Take another deep breath and let go of that judgment or need to participate in an unhealthy conversation. Breathe in peace and breathe out judgment.
Take another deep breath and think about who you want to be when you go back to the room. You have choices. Do you want to contribute to the toxic conversation or you want to talk about something more kind and gentle. For example, if someone says: “I don’t know how I’m going to wear a bathing suit after the holidays. I feel so fat already.” You can say: “I went to the beach last week and saw a beautiful sunset. We had such a great time!”
Mindfulness of sight helps us to give our minds a break and pause. When we are able to connect to the space between thoughts and chose how we want to respond, we tend to be more in control of situations and emotions. Body acceptance, regardless of size and imperfections can be very challenging when we are part of diet conversations and fat talk. This holiday season be body positive and respect and care for your body. Protecting your body is learning how to set boundaries and resisting the internalization of unhealthy standards of beauty. Be the example!