When you fat shame yourself, you send a message to others that they aren’t ok, either. Our culture teaches us to put ourselves down, but is that loving for ourselves or to the friends around us? Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com and Ashley Manta from http://www.AshleyManta.com share.

Cathy: Hi, everyone. Today, we’re talking about fat shaming again and what happens when you start shaming yourself around other people. I’m Cathy Vartuli from http://TheIntimacyDojo.com. I’m here with Ashley Manta from http://AshleyManta.com. Hey, Ashley.

Ashley: Hey, Cathy.

Cathy: Do you want to say your story? I think it’s really powerful.

Ashley: Absolutely. Today, I was going bridesmaid-shopping with a couple of friends. My friend is getting married next year. One of the bridesmaids was very body-negative, not towards us, but towards herself. She was really shaming herself about the things that she had eaten the day before and saying that she felt so fat and so disgusting.

She’s much smaller than I am. As I’m listening to this, I started feeling really self-conscious, like if she thinks that about herself, imagine what she must be thinking about me.

Cathy: Yeah. It’s painful. It’s very uncomfortable to hear, to be around. I think that a lot of us are taught that that’s how we’re supposed to be. That’s what makes us … Most of us just want to be good people. We want to do a good job. Most of us watching TV, watching … hearing our friends in high school, probably, we learn that that’s what a good person does.

They shame themselves and … Oh, my God. I ate three M&Ms or three jelly beans yesterday. I’m just … What is it? Fat cow? People use those phrases towards themselves.

I’ve been in the same situation where I’ve had friends that were very petite, complaining about a couple of dimples or cellulite or like half an ounce of extra weight. Soon, they’re going … exactly, like if you feel that way about you, how do you feel about me? It’s very uncomfortable. This isn’t about shaming anybody for using those words, but more about bringing awareness.

Ashley: Absolutely, because emotions carry weight. If you have negative emotions, it’s going to drain your body and drain the energy in the people around you, whereas if you’re being positive, if you’re being confident, “I feel beautiful today; oh, look, you look great today,” it just adds a positive energy to the room and uplifts the conversation rather than dragging it down.

Cathy: Yeah. One of the ways I like to judge, and I don’t always do this, is I have friends that call me on it, thank God, because there are days where I get negative about myself, like, “Oh, my God. My hair looks horrible.” I start dragging at myself. One of the barometers I use is when I say this to my best friend, if I … or when I say this younger sister, when I say, “Oh, you’re a fat cow. You ate a burger yesterday,” or “Oh, my God. You look horrible in that skirt.”

They’re like, “No,” and be like, “Please you look amazing, but that skirt maybe doesn’t flatter you. Do you want to see if there’s something … Would you like my feedback? If not, okay. No problem.”

I wouldn’t talk to someone that I love that way. We often talk about wanting to improve our sense of self-love. I don’t think we do that necessarily by having that just hit us on the head one day. I think it happens by acting as if. We act as if we love ourselves. Then, over time, we become that lovable person that we want to be.

We start feeling it and creating it. If you find yourself talking to yourself that way, you might want to say, “Really, is this what I want to put into my body? Is this what I want to give myself as a gift today? Is it actually helping me in any way? Because I have yet to see … If shaming worked to make people lose weight, there wouldn’t be two-thirds of the population that’s technically overweight. It just doesn’t work.

What do you want to feed yourself today? When you have a friend that’s doing that, it may not be while you’re trying on dresses, but it might be useful to say, “Hey, it doesn’t sound very loving while you’re talking to yourself. Would you like me to point it out when you say that? Honestly, it makes me uncomfortable.”

Ashley: Yeah, absolutely. Saying it from a place of love and caring and not shaming them for saying they … like, “Oh, God. How can you talk about yourself like that? That’s so terrible.”

Cathy: Yeah. “You’re ruining my day.”

Ashley: Kind of like shaming the shaming. (Laughing

Cathy: Yeah. It does. I think that’s … telling your friends that it did … “It made me feel uncomfortable and concerned what you thought about me” might help them. A lot of us don’t want to say anything to our friends that we think will be seen as criticism.

Actually sharing with them that it felt kind of off and that it made you uncomfortable might get them to see how negative their language is. It can be done in a loving way if you feel comfortable with them.

Ashley: Definitely.

Cathy: Yeah. I’m really glad you brought that forward, Ashley.

Ashley: Thanks, Cathy. I’m glad I had the chance. I would love to hear what the viewers are thinking and experiences that they’ve had. Please leave comments below. Let us know what you think and what you’ve experienced.

Cathy: Yeah, and what you think you might do to upgrade that in the future. Thanks very much.

Ashley: Thanks, guys.


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