11/11/2014 05:42 EST | Updated 01/11/2015 05:59 EST

Quit the Fat Talk

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Forget about the "five easy secrets to busting fat." Ignore the "3 simple tricks to slimming down." Here is ONE uncomplicated way to love your body more that you can do right now -- stop the fat talk.

Fat talk -- it has become so ingrained on our society that you may not even notice it. We've all heard comments like: "Looking good! Have you lost weight?" Maybe you yourself have made comments like "I need to lose 10 lbs."

Fat talk is any talk about weight in relation to your self worth. It can be negative comments about weight (She should not wear such a tight skirt with her figure!) or even positive (I can finally wear that swimsuit since I lost weight). It is also about forgoing a thin ideal and striving for a healthy ideal that includes all sizes. Some people believe it has become such a problem that a week long campaign has been set in motion to increase awareness of it, why it's a problem and how to stop. In Quebec, that week is NOW.

Contrary to popular belief, disliking your body does not encourage meaningful healthy lifestyle change. Many studies have shown that being ashamed or unhappy with your shape does little to encourage you to be more active or eat better. In fact, for some people, it can fuel unhealthy lifestyles and disordered eating such as binging. People who accept their bodies are more likely to respect them more (i.e. live healthy lives) since they are not ashamed or embarrassed to do the things they love. They are also less likely to follow a crazy diet. Which in turn means they are less likely to rebound (for example binge eating) which tends to happen after denying yourself foods you love or just food in general, during a diet.

Disliking ones shape, weight or body can stem from personal beliefs as well as comments from family and friends. Talking about all the things you'd want to change about your body or hearing suggestions from others related to weight, not surprisingly, increases unhappiness. This unhappiness very rarely motivates you to change and improve. Even well-meaning comments complimenting how skinny someone is can give people -- especially children and teens -- the wrong impression. Looking and feeling good becomes related to being slim rather than other attributes like acing a test, scoring a goal or being a great painter.

Having a healthy body image is important for everyone -- young and old, women and men. Fat talk increases dissatisfaction with your body while doing little to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Stop the fat talk and start on a new path of happiness and healthiness. The week of "le poids sans commentaire" in Quebec is brought to you by Equilibre and you can learn more by visiting their website:


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