We've all been there. You feel totally uncomfortable and that annoying "f" word keeps popping up in your mind. In honor of No Fat Talk Week, here are five tips to help you through "feeling fat" without letting your inner critic go wild. Fat Talk Free Week is October 18-22, 2010. Delta Delta Delta and key partners are raising the nation's consciousness about the dangers of fat talk and the impact it has on self-esteem and confidence. http://www.bodyimageprogram.org/action/
1. Pump Up the Music: Drown out your inner critic with an empowering song.
2. Join Operation Beautiful. Operation Beautiful's mission is to post positive anonymous notes in public places for others to find. The book, Operation Beautiful, has over 125 pictures, uplifting messages and stories. See some examples http://operationbeautiful.com/about-2/
3. Lose the "F" Word: When you "feel fat," it's tempting to bash your body. Stop chit-chatting about how much you hate your thighs or your butt. Instead, focus on self-acceptance. Connect with others who want to do the same through Fat Free Talk Week on Facebook.
4. Outsmart Your Thoughts: To turn negative "fat" thoughts "off," distract yourself with challenging words games. Visit http://www.freerice.com/. This website is fun and makes donations to world hunger with each click.
5. Get Cozy: Feeling "fat" is sometimes triggered by perceptual cues such as squeezing into tight clothing or designer outfits made for unrealistically shaped models. Until the feeling passes, change into pajamas, sweatpants or a comfortable outfit. Or, put on your favorite sweater, the one that everyone compliments.
6. Take a Mindful Walk. Light exercise, like walking, can boost your serotonin levels. Click here to learn how to do a "walking meditation." Get your mind off "feeling fat" through action. If you really can't get moving, listen to a song by Lady Southpaw. She sings about running. Several of Lady Southpaw's songs focus on the good things your body can do for you instead of what you hate about it.
7. Name it. Feeling "fat" is often the smoke and mirrors in front of how you really feel. Circle on this list, at least five words that describe your emotions in this very moment. Guilt? Regretful? Ashamed? Stressed? Frustrated?
Feeling "fat" is no fun. Your inner critic can make it worse if you let it. So, if you are feeling fat, remember, "This too shall pass." While you wait, respond mindfully, compassionately and productively.
Susan Albers, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns, and mindfulness. She is the author of 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, Eating Mindfully, Eat, Drink, and Be Mindful, and Mindful Eating 101 and is a Huffington Post blogger. Her books have been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, O, the Oprah Magazine, Natural Health, Self Magazine and on the Dr. Oz T.V. show. Visit Albers online at www.eatingmindfully.