Fat Free

Friday, 3 August 2012
Did I tell you the one about the book that calls for all women to have a "fat free" day? That means we're supposed to disregard thoughts about being fat, stop talking about being fat or losing weight and generally stop thinking about women in terms of fat and skinny for one day. See if you can do. It is MUCH harder than you think.

The book, which I highly recommend to ladies and even men who have daughters or just have an interest in women's issues, it's called "The Woman in the Mirror - How to stop confusing identity with appearance" and it is written by a renowned Psych Ph.D., Cynthia M. Bulik. She focuses most of her research on body and self esteem and how it develops in girls from an early age and translates to a woman's image of herself. She argues that culturally, women are asked to take on unrealistic body "goals" and that we should stop putting ourselves down, "If I could only lose 10 more pounds... my life would be awesome," and start building ourselves up in ways that have nothing to do with appearance, "I really helped three women today in my clinic rotation. I'm smart." Bulik has even started a website, http://womaninthemirrorbook.com/.

Not only does she encourage women to attempt to recognize when we have negative thoughts about our bodies... she asks the reader to start to recognize how many time we apologize with no need. In her studies she has found that women say the words "I'm sorry" at overwhelming rate when there's actually nothing to be sorry about. For instance, she had lunch with female colleagues and one of the women apologized to the waiter saying, "I'm sorry, but I need tea that doesn't have caffeine, I'm pregnant." Sorry? What is there to be sorry about? She said in the same meal the waiter returned to clear the plates and the other colleague said, "I'm so sorry. I'm still eating." Sorry? You should be! You're in a restaurant for goodness sakes. Hurry up and eat. ;) I get her point. She just asks that women start to be mindful of when we apologize and why and how often women around us apologize when it is unnecessary. She found that this is not a recognized phenomenon among men.

Try a "Fat Free" Day and let me know how you get on.

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