The Water Cooler: Overheard on Twitter

watercooler gossip

The other day I was reading through my twitter feed and saw a post by another dietitian commenting on what she overheard at the gym that day. She heard a woman apologizing to her trainer for being “embarrassing” and the “fat woman on the floor.” This was very sad to read that the woman did not value herself more, or even give herself credit for taking the step of being in the gym to help lead a healthier life. I do not know how the trainer responded, or what happened next, but I would hope that the trainer had the presence of mind to assure the woman that she was a wonderful person and need not be embarrassed.

How often though in our daily lives are we confronted with negative talk, overhear it around us or even engage in it ourselves? So many people, and women in particular, engage in negative talk, about themselves or even of those around them. Negative talk sets us up for failure every time, especially when it comes to our health and eating. This is one of the main reasons for Operation Beautiful, whose mission it is to transform the way women see themselves, one post-it note at a time. The founder of Operation Beautiful started putting post-it notes in public places like restrooms saying things like “You are beautiful!” The movement has caught on and encourages more women to do the same. Operation Beautiful is on twitter, Facebook as well as there being a blog and a book now. It is all uplifting and spreads the message of self-acceptance and positive body image. It is a shame that the woman at the gym didn’t see a posted note in the locker room. I hope there is one there now.

There are other resources as well for ending negative talk. Another fellow dietitian, Rebecca Scritchfield and Biggest Loser winner, Bernie Salazar, started The Me Movement, which is all about self-care and nurturing ourselves. If you are on twitter, you can follow #mefirst and the weekly chats for inspiration. The blog is also a great way to stay in touch and find more ways to nurture yourself or ideas to try something new.

A fellow college classmate of mine, Rosie Molinary, recently published Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self Acceptance. Rosie has always been an amazing writer and I love her blog. Each week she posts a “This Moment” picture of her adorable son. I haven’t picked up a copy of Beautiful You yet, but it is on my short list because it sounds amazing as both inspirational and empowering. The book gives 365 actionable ways to improve overall health and well-being by learning to fully appreciate oneself. I know I need daily affirmations of who I am and being the best I can be. I wish I could go back to that gym, wherever it is, and give a copy to this woman who was ashamed of herself.

All of these ideas are about self-awareness, self-acceptance and promoting a positive body image. These concepts go hand in hand with intuitive eating, something I believe in whole-heartedly and is missing from most people’s lives. Intuitive eating is all about learning to listen to your body for hunger and fullness cues. We are born with this ability but learn to ignore it for a variety of reasons.

As a mother, I want to nurture my son to the best of my ability and make sure that I give him every advantage in life. This includes being a positive role model by taking care of myself, eating well and refraining from negative talk (about myself or others). It is easier said than done, but something I strive for nonetheless.

So when was the last time you did something just for you or looked in the mirror and said, “I AM BEAUTIFUL!”?