Published: Feb. 22, 2013

By Maria B. San Andres, student coordinator at Community Health

Have you ever caught yourself comparing your body to someone else’s? How about thinking that a specific part of your body doesn’t fit society’s beauty standards? I sure have, more than once.

At one point or the other, many of us do this. We may criticize ourselves and others based on stereotypes and sometimes we can say things that can be hurtful. Bonding with others by making disparaging comments about bodies… that's "fat talk."

Before, I thought that judging myself, and even others, was “the normal thing to do”. But now, I'm questioning that. What if I connected with people by talking about something other than our diets and our bodies?

At Community Health we want to reduce "fat talk" and support body positivity on our campus by helping students turn negative thoughts into something positive. We can be healthy without punishing ourselves for not fitting a stereotype. What if we didn't feel we have have this feeling of guilt after eating something we enjoy if we generally maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In my perspective, no "fat talk" is about loving our bodies and accepting ourselves without the excruciating judgments of not having “the perfect body." What is required to be healthy varies from person to person and it is not a matter of size or weight. Being healthy goes beyond the body – it also comprises the mind.

Letting go of "fat talk"- that's a change I am considering.