Currently viewing the category: "No Fat Talk Tuesday"

Last month when I was in NYC for work, I had the opportunity to meet Tara of Chip Chip Hooray in person.  I had ‘talked’ with Tara for the longest time via Twitter and through comments on our blogs. Now that we’ve actually met, I feel a little less crazy calling her a friend. In the short time I’ve spent with her, I can tell you this: Tara is absolutely beautiful, inside and out and radiates confidence and joy. I hope you are as touched by her story as I was. – Madison

Like a lot of the women who’ve told their stories here, I can remember the first time I decided that I needed to lose weight. I was thirteen, and when I stood sideways and looked in the mirror, all I could see was the—to me, unacceptable—curve of my stomach. For more than a decade since then, thoughts of weight and food intake and need for exercise have alternately consumed and exhausted me.

While I have never been diagnosed with an eating disorder, I know that the way I viewed and obsessed over food could for a long time have been labeled “disordered eating.” I counted calories, panicked if spontaneous changes of plans pulled me away from my preplanned meal or normal exercise routine, and, on top of everything, still felt hungry more often than not. Going to the gym was a punishment to me—I loved food (if you read my blog, you know I still do), but every cookie I ate had a price in the form of more minutes logged on the treadmill, more laps spun on the bike.
I saw results in the form of my jeans size. But I didn’t feel any more secure in myself. If anything, the desire to run harder, restrict my diet more, made me feel like I could be “better.” I just wasn’t working hard enough, and I looked in the mirror every day and told myself that. If you were skinnier, more boys would look at you. Why did you eat that dessert? Everyone noticed and thought you were a pig. At the outset of my college years, I was subsisting on a granola bar for breakfast, a soup-to-go and an apple for lunch—nowhere near the nutrients I needed to rebuild from the workouts I was putting my body through daily. 
At some point, something had to give. As I became closer to the girls who would become my roommates and best friends throughout college, I found a group of girls who made me feel safe. They too loved to celebrate through food—it was rare that something wasn’t cooking in our apartment—but for once I knew that they weren’t judging me for the food I put in my mouth, or analyzing the fit of my jeans the way I so often imagined others to be doing. 

I don’t think I have felt truly comfortable in my relationship with food, and with my own body, until now, though—and it is still a daily struggle. Just before the new year, I decided to channel my exercise into a plan. If I had some sort of goal to work toward, I thought, rather than the abstract desire to prevent any weight gain, maybe exercise could actually be something I looked forward to. And unbelievably, it worked.

I ran my first half marathon at the end of March, and each week of training made me prouder of my body. I celebrated my muscles’ growing strength as I could log one mile farther, and I nourished my body with the food it needed—and enough of it—to be healthy. I finally came to understand and appreciate rest days as time for recovery that was necessary—not a sign of laziness or weakness.

But most importantly I was proud of my body as I crossed that finish line. For as long as I can remember, I have found reasons to be dissatisfied with anything and everything about my body. And believe me, there are still days where I look at a plate of cookies with trepidation—and have to remind myself that eating one is not something I have to punish myself for. I hope with all my heart that this time in my life is the start of a new and beautiful relationship between me and my body, one that will last far beyond my marathon day. 

If you’re interested in sharing your No Fat Talk story, I would love to chat! Just e-mail me ( and I can give you more information. 

 Today’s No Fat Talk Tuesday post comes to us from Kristin. I enjoyed reading what Kristin wrote because I think it really examines the thought process behind fat talk and body confidence. I especially liked the last part of Kristin’s post where she says, “I knew it was my mindset that needed to be reformed.” Isn’t that the truth? Thanks so much for sharing your story, Kristin! – Madison

No “fat talk” may seem like a simple enough mantra. If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you it wouldn’t hurt me to gain a few pounds. While I sincerely appreciate that he’ll love me  and be attracted to me no matter what, I wonder why it isn’t that simple for girls to think this way.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m pretty thin. But even if I’m wearing a size 4 now, a part of me still remembers being that 14-year-old girl who wore a size 11. The 14-year-old girl who didn’t want to wear the tight baby tees or a two-piece bathing suite because they were just unflattering. The 14-year-old girl who, by realizing that some foods were just plain bad for you, managed to lose weight and was a size 7 by her sophomore year of high school. Those memories “stick” for me, no matter the size I appear to be on the outside.

The first time I felt fat was probably in 3rd grade. I wasn’t fat, of course, I just perceived it that way because the jeans I was wearing were probably tight on one particular day. From then on, I just assumed that as you grew “up” you grew “out.” It wasn’t that my parents didn’t feed me the right foods; I just bypassed, ignored or threw away the healthier choices and opted for ice cream, candy and potato chips.

I don’t really know how much I weighed by the time I was fourteen. I was athletic, playing soccer almost year round, but wasn’t necessarily happy with my body. I thought you just “got what you got” and learned to live with it. Maybe I wasn’t even fat, I just had some unnecessary fluff. It’s hard to look back at who I was that long ago through the lenses I wear now.

When I realized I could lose weight by eating healthier foods (or just less food in general), I saw that I could change my body into what I wanted it to be. By the time I hit college, I was a size 4 and I really don’t think I worried about my weight for a couple of years. Underneath it all, I must have been blessed with an awesome metabolism because I still ate a lot of junk food! The stress of college most likely contributed to me eating less overall, so it didn’t show in the form of weight. I’m not saying it was a healthy lifestyle, it just didn’t make me gain weight. I had stopped exercising regularly after high school. Looking back, I have no idea how I stayed so thin for four years. After college I realized that the weight came on a little easier than it had in the past. I went through a cycle of gain-lose, gain-lose for a few years, but it was never more than 5 or 6 stubborn pounds.

After I got married and moved to Alaska, I started exercising regularly. Running, going to classes at the gym and cooking healthy meals are all part of my routine now. I’m not the lightest I’ve ever been, but I’m so much stronger. I have more muscle tone than I ever thought possible. I’ll take the extra poundage in the form of muscle every day.

When Madison first posted about “No Fat Talk” in January, I took it to heart. Something had to change. There is nothing wrong with my body. It does a lot for me, after all. I knew it was my mindset that needed to be reformed instead. So, thank you, Madison! Your “No Fat Talk Tuesday” has been an inspiration and a step in the right direction.

If you’re interested in sharing your No Fat Talk story, I would love to chat! Just e-mail me ( and I can give you more information. 

Todays’ guest post comes to us from Katie Smith, a senior at the University of Maryland. I’m excited to have Katie share because she brings a unique perspective to No Fat Talk Tuesday, since she is still in college and dealing with her own set of stressors and pressures. Growing up with divorced parents, I can relate to the struggles that Katie dealt with growing up, and am happy to have her post today. – Madison

Hey everyone! My name is Katie and I’m 22 years old, finishing my senior year at the University of Maryland. When Madison reached out for stories relating to ‘No Fat Talk,” I felt compelled to share my experience. Even after my tumultuous teenage years ended, I struggled with my weight and self-acceptance throughout college. On the brink of graduation, I finally feel like I have reached a turning point. But it took some time getting here. 

Everyone experiences pain in their life. As teenagers, minute heartbreaks can seem like the end of the world.  However, through my adolescence, I experienced both the divorce of my parents and a string of bad relationships. I feel like I transferred the pain of each experience into the next and, also, onto myself.  Midway through college, this manifested itself into a lot of partying and heavy drinking, in part to avoid truly dealing with the emotions. For the most part, these behaviors didn’t negatively influence other areas of my life, like my schoolwork or my friendships. I continued to make great grades, hold down internships and part-time jobs, and make and maintain amazing connections with the people around me.  To be honest, for a time my destructive behavior didn’t sink in because so many others around me were doing what I did. I go to a state school where people drink all nights of the week, so saying no to a drink stands out more than saying yes.  

However, I was treating my body like trash and it was affecting me physically and mentally. My weight would fluctuate depending on how much I was exercising and how vigilantly I was watching what I ate.  But on the days or weeks that I felt heavy or ugly or undesirable because of my weight, I couldn’t brush it off.  It would bring back old feelings of rejection and sadness and I would be absolutely miserable.  Sometimes, I would withdraw. I would avoid people because to me, seeing people meant drinking which meant gaining more weight. When I returned from studying abroad in Australia, I was at my heaviest, and unhealthiest. I remember sobbing, flat on the floor, crying to my mother that I was too embarrassed to be seen. A moment so raw, so low and so real that it sparked a resolve in me to change.  I was too young to waste any more time hiding myself from the world and I was too old to be behaving like there was anyone to blame but myself. In order to become happy with myself, my behaviors needed to change and my body would follow.

I made slow changes. I practiced a lot more moderation. The nights I did go out drinking with friends, I found I enjoyed a lot more when I could remember the details of the conversations we had. People are funny and fascinating and have a lot to share. Where they come from, where they’re going, what they want to achieve and who they want to become. The memories you make together are a lot better if your head doesn’t pound the next day.

I also started to cook more for myself. I found that I love cooking (and blogs like Espresso & Cream are amazing inspirations–cooking can be easy, healthy and fun… and MUCH better for you than that $7 takeout meal every night of the week). I now also exercise regularly–which I had always done but not accompanied with the right lifestyle choices, which made it futile and much, much harder. I exercise because it makes me feel strong and powerful and the endorphins are irreplaceable. A positive hour at the gym with some great music is a form of therapy unto itself.  

Being a journalism major, I hold a certain reverence for the quintessential bad boy of our trade, Hunter S. Thompson. Amidst his hard-drinking, drug-induced writings (this is the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas guy, after all), he once said, “I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” A brief, to-the-point reminder that only you can make you happy. 

Making healthy choices breeds a self-respect that can’t be replicated by anything else. When you have made the choices that allow you to feel healthy, happy and free, you show that to the world. Since I’ve changed my lifestyle, I’ve felt more confident in myself and my future.  It sounds like a cheesy PSA, but I can assure you, I couldn’t have said this six months ago. Negative talk and negative choices won’t get you anywhere; an active choice to change will. Life is meant to be experienced, enjoyed and exhilarating and we all owe it to ourselves to love ourselves, inside and out, every step of the way.  

Hello there Espresso and Cream readers! My name is Sarah, I am wife to Abel, mom to 3 month old Simeon and I blog at The Crosby Show.

I was encouraged when I read Madison’s “No Fat Talk” resolution, because let’s face it, in the past year my body has taken quite a beating in the form of pregnancy, labor, and delivery – more on that in a minute.

My story begins in Jr. High. I was at a swim party and the water was freezing. A “friend” commented that Sarah should be fine since she has a little more fat to keep her warm. Ouch! Needless to say, this was the start of a long (and continuous) battle with negative self-image. Not only did I struggle with negative thoughts, but I put those thoughts into action and fought the battle of anorexia throughout high school.

I am very blessed to have an amazing family and friends who caught this early. They got me the help that I needed to recover before any major damage was done to my body. I discovered what the Lord had to say about my self-image and how he thought I was “beautifully and wonderfully made” and for the first time began to believe it.

I met my (hottie) husband in college and in 2010 we married. Even knowing my husband and more importantly that the Lord thought I was beautiful, I still battled negative self talk and constantly compared myself to others.

February 2011, Abel and I were pleasantly surprised to find out that we were expecting a baby. We couldn’t wait to meet our little bundle. As the months passed, so did my growing belly. For the first time I was proud and even a little excited to watch my body change and grow, but in the back of my mind I knew there was going to be a long road ahead of me to get my body back to the way it was pre-baby.

October came and our sweet boy, Simeon Kade made his grand debut. To say it was one of the best days of my life is an understatement!

My son was 2 ½ months old when I read Madison’s New Year’s resolution to keep her mind and mouth positive about her body.  It came at the perfect time for me since I still had a few of those aggravating extra pounds that I hadn’t let myself forget! I was working out, eating healthy, even breastfeeding, but the pounds wouldn’t budge. I was tearing myself down mentally all of the time because my jeans and my shirts were a bit too snug. This was making me a negative person in all aspects of my life. 

After I saw the “No Fat Talk” resolution I knew I needed to take the challenge and boy, has it made a difference. I decided that I am going to embrace my new mama body! Is my stomach a little stretched out? Yes, but when those negative thoughts come creeping in I remind myself that I grew a human in this body for 9 months! And yes, my hips are a little wider, but my body needed to make room for him to come out! How awesome is that? My body did exactly what it needed to do to keep my son healthy.  One of my favorite Bible verses sums it up: Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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