'I've been so bad': why we need to stop all the post-holiday fat talk

Why I'm over the post-holiday fat talk
Why I'm over the post-holiday fat talk Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

Everywhere I turn there are people talking about how they've over-indulged in the holidays and need to shed their post-Christmas weight. The weight loss forums are crowded with people asking for advice on how to shed unwanted fat fast.

And there's been a boost in the number of Instagram images of people drinking celery juice and eating salads.

Diets seem to be the hot topic of conversation. I'm in the same camp, but I'll never talk about it in front of my three girls.

Speaking about being 'fat' or your weight being a result of 'having too much fun' is damaging to young minds. By attaching feelings to food like 'I've been so bad' or 'I must start being good again' creates a negative mindset.

It implies that you should feel guilty about enjoying yourself and your body must be punished.

And that's not cool.

When it comes to food, the 'everything in moderation' and 'sometimes foods' rules are helpful, but life is also unpredictable. Merriment and spontaneity should be celebrated. These times of over-indulging should be experienced with pure joy, not shame.

If you put on a little weight as a result, so be it. Do some exercise and eat healthy food. Simple. And whatever you do, don't complain about being 'fat'. It's not good for your soul and it's definitely not good for young minds that soak up everything you say and model their behaviour on you.

Never will you hear me utter the word 'fat' around my kids. I never let them see me standing in front of the mirror complaining about my belly or going without food because it will make my thighs wobble.

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No matter what my own relationship is with my body and, trust me it's pretty crap, I am determined not to pass on the same insecurities to my daughters.

The same goes for the people around me. I'd really appreciate it if they could be mindful of the words they're speaking around the kids in their life, including mine.

It's hard enough with the relentless stream of weight loss commercials at this time of year and the magazine covers shouting about 'summer bodies' and 'miracle weight loss cures'.

I don't want my girls to think of their body as something they have to be constantly battling. I don't want them to look at food as the enemy.

I also don't want them constantly depriving themselves of joy to attain unattainable perfection.

Instead of promoting a life of feast or famine talk about the need to focus on your health. Bodies aren't meant to be perfect and skinny, they are meant to be strong and vibrant.

Speak about the good times as amazing experiences. Not times to later be ashamed of because you ate too much cake and drank too much wine.

There's nothing wrong with loosening the reigns, eating lots of delicious treats and being merry. Life is to be enjoyed.

And that's what I want my kids to do – live life to the fullest without regrets.