By Kerri S. Smith
A fatphobe can chew holes in your self-confidence and serenity. Here are suggestions from Denver psychotherapist Susan Latta, who specializes in counseling plus-size women:
- Get a pack of 3"x5" cards. On each card, write down something you value about yourself. Are you a good friend? Have gorgeous green eyes? Can you untangle an insurance claim problem faster than anyone else in the department?
- Go through your closet and sell anything in good condition that doesn't fit well RIGHT NOW. Use the money to buy a few attractive, well-fitting pieces.
- List 10 things that give you pleasure. This might include swimming, a manicure, playing with your dog, volunteering at the hospice, or a night at the comedy club. Promise to incorporate one into each day.
- Cut out the static. The next time you hear a negative comment about your body, whether it comes from an outsider or your own head, mentally say, "Cancel, cancel." Then turn the thought into something positive. For instance, if a fatphobe says, "Your legs are so fat," mentally say, "Cancel, cancel. My legs are really strong, they carry me everywhere I want to go, and I value them."
Tired of hearing a co-worker comment on your weight, lunch-bag contents or pants size? Sometimes a snarky comeback is the best response to a verbal shove. Here are a few of our favorites.
OFFENSE: I bet you weigh more than my husband!
DEFENSE: There you go again; didn't I beg you to seek professional help?
ALTERNATE DEFENSE: My weight is not a topic of workplace discussion.
OFFENSE: You're not really going to eat all that, are you?
DEFENSE: Of course I'm going to eat it. This is my lunch.
ALTERNATE DEFENSE: Mind your own business.
OFFENSE: You look as if you weigh twice what my wife Suzie weighs.
DEFENSE: Yes, but even if we weighed the same, she'd never look this good.
ALTERNATE DEFENSE: That's an offensive comment. Quit it.
OFFENSE: You must wear, what, a 50-inch waist pant?
DEFENSE: Now, quit trying to get into my pants! This is the third and final warning!
ALTERNATE DEFENSE: I really don't know, nor is it any of your concern.
OFFENSE: With that body, I wouldn't be caught dead wearing a short skirt!
DEFENSE: Of course not - you couldn't fill it out properly!
ALTERNATE DEFENSE: Talking about my body is inappropriate.
OFFENSE: I'm just worried about your health.
DEFENSE: Thanks, I just had a checkup and the doctor says I'm fabulously healthy!
ALTERNATE DEFENSE: Worry about your own health, not mine.