‘Fat Talk’ weighing Ireland down…interesting read

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    • 1 in 3 people are prepared to end a relationship over size jibes
    • Almost half (48%) are too insecure about their bodies to be intimate with a partner
    • Positive approach proven to help women achieve their weight goals

    New research released today by Special K reveals that ‘fat talk’ – the negative comments we make criticising our bodies and others’ – is wreaking havoc with our relationships. It’s no secret that thinking positively is important to getting in shape, yet more than two thirds (67%) of women in Ireland admit they ‘fat talk’ and with their partners at least once a day. In fact, respondents feel more comfortable speaking about their body shape with their partner than problems with their children or money.

    A third (34%) would be prepared to end a relationship over jibes directed at them by a partner, whilst almost half (48%) said they feel too insecure about their bodies to be intimate with partners who ‘fat talk’ incessantly. This has led to more than 8 in 10 people in Ireland taking action to change their body shape. The study of 1,000 adults in Ireland was commissioned by Kellogg’s Special K to highlight the impact of size jibes and shift the conversation around weight to a more positive one.

    The research revealed that celebrities can have a positive influence on our perception of body image. Adele, Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé are held up as the most inspirational women when it comes to banishing ‘fat talk’ and embracing a positive state of mind about their body shapes. Other celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss, Miley Cyrus and Karl Lagerfeld – who famously criticised Adele’s weight – were named by respondents as the most negative shape role models.

    Positivity Psychology Coach Miriam Akhtar explained the need to break the cycle of fat talk: “As many of us head into the New Year carrying a few extra pounds, it is natural to feel extra sensitive about our appearance. At this time of year it’s important to remind ourselves and our loved ones that a positive approach can pay dividends when it comes to getting in shape.”

    Social media was highlighted as helping ‘fat talk’ to thrive. More than half (57%) of those surveyed believe social networks exacerbate the problem, and almost one in five (18%) de-tagthemselves in photos for fear of sizeist comments. Alarmingly, almost two-thirds (65%) of people admit that they hide behind the veil of social media to attack other people’s appearances.

    “Our brains are naturally wired to focus more on the negative than the positive, so we need to work that bit harder to train our minds to appreciate our best assets”, Miriam continued.

    This January Kellogg’s Special K has partnered with world-renowned supermodel and actress Tyra Banks to help shift the weight management conversation to a more positive one.

    To help, Special K has commissioned Miriam Akhtar to create a Positivity Plan which reveals the simple steps for a life free from negativity. Special K also offers a variety of delicious food options for a balanced diet including cereal, porridge, cereal bars and cracker crisps as well as a dedicated website myspecialk.ie which offers free personalised meal plans and tools to help manage weight and stay fit and active.

    Additional report findings:
    • ‘Fat talk’ is also affecting our relationships with family, friends and colleagues
    • Almost a third (31%) of people would cut off friends who ‘fat talk’ about them
    • 51% of Parents in Ireland admit to fat talking with their daughters
    • Negative comments made by colleagues would affect the performance of 39% of us
    • 15% would resign if they overheard colleagues making negative remarks about their weight
    • Two thirds (66%) believe newspapers and magazines should stop ‘fat talking’ about celebrities
    • 27% believe that “Fat Talk” makes them fatter as it makes them feel hopeless and unable to make a change

    A full version of Miriam Akhtar’s positivity plan is available on request. See abridged version below

    Developed by Miriam Akhtar, MSc in Applied Positive Psychology

    We all know that having a positive mental attitude is beneficial for our well-being. It is all too easy, however, to allow negative thoughts to cloud our judgement. Here, acclaimed positivity expert Miriam Akhtar reveals the 10 simple steps for a healthy, happier state of mind free from negativity.

    1. Train your brain: Your brain has a negativity bias, so it’s crucial to focus on your positive assets– great sense of humour, lovely smile – to help you aim for success every day.
    2. Stay kind: When you perform an act of kindness for someone, both you and the recipient feel good which leads to positivity bouncing back and forth between you.
    3. Be an optimist: Recognise that temporary set backs are just that – temporary. Thinking this way helps build a more positive state of mind.
    4. Think small: Build confidence by making small goals and recognising every single achievement.
    5. Live your life purpose: Look ahead and make plans. Making progress towards your vision will give you a sense of satisfaction and boost your positivity.
    6. Get perspective: Think about life in more flexible terms. Negative beliefs can turn into monsters, so do your best to put them in perspective and think of what action you can take.
    7. Cherish love: Love is the queen of positive emotions, but for a relationship to truly flourish you need a ratio of 5:1 positive to negative emotions. Boost your well-being by being as social as you can and nurturing your life-affirming relationships.
    8. Thank-you Therapy: Take some time at the end of every day to think about what’s gone well, what’s good in your life and what you are grateful for.
    9. Bring the Fun Factor: Do what you love – the fun, enjoyable and healthy things in life maximise the joy in your positivity machine.
    10. Do it for you: Having positive motivations for success maximises your chances. ‘Intrinsic motivation’ is where you’re motivated to do something for its own sake and is more likely to work than an extrinsic motivation.

    Just thought this was interesting…


    Interesting article alright.

    The reason I like U Magazine (& its irish) is because they have a complete ban on talking about famous peoples weight loss/ gain/ diets etc….its so refreshing as I find other magazines are filled with who what size etc…I think this is especially damaging to teenagers.

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