May 14

Sometimes You Need to Use the F Word(s): Fact & Fat

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.19.57 PMDebbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

The health & fitness world has gone crazy. At least the area that I follow has. Like so many other arenas, judgment is rampant and the dizzying height of political correctness is insane.

“Don’t talk about ‘mindset’ or ‘mindfulness’ because it’s too esoteric and you’ll scare people away.” I might lose some people then, but…


FACT: Mindset is the piece that’s missing from most health programs. People need help in stopping negative self-talk and self-neglect. When I receive e-mails like this from people in my private coaching group, I don’t think they’re frightened by the mindset work we do.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.33.58 PM

“Don’t call weight loss a ‘journey’ because it’s “insensitive and makes people feel like they aren’t good enough right where they are.” What?


FACT: I consider the entire life experience a journey. When I stop looking forward to new goals, I will stop living. I have never seen this word as negative – in any way.

“Don’t talk about eating cookies because that makes people think that eating sugar is okay.” But, “Don’t talk about eating tilapia because that means you’re an extremist.”

“Hooray for Chipotle: serving all non-GMOs.” “Damn Chipotle for serving non-GMOs and adding to the food fear-mongering.”


FACT: I love cookies, tilapia, and Chipotle. I don’t think those things “make” me anything….except a little happier.


“Don’t talk about functional exercise because it’s useless.”


FACT: I believe we are ALL athletes. Life is our sport!!! That’s not a cliché. You pick up your children or grandkids, you carry in your groceries, you want to be able to get in and out of your car, take a walk on a sunny day, and be healthy enough to care for yourself. Every one of those things involves the ability to move!! That’s functional movement.

What to hell? Seriously. People are walking around on eggshells afraid to say anything because the words we used yesterday are not accepted today. Well, at least I have been. No matter what you say these days, you can expect someone to jump on you for it!

It really – I’m not joking – had me feeling almost paralyzed to do or say anything, recently.

Then this text message slapped me across the face and jolted me back to reality.


FACT: I’m not doing anything that I do in order to be accepted by other people. I do everything I do in order to help people who need help.


The message (which, I have permission from its author to share) was:

“I need your help”

“With what?”


The message took my breathe away!! I sat and cried for about 20 minutes. It made me feel as though I had been punched in the gut.

The positive body image arena is now so sensitive that we shouldn’t ever talk about weight or fat, “because it makes people feel bad about themselves.” No.

FACT: This person already feels bad – it doesn’t matter what word I use. The word “fat” is not a judgment call. It’s a noun. It is a real thing…and a large amount of fat around body organs is not healthy.

This is a young single mother who takes less than 5 minutes a day caring for herself.

FACT: Me, or anybody else, telling her that she’s worth it and her actually beginning to believe it are two very, very different things. We’ll need to work on self-care and compassion. We’ll need to work on self-acceptance right where she is now while establishing goals to change, get healthy, and lose FAT.


This person is desperate for help. So, yes, I used that “F-word”.

We talked about FAT, working out, and eating for her goals. I didn’t tell her she should weigh a certain amount or be a certain size. We didn’t talk about “good” or “bad” food but we talked about the FACT that she’s going to have to change the way she’s eating.

I also didn’t tell her she should just accept herself the way she currently is, though. I don’t believe that helps anything and in FACT, it can have the opposite affect of what well-meaning individuals are trying to do. It can add more guilt. Now the individual can also feel shitty because, on top of everything else, they’re not accepting of themselves “like they should”.

We just keep heaping it on.


Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.

FACT: I don’t care what a person looks like. I don’t care what a person weighs or what size pants s/he wears. Losing weight and getting stronger are not really the goal. They are outcomes. The goal is to empower people: to help them realize they are capable of so much more than they imagined they could do.

I can’t be so worried about picking the currently “acceptable” word that I don’t say anything.


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