This week is NATIONAL LOVE YOUR BODY Week. It is one of my favorite weeks, as an advocate and defender of true beauty. God is the father of diversity, God is truth, God is beauty, God is love, and we, made in His image, are beautiful, no matter what the cultural standard may be for the current era, decade, or day. 

The national sorority Tri-Delta also throws their annual “Fat Talk Free” campaign this week, aimed at shifting the cultural perspective on beauty, and freeing women from very real and deeply affecting chains of weight-and-image fixation that only hurts, no matter what side of the scale you’re on. 

Below is an article they posted that has a lot of merit. We are more than our bodies. Beauty runs deep. It’s time we started living it:

Fat Talk Free Week is about more than just creating awareness. It is about reshaping your behaviors. Research shows that when you change your conversation, you begin to break the habit of fat talk. We’ve provided an alternative for you to practice each day of the week to reinforce healthy and positive body image in your daily conversations.

Love Who You Are

Instead of beating yourself up when you look in the mirror, write positive affirmations on post-it notes and encourage yourself to believe those things about yourself when you see your reflection. Focus on non-appearance aspects about your character or some of the things about your body that you do love and why you love them. For example, rather than saying “My arms are so flabby” instead say "I love my arms because they allow me to hug my friend or hold my child."

Appreciate Behaviors and Talents

Compliment others on non-appearance characteristics such as behaviors, a skill or talent they have, an accomplishment or even their ability to make other people feel welcome. We have so much more to give to the world than how we look. Let’s start complimenting people for those other skills and attributes. For example, instead of “You look fantastic! Have you lost weight?” Consider saying, "Dinner was amazing, I always enjoy when we can get together and catch up" or "I really admire your passion for your work, it’s so inspiring."

Compliment What Can Be Controlled

Compliment people for physical features that are 100 percent under their control rather than weight or shape, which have a strong genetic component. For example, instead of saying “I love your dress, I wish I could wear something like that” consider saying, "I love your sense of fashion" or "That dress looks great on you! I really admire your style."

Admire Individuality

Don’t fat talk about others. It won’t make you feel better about yourself and it isn’t funny. If you observe someone wearing something that you don’t feel is flattering, keep your comments to yourself. Admire their confidence and challenge yourself to think about why it bothers you in the first place. Try to think of three things about the person (whether you know them or not) that can offset the fat talk. For example, if you’re thinking “I would never wear that!” or “Did she not look in a mirror before she left the house” counter those thoughts with "I admire her confidence" or "I like how she exhibits her individuality."

Provide Encouragement

If you or your friends have set weight loss or fitness goals focus on the dedication and perseverance it takes to make healthy lifestyle choices, instead of that they are trying to lose weight. Rather than saying “You can definitely tell you’re losing weight” say something like "You seem really happy with your new passion for yoga. It makes me want to try it."

Focus on Topics Everyone Will Enjoy

Try eating meal or spending an afternoon with a friend that is 100 percent fat talk free. Discuss work, family, the world, favorite television shows, etc. Avoid talking about food in terms of fat intake, calories consumed or the need to work out afterwards.

Dress with Self-Confidence

Select an outfit that makes you feel confident. Whether you are dressing at home or shopping for something new, focus on how the clothes fit your body, not on how your body fits the clothes. Don’t beat yourself up because something doesn’t fit. Recognize that everyone has a very distinct body type and every piece of clothing does not accommodate every person. Instead of saying, “I’m too fat to wear this” say, "I don’t think this cut is the most flattering for my body type." If your friend asks, “Does this make me look fat?” you should encourage her to focus on how it flatters her instead.