Get Your Inner Critic Drunk

Today is the first day of the NAAFA convention but there isn’t much that goes on before 6pm so  the LA chapter created Body Fabulous Friday, a day of workshops and events to get things kicked off. The always brilliant Jeanette DePatie was doing an art project about inner/outer critics and she mentioned that her room is connected to the room with the supplies for happy hour.  She suggested a cocktail before the project and Marilyn Wann joked that we should get our inner critic drunk.

It struck me as a great idea. I don’t know about your inner critic, but speaking for mine I can remember when she very seriously needed to have her horizons expanded.  Really listening to my inner critic and what she was saying to me was a massively important part of my journey to loving my body.

At first it was hard work to separate that inner critic out but once I did and I really evaluated what she had to say and  whether or not I thought it was true.  I was honestly shocked to find out that everything that my inner critic said came from external sources and not from me at all.  I realized that I had never truly disliked my body or been unhappy with it at all, I never believed that my body was unhealthy or anything less than awesome – those were things that people told me that I had taken bought into subconsciously.  At that point I had to ask myself if I really wanted my self-concept to be based on the ideas of a prejudiced world?  Did I really want to make those beliefs my own?  Were they serving me?

I’ve noticed over time those who are bigoted against fat people keep changing their message – first they don’t want us to assault their eyes with our fatness, when someone explains the ancient art of looking at something else,  then they started to say that it was for our own good because of “our health”, when we explained that our health is really our business, then it became that they don’t want to have to pay for our health care with their tax dollars.  The fact that it’s completely baseless doesn’t seem to matter so much and I think that may be because, for many people, the point of all this is to feel good about themselves by making us feel bad.  They work hard to engage our inner critic in this process because it means less work for them.  But that’s just speculation.

The reality is that each of us is the only person who can decide how we feel about ourselves.  There might be work to shift how we feel, we might have to get our inner critic drunk and have a talk and start to get on the same page, but I can say that deciding to like myself was the start of almost everything good in my life and it was totally worth the cost of a couple of martinis for my inner critic.

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6 thoughts on “Get Your Inner Critic Drunk

  1. Isn’t this just so crazy? I am pretty good at not criticising others other than in the constructive variety at work regarding work product. But I can be the absolute worst critic of my own self and stomp on my own self esteem.
    Don’t worry, I am getting better, but a few Captain’s and Coke with my inner critic may be in order.
    I still have bad times, especially when doing things I haven’t done in a while. For instance, I went dress shopping on Wednesday. My best friend, who is also working on her body image, went shopping with me. Man, did that suck! I thought horrible things about myself while trying on the clothes. It was terribly frustrating trying to find a dress that fit and flattered in the small Women’s section at Macy’s. When it was all said and done I actually walked away with 2 dresses (one formal and one flirty) that my friend assured me looked good–by then I was in a serious “dark cloud” mood.
    I cheered myself up with a trip to the hairdresser and a good dinner with friends (we were celebrating my husband’s recent promotion). I got up the following morning, tried on the dresses for my husband, and, voila, they looked good! I was complimented on my dress at the ceremony we attended that evening.
    So I need to take that critic out for a drink. That I couldn’t see how good the dresses flattered due to the experience of trying on about a dozen dresses prior to getting to the ones that flattered is disturbing. I hope I am successful!
    And a quick shout out to you, Ragan, and all the lovely fat girls from whom I am receiving support. You guys rock!

  2. Again, it is like you know exactly what I’m thinking. I was JUST thinking about this and trying to explain it to my mom. When I really strip away everything and am being completely honest with myself–I do not have a problem with how I look. I don’t see a problem with me. I’m active and happy and can do all the things i want to do. That would be great if the only voice i heard through the day was my own. The problem is that I let everyone else creep in and tell me how to feel. I’m getting better about it but I still have those days where I hear my inner critic start back up based on something external that was said or heard. That inner critic was chatty for so long that it is going to take some time to shut her up completely. lol But I’m working on it.

  3. I am still working on my stupid inner critic too. I work on a Behavioral Health unit and a patient that is homeless and frequently on unit for detox with blood alcohols 4x over the legal limit looked at me on one of his admissions and said “you are a nurse and that fat, you should be ashamed of yourself”. I laughed it off at the time, like I should let this idiot who can’t even stop drinking and hold a job influence how I feel about myself, but my inner critic repeats it to me over and over again every day. I have to make her stop it and all the other nasty things she says about me. She needs more than a couple of drinks, she needs some morphine or something to just knock her out! Thanks Ragen!

    1. Sounds a bit like my late mother, the two-pack-a-day smoker.
      Can you give the guy some sort of flippant remark, like “How about you dry up and then we’ll talk about it?” There is something to be said for making your inner critic an outer one. As Ragen said, the inner criticism often comes from outer sources anyway.

  4. Throughout the NAAFA convention, listening to the workshop panels, and the overwhelming evidence of public perceptions of the “terror” of obesity, I kept thinking about the reasons this happens. Where do those critical voices, a part of the war on obesity, come from? Aside from the monetary incentives of the diet industry, which have existed a very long time, there is another motive for this war on obesity at this particular time. It is “wag the dog” time. Our economy is still wrecked, the world is in disarray, but if we worry about obesity instead of the real issues that trouble all of us, we will leave the politicians and decision makers alone. Thus, our inner critics, who are fueled by this monetary advantage to obesity and the need to divert our attention to important issues, are truly undeserving critics. If you are not familiar with the “wag the dog” term, look for the movie of that name. Just what are these folks doing that they don’t want us to see? I’m still working on my inner critic, even though she is leaning way too hard on all these negative messages. It helps to remember the motivation for the war.

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