Around the dinner table, at the gym, at restaurants, at New Year’s Eve parties, it’s not uncommon for the conversation to turn to calories, cake, clothing sizes, diets and weight loss or gain.
It’s not uncommon to talk about your resolutions to change your body, how much you currently dislike your body, and why you’re not having that piece of cake (or feel guilty about eating it).
And this is understandable. Because diet talk is everywhere. And maybe you do feel guilty for eating a certain food.
However, in the words of David Whyte, from his poem “Sweet Darkness,” these kinds of conversations are “too small for you.”
On Instagram, Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LCSW-C, founder of the Eating Disorder Center, encouraged us to instead have deeper, more meaningful conversations—like talking about our dreams or our favorite childhood memory.
Below are 50 things that we can chat about instead, things that strengthen our connection with others on many different levels, things that are serious, and things that are silly, things that are big, and things that seem small.
- books you’ve recently read
- your favorite hobby
- something interesting you just learned about
- something you’re struggling with
- the next trip you want to take
- what helps you cope with stress
- a meaningful holiday tradition
- what’s bringing you joy right now
- jokes that crack you up
- podcasts you’re currently loving
- something you’re grateful for
- your word for 2019
- a boundary that was really hard for you to set but you did it anyway
- what’s making your life easier
- something you’re really proud of
- the universe
- something you appreciate about the person you’re talking to
- something you can’t wait to do in 2019
- what you’re curious about
- writing that makes you cry
- something you think is magical
- using your phone less
- what you love about _________
- activities that are really nourishing you
- what you’re feeling right now
- your favorite children’s book
- what you want to relinquish in the new year
- something (or someone) that’s been inspiring you
- how _____ works
- works of art that fascinate you
- something you’d like to solve
- movement that brings you joy or calm
- your values
- your spiritual life
- why you might be sad today
- whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert
- how you’re structuring your days to make time for what you love
- what an amazing life looks and feels like to you
- a favorite, meaningful quote
- something you’re nervous about
- the exercise rules you’re challenging
- how delicious a certain food tastes—and your other favorite meals to eat or make
- how you navigate self-criticism
- the lessons you’ve learned throughout your life
- how you’d like to take more compassionate care of yourself
- funny films you can’t get enough of
- the memories you’d like to create next week or next year
- something that might surprise people about you
- what’s soothing your soul
It’s hard not to talk about diets and weight and anything else that’s related. For many of us it seems to be at the forefront of our minds. But we can change the conversation. And it can simply start with saying: I’d like to talk about something else.
Talking about any of the above topics provides a window into what you care about, what’s on your mind (and heart), and who you are. And it’s the same for the person or people you’re talking to. Which, again, bolsters your bond, and helps you to reconnect to yourself, too.
And that is so much more meaningful, exciting and important than the number of calories in a slice of cake.