Weetabix x 2.
White toast x 2, butter.
Breaded fish fillet, chipped potatoes, mushy peas.
Ice-cream (2 scoops).
Cheese and pickle sandwich (wholemeal), 5-bean salad, side salad.
Bread and butter pudding, custard.
…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.
- I like to stroke the fat on my bacon. (…even when it’s in the bun and I get my hands all ketchup-y)
- I’m a surgeon.
- I like to juggle with blocks of unwrapped lard. (…balls and fire are so 2016)
Do either of the above statements apply to you?
If the answer is yes, that is impressive and I have nothing more to say. If the answer is no, then it’s worth checking in with yourself the next time you find yourself saying/thinking “I feel fat.”
There is a point to the about the above weirdness… in ‘Body Awareness Therapy’ this morning, we explored that silent, self-esteem killer of a three word sentence. Even when we hear ‘fat is not a feeling’ as advice on these ‘fat’ days… how often do we take it seriously? …only to continue thinking/saying it. Have we just settled with ‘fat’ being a confirmed word of the emotional dictionary?
Let’s not fool ourselves people!
“I feel fat” – the only way that logically could make sense is if you physically touch the stuff itself. We might try and grab an area of our body parts (my common grabby bits when in this mood is my tum, under-arm, boobs if we’re being honest here, my thighs and under the chin)… if you’ve ever got yourself into a similar mood – grabbing sometimes in anger about yourself or just curiously trying to ‘prove’ to yourself how much of a ‘fat/negative’ person you are when you’re feeling low… you’re still kidding yourself because what we’re actually grabbing is much more than fat – skin, tissue, hair, nerves, muscle. The actual ‘fat’ isn’t in touchable distance.
Logic makes sense… emotions not so much.
The NEAREST this could translate to being true is “I feel overweight” – but no-one is ‘fat’. If you are overweight, that’s a barrier to physical health that can be managed with some lifestyle change. But that does NOT mean you are any less deserving to enjoy food. You can still eat those foods – some people assume that if you are overweight, that right is instantly taken away from you. It’s NOT the food that’s our issue… regardless of if we’re underweight/a healthy weight/obese… it’s our emotions. Our emotions that trigger how little or OFTEN we rely on turning to those foods…
…and that’s exactly what ‘fat’, the harmless, 3-letter word comes down to. Although I’ve been slightly aware of it ‘not’ being an emotion, it wasn’t until this morning’s session that got me really thinking. If I have Anorexia – and even when I didn’t, because those exact uncomfortable, ‘fat’ feelings were still there (losing weight hasn’t evaporated a thing)… then why, at times, do I just ‘feel’ bigger in my own skin?
WHEN do I even feel this way? ‘Fat’?
It got me thinking… when we say we feel ‘fat’ (for me anyway)… it’s not like I suddenly feel like my whole body has inflated… or that I must have just lost the 10-second memory of pulling on a sumo suit, and being shocked by my reflection in the mirror. That ‘fat’ feeling, to me, is about becoming more AWARE certain body parts. They suddenly feel more ‘real’ and exposed.
We become more aware of our physical bodies (depending how sensitive we are) when we experience uncomfortable or confusing emotions. This can be any emotion under the sun… depressed… sad… angry… lost… inadequate… sometimes even ‘happy’! But when we are overwhelmed with that emotion, it can be easy to turn the blame onto our bodies. To assume that must be the reason for the discomfort – it’s easier to pin-point than the mental stuff where there is no black-or-white answer.
As a very personal thing, after doing the homework we were set last session for ‘Body Awareness Therapy’… I realised that for me, one of my most sensitive areas of ‘fat-ness’ are my cheeks. I notice that they feel bigger at times when I feel more socially anxious/shy/awkward, or sometimes if I’ve had a ‘quieter’ day. I think it’s the frustration of feeling ‘trapped’ and not being able/knowing how to express myself. It doesn’t make sense but it’s suddenly like that area around my face and my mouth become the weak spot. This makes me feel more self-conscious, because if I feel anxious about the way I talk and what I actually say, how it’s going to come out… the last thing I want people to do is notice my bigger cheeks. They make me feel like a worthless, weak, unassertive little girl… taking me back to how inadequate, shy and inferior I felt at school
My ‘fat’ feelings could write a book… there are lots of other areas that trigger emotions but for me, my cheeks are my personal weak spot. They tune me in to what feels like such an out-of-control, insecure part of me… but the reassuring thing, and may be for you too, is that when I acknowledge what things DO trigger my ‘fatter’ feelings… they help guide me to what IS the actual problem. What thing I CAN work on instead of writing off my emotions as ‘fat’. What am I ACTUALLY feeling?
Other things that trigger ‘fat’ feelings… after eating something enjoyable, wearing looser clothing, feeling bloated…
…as a final quick note, I don’t think the media helps with that ‘fat feeling’… even if we aren’t overweight, regardless of what the facts/numbers say… we still are lead to feel inadequate in our bodies when the ‘ideal’ miniscule image is projected a million times over, all around the world. So even if we don’t consciously set out wanting to shrink ourselves, or even AGREE with the looks being advertised… when we do feel emotionally vulnerable, it’s almost like there’s a traffic warden in our heads, directing the uncomfortable traffic towards how we see our bodies.
And remember. It only gives you the right to say “I feel fat” if you’re a bacon fat-stroker, surgeon or lard-juggler!
Failing that, ask yourself what is it REALLY making you feel uncomfortable? Your right to enjoy food and the way you look still remains.