One thing I often end up talking about with clients is ‘feelings of fatness’.
Many women have experienced feeling fat at times, if not regularly. What then happens is that this feeling gets confused with your body weight, so if you feel fat, you think you are fat.
However, feeling fat has got nothing to do with your actual body:
Women who are in smaller bodies can feel fat.
Women who are in typical bodies can feel fat.
Women who are in larger bodies can feel fat.
At this point, people often go, hang on, what if I am in a larger body? Then these are not just feelings- they are true?
However, I’m not talking about people’s body sizes.
I’m talking about people’s experiences of their bodies; people can have these feelings at any body size.
And, feeling fat is a fluctuating state (regardless of your body size): It isn’t there all the time. For example:
- When you feel amazing and enjoy what you are doing- you probably aren’t feeling fat.
- When you feel strong- you aren’t feeling fat.
- When you feel competent- you aren’t feeling fat.
Feelings of fatness are often made worse or triggered by:
- Becoming more aware of your body and your unhappiness with it. For example, if your clothing fits too tightly or somebody comments negatively on your body.
- Negative physical states. For example, bloating, overeating, or feeling hot and sweaty.
- Negative emotional states. For example, feeling unhappy, anxious, judged, or lonely.
And if you pay attention, you’ll notice that these feelings of fatness fluctuate too:
Sometimes they’re worse.
Sometimes they’re less.
Try paying attention: Notice what brings the fat feelings forward. Notice when they recede.
(Given that your body doesn’t drastically fluctuate over a day, this is another reason why these feelings have nothing to do with your actual body size or shape.)
If you can identify the triggers, then you can also change these. For example:
- If you feel fat when you are wearing jeans that are too tight: Then change what you’re wearing.
- If you feel fat when you feel negative or sad: What can you do to self-soothe?
- If you feel fat when you are bloated: How can you ease the bloating discomfort?