Ever have one of those days?
A “fat day” or “fat moment”?
You know in actuality that you are not fat, but in your own skin, you feel off, different, your inner critic steps up to bat.
It may be based on something you ate—that you wish you hadn’t; A comment someone said about how you looked (or something someone didn’t say about how you looked); Not getting in your usual workout routine, or as good of a workout as you would have liked; Feeling stressed about something else in life—and taking it out on your body; Slipping on a pair of jeans that don’t fit quite like they used to, or going shopping for some new duds, only to realize the size tags and mirrors are messing with your mind; etc.
There are a slew of reasons that can make us point a finger at ourselves and just chalk it up to:
“Feeling fat” or “Being fat.”
But what exactly does that really mean?
I hadn’t had a “fat moment” in quite some time.
Quite honestly, I am generally pretty content nowadays, at peace, with my body image.
I am beyond thankful to be healthy and I know there is so much more to beauty than what meets the eye: Self-care, living a life of passion, feeling like I am serving my God-given purpose, time spent with people I love and whom matter…these are just some of the few things that have helped me develop peace with all aspects of body image.
I accept, and welcome, thighs that touch, shoulders that are rounded, color in my face, hair that is thick (and doesn’t fall out), my oddly shaped different sized thumbs and feet (yes, it’s true).
But, for whatever reason, yesterday, a ‘fat moment’ struck—and lingered for a good solid 5 hours or so.
It happened in the airport of all places.
I traveled home to Arkansas this weekend to visit my amazing parents and celebrate the wedding of one of my dearest friends, Abby Benson, whom I mentored during her middle-school and my highschool years. I had a blast on the weekend excursion and it was so great to see friends and family I had not seen in ages! But it was a quick trip, and after arriving Saturday afternoon, I was back on a plane Sunday evening.
The compacted travel itinerary did a little number, therefore, on my ‘norm’ schedule.
Not one to typically sit in one place for too long out of a love for living life to the fullest, being in airports and on planes will force you to sit, and wait, sit and wait, for often more time than one may prefer.
Sitting around in the airport, and on planes got that little voice in my head to talking, reminding me about how long I had been sitting around.
I call it “plane butt” or “car butt”—you know, when you’ve been sitting in one place for too long and you just feel like you need to stretch your legs and move?
This feeling has a tendency to provoke negative self-talk and “feelings” of “fat.”
Ever been there?
Maybe it’s a vacation that you travel on and just get out of your routine. Or a day that you splurged on pumpkin pancakes at Kerby Lane and felt a little sluggish afterwards. Or, looking at photos of yourself tagged on Facebook, and for whatever reason, not digging them and requesting they be deleted immediately. Or maybe no rhyme or reason at all—just negative self-talk comes upon you.
So what’s a girl to do?
I’ll tell you what not to do, and some things I’ve learned now, in health, that helps me conquer those “fat days” or “fat moments”:
- Self-care above all—Practice the art of self-care—regardless of the situation—with whatever strength and resources you can muster. I maybe could not get out of feeling uncomfortable in the moment, but I could put my energy towards positively taking care of my body: Not denying my body food or certain foods, like I did at one time in my eating disorder.
- Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable—Considering and looking at things from a ‘big picture’ perspective, I knew, in my heart of hearts that I was not fat. Reality check it. I was able to come to terms with the fact that I was only feeling that way because of an uncomfortable situation (ie. Being stuck on a plane for hours). For you it could be an uncomfortable situation, such as being in a bridesmaid’s dress you don’t find super flattering, or eating something than you normally eat at a business luncheon, or getting a flat tire on your way to your workout that day and missing your planned workout—whatever it is, reality check: it’s only uncomfortable, and some days in life warrant us to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
- Healthy Living is a Lifestyle—Living healthy and feeling good in your own skin is a lifestyle, not necessarily a mandated, ritualized routine. Things are going to come up in life that throw us off, or that get in the way of our routines. By viewing your healthy lifestyle—as just that—a lifestyle, knowing that you are going to take care of yourself, and you are going to feed your body nourishing foods, and that you are going to have a fine balance of rest and movement…then living life becomes a lot less complicated. I recently was speaking with a client about this. It used to be, when I traveled especially, I HATED the feeling of being out of control, or out of my routine (rephrase: I could not stand it; and sometimes could not even travel itself). However, the more I have traveled and experienced freedom in recovery, the more at peace I’ve become with letting life run its course and not having to always be as regimented on a routine. Remember, your healthy life is a lifestyle, not a Nazi schedule you must stick to—or else.
- Positive Self-Talk. You’ve probably heard of the power of positive thinking before. It’s true. It works. The next time you find yourself having a ‘fat moment’, try to capture your thoughts. Take captive all the negative talk, and write ‘em down on a piece of paper. Then next to each one of those negative statements, write an opposite statement, in positive terms. For example, “Fat” is instead, “Beautiful”; “Ugly” is “Pretty”; “Frumpy” is “Polished”; “Blah” is “Vivacious”—you get the picture? Look at your list, and think about what if you spoke to yourself in more positive ways—what would happen?
- Smash Fat Feelings. Grrrr! Why do these haunt womankind? You and I have the power to change that. This is our life, our world, our society. Get rid of the things that make you feel fat—why keep non-positive things around anyhow? Throw out the scale; Stop buying magazines that make you lust over wanting to be something that doesn’t exist; Put away the pen and paper, or computer app, for a week that has you counting every calorie you consume—and basing your worth or “A+” for the day on how you did; whatever your ‘things’ are that make you feel inadequate at times, smash ‘em and stop torturing yourself.
Take that fat days!