A phrase that most of us have probably used in an off the cuff manner. But was ‘fat’ really the right term to use, or was it just our way of masking a mound of emotions that we couldn’t find words for? Because lets be honest, it’s a lot easier to water something down and blame everything on feeling fat rather than addressing the actual issue.
Personally I’ve found, when words have failed me and my mind is a mess, it’s been so easy to bring everything back to ‘feeling fat’, it was a simple term that ties up all the ends for me. But what was really going on? For a long time I genuinely believed that my upset and anger was all due to me being fat/ feeling fat, I didn’t realise that there were other, more serious issues lingering under the surface.
Identifying our emotions is a gruelling task, it takes a lot of work and energy to pick apart your thoughts and find the true meaning behind the turmoil. So if you were to ask me right now how I’m doing, it would take me a moment or two to answer. The first thoughts that pop up are ‘I feel fat’, ‘I feel large’, ‘I feel disgusting’, but why is that? I’m not fat, my size is the same as it was last week, so what has changed since a few days ago and now? So it begins, the sifting through all the events that have happened recently and working out whether any of these things have had any effect on me:
.My partner getting a new job and worrying about money
.Planning a wedding (which is a year away, but lets be honest it’s mega stressful)
.Changes at work
.Criticism of my teaching
.Self doubt in genral
Yep there’s a few things going on that are embedding themselves under my skin and making themselves awfully comfortable and in turn making me pretty uncomfortable.
But you can see why an eating disorder is so set on reminding us that we’re ‘fat’, it’s a lot easier than facing the reality of life. It gives you a solution, you begin to think; if I entertain these thoughts, if I start purging or restricting I will loose weight and TA DA! my problems are solved. But engaging with those behaviours will not be your magic cure, that’s never been the case in the past and will never be the solution in the future, it just doesn’t work like that, because what you’re feeling is not fat, what you’re feeling lies anywhere between anger, loneliness, emptiness, anxiety, guilt, fear, insecure, being overwhelmed. You get the idea, this list could continue forever.
So next time you tell yourself that you ‘feel fat’ or the next time you struggle to find the words when attempting to tell a loved one how you feel, just slow down, work out what’s really going on in your life. Let in the real emotions that may be lingering just under the surface.
I just want to add that this is from the point of view from someone who has suffered from an eating disorder and is in no way saying that ‘fat’ is an ugly term or a negative term. We live in a world that teaches us that fat is the worst thing you can be and that couldn’t be further from the truth. This post is just my way of dismantling a term we use all too frequently in day to day life and my aim is to show people that when this particular thought crosses their mind, there is usually a deeper reasoning behind it.