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Feeling "Fat"

  • Category: Blog
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Anna Crawford, MS, RDN, LDN, NSCA-CPT
Feeling "Fat"

Feeling “Fat” has nothing to do with the number on the scale.

Possibly reading that makes you very angry at me or you just assume I don’t know what I’m talking about or that I don’t understand you, but stick with me.

Fat is an object or adjective, not a feeling. Fat is a thing or a descriptive word. Not an emotion or character flaw.

People with a low number on the scale “feel fat” and people with a medium number on the scale “feel fat” and people with a high number on the scale “feel fat”. Also there are people with a low number on the scale that don’t “feel fat” and people with a medium number on the scale that don’t “feel fat” and people with a high number on the scale that don’t “feel fat”. You may have had the experience of looking at an old picture of you and thinking “Gosh I looked so good and even then I ‘felt fat’”. The number has nothing to do with “feeling fat” it is your beliefs about that number, about your body or yourself or your life that impact how you feel.

You might be saying well, I lost weight in the past and I did feel better; I did feel more confident. You might also be thinking well 15 years ago I weighed less and I still didn’t like my body. Again it is our thoughts about our body at each size, not our number on the scale that impact “feeling fat”. They feel like they are related, but they are not. When you lost weight maybe you were thinking better thoughts about your body that made you feel better and feel more confident; but this had nothing to do with the number, just how you thought about the number and yourself.

“Fat” is neutral so if feeling fat has a lot of intensity for you it is not about the number. It is always about something else, some other issue or challenge or belief or insecurity in your life that is showing up as “feeling fat”.

If you dig deeper, you might realize you feel insecure, not worthy, not enough, alone, like a failure, or maybe something different specific to you. It’s only by identifying what “feeling fat” means to you in each situation that you can come up with a solution that will help you feel and act differently. If you don’t identify the underlying deeper reasons why you “feel fat” you will not solve this challenge by losing weight. You might distract yourself with a weight loss diet which can feel very seductive, but ultimately your deeper insecurity will resurface at any number on the scale until you work on the real challenge.

Therefore, a weight loss plan is like fitting a square peg in a round hole to solve “feeling fat”. You can jam it in there but it’s not going to feel very good or be very effective in the long run. It does not and never will solve the deeper pain of insecurity, fear of rejection, fear or failure, belief you are not enough, wanting to be accepted and whatever you discover is the deeper message under “feeling fat” for you. A weight loss program will never make you not “feel fat” long term unless you deal with what you really need when you “feel fat” now at your current number on the scale.

If you are curious to learn more about this you can join the Peaceful Eating Group or this could be a topic discussed in a health and wellbeing coaching session.