Have you ever said about your body “I feel fat”?
But not in a loving way. In a mean, disgusted, and maybe defeated way?
It’s time to get to the root of your bad body image thoughts.
Maybe it was that moment where you ate too much chocolate and groaned, “ugh! I feel so fat!”, resolving to once more hop on the dieting train again tomorrow as a way to ‘fix’ the problem aka your body (news flash: this ‘solution’ is only making things worse. It’s time to do things differently)!
If this is resonating with you, you’ll want to read till the end of this blog post for some major aha! moments and healing strategies so you can feel better about your body in a way that gets to the real issue!
Here’s the thing – fat is not a feeling. Its a thing. Its like saying “I feel bookcase” or “I feel shoes”… it makes no sense, right?
But I get what you mean when you say it, because I’ve had too many years of saying this myself.
I also hear this from my clients who desire to break free of the noisy negative self-talk about their body, so if you feel this way, too – you are in a good company and more importantly, healing is possible for you, too!
The issue with saying “I feel fat” is that it’s not getting to the root of what you are feeling.
It blankets your real feelings over and puts the focus on “I need to shrink my body” as the only solution – which only fuels the exhausting diet-binge cycle.
If you stop saying “I feel fat” and recognize its not a feeling… you can explore what you are really feeling and then address it from the source to begin to feel more positive about your body or at the very least, about yourself (because you are more than your body!)!
Here is how to identify what you are actually feeling and examples on how to handle the source of those feelings
Step 1: Learn to recognize the negative body image thoughts and to PAUSE when you have them
You can become so accustomed to having negative thoughts about your body that you aren’t even aware you are having them anymore. Thoughts like “I feel fat” are a signal to negative body image thoughts when they are paired with guilt, stress, or anxiety.
Step 2: Explore beyond your initial thoughts. Assess what is contributing to making you feel this way.
This is where you dig deeper. Thoughts like “I feel fat” is a surface level bad body image thought. Take a moment to ask yourself:
→ how is my BODY feeling?
→ what triggered this feeling? A comment from someone? Something I ate?
→ what do I believe is bad about being fat or being this size? What is the problem with it? What is the fear that lies under it?
The answers to these questions will help you identify the true fear or stress you are experiencing about your body that goes beyond ‘I feel fat’.
Common fears and beliefs that come up for my clients when they answer these questions in our sessions are:
🔸️I feel bad about myself
🔸️My body physically feels uncomfortable
🔸️I’m scared others will judge me for the size that I am right now
🔸️I want to be liked and accepted and I fear I won’t be if I am not thin enough
Jot down whatever comes up for you.
Now that you have more clarity on what you are really feeling and what the actual struggle is – focus on addressing the core issue in ways that actually help you feel better in and about your body.
Which brings us to Step 3: Work on targeted solutions to the actual problem (and no, another diet is not going to fix any of them! This is INNER work!)
I’ll share with you examples from the fears we mentioned above.
🔸️I feel bad about myself
➡️ Explore why having fat makes you feel bad about YOURSELF as a PERSON. This is a struggle of SELF WORTH and that comes from within. There is a core BELIEF to address here.
- What do I believe being in this body size says about me? What does it represent?
- What do I fear about being in this body size or gaining weight? What will happen?
Once you know what that core belief is you can work through it in a way that actually leads to true healing.
🔸️My body physically feels uncomfortable
➡️ Maybe you’re bloated from the pasta you overate last night. Remove judgment and ask yourself “if I felt amazing in my body, how would I take care of it to keep it feeling good?” then go do that thing! Focus on what you CAN do to feel good. Maybe you need to move your body, hydrate, get more sleep, buy comfortable clothes, eat more vegetables, etc. Do what will make it FEEL good.
🔸️I’m scared others will judge me
➡️ Other people judge you based on their OWN fears and insecurities. Don’t own their story!
What I often have my clients explore as well is: how much of that judgment is YOUR own inner critic? The fact is, people will judge us in life, but it hurts a hell of a lot less when we stop judging ourselves. Start there. Start by learning to stop being your own worst critic and changing your own beliefs before trying to change someone else’s.
🔸️I want to be liked and accepted
➡️ Think of your friends and ask yourself why you like or love them? Is it because of how they look or because they make you laugh, are loyal, understand you, etc. While external looks can make an initial impression in our society, it’s what’s on the inside that is lasting and attracts people to you. Who you ARE is what will determine if you are liked.
Instead of dwelling on ways to restrict and get smaller because you’re convinced that’s the solution which only leads us to disordered eating, stress, and anxiety which is not doing anything good for your health, practice shifting the focus to the real hard feelings that lie under “I feel fat” because that is what will help you care for your body in a way that feels best and good to you at every size – remember that happiness is healthy!
Because when you choose to heal and find acceptance within yourself, life is so much more beautiful and liberating! I promise this freedom is possible for you. I know because my clients reach out to me feeling the way you do right now – shameful, hopeless, and living with an inner bully that tells them they’ll only be happy and good enough if they are thinner.
Through working together and helping my clients unlearn this negative narrative and heal their body image from the source – they get to live a bigger, better, and more free LIFE.
P.S. If you’re a Food Freedom Dietitian or Nutrition Professional desiring to support YOUR clients in their food and body peace journey – check out these resources to help you elevate your Intuitive Eating & Body Image counseling skills and coach with confidence:
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