CHANGE :// The way we THINK of fat
If that sentence won’t get you, then chances are you’ve never had to experience feeling FAT. You are one of the lucky ones and I’m grateful for you.
( there will most definitely be many parts to this one)
For years, decades, who knows… maybe even longer, the phrase, I FEEL FAT has been a common utterance of women and men everywhere. And yes yes, we do know, fat is not a feeling, right?…but why then can just a sensation bring up such a battle of emotions? Surely that means something…
Daily I see people who are engaging in self war with their bodies. Regardless of how they look on their outsides, they may all very well be wearing a badge that says “HI, my name is Fat” and that is how they go about introducing themselves to the world.
It’s fascinating to me that the majority of people I meet and work with have trouble losing weight regardless of how “good” they are eating, or how much they are working out. The truth is for a lot of them, their thoughts are making them fat. No, no, I am not trying to be abstract or esoteric here. The very essence of a dieter is a stressed out hamster on a spinning wheel, but guess what is one of the main bi products of stress? Yes you guessed it… WEIGHT GAIN.
The Cortisol Connection. So cortisol aka stress, this is the chemical our bodies make in order to handle stressful situations, helps us prepare for battle which means lions and tigers AND the fucking scale. Yes, for the majority of women, stepping on the scale may bring about more terrifying anxiety than seeing a tarantula or a snake which then in turn raises and changes a whole cascade of hormones that would normally follow to ensure your safety, but the thing is theres nothing to run from. SO here we are, jumping on a scale, ok not jumping, if you were someone that jumped on a scale I might actually want to unfriend you, but what if you knew that that one act, that step on, was actually hindering your results. Interesting thought right?
So we stress, we restrict which causes more stress, we binge..again more stress, and repeat this fight or flight of desperation for a INSERT HERE “Victorias secret body” that ever evades us. And just so we are clear, those genetically blessed are also part of this equation. Because it again does not matter where we are on the outside, if we feel a certain way on the outside it is all the same. be it 5’2 or 6 feet tall, petite or plus, or run of the mill.
SO here we are, spinning our wheels, sweating, swearing, and starving and yet we still cannot a) fit that size we have in mind b) don’t get off the spinning wheel leading us nowhere fast and c) are miserable all the while. That latter of which is most important.
SO what do we do?
Well, you guessed it, I DO NOT have the answer. I wish I did. Not only for the times when I felt that way, but for all of you. All I do know, is that any attempt to step onto that spinning wheel of fat, I recheck myself and try to understand if it is going to bring me closer to or farther away from feeling ok in my body. Yes, being just OK with your body is enough. I wish we all could say I look the bomb, or every shape is beautiful, but quite frankly, I do not know many women truthfully living in that space. So lets work toward a better standard that focuses not just on health but growth and acceptance, wherever that places your marker at.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt good about the way you looked? Do you remember how much power that feeling gave you? What if we thought trapped our brain to believe a good thought about ourselves every time we look at ourselves. This is not denial, this is not lying, is it fake it until you make it? Kind of. You see our neurotransmitters have developed these strongly paved out pathways superhighways sometimes to super problems. Ones that have answers to the questions we ask time and time again and be it the human ego, we like to stay in the negative, the drama of it. So in order to change the way we see ourselves, we also have to change the way we think and talk, even if its uncomfortable…which it will be, and doesn’t feel accurate..which it may not be either. All I know is that the minute I tell myself a different story about the way I feel, look, my day changes.
What if you told yourself you had the perfect body? What if you told yourself you felt sleek, agile, strong and fit whatever word it is you are after? What would happen then? Maybe nothing. Maybe something. But I know it is a whole lot better for us than sitting in disgust with ourselves. Am I right? I use the word disgust, its a vile word, but one I know so many of us use in our internal dialogue about the bits and parts of our body. Is it shocking to read it here? If so, what rules are different in reading it hear or saying it to yourself? Are you even aware of what you are saying to yourself?
Here’s something to think about, imagine someone saying you look fat. How do you think you would feel? Angry, hurt, sad, ashamed. Possibly. Would it affect you? Probably. SO why are the rules different in our head? They are doing the exact same thing. The same reaction is internalized, and we are the ones wielding a weapon.
NO no, I love the body positive movement and I think it’s great, but this is not that. This is realistically understanding that when we think the thoughts that we do, we are literally sending a chain reaction through our body that says “danger danger…oh and a side of you are not good enough.” Neither way, I can guarantee you, is going to get you closer to the body you want. I can promise you that.
Lets try this, a little meditation/body scan work. Lying on your back, close your eyes and begin to sink into mindful awareness. Focus in on your midsection, your thighs, your arms. How do they feel? Not fat…whats the description. Soft, hard, strong, cold etc. Are you tensing? Dieters and women hold in their gut. This leads to not only digestive health problems, but body image disturbance and IBS type symptoms which are literally making us sick. Soften your stomach. When was the last time you did this. Was it scary? How would you describe it? Relax your tummy and breath into it. How does it feel
Part Two The skinny on Fats and how a lack thereof could be halting your goals