There is a great post over at the F-Word today. It is about those days, when we say we feel “Fat.” What it means to us and what we do to rebound from them.
One of the first things we’re reminded of in eating disorder recovery is that fat is not a feeling. One can be fat and one can think they’re fat, but you cannot feel fat. Most women, of course, will disagree — one can indeed “feel fat” — and many of us know exactly what someone means when they say “I feel fat.” The term is often a euphemism for “I feel gross and out-of-shape;” “I feel bad about myself and my body;” “I feel insecure and anxious;” and/or “I feel hopeless or depressed.”
I (and from the comments already there, some others too) don’t agree with some of the tips taken from Irene Rubaum-Keller’s advice post; that appear after the quote (though I do like some of what she says there). They are mostly litle ways to falsely TRICK yourself into BELIEVING you’re not fat (which for this author seems to be intricately tied in to “not as pretty”); instead of accepting what you are and tackling the problem of why you just don’t feel GOOD that day.
For me, the days I used to call “fat days” are when I am just uncomfortable in my clothing. You know; those “I wish my arms detached at the shoulder cause I just can’t get settled down, everything feels pinchy!” days. So I’ve learned (thanks fat-o-sphere!) to put the offending outfit in the pile for goodwill. If I just feel sluggish I try to take a walk outside to get more fresh air and sunshine. Sometimes I feel like I’m part sun-lizard. I needs sunlight. Winter is a difficult time for that…
If I’m just having a down day when nothing is going right; I try to color. Plain old crayons. Big lines in a coloring book to color. Very simple. Or play with play-doh. Even if I only make snakes ^^ Sometimes all I need to do is realize I’m missing some FUN time for ME and when I get a moment to actually enjoy something I feel better. (I’m 27 and will play with stuff that makes me happy, conventions be damned. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing”.
So my tips for getting out of those days when you feel “Fat” or “Ugly” or just “Bad” is to first find out what is REALLY bothering you. Are you just not feeling comfortable in your clothing? Have you been missing out on self-pampering lately? Are you just frustrated cause you work from sun rise to sun set and need some good old outside time? Does your hair just not want to lay flat and the static is making you crazy?
Whatever the TRUE reason, find it. Work past all that cultural conditioning that ties fat or ugly to those bad days. It is a lot easier to find solutions to such days when we are ready to truly acknowledge what is causing them; rather than covering them with a blanket generalization (like using “fat” or “ugly” to mean so many other negative things that those words don’t imply) and leaving it at that. Do some self-exploration and maybe you can add to the mental list you have of constructive and mentally healthy things that will make you feel better; beyond trying to change the body you’re in.
If you must follow one of the tips from Irene, why not concentrate on this one:
Be aware of how you talk to yourself on a fat day. See if you can be nicer.
I think that should apply to all days but certainly on those days when we feel disgusted in our own skins. Listen to how you’re speaking about your body; it is part of you. Be nice. I can’t promise that this one simple act will make the bad day go away; but it certainly won’t hurt!