Beliefnet
Fresh Living

If we could track and tally everyone’s inner musings, I’m guessing “I feel fat” would make the Top 10 Most Thought list, at least. Over and over I’ve heard average-sized women say it, women svelte as poles say it, women fit and buff as Wonder Woman say it. A true bummer because those three tyrannical words usually just make us feel panicky and bad about ourselves and desperately in need of tiramisu.

I often wonder how women’s lives (presuming this is mostly a chick thing partially born of patriarchal beauty standards, yadda) might be different if we never had that crazy-making thought loop. How much mental space and psychic energy would free up and surge? Today my brain is spinning it in extended remix: “I feel fat.” Other parts of my mind are defensively noting some reality-based benchmarks (jean fit, mirror scrutiny, the scale), and have come to the conclusion that though I might be a sminch puffy, the fat-thinking part is yet again talking smack. But sitting here at my desk and taking the subway, and sitting in meetings, the thought keeps coming back again and again… “I feel fat.”

I know IFF is not actually connected to how much I weigh; it’s a state of mind. Some days I’ve actually gained a few and it’s no big deal, so it’s clear that “I feel fat” doesn’t reliably mean “I could stand to lose a few.” It’s just a wily, monkey-minded, morale-sinking thought bomb that derails me from more essential, life-affirming activities. But thankfully, like every other thought, it will pass eventually. Today I’m noticing that it actually seems to come from a lethargic sensation, a frozenness, a disconnect between my busy brain and my dulled, not-in-use, keyboard-clacking body; “I feel fat” really means “I feel dead” or “I need to feel more alive.”  

Which is tremendously helpful to realize–it means that instead of eating a slice of pizza to comfort myself from the thought-assault, I will actually better scratch the itch by hitting a dance floor (a.k.a. my living room), breathing, stretching, and making sounds, at my own pace, in my own time. Essentially, allowing the body to exist, to speak, to retrieve itself after sitting for so many hours every day. And then, usually, that icky sluggish “fat” feeling and thought lifts. Or, you know, it doesn’t, and I wait it out with a cookie the size of my hand.  

Are you haunted by “I feel fat” too? How do you deal with it?

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