- I feel so fat.
- My thighs are disgusting.
- My stomach sticks out.
- My butt is too big.
- I feel huge.
Most of us have likely uttered or thought at least one of these negative self-talk statements at some point in time. They’re self-deprecating thoughts and comments that Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, clinical advisor to Green Mountain at Fox Run, says are not feelings, and are not even truths.
“Fat is not a feeling. ‘I feel fat’ is never about the size of your body,” Kratina points out. “Even if you are in reality fat, it isn’t about that fatness. Difficult and uncomfortable feelings are felt as ‘fat feelings.’ Some of the most powerful work you can do in your recovery from eating and weight struggles is finding out exactly what feelings are behind the fat feelings.”
It’s difficult for many of us to challenge and move beyond these thoughts and comments. Even those of us who have lost weight find that these thoughts, feelings and beliefs do not change – the ‘fat feelings’ persist.
Changing the Negative Self Talk
The next time you catch yourself ‘feeling fat,’ slow down, tune in, and with respect and curiosity, ask yourself, “In addition to this experience of ‘feeling fat,’ what else am I feeling?’ Watch your mind try to convince you over and over that your body (and you) is the problem, that your body is to blame. Do your best to challenge these fat thoughts.
One way to challenge these thoughts is through affirmations, such as the following from Cheri Erdman’s Live Large!, a book of affirmations for living the life you want in the body you already have.
“I see myself as acceptable, lovable, and beautiful.”
Remember, too, that self and size acceptance isn’t about ‘giving up.’ It’s about treating ourselves well and stopping the negative self talk so that we can make the changes we want, accepting our biological realities in the process.
“When we accept ourselves as we are today and gradually proceed to make the changes we want for ourselves, we have more power to recreate our lives. When we are self-accepting, we love ourselves for not being perfect already. The burden of self-rejection makes it very hard to change our lives.”
This FitBriefing was taken from the e-zine Stay Attuned by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD and Amy Tuttle, LCSW, RD. You can subscribe at nourishingconnections.com.
Learn more about Behavior and Emotional Health at Green Mountain.