3 Steps To Fixing Your Next "Fat Day"

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling…fat. Yeah, I said it: FAT.

Thing is, after all these years of recovery, I knew deep down that it had little to nothing to do with my actual body and weight at all. (I mean, how could a pair of pants that looked just fine the day before suddenly become tight and ugly?!)
It’s tough to stay in that logical place, though, when every nerve in your body, every sensation around your belly, every little piece of your reptile brain is trying to focus on the uncomfortable feeling of “bigness.”
But I knew I had to get over it if I was going to have a productive, successful and pleasant day (I’m in Vancouver for the Olympics for Chrissake!) So, what did I do? A few things:

A stilt-lady on the streets of Yaletown in Vancouver

1. I changed into a different pair of pants. I knew the pants weren’t the problem, but I wanted to make my body feel more comfortable, to allow my brain to stop focusing on the physical.
2. I ate a healthy breakfast of oatmeal with a little peanut butter and an apple. I know that the first thing I want to do when I’m uncomfortable in my body is take myself out of it-and the default way to do that is with comfort food or overeating. So, I made a choice that was smart and healthy (but still very yummy).
3. I listened to a chakra meditation podcast. I’m not a chakra expert or anything, but I’ve done it before, and knew that the third chakra is in your abdomen-basically right under you belly button. Connecting to my body, especially that part, seemed like it would serve to bring me back to reality.

Downtown Vancouver from the seat of a water taxi.

The good news: It worked. It’s not like I felt perfectly wonderful when it was all over, but the preoccupation with my body was over. I was able to clear my mind and focus on the day. And, it ended up being one of the most productive days of the past week! (And one of the most fun-I explored downtown Vancouver, as you can see from the pictures.)

How do you deal when you feel “fat”? What helps you snap out of it?

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12 Responses to 3 Steps To Fixing Your Next "Fat Day"

  1. Tamara says:

    I plop myself in front of the mirror and find pretty bits, even if it takes a while. If I’m hating my thighs, I’ll put on a feminine top and admire my decolletage. Or if I’m deploring the round shape of my face I’ll put on mascara and bright lipstick and find angles that make me look glamorous. Others might do better to take their mind off their appearance, but I like to face it head on.

  2. Tara says:

    um, I sleep. If I’m feeling really down about myself, and feeling fat, I’ll want to eat but instead I just shut down and sleep. I know that sounds totally unhealthy, and it is. Usually when I wake up I’ll feel groggy and gross, but then it dissipates and I’ll feel better.

    That’s the honest answer.

    What I’d want to say, however, is that I WORK OUT! haha, working out releases those feel-good endorphins, but usually when I’m already feeling like a blob it’s hard to remember that fact.

    Sunny, I love your chakra thing, I can totally see that working for me. Focusing on the core energy below the flab can help connect with your Self, not your preoccupation with fat!

    • Sunny says:

      Yeah, you should try it! I think I’m going to try to do it more regularly. Perhaps take a class. Get spiritual. :)

    • Katie says:

      Taking a nap is what I do when I’m feeling depressed. But I guess when I don’t want to admit to myself that I’m feeling blue/hopeless/worthless/whatever, I focus that loathing feeling on my body instead. But my body is really not the problem! It’s just a scapegoat. Poor body. I’m sorry I’ve abused you in the past.

  3. Morgan says:

    Tara- sometimes a nap is just the thing I need when I am feeling sluggish and having a “fat” day. I do also agree that working out gives me those feel good endorphins and a strong feeling afterwards that can do the trick to turn things around.

    I also just sort of talk to myself, like talk myself down. Not in a crazy way (and not out loud…well, actually maybe occasionally if I am all alone!). I remind myself of more rational thoughts and try to be kind and gentle. Sometimes it helps me figure out what’s really going on, but sometimes there’s not much else going on and I just have to accept it as a certain passing state that I have to trust will pass and eventually go away. Like a patch of clouds.

    I have learned better ways of coping with it and to tolerate the uncomfortableness of it, and then it subsides. Phew.

    • Angie says:

      Hi - I agree that sleep, exercise, and meditation (and journaling) help me through moments where I feel bad. Coping with the bad stuff is better than eating through it… easier said than done some days.

      For an early ‘little victory’ I wanted to write that we have something in our house that would normally trigger a binge. I would normally avoid the food, thinking that one bite would lead to more, but I tried something that I’ve learned through this community. I enjoyed one of the items - really let myself taste it without guilt/forbidding it and feeling bad - and it was enough. I know that item will be in the pantry for a week or so as the rest of my family takes their time to eat. I feel great joy in knowing I have had a sane moment with food. I hope this moment leads to others. I think sharing this little victory with the community will also help me keep the moment and not trigger a binge. I’m not eating in secret as I can share it with you. Thanks! Angie

  4. Heather says:

    I’m with Sunny on the changing of the pants. If I’m feeling fat or bloated or blah, I put on clothes until something makes me feel better. It leaves a giant pile of chaos outside of my closet, but by the time I’m done, I’m usually distracted enough to move on. If I don’t feel the tightness of something, I don’t dwell. It’s that, or a pint of Haagen Dazs, which is kind of counter-intuitive and extremely counter productive!!

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.