What to do When You Feel Fat

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So, I was in the bathtub this morning, pinching at my middle section, and noticing that there was a little bit more to squeeze than usual. Right away, my mind went to thoughts like: Maybe I should starting going to the gym more. I can sign up for a bootcamp class, or better still, I can start a cleanse. That’s it! Green juice and cruciferous veggies abound!

My mind started to hatch a plan. I made a judgment of my body, followed by a feeling of what can only accurately be described as self-loathing, and then I commenced in plotting a new regime, undoubtedly one that I would not be able to follow successfully.

Maybe you can relate.

But, after all that conjecture, something miraculous happened - a shift in perception. I took a breath and reminded myself that my emotional state and how I felt about my body were infinitely more important than any number on a scale. I remembered that it had been a long journey for me from when I was in my early twenties, and I had an eating disorder, to the thirty-four-year-old me who understood (and actively cultivated) self-love and positive self-talk.

One of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned is that more important that what we look like is how we FEEL about ourselves and our bodies. Any shame or judgment we have of our bodies is reflected back to us in the relationships we attract, as well as how people treat us and show up for us.

Our self-perception trumps any master cleanse or supposed commitment to start doing daily resistance band exercises. So, when we feel fat (and it’s going to happen), here’s what we do:

1.Compliment each part of your body. Sit in the bathtub, and massage your body with soap (and fancy oils if you have any on hand). As you run your hands over each body part, feel appreciative  - for your strong legs and ability to walk, your hands, which enable you to easily experience the world, etc. Another option is that you can write yourself a love letter, expressing deep gratitude for your body and how it has taken all of your negative self-talk and criticism, and still, is in tact every single day (give or take a few creaks). 

2.Have lots of sex. The time to be the most intimate with your partner is when you feel the least sexy. Why? Because sexy is a state of mind, and usually, your partner isn't going to notice that you're bloated or extra jiggly. What your partner is going to notice is your attitude about your body. When you feel fat, rather than putting on a long tunic and hunkering down on the couch for a night of reality television, put on a satin robe, take your partner's hand, and let your partner adore your perfectly lumpy body.

3.Affirm that you are beautiful. You don't have to believe an affirmation (it will take much repetition for an affirmation to become a belief, actually), but look in a mirror and declare: I am beautiful. I am perfect just as I am. I am worthy of love. When your thoughts go to critical talk about how you need to lose weight, redirect them. 

4.Find positive role models. Watch videos of Beyonce. Find beautiful full-figured models and admire their curves. Remind yourself that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. It's only society that suggests that we need to be stick-thin, but it doesn't mean we have to believe that ideology.

5.Move your body. Put on fun music and dance. Go for a walk. If your body is strong and healthy, thank it for being able to move. Be grateful that you have legs that can take you places. Sign up for a dance class.

Stop lamenting over how fat you are, and start celebrating your body. It's beautiful, and you're beautiful! Release your negative emotions/judgment of yourself. Others will see you how you see you. When you feel beautiful, it will radiate from within, and you will touch others with your joy and life.

 

Mindful LivingJessica Leon