The Mental Nature of “Fat” Days

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The Mental Nature of "Fat Days" - great read

Hey guys, today is a very spontaneous post which was inspired by Lisa’s post about “Fat” days. I wanted to piggy back on what she talked about in her post because I agree with her thoughts on the matter and I had some thoughts to contribute as well.

A little background, Lisa is a beautiful lady blogger over at Lisa Lately and she blogs about food, health, fitness, etc. She is Canadian and has a huge love for oat bran and spaghetti squash, both of which I tried thanks to her encouragement and making it look just so darn yummy. Anyway, Lisa talked about “fat” days in today’s post. She talked about a well-known feeling to most women; one that ofte comes when we wake up tired and groggy, which doesn’t set the right tone for our days. On those days we are likely to pass a mirror and take glimpses of ourselves and unwelcoming negative thoughts might creep into our heads. “Wow, I look so fat.” This a feeling I know all too well. Here is an excerpt from Lisa’s post about her thoughts on “fat” days:

“Feeling fat” is a common phrase among plenty of women. Fat is not a feeling. There are many emotions we may be experiencing when these days happen. Perhaps you are stressed at work, tired, angry, or upset. Which in turn can make you perceive things negatively, including your body. Fat is not something you are able to feel.When this happens, it’s important to take a step back. These days aren’t about your looks or size. Realize that this uncomfortable feeling is coming from an underlying issue.”

First of all, I want to say I absolutely agree and it is such a fresh and true way to look at this. Truth be told, I haven’t looked at these thoughts from this perspective. Shocking, right? But this is so true – feeling “fat” is all in our heads. This got me to thinking and I have some proof that I found in the corners of my head from my own past experiences that totally reflect this as true.

My personal experience with “fat days”:

  • When I first lost weight and was at my lowest weight in high school, I didn’t necessarily feel skinny. There were many days during which I still felt fat. People would tell me I had a great body and I would just dismiss them. There were days when I felt great, but there were also days when I felt fat. But I was at my lowest weight! My boyfriend at the time liked my body, but I would think he was just being nice. When people complimented me, I thought they were being nice. I never thought of myself as “hot”. Even though the scale read a number I haven’t seen in a very long time, I can easily say that I didn’t feel skinny or pretty, at least not all of the time. I partied a lot those days, I went out a lot, and therefore I was frequently sleep deprived. I am certain that my lifestyle was contributing to my self-esteem issues.

  • My weight would go up and then down, and up again. I was diagnosed with ED-NOS a year and a half ago (Feb 2011) for my disordered and obsessive exercise and eating habits. That is all I am comfortable with sharing for now about this matter but disordered thinking definitely has played a large part into my self-confidence and self-image.
  • Endorphins play a huge part into how I feel. On days that I work out, I am social, I am active, I’ve gotten enough sleep and rest, and generally feel healthy – I also feel happy and confident. I would be at my highest weight but when I worked out and felt love around me and felt like I was in control of my life, I also felt good and did not feel fat. Even though, obviously, the weight was still the same.
  • On days that I binged, I was socially-isolated and alone with my negative thoughts, in the depths of anxiety and insomnia, my self esteem went to shit. Pardon my language. I hated myself, I hated my body. There were countless days where I cried and felt depressed because of the way I looked. And it didn’t always have anything to do with my weight. I was never a fat girl. I was chubby at most. But I felt like the most obese, lonely, sad person in the world during those times.

I realize I have shared a lot about myself in this post that you guys don’t know. Similarly to my dealing with anxiety post, most of my friends have no idea that I have had ED. That’s the thing about having a lot of acquaintances and not that many close friends. There is only a select few that actually care. And I love my friends for caring. It’s not the number of friends, it’s the quality.

2009: I would wear baggy shirts to cover myself up in… Still do mostly.

The Mental Nature of “Fat Days”

It is important that we realize that “fat” days are only in our heads. They do not have anything to do with our bodies. It has nothing to do with actual fat. We will always have fat on our bodies. If we didn’t, we would die. That’s how humans were created.

On “fat” days, we will always find the fat to pick on and focus on that will narrow our vision. That’s why it is important to realize that this is a self-esteem and body image issue, not an actual physical body issue.

Some days we feel great, some days we don’t. Most of the time, our “fat” days are brought on by stressors, in which we lower our inhibitions and therefore target our stress onto something we are all too familiar with, such as our bodies. Here are the most common reasons for our “fat” days surfacing..

Situational Causes for “Fat Days” surfacing:

      • not enough sleep or rest
      • too much stress
      • being socially isolated for a certain period of time
      • poor weather, not enough sunlight – (not enough vitamin D which has been proven to keep us happy. You’ve heard about seasonal affective disorder right? It’s real)
      • Not getting enough of the necessary nutrients in our bodies (I feel that whenever I up my veggie intake, I feel better)

There are many more factors that go into this but I don’t have hours to ponder and write them out, as I said earlier, this is a rather improptu post, just as a reflection.

What to do about it

When you realize that you are feeling “fat”, take a step back, notice that this has nothing to do with your body, and it has everything to do with an inner struggle or stressor on your body – realize this and don’t beat yourself up for it.

Don’t pick on your body.

It’s the only body you have. Love your body and cherish it. Treat it well and it will treat you well in return. Focus on your amazing mental capabilities and the gifts you have been given. Focus on the fact that you are an amazing beautiful person, that you have people out there that care about you, that you have a life to live in this world, that you have total control of yourself and your well-being.

Don’t let stressors define you or your mood. Fight back and focus on the happiness and beauty in the world and smile 🙂

Edit 2014: I have given up dieting and have embraced an intuitive eating lifestyle in March 2013. I am happy to say I no longer let my weight control my feelings the way I did during the time of writing this post. See more posts about intuitive eating here.

16 Comments

  1. What a heart felt and inspirational post. I commend you for being so open and honest, and agree with you that fat days are all in our own heads and not reality. I think you are beautiful and I know a lot of people are going to get a lot out of reading this! Well done!

  2. great post and so true. Fat days are in are head making them even harder to deal with because no one truly understands those thoughts that are there. Thank you for addressing this in such an honest way. I think when we do temporary things to relieve ourselves of those fat days that are unhealthy, we are just building the cycle but it is what society promotes. I hate that. I am all about self awareness and finding out why we feel that day and how to be proactive.

    • Exactly! Thank you for reading. It’s not an easy feat to understand how we work, and we might never truly understand but it’s the fact that we try and seek out a healthier way of life that counts and matters the most.

  3. Love love love this post!!! You are so open and honest and I really appreciate it! I can relate to your feelings in so many ways and realize that those “fat” days have nothing to do at all with the way I actually look but rather how I feel! The more I start to realize this, the easier it is to attack the problems head on and get better!

  4. Thanks for the shout pretty lady!!
    I so appreciate all your honesty in this post. There are so many factors that can come into play when we feel this way and its so important to address them. Fabulous post!xox

  5. This is such a lovely post Kammie. It’s such an important issue that so many girls face. I know myself I have fat days all the time, but it’s definitely the result of my mental state. Am I upset, tired, or stressed? If so, chances are I won’t love the way I look.

    I am definitely working on it though and I am getting better at loving the body I was given everyday. Sounds like you are to, and that’s so great! I definitely agree that exercising helps, gets those endorphins going and reminds you of how amazing your body is! And the funny part is, the better you feel and the more confident you are, the better you look and the more enjoyment you get out of life.

    Thanks for sharing and being so open 🙂

  6. Great post. Thanks for really opening yourself up and sharing. Very important topic and I agree whole heartedly.

  7. Lovely, honest post. “Fat days” are so irrational but yet so many females (myself including) feel them! And you’re absolutely right – there are so many external factors that lead to that depressing mental state. For me, once the negativity ball starts rolling, it’s hard to convince myself to “turn that frown upside down”. The human mind is incredibly powerful…it’s scary.

  8. What a wonderful post. I’ve favorited it in my Reader so I can look back on it during those “fat days” and change my mindset. THANK YOU for your honesty!

  9. Emilie @ Hungry Delights

    This is a lesson that a lot of us girls need to learn – I know I am in a much better place than I was in my high school years but I am still not at a place that I am 100% comfortable. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for the record… you look amazing!!!
    xo Emilie @ Hungry Delights

  10. Ahh, thank you <3 <3 and thank you for reading! It means a lot.

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