I know a lot of personal trainers who are really hard on themselves. We tend to buy into the belief that it’s our job to be thin. I think that’s only true if you make it true.
If you are relatively thin and you’re complaining that you feel fat, when someone tells you not to be ridiculous, you aren’t fat – that’s not very helpful.
Complaining to someone about your own fatness, when they’re fatter than you are, well that’s also not very helpful. To anyone.
The thing is, ‘feeling fat’ doesn’t mean anything. It’s different from feeling bloated. Feeling ugly is different from feeling fat. Feeling heavy is different from feeling fat. Maybe if you’re moving and your belly gets in the way (this sometimes happens to me), maybe that qualifies as feeling fat, but when you get down to it, fat is simply not a feeling.
I like specificity – investigate what you’re actually feeling.
I’ve got about a 40 inch waist at the moment. I’m maybe 10 kilos or 20 pounds away from rippling washboard abdominals, which is more than a few pounds and less than a lot. I think I have a fairly good perspective about my body, but I still find myself choosing photos that make me look the thinnest... We are all works in progress, I suppose.
I’ve put on some fat this year, I imagine it’s because of the extra fat I’ve been eating, and it helped to correct my testosterone deficiency. That’s right, I corrected a hormonal imbalance and I got fatter in the process. But aren’t hormonal imbalances supposed to make us fat? Doesn’t correcting them mean you get thin? Oh no! Stop the press!
Yes – I got fatter and I feel more healthy, vibrant and robust than when I was a thinner man. So what does it mean to feel fat? I feel healthy. I feel a sense of liberation. Despite the extra weight I’ve gained, I can do more chin-ups now than ever before. Some of that weight is muscle and some of it is fat. I’m stronger now than I’ve ever been in my entire life, and I feel great!
What do you mean when you say you feel fat?
Do you feel unloved? Or unworthy of love? Why equate that to feeling fat? To do so is merely indulging in self-delusion. It’s playing blame-games with yourself – stop it. There are already enough people in the world who are happy to play blame-games with you – you need to be on your side, not theirs.
I’m generally not a fan of positive-affirmations, because all-too-often they get mixed up with self-delusion. What I am a big fan of is being truthful, encouraging and optimistic. If you feel sad, say that you feel sad. If you feel unworthy of love, recognise that. Deal with that. Thin people don’t deserve love any more than fat people do – everyone deserves love.
The phrase: oh no, you’re not fat doesn’t mean anything because it doesn’t address anything. It’s just a rebuttal. If your friend feels fat, try telling them something meaningful.
What does fat mean?
You don’t ever hear the complaint: I just feel... buxom today.
Read Part Two.
Read Part Three.