Feeling fat can sometimes be overwhelming .The horrible feeling of wanting to crawl out of your skin. You feel heavy and sluggish and just want to hide away. Some times It is easy to think if I dropped “just a bit” of weight then I would feel better. But ask yourself even at your lowest did you really ever feel good enough? Probably not. Losing weight never really makes the fat feeling go away and therefore weight loss is not the solution.
I am having the “I want to crawl out of my skin feeling” today but I am not beating myself up over it.the negative “I feel fat” feelings might trigger a binge or a binge and purge episode or restriction to try and escape those feelings. It’s a really destructive cycle where the eating disorder behaviours trigger more of the unwanted feelings, which contribute to feeling worse about yourself, which lead to more eating disorder behaviours.
Happy,sad,excited,disappointed those are feelings. Fat is not really a feeling its a triglyceride consisting of three fatty acids joined to glycerol by ester bonds.(That A-Level chemistry knowledge haha).So really you cannot feel fat. Just because you feel or think something does not mean it is true. It is important to sepperate thoughts and feelings from facts. Just because you feel fat doesn’t mean you are. You have fat, everyone does and its essential for the body. Just like you have fat you also have muscle but it doesn’t mean you are muscle. This will sound really strange but you probably never think “oh I feel really muscle today” so why on earth would you think “I feel fat today”.
If fat is not a feeling then what is it you are really feeling? Ask yourself are you feeling sad,dissapointed,fearfull,lonenly,anxious,worried or insecure. It is easy to label all negative emotions as “feeling fat”.You can take some positive actions to deal with emotions. If you feel lonely,call a friend, if you are anxious listen to your favourite song and breathe.
What I have learned is sometimes you may need to sit with emotions, even the negative ones. Binging and purging doesn’t really get rid of them.Sometimes you can make yourself feel better but over times you may just need to wait for the feeling to pass. If I did bad in a exam I would just purge my feelings away, same thing if I was sad or alone or stressed.In the end purging became my go to for dealing with anything. It may be a short term solution but It never solves the problem and you just end up feeling more depressed.
When you first begin to deal with emotions in a healthy way and not an eating disordered way you may feel more depressed or really emotional. I think Its because you numbed out the emotions for such a long time using binging,restricting,exercise,self harm e.t.c that it can be scary to feel again. As overwhelming it can feel a feeling is just that. It cannot kill you. I always find it helpful to think “this too shall pass”
The beautiful thing about starting to feel emotions again is you can feel the good ones too!The REAL laughs with friends and excitement and joy and feeling so blessed and lucky to be alive. Fight for those days!No one at the end of their life will be thinking “oh gosh I wish I kept those solid 2kgs off”.
Some things which make me feel better and can help when you don’t feel good inside are
-Listening to music and taking a walk outside with my dog
-Dancing.Put on some upbeat music and go crazy.
-Writing to get all the thoughts out
-Taking a shower can help you feel refreshed and relaxed
-Talking to a friend (or your dog if you have one! I swear my dog thinks I’m a bit mad but oh wells)
So to sum this up fat is not a feeling. Identify what you are really feeling, accept it and process it. Remember that returning to ED behaviours will not solve the problem and is so not worth it! Focus on your long term goals and don’t let this crappy illness steal anymore of your life.