When You’ve Got That Ugly Fat Feeling
Have you ever stood in front of your closet and just felt fat? Me too. I am learning five ways that I can fight the feeling and make my closet — and my body — my friend.
One of the most everyday things in my life can be the very thing that causes me the most frustration—shopping for clothes or even selecting them out of my closet! Finding something to wear can take me on an emotional rollercoaster. Some clothes are flattering, some promise to be forgiving and others are just not. The worst outfits are those that scream, “YOU ARE FAT!”
An ambush waiting in the closet
It’s often unpredictable when those mean thoughts strike. They sometimes start as a whispering accusation. You are so big. How did you let yourself get like this? And before I know it they turn into You are going to be so huge and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. Next, the thoughts escalate to a prophetic-like cursing, and about that time my structured mind begins to come up with some strategic plans.
I start thinking that a new diet, a work-out plan and even some techniques that I know full well I shouldn’t even think about were the answer to my unhappiness. In the past, this disheartening thought process is something that I often allowed to hinder me. As I discovered how incredibly debilitating those thoughts were, I began to look for ways to rise above them. I realized that what I was often doing was trying to work my way out of the despair once I was deeply into it.
Sometimes, fat is just a feeling
As I thought about I realized something interesting, I wasn’t feeling fat on a certain day because I had suddenly gained weight over night, there was something else that was bothering me. I wasn’t seeing myself as I really was. If I could get to the root of the real problem I knew I would feel better.
Changing your thinking is not as easy thing to do, but the time to conquer the fear of fat is when the very first thought strikes! Take a moment to deal with what are you are feeling.
- Admit that you are feeling fat. Regardless of what you weigh, the despair you are feeling begins in your mind and that is where you need to begin. Acknowledge how you are feeling, but don’t nurse those thoughts for very long. By admitting to yourself what you are feeling you give yourself the chance to deal with it.
- Ask yourself clarifying questions to discover what you are struggling with. When we feel out of control or stressed, we often internalize it and begin to feel unattractive. Ask yourself, “What is really bothering me?” As you reflect on that, you will realize that your “fat feelings” are often internalized frustrations about something entirely different. Are there other sources of stress bothering you? Did someone say something hurtful? Ask yourself where you are in your cycle; it could well be that you are feeling low for a very good reason.
- Take your thoughts captive. You may have so many thoughts running through your mind so that you no longer know what is true and right. You may even have thoughts that contradict each other. Take a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle and write “Truth” as the heading of one column and “Lies” as the heading on the other. Then begin to write.In the Truth column, write out those things you know to be facts. What aspects of yourself are you most pleased with? Even if you are not the size you’d like to be, what is your best feature? What you weigh does not determine who you are. What do your friends say about you? Write it down. Then in the Lies column write the things that sometimes believe are true things like “I’m not worth it” (you are).As you write out the many points, you will be amazed at the contradicting messages that are in your mind. Each time you have a thought that you know to be negative, add it to your journal. Then begin to pray that you would learn to believe only the items in the Truth column. In the early days of using this method, you will probably do a lot of writing and sorting of your thoughts. Once you become used to labeling your thoughts as truth or lies and then taking your thoughts captive, you will be able to do this without paper. It can become a way of thinking and renewing your mind – every thought, every day! There is huge freedom in this.
- Move forward on what you know to be true—not what you feel. There are times to ignore your feelings. If you are feeling afraid of being fat or possibly feel that you are fat and unacceptable because of that, do something that is the opposite of what you feel. Call a friend and do something meaningful for them. Instead of internalizing your feelings, the key here is to take a negative self-destructive thought pattern and reach out to encourage someone else. Don’t engage in crash diets or binge eating because you think you are already too overweight. Make the effort to eat healthy and take care of your body; remember that you are worth it. Tip: Take a card and write on it “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14a).
- Make the effort. On the days you feel particularly unattractive, wear something that you know you look good in. Take extra effort to do your hair and makeup in a special way. Remember that a huge part of how we feel about the way we look is in our heads and hearts, not our hips. Promise to be kind to yourself. There are a lot of voices in our society telling us that we have to look a certain way in order to be acceptable. Make sure that your own voice isn’t one of them. You are worth, and there’s no one in the world beautiful in quite exactly the way that you are.
I spent many years of my life agonizing over my weight, feeling like no one could love me because I was too overweight. I’m a recovered anorexic and have learned the secret of taking each thought captive. I discovered how distorted the “fat feelings” really were when I realized that at 82 pounds, I had felt much larger than I did when I was 9 months pregnant. Freedom is a choice; you may need help to retrain your thinking, but it is possible – one thought at a time!
Have you ever felt like losing five pounds? I have . . . and it turned out to be the beginning of a 10 year diet which nearly killed me. During stressful times, I still resorted to my dieting habit. It wasn’t until I became pregnant two years later and had to face the terror of gaining weight–and the reality that it actually does come off again–that I felt truly free and healed.
I enjoy the freedom I now experience in knowing true love isn’t earned by having a perfect body and a perfectly organized life. While I used to think that love equals thinness, I now know that true love and security come from a relationship with God.
Today Christ fills the void in my life which I strived for so long to fill on my own. His love and acceptance meets my needs and gives me strength. I know that God loves me, exactly as I am, even on the days when I’m feeling fat.
Take a look at your life. How would you describe it? Contented? Rushed? Exciting? Stressful? Moving forward? Holding back? For many of us it’s all of the above at times. There are things we dream of doing one day, there are things we wish we could forget. In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new. What would your life look like if you could start over with a clean slate?
Living with hope
If you are looking for peace, there is a way to balance your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.
Is this the life for you?
If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.