Fat Is Not a Feeling. Then What Is It?

Written by: Tanvi Vinay Gangavali MA (Psychology)
Last updated date : January 25, 2023

Many times, we say, “I am feeling so fat today”. Is fat a feeling? The answer is ‘NO’. Fat is not a feeling. But, many people use this statement casually and are not aware of what they are feeling. We need to think about what do we mean by saying “I feel fat.”. Fat is not a feeling. Then, what does feeling fat mean to you? It is an idea that we hold and do not want to get rid of it. This is because we fear that we might have to deal with uncomfortable emotions. It also makes us feel stressed.


Chapter 1:

I Am Feeling Fat

For many, “I am feeling fat” actually means –
  1. “I am ugly:
  2. “Feeling unloved.”
  3. “I am unworthy.”
  4. “I am lazy.”

NONE of the above statements is equal to the meaning of fat. But, our society keeps telling us that if you are fat then you are unhealthy, unsuccessful and also not attractive. Whereas, if someone is skinny or slim then they are looked at as being beautiful and worthy. Beauty is only a state of mind. It is not a checklist that you need to achieve. To feel loved and worthy are never dependent on your body weight.

When we talk about feeling fat or skinny, we force ourselves to feel a particular way based on our body weight. This also means “Feeling Fat” means we are forced to feel terrible. Whereas, “Feeling skinny” means we allow ourselves to feel good about ourselves.

Chapter 2:

A New Trend of F.A.T

When you are feeling fat, you also feel terrible and not so good about yourself. You try hard to lose weight but then it is difficult. You also have feelings of anxiety or sadness because of this. But, in reality- “Fat is not a feeling.” Then, why is it that we attribute so many feelings to this word? How do we feel better? How do we get rid of this feeling? So, here is the solution. Next time you say the word “Fat” think about this acronym-
  • F- Find the usage
  • A- Access your inner beliefs
  • T- Take a break
Find the Usage
Many a time when we feel “I am feeling fat” we get into this mode and then find it difficult to stop. We know “fat is not a feeling” but still it is hard not to think about it. We try our best but we fail. This makes us debate whether “Am I fat or am I not.” Then we also start judging ourselves and being hard on ourselves. This entire cycle is taxing and causes a lot of stress. During these times, the best thing to do is to “find the usage”. This also means trying to understand the underlying meaning of why I feel this way. It is important to turn inward to explore what is happening to us emotionally. Although at the surface level, we feel it is only feeling fat but deep down there are many other emotions that disturb us.

For example, you can ask yourself these questions to dig deeper:

  • What issues am I dealing with currently?
  • Do I feel worried about something?
  • Am I sad or disappointed?
  • Do I regret taking a decision or action?
  • Am I feeling out of control?
  • Are there any other feelings that make me feel uncomfortable?

While doing this exercise, you might feel uncomfortable or feel like not doing it. But, with practice you feel better. You can do this regularly by sitting with yourself and spending time with yourself.

Chapter 3:

Access Your Inner Beliefs

When we understand why we feel fat it helps clear most of the chaos in our heads. Once we know the usage of feeling fat- then we need to stop thinking about our bodies and look at things that matter to us. This means we need to look at our values and beliefs. This is the base of our personality and how we are. Most of the time these values and beliefs are not helping us and make us feel more miserable. Hence, we need to make it more functional so that it helps us feel better.

Some questions that can help us to access our inner beliefs are-

  • What does ‘Myself’ mean to me?
  • What are the things that I care about?
  • How do I behave as a human being?
  • Are there any beliefs that are not helping me?
  • What is the best way to access my inner beliefs when I have a difficult moment?
  • How can my values help to cope with a crisis?

Asking yourself these questions helps us to settle down and also to rework on our emotions.

Chapter 4:

Take a Break

Our mind easily gets caught up in the idea that ‘I am feeling fat.’ It is a cycle that makes us feel exhausted and seems like it is never-ending. This makes us feel clouded. We cannot think clearly. Our emotions are high. This is the time we need to take a pause. This pause is to reflect how we are feeling. Because many times these thoughts stress us out and keep us on the edge every time. We expect ourselves to be logical and not emotional. But can we give ourselves some time to slow down? This slowing down will be different for every individual.

There are few things which can be done to feel a little better. Such as-

  1. You can practice guided meditation once a day. This can start with sitting for a few minutes to maybe an hour also.
  2. Take 5 minutes break to focus on your breathing.
  3. Talking to a friend who understands you.
  4. Maintaining a journal.
  5. Playing with a pet.
  6. Practicing mindfulness.
  7. Walking or stretching.

Chapter 5:

To Sum It Up

To stay with this feeling at all times is difficult and it is stressful. It makes you feel emotionally drained. It can also affect your physical health. So, the next time this thought comes to your mind, take a pause and remind yourself that “Fat is not a feeling.” Also, you can enrol for a course on our epsychonline website which helps us understand how to navigate through these feelings.

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