Eating disorders are not about weight. But so often people express that they feel ‘fat’. What feelings have you really been experiencing when you have said you feel fat? Or what do you think lie beneath the surface of others who express this. You can write directly in response to this blog prompt or why not alter it and look at your emotional experience of eating disorders – what did you feel? How did you know which emotion you felt? Why is it important to be aware of your emotions?
I have never been fat, in fact I have never been overweight. When all others around me at school and college were obsessing over their stomachs, hips and thighs I was the one trying to gain weight.
My nick name at school was either 'cambodian,' or 'Bobby Sands( a prisoner who was on a hunger strike.)
I have though felt fat :(
I can remember standing in front of my full length mirror doing the pokey proddy stuff, puffing out my cheeks and basically criticising my 'fat' body. Standing on my scales numerous times a day for in a way confirmation that I was this incredibly fat, disgusting and horrible person.
But fat is not a feeling. What I was feeling was something so much stronger and so damaging until I learnt to recognise it.
Last march my Mum died quite suddenly and unexpected. I was going through recovery from Anorexia and was coping incredibly well. Straight away I switched to the eating disorder, I once again felt fat.
Realistically I didn't, I felt pain, sadness, guilt but the eating disorder was blocking out all the real feelings and masking them with something else.
Whilst I had something else to focus on I didn't have to focus on the real issues in my life, the pain and bereavement. I did recognise what I was doing but for a short while hung on to it.
So how do I get over this?
I still get the fat feelings not often but usually at times of crisis and I deal with them.
I listen to myself, I have learnt to question myself and recognise what the real feelings are and why I have them. Has someone upset me, have I seen or heard something to trigger me, I write things down if need be.
I found writing a diary very helpful. Including foods, behaviours, thoughts and feelings, it helps to acknowledge the feelings as really what they are, emotions not fatness.