Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The ‘Fat Feeling’

Yesterday was my first day in the inpatient eating disorders program. The first group I attended was the diabolical behavior therapy (DBT) group. Yesterday’s topic was learning how to identify, express, and tolerate our emotions.

With ED comes the expression, “I feel fat”. But wait…is fat really a feeling? Is it an emotion like happiness or sadness? The truth is that when we say that we feel fat, we are actually using this phrase to express other emotions we are experiencing.

In my case, ‘feeling fat’ means that I am physically very full. I am bloated. My stomach is loaded with food and I feel so disgusted at myself for having eaten all that food. Mentally, it means I am struggling because I know that I will gain weight. Emotionally, it means fear because I do not want to become larger and be made fun of for my weight and shape. It means feeling regret and guilt that I ate all that food; that I will be overweight once again.

Perhaps this is why I become so frustrated and angry with people when they respond, ‘but you are NOT fat! You are so skinny!’. I get mad because they simply don’t understand what I am saying. When I look into the mirror, I do not see a fat girl. But I do see a girl who was once overweight and had to work extremely hard to lose weight. I see a girl who is desperate not to ever gain weight because she was previously made fun of for her body. I see a soul who struggles everyday with these thoughts, fears, and misery. I see a small body that has taken years to get to where it is now. I see the days where I forbade myself from eating out of a desire to look thinner; to stop all the teasing that I so often heard. I hear the rumbles of my stomach as I denied it food, hoping to achieve the ‘thin look’. I see the sufferings of a girl who has a constant voice in her head, telling her that she is going to get fat.

So, what is the solution? Well, perhaps for others, simply knowing that by saying, ‘I feel fat’, I mean so much more than the physical appearance. For me, it reminds me that I need to keep my emotions in check. I need to focus on what I am really feeling (ex. Guilt, disgust, bloating), and accept that right now, these emotions are normal. Recovery from anorexia involves a bundle of emotions, often mixed up among each other. The key, as I am trying to work on, is recognizing that it is OKAY to feel these emotions. And that, with time, things will get better.


  1. I am Jasmeet living in Montreal.I am 23 and now I am married and happy.I read your blog at the same time flashback of my entire life is going.I was the opposite of you .I was teased and bullied because of my skinny body and other kids calling me names ,to mention a few" a stick,tailbone,chicken bone ,feather etc"
    I was traumatized when boys rejected me because of my thin body and I could not get married .One honest person told me "I need a woman body and you have nothing to hold!!!"
    His comments shook me up .I went to doctors asking for help to gain some weight.I found out that my thyroid was active and I have anxiety and this shoot up my metabolism.I took some medication and I came to Canada and continued my follw up with doctors here and Now I am very happy ,graduated and married.My fears still I am worried if at any time I lose some weight and become as before and may be rejected by by husband and others but I confront that fear by self confidenec and my love to my body and care for myself.My Family doctor helped me and guided me on how to care for myself and build my self.I trust him.
    I wish you all the best in your recovery and I hope you do not look at the past ,live in the present and build your body and defeat the fear.Trust me now I do not care what others say or think about me ,most important is my self and my health ,my future and my family.
    Good luck

  2. Hi there
    Let me quote your words as I love them
    "It's simple: you DO NOT CHOOSE IT. Anorexia chooses you. No one knows exactly what causes eating disorders, but it is known for sure that no one actually falls into the depths of the disease with knowledge of all the damage that it can do to you."
    "I did not choose anorexia. I guess it just chose me. But the one thing I CAN choose is to get myself out of this dark illness - to emerge into the freeing light that fills my life with new energy and strength. To spread my wings, to fly out of this deep hole. To live my life, free of any chains holding me back.

    I think with your great knowledge,Awarness ,perseverence and motivation ,you for darn sure deafeat that monster and set example to others
    I wish you all the best


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