I Feel Fat

Posted: July 26, 2011 at 7:00 am

I feel fat.

I hate that phrase. I despise it even more when it’s crossing my lips and my thoughts. And I downright loathe it when it happens for an entire day before I even recognize it and have the chance to shake myself from the mindset.

Yesterday I had what many would coin a “fat day”. I had an enjoyable weekend – a shower celebrating a much awaited pregnancy/baby for a dear friend and a couple of relaxing nights with my husband. My enjoyable weekend also included quite a few gems like these…

choc chip cookie dough dip cupcakes shower food platepb graham truffle 3 

Peanut Butter Graham Truffles. Cupcakes. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip. Baby shower food. Handfuls of chocolate chips. Unpictured DQ Blizzard.

This is not extremely out of the norm. I readily indulge in a few extra treats practically every weekend. Sometimes, I have extra because of more social events or a surge of cravings. Well, I had a surge of cravings this weekend and rode that sugar wave until I came crashing down Monday morning. It wouldn’t surprise me if that caused the bad headache I suffered all day yesterday.

The headache that, coupled with sore legs, truly debilitated me and left me with an unplanned rest day. That unplanned rest day sent me from my typical “wow-I-ate-a-lot-of-sugar-this-weekend-but-oh-well-it-was-tasty” attitude to an '”ugh-i-feel-fat-i-should-not-have-eaten-xyx” depressing mode. Silly, I know. And it took me all day to realize I had such defeating thoughts going through my head.

As I have discussed before – fat is not a feeling. Something else going on typically costumes itself as the “fat feeling”. When I recognized the fat talk happening, I thought about it and quickly discovered the issues:

  • I didn’t feel fat. I simply didn’t feel like myself – energetic, strong, healthy. A standard side effect to the excess sugar I partook. Just body science. NOT something to beat myself up over in the slightest.
  • I didn’t feel fat. I simply felt discouraged that I couldn’t fully rest and relax like I knew my body needed…and defeated knowing I would be going the parenting alone all day despite the fatigue and achy head/body.

Once I put my finger on the true matters affecting me, both physically and mentally, I freed myself of that “fat feeling” and gained solace knowing the temporary state of my situation. Seeing my thoughts for what they were helped me to change them and move on. So now I can go about today feeling more back to myself. Fat feeling be damned.

What things trigger the “fat feeling” for you? How do you fight it?

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95 Comments to “I Feel Fat”
  1. Danielle says:

    I like that… “fat feeling be damned!” I’ll have to remember this post!

  2. If I eat bad – I tend to get that feeling – I try not to focus on it by doing something fun like hitting the movies or playing scrabble with my husband. I really try not to let those thoughts get in my head – they tend to be very unproductive! You look fabulous girl – every now and then your body needs a break from working out without the mind trip of feeling fat or bad – You r amazing and I foresee a fabulous day ahead of you! xoxo from Trinidad!

    • Tina says:

      Thanks Corey! Agreed on all counts. I hate when I get those feelings because I know how useless they are. Luckily I’ve learned to recognize it to help stop it…and have the encouragement from awesome women like yourself too. 🙂

  3. I am actually trying to gain weight! but its hard sometimes when you do and dont feel like yourself! I agree with Danielle comment fat feeling be damned 🙂

  4. i love how you’re always able to work through to the root of the problem!

  5. I know the feeling and had it yesterday as well! I am 32 weeks pregnant and while I have not gained an obscene amount of weight, it is definitely a shape I am not used to. That being said for the most part I have relished the new me and the ability to eat what I am truly craving, however in the past few days “my cravings” for sweets have been a bit over the top and at around 3 a.m. I could tell it had been too much because I just felt all around crappy and nauseous.

    I am hoping to start today clean and fresh and kick those yucky feelings and attitude to the curb :)!

  6. Mandy says:

    I feel like this too much these days 🙁 But you are totally right!

  7. Jen says:

    Your photos and Häagen-Dazs promotion make me hungry for dessert at 7:30 a.m.!!

    I get the “fat feeling” from staying inside too long. It’s cabin fever in disguise. As soon as I get outside in fresh air, even just for a short brisk walk, it goes away!

  8. Zahra says:

    I too feel “fat” when I have an unplanned rest day and/or when I eat “bad”…..these days I have a lot of fat days as I am trying to lose this stubborn baby weight and I feel like it won’t come off untill this kid sleeps at night and I too can get some sleep! I know it’s only been 4 months….but I’m tired of feeling “fat” all the time!!!

    • Tina says:

      I will admit that getting sleep was a HUGE thing for me to be able to make any sort of progress. My cravings will go through the roof with lack of sleep. I think around 4 months old is when B started sleeping more steadily through the night all 12 hours. Hope that is coming for you too! 🙂

  9. I usually get that fat feeling when I’ve eaten something that 1. doesn’t normally agree with my stomach, and 2. that I don’t usually eat (i.e. fried foods, lots of dairy, etc). You feel fat, but it’s really just a bloated feeling in your belly causing discomfort. I usually make sure that I go for a light walk after I eat on days like that to aid in digestion and prevent that bloated “fat” feeling. 🙂 You look amazing by the way!

  10. I usually get the fat feeling when I’ve been lazy & overindulged. As soon as I get my booty moving again, I usually feel better.

  11. as usual i’m right there with you…i feel “fat” when i just feel sluggish, tired, lazy, not strong, and haven’t made choices that are good for my body. it’s more of a frustration with myself rather than a feeling fat feeling, but it’s annoying all the same!

    • Tina says:

      I love how we are on the same wavelength! That is definitely more what it is for me. Annoyance with myself for going a bit beyond what I know my body can handle comfortably. I don’t regret it and don’t mind having more sweets…but I also don’t like not feeling well.

  12. I just get that lethargic feeling after a long weekend (ex: last weekend!). My legs were heavy during my run yesterday- which was shorter than usual. You’d think I’d learn my lesson by now… lol

  13. Ughh I hate that feeling- but you are right. Its more about feeling fat. A lot of it has to do with what is going on in our heads…

  14. Amy says:

    Tina I am so glad you posted this!
    I used to always tell my sister that I felt fat (and still fall into this bad habit sometimes) but I have made more of an effort not to.
    Mine is usually triggered by eating too much, especially close to bed time, or eating outside my ‘normal routine’.
    I realise that it is all so much more about what is happening inside my head and my sister has been so wonderful listening me to talk out all the things going on inside my head that have lead to that feeling of ‘fat’. Wouldn’t it be great one day if this sentence didn’t exist 🙂

  15. I sometimes get that ‘fat feeling’ on weekends, when I over-indulge and don’t work out. In those moments I try to remind myself that this feeling is only temporary, usually it can be cured by a nice, sweaty workout and a healthy meal.

  16. Lisa says:

    Tina, you never cease to amaze me with your wonderful posts! I had my “fat feeling” day just on sunday. Everything I wore I felt “gross” and I just wasn’t happy. If I ever eat something like a sweet or an extra piece of cake at a party, instead of calling it quits, I just forgive myself and try to make tomorrow better. I’m all about trial and error. For the most part, I just try to stay positive because having negative thoughts about myself isn’t going to do anything good for me!

  17. Woah, way to just break that feeling down! That can be hard to do!

    I find two things usually help lift my spirits: being active (not necessarily working out, just moving my body in general) and dressing up for the day.

  18. I’m going to refer to this post over and over for the next few weeks.

    I’m getting married in 2 1/2 weeks and, sadly, my wedding dress triggers those fat feelings. I’ve put on some pounds over the past 6 months or so and, even though I’ve lost quite a few of them back, I’m still really sensitive to certain areas like my arms, which my fiance swears are actually smaller than normal.

    When I put on that dress, I feel so excited and happy, but then I remember how it looked on me when I first tried it on a year ago, and I get bummed.

    So I will be turning to this excellent post of yours a lot in the coming 2 1/2 weeks, possibly making myself some Operation Beautiful notes to go along with it. I don’t feel fat. I feel like a beautiful woman going through a stressful but beautiful time, and it’s only the stress that’s getting me down.

    Thank you, Tina.

    • Tina says:

      You are going to look BEAUTIFUL!!!! And not just because that saying “there’s no such thing as an ugly bride”. Because you are. You’re beautiful!

  19. Great post Tina and love your honesty. Everyone has those days…some more than others. I think Monday is a super common day for people to feel fat (and yes, I hate that phrase to, but how else can you really describe it!?).

    It definitely helps SO much to get moving and just get back on the horse again with eating healthy and working out.

    One thing I used to do and I see so many people do is skip meals or try to diet like crazy for a few days when they feel like this. It honestly never ends well because it is just setting you up for a binge later. Just getting back on track and eating normally works so much better.

    • Katrina says:

      “One thing I used to do and I see so many people do is skip meals or try to diet like crazy for a few days when they feel like this”

      *waving hand wildly* Yep. That’s me. Wow, I need to get back to being me. Thanks for this comment.

  20. Ooo I really like this! Some days I definitely say that I feel fat…I’ve never actually thought though, that no, I don’t actually feel fat. I think I usually get these thoughts when I feel guilty about indulging too much or when I feel bloated.

  21. I love how you said “fat is not a feeling” and that what you were feeling was just simply not your usual energetic, healthy self. I think this mantra is going to help me through a lot of my “fat days” as well. I get discouraged because I know I have eaten poorly or haven’t worked out, and I know I don’t do those things for a number on a scale, but rather the feeling of being healthy and fit, but when I am in a slump it is easy to fall back on “I feel fat”. Thanks to your post I have more clarity about those feelings and will be able to combat them myself when they come darting in!

  22. I don’t let myself go there with fat thoughts anymore. It has taken me a long time to realize that one day of eating out of the norm does not make me fat. The mental game is the hardest to overcome, but once you realize that it is only mental, you can get past it pretty quickly. Now, I won’t say that I don’t feel bloated and fatigued, but that’s a whole different story. I hope you feel better today Tina!

    • Tina says:

      Love this! “Once you realize its only mental…”

      That is the truth. It does take awhile to figure out though. Also – just wanted to say a big LOVE YOU, Sarena. 🙂

  23. Haley Q says:

    Tina, this post is so helpful! I never stop and think of what could be causing those ‘fat’ feelings and instead just really believe that I got fatter overnight and there’s nothing I can do about it. It usually happens after a day (or two or three) of continual indulgences when those thoughts start to creep up..next time I’ll have to try to get to the bottom of it, thanks!

  24. I’m really struggling with this a lot lately. In fact, I have noticed tsome of my thoughts from recent journal entries are eerily similar to old, years ago, ED issues. It’s like I’ve lost my sense of balance and moderation.
    I really need to lower my white flour/refined carb intake (diabetic…need to keep glucose low) and I’ve been working on that for the past couple of weeks. That’s actually a healthy goal. But if I slip and eat a tablespoon of cheese sauce (made with a little flour) on some cauliflower, it wrecks my whole mindset for hours. I am marathon training and doing heavy lifting so I know I need to be eating plenty to fuel my workouts. I also know the scale is not going to just plummet the next day after I cut some sugar/carbs. I also know that heavy lifting causes the muscles to hold on to water for a few days until they realize what is going on and release it. I KNOW all this….but if I don’t eat PERFECT, my day is just wrecked. And just typing this out makes me realized how far down a bad road I’ve traveled. I don’t have a good grip on the balance.
    I’m going to bookmark this post. You really struck me with
    “I didn’t feel fat. I simply didn’t feel like myself – energetic, strong, healthy. A standard side effect to the excess sugar I partook.”
    I want to get back to feeling confident, strong, and comfortable in my own skin, no matter what the scale reads. And I suspect things will fall into place once I let go of the extreme thoughts and focus on feeling healthy….not perfect. I don’t like how “perfect” feels.

    • Tina says:

      Yea. Perfect is no fun. 😉

      And I know you can find that balance Katrina. I’ve seen it in you before. You know how to live with health. Keep focusing on that healthy body you have. Hugs!

  25. I tend to “feel fat” when I am out buying clothes or if I am getting ready for a special event. Trying things on that don’t fit frustrates me to no end. What I’ve been working on is not stressing about certain sizes not fitting well — it isn’t MY fault is size XYZ doesn’t fit me, I can find a different size that does.

    I also have “fat days” if I indulge too much — too many sweets or too many drinks. Honestly I have just come to accept that I will have days when I don’t feel my best — but I’m trying to get away from using the F word.

    • Tina says:

      This really struck a chord with me – “come to accept that I will have days when I don’t feel my best”. That is SO true! We will have days where we feel tired. Days where we will feel sad. Days where we will feel overwhelmed/stressed. But we don’t have those define us. We need to apply that same approach to days we don’t feel as fit, healthy, etc too. Great point, Holly! Thanks!

  26. Alexandra says:

    AHH I can totally relate! This post speaks volumes to me, it’s so true and I feel the exact same way about those fat days. I dread them like the plague, but whenever I flesh out the true feelings behind the mental beatdown, the fat day seems to disappear. With God’s help, hopefully my “fat” days will become a rare occasion 🙂

  27. I am totally down with the philosophy of not feeling “Fat” but feeling “not yourself.” What makes me feel “not myself” is eating when I’m not hungry out of obligation, not working out more than two days in a row, and pulling on jeans out of the dryer that love to HUG HUG HUG my HIPS HIPS HIPS!

  28. “fat is not a feeling” is very insightful. I often feel like I am fatter, but I think “bloated” is a more proper term, because this happens after eating high fat, salty foods that leave me retaining water like a reservoir. And just like you, I’ll feel lower in energy and cranky. No fun.

    Somewhere, I read about a woman who took a photo of herself naked every morning for 30 days, and wrote every day about whether she felt “fat” or “skinny.” Her feelings varried greatly, she looked exactly the same in each picture. Intriguing. Seems like the “feeling” of fat really is psychologically rooted, and feeling “fat” is a proxy for feeling inadequate/unhappy/etc.

  29. that is EXACTLY when I feel fat. Usually on Monday’s after a weekend of eating. Especially in the summer because there is always some sort of event or shower going on and I tend to hover around the food table :).
    It’s alright though, each day is a clean slate!

  30. Jess says:

    Wow. I never EVER thought of that “fat day” vibe as a symptom of something else but when you lay it out like you did, it makes PERFECT sense. You are so smart. 😉 And for the record, you are beautiful and always such an inspiration to me. <3

  31. GREAT post! I have those days where my first reaction to not feeling “right”, is to say I feel “fat”. Usually it’s emotional for me – I can wake up feeling really good about myself but then if something goes wrong, I tend to beat up my body and not actually face the situation that is making me upset! It’s definitely a work in progress – positive thinking always helps!

  32. It’s weird, but for me a “fat feeling” hits me after a bad workout or bad race instead of being triggered by eating differently than normal. After a bad workout/race I tend to lose sight of just how far I’ve actually come with my training/weight loss/healthy habits & focus on the bad performance, chalking it up to being too fat/big/heavy/out of shape to do better. To break this cycle I make myself look back at all of my training & all of the progress I’ve made instead of getting hung up on one bad performance.

  33. Rebecca says:

    Nice timing with this! Last night at work several of the women I work with were going back and forth about McDonald’s and calories and whatnot. I really felt like shouting at them to stop worrying so much about calories and all of that. In fact, I almost said, “I just don’t worry about it and nothing bothers me” or something. I had a comment, but I left it unsaid.
    My dad does that, too, and it bugs me. It’s as if the whole world is going to stop if he eats something sweet. Ugh. Shut UP already. It’s not going to kill you, and you’ll run it off in the morning anyway. -_-

    Probably part of the reason I hate shopping is that I think things either aren’t going to look good, or aren’t going to fit right. …Plus I don’t really need more clothes. Haha.
    But I definitely hit days where I feel like crap because of random stuff—like my coworkers talking last night (I guess I could call that “Fat Talking”). It made me think, if only briefly, about my eating habits and how I don’t worry about that whole “daily recommended allowance” stuff (no, I don’t think I’m going to start counting calories). Or maybe because I see something on TV or whatever. It’s really annoying. 🙁

    I saw a photo the other day of a girl who used the word “chubby” or something similar in the description of her photo. I commented and said something like, “By whose definition/standards is this person ‘chubby’? She looks normal enough to me.” And then I commented on how she was pretty, too, and she replied with how it’s society’s standards and she’s okay with that.
    She was not overweight. She was probably my weight, or maybe a little bigger. At any rate, it’s not like she was super-overweight. She was probably a healthy weight, or close to healthy. It made me sad that she’s okay with society calling her chubby. 🙁 I don’t know if she meant it as she’s secure in who she is and doesn’t pay attention to it, or if she’s just not willing to point out to anyone how wrong society can be… But it kind of bothered me.

    • Tina says:

      That would kind of bother me too. I don’t like hearing people refer to themselves with any words that have negative connotations…even if they say they are okay with it. Seems like it would still affect the mind.

  34. I think it’s normal to have those moments and to have those thoughts through run through your head. But what’s amazing is recognizing that it’s not the feeling of fat, but usually something else.

    My “fat kid” moments make me feel this way..when I gorge on ice cream, chips, PB all in 15 minutes. But I know it’s because of anxiety and I forgive myself and vow to do better the next day…

  35. I hate when I feel like that. Grrrr… However, the sweet treats looks SOOOOO freaking yummy!! 😛

  36. Sam says:

    love the honesty, lady!! we all go through days like that. good for you for figuring out what was really causing the negative thoughts and putting an end to it 🙂

  37. Jolene says:

    This is an awesome and real post. I hate the ‘I feel fat’ phrase too though of course ive said it too. The thing for me is, nobody cam shake me out of it but me. Get out of my head and shake it off. You did just that. Go you! (and now I want a truffle hehe)

  38. This is so true! I wrote a post on this a while ago, as I was going through the same sort of feelings. Whenever I’m having a “fat day” I let it go & try to move on with my daily life and get back to ME. I do something for myself, take myself on a date, eat refreshing, wholesome food, go for a long walk and try to remember “tomorrow is another day. This is not a permanent thing.” Always works like a charm.

    Great article Tina! Glad you were able to work through it by sorting it out & realizing what was really behind the feeling.

  39. Great post Tina. When you said, “I didn’t feel fat, I simply didn’t feel like myself,” something really clicked for me. It is so much more motivating to think of it that way. It removes the self-blame and just makes it a motivator to get back to feeling like your true self.

  40. Nikki says:

    I feel fat most often when I skip a few days of working out. It’s not necessarily that I feel fat, I just feel strange. I feel even worse the next day when I try to get back into the swing of things. After vacation a few weeks back, I felt so off. I wasn’t eating my normal food and not exercising as much. I could definitely feel a difference!

  41. Oh I needed this post today.
    I’ve been fighting this feeling for a couple of weeks now. I dont know where its come from, and its has nothing to do with anything I eat, or how often/hard Im working out. I blame summer clothing.
    I’ve been dealing with it by pushing the thoughts out of my head, and focusing on the things I love about my body instead of the things I dont love. It definitely helps.

  42. Lisa says:

    This happens to me too. Usually it’s hormones and bloat/pms. It plays tricks on my mind and I suddenly feel 10 pounds heavier and I feel like I can SEE weight gain in the mirror. It’s really ridiculous!

    I try to balance out my inevitable weekend indulgences with longer workouts. I don’t have as much time during the week so weekends are my long bike rides, or long weight lifting sessions.

  43. Ugh. I hate fat thoughts too. They drive me downright bonkers. Eating chinese food, seeing the scale go up and over-indulging bring on the stupid fat thoughts.

  44. Michelle says:

    If I slip up on a meal or snack or something, I find that I tend to feed myself a little too much negative talk. Also, when I eat healthy, I feel healthy; when I eat unhealthy, I feel unhealthy. I had this kind of day yesterday, and I realized when I went to bed that it all stemmed from an unkind e-mail I received that was totally unrelated to my weight. It bothered me enough I guess that I allowed it to take over my thoughts, and I was self-doubting all day. Not good!
    I loved this post because it helped me to pin point where my negative thoughts came from yesterday, so thank you for being open and honest here!

    • Tina says:

      Isn’t it amazing how things totally unrelated to weight can affect us in that way and make us question our physical health/body? Glad you’re feeling better today!

  45. I can totally relate to your post. Feeling fat has always arisen for me during those cycles where something is ‘off’ in my life, I eat too much to stuff that feeling away, fail to identify and deal with the root feeling, and then the negative body talk begins. Like you, I’m working at identifying and dealing with those feelings before I stuff them away because they’ll still be there afterwards. This is one thing I like about getting older; learning from your past behaviors helps improve how you deal with those behaviors in the future.

  46. I definitely have ‘fat days’ and they are triggered by a lot of the same things that you have touched on. I usually feel ‘not myself’ when I have totally pigged out over a weekend or at a dinner and do not get a substantial workout in. During the winter, I tend to slack off on my workouts and I can feel it when I have gone a few days…I honestly feel like I pack on 50 lbs in a couple of days, which is absolutely ridiculous! Usually, once I get back on track with my regular eating and workouts, I feel better again. 🙂

  47. Khushboo says:

    Overly indulging or majorly skimping on exercise makes me feel fat. It’s such a bleh feelng but the only way to get rid of it is to switch on healthy mode by eating right, drinking water, and getting in a good session. Hope you feel more like your strong, energetic self today- you are fabulous!

  48. i’ve been wondering about this “fat is not a feeling” thing lately. i’ve been indulging a little bit too frequently the past few months and gained a little bit of weight. now, a lot of my pants are too tight around my butt and hips, and i feel like a sausage stuffed into a casing. so what about when you physically feel fat, in that way?

    i’m being proactive about it and eating more reasonably now (though i’m not totally giving up my weekend sweet treats!). but until the weight comes off, fat IS a feeling for me, and that is awfully discouraging.

    • Tina says:

      When I say fat is not a feeling I guess I more mean it is not an “emotion”. You can certainly physically feel the presence of some excess weight. In fact, I think that’s the better way of gauging weight (clothes fitting tighter for example over regular fluctuations on a scale). When that happens for me I just try to be more aware of my choices to get back to the balance that brings my body back in shape. And then when faced with tough emotions, I remain aware of those so I don’t say “I feel fat” and end up eating away emotions on top of everything. Hope that makes sense. 🙂

  49. Missy says:

    Oh boy. The way my body feels from the inside out is the only cause of feeling fat for me (which is a big issue in my life).
    In order to feel better — I know this sounds strange — sometimes I just embrace it rather than fight it. It is after all a silly thought.

    “Oh. Sure. Okay so you’re Fat today, Missy. Fine. Who cares? So what? Now what?”

    And I move on. (Or try to).

  50. I can totally relate to this. I too have had that feeling of a “fat day” and like you said, it’s silly to say I’m physically fat from indulging over the weekend and should know better that it’s mostly water weight.

    For me it’s definitely a feeling and having shame/regret over what I ate and what I let myself give into eating. I just have to remember, what’s done is done and to move on. That it tasted delicious and life is to short to have deprived myself of the delicious eats and wine. And I remember that tomorrow’s a new day and more often than not, I will feel like my old, healthy, strong, fit self again. And thank you for posting this Tina, it’s nice to know we all have these moments 🙂

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