“Feeling Fat” ~ Some thoughts

by Lany

A while ago a slim friend of mine ate some food, then grabbed her stomach and for hours kept saying she felt ‘fat’ after it. Now not only did it make me feel like absolute crap, it also made me quite angry; not at my friend but at the way that the word fat is being used.

Fat is a descriptive word, an adjective, used to describe how something looks; in some cases it’s a verb, but it is most certainly NOT a feeling or an emotion.

Since when has it become accepted for people to describe how they are feeling with the word fat? I’ve heard it time and time again in everyday life, mostly women saying; “Oh I’m having a fat day”, “I just feel fat today” It’s not only that but blogs, magazines and articles also encourage this usage, with headlines along the line of  “How often do you feel fat?”, “Feeling fat?How to beat that it!”. They will say or do anything to play on emotions and insecurities,to sell another unit, to push another ridiculous fad diet.

Now obviously I am biased, I am fat, but I never use that word to describe how I feel. Sometimes I’m happy, frustrated, bloated, upset, insecure, grumpy and so forth, but I NEVER EVER feel fat. Sure I feel tired, overfull or hungry at times, I don’t like how I look at times but dammit that is not the same thing as BEING fat.

Being fat is difficult, getting fit is harder, finding clothes that fit are a pain in the ass and trying to get people to see past the fat at the person you are is a struggle at times. This is the reason I have such an issue with people saying they FEEL fat, until you actually ARE fat you have no idea what it’s like to BE fat. Being fat has made me experience many emotions; shame, guilt, sadness, embarrassment, fear, anger and a host of good emotions too; happiness, joy, empathy to name a few.
Of course everyone feels these emotions at some point,  but I felt these specifically in response to being fat.

If you are guilty of using the word fat to describe an emotion you should learn to distinguish between your thoughts and your emotional responses, “feeling fat” usually means you actually feel bloated, sad, anxious, lonely or some other manifestation of negativity. Lets be honest here,  fat is used as an insult, as a badge of honour, as an emotion but rarely, rarely is it used purely in a descriptive setting.

Even the word ‘fat’ has negative connotations, and if you ARE fat, like me, you feel and sometimes are made feel very negatively about yourself and your body. Now I’m not saying or am I ever going to say that its important to be one shape or another, but at this moment in time I am fat and I feel emotions related to that physical state of my body.

I’m just saying the following: It’s hard to be fat in a world where you are constantly told by the media and otherwise that you shouldn’t exist, and that no-one should find you attractive, that you are lazy for being fat, that if your’re fat you’re not as smart as slim people, that you are not entitled to enjoy yourself, that it causes disgust in others to see you eating or enjoying yourself outdoors etc. For the most part it is a constant negative bombardment, and if you stop and think about it and let it get to you, it’s really easy to become down really quickly.

Frankly it’s upsetting and insulting to be told by friends,family and complete strangers that they ‘feel fat’ when they don’t have to live with the reality of being fat.

I apologise for this rant with little or no pictures, but it’s something I just got quite angry about and wanted to get off my chest.
I realise you all have strong opinions, feel free to share them in the comments.