Let me ask you a question. How many times have you found yourself thinking “I feel fat today?”
When you’re in recovery from bulimia, feeling fat can be extremely distressing – it may even prompt you to question your ability to continue with the recovery process.
I remember when I first started online bulimia treatment here at Bulimia Help I “felt fat” every single day for weeks on end. It was relentless and I found myself constantly wanting to just give in and binge.
However, as I continued on with the recovery process I had to ask myself a very important question:
Sometimes, admitting to yourself (or others) that you feel fat is far easier than admitting that you feel scared, lonely, vulnerable , weak or afraid.
I know from my own recovery experience, that when I found myself uttering the words “I am so fat today”, there was always a whole range of different, underlying emotions behind the statement.
Learning how to accurately identify those different emotions is really the first step in creating healthy coping mechanisms and leaving behind those fat feelings forever.
I love how Dr. Stacy Nye, clinical psychologist and specialist in the field of eating disorders, explains this:
“Your actual weight is not what leads you to feel fat one minute and not the next, and not the problem that needs to be dealt with at the time. Just like the problem with gambling is not the cards. The problem with compulsive shopping is not the stores. The problem with feeling fat is not literal fatness, but the painful emotional state within.”
So how can you start to overcome these fat feelings and start to uncover the real emotions behind them?
1. Acknowledge your feelings – Start to become aware that every time you hear yourself saying “I feel fat”, there is probably a series of other, negative, underlying emotions.
2. Ask yourself “What am I really feeling?” – Are you lonely, tired, bored, angry, stressed or scared? Are you lacking trust when it comes to recovery?
3. Ask yourself “What lead to this feeling?” - Think back on the past 24 hours or so. Could any specific situation or event have contributed to these feelings?
4. Take positive action to deal with the underlying emotions - Do something that will help you to cope with the real emotions behind these feelings. Talking to my recovery buddies, writing in my journal and getting out of the house really used to help me.
5. Prepare for future “fat feelings” – You may find that one particular event triggers those fat feelings, so it can always help to think up a strategy that you will use the next time this happens.
By following the above steps you should be able to tune into your real emotions, without simply burying them, or projecting them onto your physical appearance.
Remember even if you’re currently struggling to come to terms with weight gain or bloating in recovery, fat feelings almost always originate from other deep-rooted fears and emotions.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bulimia Helps bulimia treatment success then why not take a look at what some of our members have to say about their own experiences with us via our success stories section!
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The information provided in this website is for information purposes only. The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please refer to the full disclaimer and copyright. If you do think you might suffer from an eating disorder, it is important that you talk to your General Practitioner, as there are many physical complications that can arise from being at an unhealthily low weight or from losing weight very quickly, or from purging. We advise you to seek professional help with working on an eating disorder.
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