You’re not fat

You’re not fat.




Ah…the simplest of sentences. Three words. 11 letters. Even an apostrophe in there to show just how simple it is.

And yet, so deeply DEEPLY entrenched in meaning that anyone who has ever wanted to lose weight and heard these words has unfortunately learned to inherently stop hearing them.


Because you know, that you aren’t really fat. I mean not in the “oh my gosh would you look at her?” kind of way.


When you think of why you aren’t satisfied with your body it’s much more complex then that. It’s not 5kg’s or 10kg’s or even 20. It’s the way your clothes fit. Those days when things just clump and show the rolls and those days (god bless them) when the don’t. The way every shopping trip can leave you so stressed and down because once again you had to buy the bigger size. And the way you just wish you could throw on anything you like and know it would fit nicely. The envy you feel when you see another girls effortlessly slender arms whilst you worry about wether this bra will pinch in the wrong spots and make your tuck shop arms obvious.


It’s not about being fat at all. It’s about so much more than that.


So to be excited about your progress, or want to vent your non-progress, and have someone say “yeah but you’re not fat” is at best meaningless and helping condition you to in fact see yourself as fat, and at worst a slap in the face of your inner struggle.


Either way, they become the three words you most hate to hear, and form part of the reason that you retreat into yourself. Keeping the struggle to yourself. The sabotage and the binges – to yourself. Because you’re not fat – so apparently your inner struggle is therefore meaningless. Selfish. Stupid. And you should just realise you’re not fat and shut up about it.


You’re not fat is the reason you are. The reason you FEEL so worthless, the reason food is the drug you turn to. Because you can’t hear those words again, they break you. The way they simplify and demean everything that you’re going through.


The real truth is you’re not fat. You have fat. You also have finernails but you’re not fingernails.


So hey, turns out they’re right. But those simple little words don’t actually mean what they claim to mean. When they say “you’re not fat” what they’re actually saying is “you’re attention seeking”.


 So how to respond? How to deal with this? Well for starters there is  good chance you’re not disclosing your struggle with losing weight to just anyone, so it’s time to cull the list of people whom you will say this to – primarily because it will make your time, efforts and emotions proceed with greater effect.


Once you have decided on who’s opinion and input you REALLY value in regards to this – it’s time to take a stand, and this doesn’t need to be painful, drawn out or difficult.


The next time the topic comes up and you hear those magical words come out – simply answer “That’s true, I guess this is really more about how I feel about the way I look”.

From there, it’s a whole different ball game. If they come back with something like “Well you’re not fat so just stop worrying about it” then I’m going to be really honest – you’re probably barking up the wrong tree if you’re hoping this will be the person that can empathise and support you.

If however they nod and ask for clarification – ie “what do you mean?” or “how do you feel?” then you’re onto a winner.


This opens up the opportunity to talk through your thoughts without the judgement, and a chance to get this person to see behind the surface of what is going on.



Notice how I have not suggested any recommendations for dealing with this phrase when it is said to you from someone whom you don’t want to delve deeper? That’s because this phrase will never come from someone if you haven’t instigated it in some way. If you don’t mention this topic at all, then said person will have no reason to say those words.


Listen up – YOU INVITE those words when you choose to speak about how you’re feeling about your body. So if you’re truly sick of those words – the power to stop them lies in you.


Take the time to let those that matter in so that you can build a supportive network that you know will understand when you say “I feel so fat”, and choose to no longer engage in superficial conversations with those you wouldn’t trust with the truth.


As always – your fate is in YOUR hands.



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