In this final article on feeling fat and panicky, we’ll explore the emotions that accompany it – which can be the most devastating part.
This is because if you’re feeling fat, the shame that accompanies this can be a terrible sensation. It extends beyond the physical and makes us feel that the whole of us is unworthy, that something is wrong with us as a person.
Dealing with these feelings is an important part of getting back to an even keel, as these feelings of self disgust can cause us to eat even more. We feel like giving up on ourselves.
We believe that we should have more ‘self control’ and that getting ourselves into this situation is entirely our fault. And sometimes we believe that we don’t deserve better.
It can be hard to work our way out if we feel like this. Not only have we given up on self-love and ourselves, we’ve given up on hope.
Before I found a different way of eating and of treating myself, I used to feel like this and sometimes the feelings would be so intense that it would seem that the whole of life was pointless. It took me to a very dark place.
When the feelings are bad, it’s best to just take tiny steps, steps that are kind, even when we don’t feel kind to ourselves. It might be something like taking a hot bath, or going to bed when we are tired. It might involve a trip to an art gallery, or taking the time to cook our favourite recipe. The important thing is to be kind to ourselves and to stop the cycle of punishment and hatred.
The weight will come off. It might take a little time, but the bloating that can accompany it, will vanish much faster.
Ensure that your meals are enjoyable. Take time when eating them and try not to nibble in between – promise yourself that you will eat when you are hungry so you don’t have to stave off hunger pangs with incessant nibbling. This will also allow yourself to feeling sensations and emotions that you may be uncomfortable with. These emotions might include sadness, anger, loneliness or even boredom.
Try welcoming these feelings, as though they were small children that you had lost and were rediscovering. Bring them close to your heart and treasure them, even if you have been taught that they are ‘bad’ or ‘unpleasant’. Gorge yourself on these, and watch what happens to your eating.
If you’re feeling particularly black, and the shame is too great to approach friends or family, there are lots of support groups from Samaritans to Overeaters Anonymous who are full of compassion for those who are struggling. Please reach out.