Do you have an inner fat kid who is sabotaging your health? Today’s guest post by Stacey Ogden shares how she is letting go of her inner fat kid…for good!
I have felt fat my whole life.
Growing up, everyone would comment on how skinny my sister was. They would tell me I had a pretty smile, or nice hair… never that I was thin. Whenever this happened, I heard, “you’re fat.” Of course that’s not at all what my well-intentioned family meant, but that doesn’t matter, does it?
In my mind it was settled; I was fat.
There’s one moment that sticks out in my mind to this day as an indicator of my unhealthy mindset. It was 25 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a couple of weeks before the 8th grade dance, the social event of the year. Even more important, I was going with a boy – my first boyfriend.
My step-mother had taken me shopping for a dress and I had amazingly found one that I loved. It was a taupe off the shoulder, A-line dress that fell to just above my knees. It had the most gorgeous muted jewel-toned flowers on it, and I loved it. Wearing it made me feel beautiful. But not because it was a pretty dress. Because it was a size 8. In fact, when I came home and told my dad that we had found a dress, I proudly added, “It’s a size 8!”
The dress moment happened when I was 13 years old. At that time I was a competitive swimmer, in the pool 6 or 7 days a week. I was actually in pretty good shape, I just couldn’t see it.
My friends, that’s not normal, and it’s certainly not healthy.
Self-Fulfilling ProphecyThe thing is, thinking you’re fat can often result in becoming fat. How? Click To Tweet
An unhealthy mindset leads to making unhealthy decisions. People tend to go to extremes when they already have extreme feelings about themselves. Yes, that slimy inner fat kid is coming out!
Some people develop eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia. Others, like me, go the opposite way. In my fat girl mind there was no reason to turn down a doughnut or piece of pizza. I was already fat! “Sure, I’ll have a piece of cake!” I’m already fat, so what difference is it going to make?
See how that works? I think I’m fat, therefore I am. Check out this letter to a woman’s inner fat kid on Odyssey, which may be a good journal activity to start.
Wake Up Call
A while back I while I was redoing our guest room, I stumbled upon some old photo albums and couldn’t resist looking through them.
I was stunned.
I was a good looking girl (minus the Sally Jesse Raphael glasses), and was definitely not fat. I wasn’t super-model thin, but for the first time it became clear to me how distorted my self-image had been.
Changing Your Mindset
Unfortunately, all those years of believing myself to be fat has contributed to actually becoming fat. So now I have two problems to solve. First I need to get myself in better shape. I’m currently doing that through yoga and signing up for the Avon 39. It’s going to be a long road, but not an impossible one.
The second problem is a bit bigger. I have to change my mindset. For so many years I’ve relied on my “I’ve always been fat” excuse for my weight. After all, it couldn’t have been my fault. I was just destined to be fat.
Except that’s simply not true. No one was destined to be fat.
Sure, it’s easier for some people to remain thin than it is for others. My thin-as-a-rail sister could polish off an entire pizza by herself and not gain weight. My college roommate was excited that she finally got up to 100 lbs. That’s just how they were made.
And some people simply prefer healthy food. Did you know that there are people out there who can say they don’t want a cupcake, and mean it?
I was not made that way. I eat 3 slices of pizza and gain weight immediately. And when I say I don’t want a cupcake, what I really mean is,
“Of course I want that cupcake, but I know it’s bad for me and I know I’ll be judged and mocked for taking it, plus I’m on a new diet this week, so I’ll politely decline.”
That still doesn’t mean I’m destined to be fat.
It doesn’t mean I have to be this way forever.
It doesn’t I have to listen to that mean inner fat kid.
What it means is that it’s harder for me. Just like it’s harder for some people to quit smoking, or for some people to do math. It’s just how I’m made. For better or for worse. And complaining about it doesn’t change it, so I can either get to work, or give up.
I guess I’ve got a lot of work to do!
Thank you, Stacey, for sharing about your journey! Stacey is the Creative Director at Creating My Happiness, a family lifestyle blog for moms who would rather be happy than perfect. She lives in western CT with her husband and daughter, where she teaches by day, blogs by night, sells Pampered Chef when she can, and occasionally sleeps. Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.
If you would like support in letting go of the fat girl inside of you, join the 5 Days to Body Bliss challenge! This challenge goes beyond the “eat less, move more” mentality so you can actually focus on cultivating confidence in a health program you can love!