"I feel fat" | What to do when you're feeling fat
'Feeling fat' is something I know well. I spent many years 'feeling fat' and hating myself for it.
A number of things caused me to 'feel fat'. For example:
- Seeing a photo of myself where I looked much bigger than I wanted to.
- Feeling uncomfortable in my clothes.
- If a friend lost weight, and I didn't.
- Scrolling on social media and comparing myself to others.
- Overeating or not exercising as much as I wanted.
Unfortunately, 'feeling fat' doesn't motivate you to get healthy. When you 'feel fat', your knee-jerk reaction is to go on a diet or bury your head in a tub of Ben & Jerrys's.
Neither of those things will help you stop 'feeling fat' or get healthy in the long term.
But here are some things that can make a difference...
What to do when you 'feel fat':
1. Stop trying to lose weight. I mean it...
It may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. It's the only way.
You've spent your whole life trying to lose weight, right? And be honest... where has that gotten you? Not far. Even after all these years. Here's the thing you need to know.
Trying to lose weight prevents you from losing weight.
Here's my story. You might know that I lost 20kg (45lbs) when I stopped dieting. What you might NOT know is that it took four years to lose that weight. Averaged out over the four years, that means I lost 100g (3.5oz) of weight per week.
So if my goal had been to 'lose weight', I would have given up when I barely lost weight each week. I would have thought "what's the point?!" and given up.
Luckily, my goal wasn't to lose weight. My goal was to change my habits and be healthy. It took me a decade of dieting to realise that as long as 'weight loss' was my goal, I would keep going around in circles, stuck struggling with my weight. If I wanted a different outcome, then I had to try something different.
So, I made health, not weight loss my goal. I stopped asking "Can I eat this?" and started reminding myself that, "Yes, I can eat this". Then asked "but how will it make me feel?". Food became a choice. When I stopped trying to control food, food stopped controlling me.
"But didn't you still want to lose weight?". Of course, I did!
'Feeling fat' sucks. The urge to diet is so strong. But if I didn't invest in myself then - for the long-term - and make 'health not weight' my goal, then I'd still be struggling now. How many more years would I waste 'feeling fat' and stuck?
As long as you hold onto your weight loss goals, you'll stay stuck struggling with your weight, yo-yo dieting and 'feeling fat'.
2. Stop trying to swim to the other side. Build a bridge instead.
Trying to diet is like trying to swim across a river with a really strong current. You can only swim for so long before you get tired and end up back where you started, feeling like a failure.
Instead, I suggest you build a bridge. Sure - it takes much longer to build, but once you invest in getting solid foundations, you never have to swim across the river again.
How do you build a bridge? You build a healthy relationship with food. You re-learn how to eat, not for weight loss but for your health. You let go of food guilt.
I teach people how to 'build a bridge' and develop a healthy relationship with food in the Keep It Real Program. I always remind participants in the group that "even if it takes one year, if it means you never have to diet or worry about your weight again after the year, it'll be so worth it". And it really is worth it.
3. Shift your habits.
If you "feel fat", there is something proactive things you can do right now about it. Small habits performed every day add up to make a big difference, that make you feel healthy, stronger and boost your confidence.
I'm anti-diets and rules (because they don't work) but I am a big fan of healthy habits and routines. And right now - you need a healthy routine.
Here are some ideas:
- Stop drinking alcohol mid-week.
- Eat a snack just before leaving work each day so you don't arrive home ravenous.
- Get 10,000+ steps a day.
- Carry a water bottle with you.
- Cook dinner at home on weeknights (from Monday - Thursday). Make twice as much so you'll also have lunch.
4. Lock in enjoyable sweat time.
Calories and weight loss might motivate you to sign up to the gym, but only enjoyment will keep you going. So, let's get real about exercise.
i). What type of exercise do you ACTUALLY enjoy? I like walking with a podcast, pilates, yoga and sometimes circuits. What do you enjoy?
ii). Book it in your diary. This helps you commit. I book myself in for pilates classes a few days a week (which I have to pre-pay and this helps me not cancel). On Saturdays, I arrange to meet a friend for a walk so that helps ensure that happens. For the other days, I go for a walk with a podcast I love (because I know that my mood is so much better when I get 10,000+ steps a day).
iii). Exercise is a choice, not a punishment. Which means you shouldn't feel guilty for not exercising. Rather than seeing it as something you 'have to do', realise that it's something you 'get to do'.
5. Clear out your wardrobe
Get rid of those clothes that don't fit you, including the too-tight skinny jeans that make you feel squished and bloated and feel fat.
Stop buying clothes in the smaller size. That is a sure fire way to 'feel fat'.
If you want to look good and feel good, buy clothes that fit, regardless of the number on the label. No one else can see the size!
6. Learn how to love your body
Feeling fat has nothing to do with your weight. It's got everything to do with how you feel about yourself.
You know I'm right because even skinny people 'feel fat'.
You can spend the rest of your life 'feeling fat', worrying about your weight or you can decide that the best thing you can do for yourself is to love your body and be healthy.
And for the record... loving your body is not code for 'giving up'. In fact, it's the opposite. When you love your body, you start to take better care of yourself.
Here are some other blog posts to help you learn to love your body:
- 15 ways I learned to love my body
- Unhappy with your body? Read this.
- Can't lose the last few pounds? Read this.
If you want more help to stop worrying about your weight, get healthy and do it right, then check out the Keep It Real Program. It's different from anything else you've ever tried.
MORE BLOG POSTS YOU MIGHT LOVE:
Do you feel bloated after finishing a meal? Here’s how to know if it’s actually a health issue for you, and what to do if it is.
While I won’t pretend to know exactly what’s in store for this year, these are the things I’m most excited about in 2019 — in my career, health and life.
Diet new year’s resolutions don’t work, and they’re distracting you from setting goals that actually matter. Here are some inspiring new year’s resolutions you can set instead.
With free-flowing food, swimsuits and tonnes of photos being taken, the holidays can be a hard time to be confident and body positive. Here’s some things to keep in mind to help banish food guilt and feel good about yourself over the holidays.
Feeling guilty for not reaching your 2018 health goals or new years resolutions? If you didn’t smash all your 2018 health goals, have a read of this.
Confused by what foods are actually healthy for you? Here are 5 foods that normally get a bad rep for being unhealthy. Luckily, they’re actually healthy for you.
Looking for a new swimsuit that makes you feel good? Here are some of the best one-piece and bikini swimsuit brands in 2018.
Follow these 3 steps to boost your body image, without deleting Instagram. Transform social media from comparison trap to a confidence booster.
Some Instagram accounts can help you love your body. Here’s the BEST 12 body positive Instagram accounts that can boost body positivity.
There’s a simple reason why you don’t feel full after smoothies + how one small tweak can make the difference.
Here are 6 things you can do to stop feeling fat.
There are few very important things to keep in mind if you want to teach your children how to have a healthy relationship with food.
How many years have you wasted hating your body and wishing you looked like someone else? If you feel unhappy with your body and hate your weight, it’s time for a change.
I'm not sure why it's called the 'health' food aisle...
I used to hate my body (I mean like really hate my body). But now I love my body, something I never thought was possible! So, how do you go from hating your body to loving your body? Here’s 15 ways how I learned to love my body and be body confident.
I travel as much as I can, hopping on a plane about once a month. Here’s how I stay healthy when I travel.
Looking for the best restaurants and places to eat in Prague? I've got you sorted. Here is my list of the best places to eat in Prague in 2018.
Eat healthily, save money and reduce food waste.
Loving your body in a society that tells you not to is a radical act of self-love. I learned that having a supportive partner can help you learn to love your body.
You spent all week eating well but the scales don't reflect it. If you eat healthily and still can't lose weight, read this.
Face lotions and serums have a role to play, but what you put in your mouth really does show on the outside.
It's time to do good by your health. Stop asking for salads with dressing on the side.
With hundreds of yoghurts on display in the cold section of supermarkets, choosing a healthy yoghurt can be a daunting task. Here is a guide to help you choose a healthy yoghurt.
Which is the best meal delivery service in Australia? Read my review of the best meal delivery services in Australia right now - and find out which meal delivery service I'd choose.
Coconut oil is very trendy at the moment but is it really that good for you? Find out which oil I use every day and what I really think about coconut oil (and the superfood claims).
Want to eat healthier, for less? You don't have to eat beans and rice or give up your avocado addiction to eat healthy on the cheap. Here are some truly non-sucky ways to eat well, for less.
If you want to become a nutritionist or a dietitian, this is my honest advice on starting a career in nutrition. Find out how I got my nutrition career started, what I recommend for study and how much nutritionists and dietitians earn. Plus more!
Sick of falling off the bandwagon? These simple mindeset shifts will help you find balance and let go of an 'all-or-nothing' mentality.
They're calling it the Great Avocado Depression. But when will the insanity end?
If you're sick of always 'falling off the bandwagon, and want better willpower, this is a must read. This is by far the most common reason for poor willpower.
DELICIOUS HEALTHY RECIPES TO TRY:
This quick and easy healthy dinner recipe is going to spice up your midweek meals. With a few basic, everyday ingredients and one-pan - you’ll pull together a delicious and healthy dinner the whole family will enjoy.
Here’s a quick and easy midweek dinner option. I’ve snuck vegetables into these delicious patties so they’re a fabulous for lowering your grocery bill and boosting your health by eating less meat.
This soup is seriously delicious and simple recipe. Perfect for meal prep or mid-week dinners.
This is comfort food made healthy! It's rich, it's creamy and also loaded with six sneaky serves of vegetables - making it ideal for kids and adults alike.
Warning: You're going to want to eat the entire tray of these crispy sweet potato curly fries. Good thing they’re healthy and easy to make!
Mornings just got a whole lot more cosy and tasty with this 5-minute breakfast. Perfect breakfast for cold mornings.
Finally! A delicious smoothie recipe that easy to make AND keeps me full for hours. I’ve been waiting for you a long time…
No time to cook? Make dinner great again with this 20 minute super-simple recipe. Faster and more convenient than takeaway. But the best bit? Minimal cleaning up.
Want a simple, yet healthier lasagne without the fuss? This healthy lasagne is the best comfort food. It’ll help you eat healthily on a budget and it’s vegetarian, so it’s perfect for meat-free Monday.
My mum makes the BEST Thai Corn Soup. I turned it into a healthy version that doesn’t compromise on flavour. This healthy recipe is great for meal prep, if you’re on a budget or love meat-free Mondays.
A surprisingly quick and easy breakfast idea for a seriously healthy start to your day.
This super simple one tray salmon bake is a game-changer for mid-week meals.
This one-tray balsamic chicken is a perfectly balanced meal to make for a mid-week dinner (or meal prep)!
This Loaded Greek Salad is one of my favourite recipes. It uses everyday ingredients to create something really special... in a matter of minutes.
One pot and just a few key ingredients, this easy (and cheap!) recipe will create a delicious meal. Make it for Meat-free Monday and you'll have plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.
A delicious 4-ingredient treat. I pretty much just took the yummiest ingredients and blitzed them up into a recipe. How could it not be good?
This is an easy, classic and oh-so-delicious salad recipe to add to your repertoire. It's perfect for meal prep...!
With only four ingredients, this simple salad is perfect for mid-week meals (or entertaining).
The perfect Summer BBQ salad to impress friends and family. Add this healthy recipe to your repertoire when you're next entertaining.
You're busy? Me too! So here is an easy and healthy mid-week Eggplant Parmigiana. You pretty much throw all the ingredients into a tray so it's kinda hard to mess up. Enjoy!
You'll want oodles of these zoodles with this delicious creamy avocado dressing. Topped with flakey almonds, bright cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese, I know you're going to love this healthy recipe.
When you make your own muesli or granola, it's often a lot healthier because you know exactly what goes into it. Try my homemade toasted muesli (granola) recipe for a healthier breakfast cereal.
This soup is so filling and healthy. I'll meal prep this recipe ahead of a busy week. It's a great way to get through veggies in the fridge and feed the family a really nourishing meal for less.
Tomatoes are at their best during Spring and Summer and this simple 4-ingredient Tomato and Feta Salad is a winner, especially for BBQ season. Swap the boring same-same salad for this simply wonderful dish.
This quick and easy overnight oats is wonderful for busy mornings. You can meal prep them on the weekend ahead of a busy week.
I'm so excited about this recipe. You should know up front that I can’t bake very well. I’m quite impatient, particularly when chocolate is involved. But even I could make this delicious Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe easily. It's so good!!!
Chocolate and Hazelnuts... two flavours that are meant for each other! This healthier version of a choc-hazelnut spread has only 4 ingredients, is super easy to make and did I mention it tastes amazing too?
Introducing Cauliflower Steaks - A healthier alternative to the BBQ grill. You've probably eaten cauliflower as rice, mashed, boiled and baked - but have you ever tried grilling it on the BBQ?
This is my favourite baked sweet potato recipe. It's a classic. I keep coming back to it because it's really that good. The sweet potatoes caramelises. It's the perfect recipe for batch cooking or meal prep.
With only 2-ingredients, this healthy recipe will be ready in less than 3 minutes. I have a major sweet tooth and this healthy strawberry sorbet (with its' sweet/sour taste) really hits the spot.