Why Fat Is Not A Feeling

by | Jun 23, 2017

Have you ever had a day, week, or even month, where you just felt totally overwhelmed by the feeling of fat?

“I feel fat” is something we say all too often, normally following a sigh, and some pretty aggressive body poking.

This feeling can hit out of nowhere. One moment you could be feeling fantastic and confident, and then something switches, and you start to feel uncomfortable in your body. The inevitable sigh escapes your lips, and you suddenly declare to yourself (or to anyone that’ll listen) that you “feel fat”.

I’ve been guilty of this too, and wasted years of my life engaged in battle with my own thoughts about my body.

But, and here’s the important bit: fat is not a feeling.

Fat is a description. It’s just a part of our body, like our feet, or our our skin. “I feel fat” is such a nonsensical statement, and it’s sadly one we hear all too often.

Think about it rationally: toes are not a feeling, wrinkles are not a feeling, and ears most definitely are not a feeling.

You don’t wake up in the morning and think, “ugh, I feel so cellulite today.” I’m not meaning to sound flippant with this, I’m really not. I’m just trying to help you start to change the way you think about your body, because it can have a huge impact on the way you feel.

We need to understand that if we call ourselves fat, we’re taking an adjective normally used to describe part of our body, and using it to describe feelings.

What this really means is that we aren’t really addressing how we’re actually feeling.


What most of us mean when we say “I feel fat”, is that we’re feeling something that we can’t seem to label or find the words for. So it’s easier, and has become a sort of habit, to use the word fat instead.

Fat has become synonymous with sadness, loneliness, anger, frustration, fear, shame, failure, and many more negative emotions. Sometimes it’s hard to admit to feeling these things, or even to identify them in the first place.

Body loathing and feeling uncomfortable in our own skin is so inherent within us, that it seems easier to just express these emotions by using the word fat instead. This only further adds to the negative feelings that so many of us have towards our bodies, and at the end of the day we only end up hurting ourselves.

We live in a society where it’s more acceptable to say you feel fat rather than admitting to a negative emotion. Luckily, this does seem to be changing. It’s a move in such a positive direction, because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeling vulnerable, and it’s important that we learn to deal with what is really going on.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done this too. I used to “feel” fat whenever there was a situation occurring in my life that created some form of discomfort.

I felt fat, instead of angry or sad.

So, next time you hear yourself saying those words, take a minute to have a think about what the emotions you’re feeling really are.

  • Have you had an argument with someone?
  • Are you worried about something?
  • Are you stressed?
  • Do you feel sad?
  • Are you lonely?
  • Do you feel guilty about something?

These are just some of the feelings that can easily be swept under the rug and slapped with an “I feel fat” label.

Having fat or being fat isn’t a bad thing, it just doesn’t make sense to use it to describe a feeling!

So next time you feel those three little words bubbling up to the surface, take the time to notice them and ask yourself how you’re really feeling.

Trust me, it can be a real game changer!