Don’t Let a “Fat Day” Sabotage You

Ladies – raise your hand if this sounds familiar!

Scenario:
You wake up on a regular Wednesday morning and so far nothing seems out of the ordinary. You have a shower and while drying off you take a glance in the mirror and have a fleeting negative thought about your body. Getting dressed you feel somewhat uncomfortable in the outfit you chose, it feels tight for some reason. You change. You change again. And by the 4th outfit, you’re in a bad mood and full of bad body talk.

Breakfast is normally a green smoothie but today you’re feeling like something a bit more warm and comforting. You decide on toast.

It’s 10am, you’re at work now and feeling hungry. You give in to a muffin in the break room. Why not, you tell yourself, my clothes don’t fit and I’m fat anyway.

At lunch you’re feeling guilt and shame for the toast AND the muffin. Like, who eats that many carbs when their clothes are ALREADY tight?! So you have a simple veggie salad, no dressing. You feel slightly better about yourself and promise to not eat anything else till dinner.

But 4pm rolls around and that salad was JUST NOT ENOUGH. You’re starving and you still have an hour to go till you’re done work, PLUS you’re supposed to go to the gym later. So you decide on an apple but then can’t resist the cookies your coworker brought in. Ugh, what is WRONG with me today?? Why can’t I just stop eating? Why am I so fat?! I hate my body…

You can’t face the gym after work because you feel bloated and uncomfortable, and you just want to go home and relax in your comfy pants. As you’re driving home, your mind is bombarded with more guilt and shame.

Once again you’re in the mood for something warm and comforting, but you’re fighting it because you feel like you should eat nothing but celery. But you realize that you obviously need more than that so you whip up a quick egg scramble and toss in a few veggies. Feeling good about your decision, you momentarily have a positive thought about yourself. But after glancing down at your stomach, you think, who am I kidding. I’m still fat.

10 minutes later, you’re spoon deep in the Nutella jar.

Sigh….any of that ring a bell for you?

“Fat Days” are NO fun. But if you can simply understand them better, you can massively change your reaction and experiences with them.

Generally speaking, ‘FDs’ are caused by:

  1. fluctuating hormones
  2. digestive issues
  3. poor sleep
  4. stress

So if you experience this feeling, when one day you feel fine and accepting (possibly even good) about your body, and the next day suddenly it’s disgusting, ask yourself what might be happening in your body right now.

How did you sleep the night before? Are you worried or anxious about something? Are you getting your period soon? Are you in a menopausal hormone shift? Are you having trouble with bowel regularity? Did you have a fight with your spouse? Did you eat something that didn’t agree with you?

Chances are if you dig deep enough, you’ll realize what’s going on. And even if you can’t identify exactly what it is, just know that something is up. When we can name it, call it out for what it is, we instantly take its power away. Instead of all the negative thoughts about your body swirling around your brain all day, you can tell yourself “I’m just having one of “those” days. It’s not that my body has actually changed, it’s my perception that has changed.” Being on high alert will allow you to better spot those moments and you’ll be able to talk yourself down more easily.
Going back to the scenario above, how could you have made that day go smoother? First of all, ditch the bad body talk! Stop being so mean to yourself! If your clothes aren’t feeling as good as they normally do, check in, maybe you’re bloated for some reason? Chose an outfit that isn’t binding or tight and then move on. Instead of stressing about it, simply go about your day as usual, knowing that this is not the norm and everything is fine. Maybe you would’ve had your smoothie and felt satisfied for longer. Maybe you wouldn’t have chosen to eat the muffin at work. Without the guilt and shame you would’ve had a normal size lunch that kept you full and energized, and not craving cookies later in the day. Perhaps you would’ve gone to the gym after work, went home, eaten your dinner, and felt great. The cascade of events from ONE single fat thought can follow you through your entire day, affecting every single decision and thought you have.
Recognizing that not every day is the exact same is the first step in the right direction. Some days we’re just hungrier, some days we’re just bloated, some days we’re just tired. SO WHAT! It’s OK to eat more, rest, and wear your comfy clothes. It is NOT OK to call yourself fat, bad, lazy, or any other negative thought!
So the next time this pops up for you, remember to stop and ask yourself what’s going on. Take a deep breath, recognize the trigger and don’t let it sabotage your day!

In Wellness, Krista

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