The day my butt looked fat I knew something had to change. It was an average day, unremarkable in every way. I had no event to attend, no reason that I should care how my rear end appeared. It may have, for all I know, been the day I had a fight with my sister, or the week before my period, perhaps the day after I bounced a check…or two. There are days, which I fall into miserably. I get dressed, spritz some perfume , choose my footwear, and then turn to view my back side in the overzealous full length. And there I see it …huge and loud. Sometimes it shocks me, sometimes it mocks me, sometimes it drags me into dramatic allegations against my character, that’s when i peel the jeans off, and try again. But those voices of accusation haunt me. They want to keep me in a place of despondency, they want to define me, judge me, burden me- convince me to go back to bed- shut out the world, If I listen nothing changes.
At this point the change I need may not be a new diet, or a new year resolution, but a new perspective, a new observation.
At times, no matter what jeans, i look plump, I give up, because its not about what i put on. I go through the rest of the day letting a cloud of discouragement and insecurity follow me , aligning myself with its every charge. Repeating to myself, i look awful, fat, old, frumpy…
The weird thing is, it could have looked wonderful on Saturday-which it did by the way, Saturday was only 2 days ago, but today it just looks fat, at least fatter. It must have been the pickles.
I believe we, (mostly women) have monopolized that word, manipulated it, owned it, judged it, created it, thrown it around , pulled it apart, made it our personal pet and then used it as a weapon against ourselves on our worst days, when we are feeling apprehensive? The things we have done with that word, they’re just shameful. We give it tremendous power, we have tried to make it our slave, but it has dominated us. We allow it to seep into areas of our amygdala it has no right too.
Most women who say, “I’m so fat…don’t really mean fat as in ‘gilbert grape’s mother’. They mean, I’m bloated, or my jeans feel tight, I overate at dinner . sometimes its a control thing. We would rather label ourselves then others labeling us. Sometimes we say it to prevent us from eating that second piece of cake, it becomes a tool. Typically woman who use the word really mean- I’m feeling miserable. Have you ever heard someone who is happy, say, “I’m feeling fat”. No probably not.
In my reality, it’s the weight of my feelings that increase the look of my bottom. If I can accept this I can harness that cloud and dissipate it with truth and power. Why am I allowing this self-concept to have power over me, to convince me to change again and again, be late for an event, try to create a different persona or make me feel worthless? Why can’t I accept the outside and engage the inside, instead of accepting the inside and manipulating the outside?
We technically can’t feel fat, or ugly or blue. we can feel sad, angry or frustrated. But fat is not an emotion. It can be the fruit of an emotion. Feelings will search for evidence and most often the evidence it finds are our insecurities.
In order to overcome this sabotage of emotions and their fruit, we must call it out.
- Name the real feeling (i feel sad)
- name its fruit (that sadness is making me think negative about my image)
- question and answer it’s designed purpose (why am i feeling sad, my dog died)
- plan the change. (what would make me feel better)
“I feel lonely which is making me think I’m undesirable, I wonder why I feel lonely, maybe because I have been in the house for two days and avoiding the phone…what can I do to change that? I’ll call a friend.” It’s practically a mathematical formula. If we say, “I’m so sad, and look at how fat i am”, chances are we never get to the ‘why we are lonely’ or call that friend , because we would rather obsess on the behind forgetting that real reason we feel the way we do. and it’s not just our body image that suffers the wrath of our domineering emotions. we struggle with all sorts of negative self thoughts and behaviors.
Instead of making a New Years resolution that deprives you of joy, make a new year’s observation, about your self-proclamations. When I judge my self with my feelings, that makes me feel worse. I don’t really need to lose weight I need to find out why I’m sad. Maybe I’m looking fat because I’m feeling angry at myself for yelling at my son, I need to work on controlling that anger.
The goal is to get to the point when we understand feelings can’t change how we look, we will let those feelings have their proper place and do their job of helping me solve a problem, rather than avoiding it.
The truth is maybe your butt looks big today…to you, But just because your bum looks big to you, doesn’t mean it is. Don’t trust yourself so much, don’t trust your perception, if you have known to lie to yourself on occasion, especially when your down in the dumps, rather find out why your down in the dumps. Dismiss what it looks like today to you, chances are it will look better when you’re feeling better.
the way we perceive ourselves can be based in emotion more than substantial information. Physical appearance is something we can control, obsess over and change. Emotions don’t seem as easy to change, most likely because they are tightly woven together with thought patterns and negative behaviors. so every time we will instinctively choose to fuss with our physics.
when we make choices that help us to feel better, we typically think more positive about our appearance, but make it a positive change, not work. Go to the gym to be with friends, walk for the fresh air, and sunshine, eat well because you can and it actually gives you more energy. in doing these things you feel better and look better in the mirror to yourself which makes you want to continue with the good choices. If the goal is to look better than we think we do, we are not dealing with the underlying causes of your incessantly changing perspectives, it is unsustainable. We need to deal with the root of the problem emotions, thought patterns or unhealthy behaviors. when we do the fat butt will magically shrink.
Incidentally, most fat is a good thing. It’s called a macronutrient-one of three in your body. Your body needs fat to burn calories and create energy, you need healthy fat, like avocados, olive oil, nuts and fish oils to feel full, and maintain weight. Fat is also important for your body to absorb vitamins. Kids in third world countries wish they had more fat. Also your brain is made up of 60% fat. So why does fat get such a bad rap in the ladies locker room.
Don’t give your feelings power over your body image, or allow them to warp reality. Fat is not bad, take control of your emotions, and use them to help you change into the person you want to see. You can’t feel yourself happy, you can’t feel yourself into losing weight or being slimmer, or saving money, or anything else- trust me I’ve tried. But if you know how you feel and why, you can make a change. Look at yourself with eyes of love and compassion, and I think you will meet your needs. If you feel angry with yourself because of false accusations and condemnation you are more likely to deprive your body of what it really needs.
Chances are on the fat butt days, you have tunnel vision, and you are looking at one thing, your fanny. Just like our problems if we obsess on one thing it grows immense, not because they really are bigger, but because they seem bigger when that’s all your looking at. So don’t narrow in on your gluteus maximus, look at the whole picture.
Love your neighbor as yourself…but love yourself first! Work on the inside material first and foremost. Remember, it looks that way to today, but tomorrow it may look different, when your feeling different. Our emotions and moods are like the weather in New England, don’t rely on them too much, only enough for them to lead you to the real problem and prepare for it. In New England if it’s raining we carry an umbrella, if it’s snowing we make sure we have our shovel ready. Your emotions are there to serve you and alert you, not define and judge you. When you use them properly they will serve you well.
We think it’s easier to change the outside, but if the inside remains unchanged we will never be satisfied with our appearance. Learn to say, “Maybe I look bad to myself because I’m feeling bad, how can I remedy my feelings? What’s going on that made me feel this way, how can I change the feeling? How can I maintain and create positive feelings? If you make an observation about the real problem I guarantee you’ll have less butt and more confidence than ever and isn’t that a change we all want to see.
We see what we feel. Isn’t it time to start seeing better?