Chrissie Batten Spiritual
Counsellor, Reiki Master,
Whilst I’m writing a series of articles under the heading ‘Inside The Mind Of A Fat Person’, I will acknowledge right now that I KNOW that not all FP are unhappy, as there are many FP/TP who have a well-rounded personality, and make the best of themselves and their lives. So I guess the point I’m trying to make is that whilst all FP may be fat, not all FP have the same problematic issues!
However, FAT is a very explicit word, in that it can create or evoke negative images, distorted perceptions and reactions, terror, depression, and even suicidal tendencies! FAT is a very powerful word! FAT can kill you, ruin your life, scare you to death! FAT, just like fear, can make you do things you don’t want to do, and stop you doing the very things that would make your life happy and successful!
In many FP, FAT is all they feel, and thus all they become! When they catch sight of their body they don’t see themselves as a loving soul – they just see FAT! When they think about their relationships, they don’t see intimacy, togetherness and love – they see the separateness of FAT! When they think about their future life, they don’t see opportunities for joy and happiness – they just see the problems associated to being FAT!! Where eventually, ALL they see about themselves is FAT!
The majority of FP hate being fat, so this means that once they’ve reached the ‘Totality of FAT’ they also hate themselves as much as they hate the FAT! Where life becomes a battle of survival against FAT and all that it means! There is little space in this fat, fear-filled world, to feel self-compassion. As deep down you know you’ve only yourself to blame for what you are! You deserve all the shit because you’ve not got what it takes to stop shovelling food into your mouth, or to exercise your huge body that makes it so difficult to breathe and move around!
You know this because that’s what the experts tell you isn’t it? They (the never-been-fat, text-book experts) say that it’s easy to lose weight if you do the right things! Of course we all know it’s easy to lose weight – as long as there’s nothing stopping you from doing so! Also, how many FP lose weight and keep it off permanently? So instead of constantly bombarding FP with failure messages, because of failed diets, we should be looking to heal the fragmented personality that is hidden within the FP, so they can consciously recreate themselves and their lives! (I’ll discuss this further in later articles). And stop continually emphasising the negative aspects of being fat!
Most people have days where they look at themselves and feel unhappy about a part of themselves they deem imperfect. This is normal! And if it’s something like the hair, nails, colour of lipstick, clothes, superficial things which can be easily rectified, we usually feel better about ourselves once we’ve taken some remedial action. However, overweight is something that doesn’t have an instant fix!
I feel much better about myself when I am not so heavy, where life somehow becomes easier to tolerate! Yet even when I’m plump, rather than morbidly obese, I’ve still viewed my body in a negative way. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to completely love yourself. What it would feel like to be uninhibited about who you are, your talents, your body, you! How it would feel, to not be ashamed to show who you are to the world! To not cringe when you walk into a crowded room or meet new people! To not be afraid every minute of the day, that life will never change from how it is, or that you will die an early death because you are fat….!
I imagine that if I was thinner many of my problems would dissolve very quickly! Which is why, like other FP, I yearn to reduce my overweight!
Mind you, I have to be honest and say I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who is 100% happy with who they are. As regardless of how confident people look and sound, there’s always something that each of us feels not good enough about, whether it’s the shape of our body, the colour of our hair, the pimple on our face, or even because we lack certain skills that we perceive everyone else has. There’s always something to feel ashamed about!
But whereas some things can remain ‘Our little secret’, where you can use avoidance techniques to stop other people realising what you lack, being fat is not one of them!
Whilst there are those who are fat but feel thin, and those who are thin but feel fat, there are of course different types of ‘fatness’. There are those who are just a little overweight, commonly labelled ‘rounded’ or ‘plump’, ranging to the other extreme where the individual is ‘morbidly obese’ and visibly hugely overweight. There are those who have slowly or quickly gained weight due to their lifestyle, eating habits or medication, and there are those who have been fat for all, or most of their life!
Mentality - How Changing
Yiyr Mind Can Change
Your Life and the World! by Chrissie Batten
Then there are others who are normal or under weight, but still perceive themselves as being fat, because they have a psychological condition called…..BODY DYSMORPHIC DISORDER.
People with BDD are excessively worried about a part of their body which they perceive to be defective. For example a small mole on the face may not be that noticeable, but if that person is insecure about themselves, that mole can actually look and feel like a huge mountain to them, even though in reality it’s not! So, as focus on the mole becomes more frequent, where constant attempts are made to hide it in some way, the BDD develops and gets stronger until that person sees nothing about themselves – except the mole!
Whilst any area of the body can be involved in BDD, the face seems most common. And regardless of how much others offer reassurance that there is no defect, people with BDD continue to believe they are faulty! And will devise their own ways of trying to hide their defect or themselves away from the world, because they fear being ridiculed, criticised or even noticed!
BDD usually starts in adolescence when people are most insecure and sensitive about their appearance, and is common in people with a history of depression, anxiety or social phobia – because these people already have a distorted perception of themselves and life. However, I fear that because young children are so much more aware of their physical image nowadays, as obesity issues escalate, the incidence of BDD will be seen more often in younger children. Where their lives will be filled with unnecessary problems, caused because of their conditioned belief that being fat makes you less than other people!
Because BDD often occurs with obsessive-compulsive disorder or generalised anxiety disorder, it may also exist alongside an eating disorder. However, because FP/TP, and others who experience self-critical problems feel such a strong sense of shame about themselves anyway, they may not realise they have this disorder. Which once identified, can often be treated – just like other mental health problems!
Many FP/TP are obsessive about the way they look. They worry, fret, anticipate the worst, misinterpret, hide, over-react, simply because of how they perceive themselves to be. Just like those with BDD, FP/TP do exaggerate their flaws, it’s all part of their conditioning and their condition. So it’s worth considering the aspects of BDD, and psychological treatment options that involve dealing directly with personality issues, as this may help the individual recognise that maybe they are not as fat as they thought!
**Because I don’t like fixing one problem by creating another, I personally do not advocate taking medication for anxiety/stress, when there are so many other beneficial ways of dealing with it. Especially Emotional Freedom Technique, which anyone can learn to do, and which can change your whole outlook on life once you’ve learned how to use it for yourself! However, do not stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your GP.
Being fat does not mean the end of our world. It doesn’t mean we are less than others. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be alive, happy, successful or well! But when we are a FP we forget this, as we judge ourselves according to what we believe others perceive us to be – unacceptable as we are! But we are wrong to think this way! And we are also wrong to think that dieting will magically fix our life and our problems – as it doesn’t always work that way!
If you are a FP, or anyone with a self-defect that dominates your existence, this message is for you…
* Stop living your life as though you are defective – YOU ARE NOT!
* Start to treat each day as a new beginning – the day where you can take new action to get you healthier!
* Stop giving your focus, time and power to your defect – start looking for new, positive ways to improve your life and morale!
Remember that whatever we give our attention to grows! So if you constantly think about how defective you are those feelings, fear and dysfunctions will increase!
Modify your thinking to include more optimistic thoughts about life, and the support you have around you. Then acknowledge to yourself and the world that… you are more than your weight (or defect). You are a star on this earth, so let your light shine, and allow yourself to be all of whom you are meant to be – regardless of how much you weigh!
Then, once you start feeling happier, your mind and your body may feel safe enough to let go of the need to be overweight!
For more help on understanding why you do what you do, please read my book Mentality - How Changing Your Mind Can Change Your Life and the World! ISBN 9780956253200 Available from www.chrissiebatten.com Waterstones or Amazon! Price £10.99
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