Sometimes when there is no known word for how you feel, you have to invent one…
-a defeatist state of mind achieved by a downturn in critical morale
Ex: The fat(ish) took over.
-having the characteristics of; or outwardly resembling one’s perceived fatness
Ex: She could no longer happily wear that dress because it made her feel fat(ish).
-to make or become fat(ish) by falling back into old habits
-Busted can o’ biscuits
-Sausage stuffed into a casing
Our mind/body link is a force of nature.
How you feel on the inside is directly connected to how you present yourself on the outside. And it becomes harder to manage it the worse you feel. Often times it’s so involuntary that it evolves without notice.
Having dealt with weight issues even as a child, and having been overweight/ morbidly obese my entire adult life, I had adjusted to my state of being in a way that found me complacent to its challenges.
I had “adjusted” to my limitations and found a certain level of comfort in it.
But once my weight loss began…
Once I started feeling differently in my body…
Well, I started to feel “skinny(ish)”.
It was a state of mind that was created by a boost in confidence that had allowed me to picture a new reality for myself.
And even though I knew that I still had a long way to go, the tide had turned, and the feeling was palpable.
With every pound lost I began to feel thinner. Even when nothing physical was noticeably different, I felt the change manifesting from within.
I knew I wasn’t “skinny”, but I was skinny(ish), and that was a million dollar feeling.
But, once I reached my weight-loss goal, and the hovering began, I noticed that that feeling was harder and harder to hold onto.
It was like pushing a basketball under the water, and having to keep an even pressure on it-to hold it there…all the time. Because, if I relaxed my arms, at all, even a little bit, it would just pop back up onto the surface.
I had pushed my weight down to such a low number, that anything above it seemed discouraging. Anything higher than the lowest number I had seen threw me right back into weight-loss mode.
Any weight gain, no matter how small made the skinny(ish) continue to fade.
I had settled myself into a precarious state of mind that was fragile and unforgiving.
And that was when it happened.
The tide turned yet again, and all of a sudden, a new feeling had emerged…
A new state of mind that I do not recall ever having encountered until I had been on both sides of that fence.
Because now that I knew what it felt like to be where I wanted to be- being where I didn’t want to be, was glaringly uncomfortable.
I had long since shed the initial denial that had allowed me to live so long in blissful ignorance and comfort while trying to imagine what life would be like no longer trapped in my old body.
Now, I could no longer pretend to adjust, because all of that, had been replaced by my new skinny(ish) experiences.
Now, I had seen the greener grass on the other side, and walked around barefoot in it…and enjoyed a picnic.
I fought against this new feeling. I tried to ignore its influence…
But the fat(ish) is strong.
Fat(ish) is a force to be reckoned with.
Because even though I knew that I was not “fat”- I have been, and squeezing myself into my once comfortable clothes that were now uncomfortably tight, made me feel that way.
Every single day.
Secretly hoping that I wouldn’t run into anyone that I knew in town (because they may notice the weight gain) was stressful. Giving in to the anxiety of a physically manifested emotional wound is the first sign that the fat(ish) is taking over.
When you’ve lost weight, or when you project confidence, people say things like, “Wow, you look great, you’ve lost so much weight.”
But when you’re in a bad place emotionally, even when you try to hide it, it’s obvious. And no one will ever say, “Oh you look miserable, and it appears as though you’ve put on a couple of pounds.”
So you say it to yourself on their behalf.
The truth is, I may be the only one who even notices, and those people at the grocery store may not ever think twice about it. But the fat(ish) amplifies all of those feelings of discord and causes the self-conscious angst to rise to the surface.
I slowly started to become aware that the fat(ish) was beginning to adjust my behavior, and I was allowing it to dictate my actions.
And once you feel that way, if you don’t do something to change it, it will likely take root. Because-
My initial instinct was to never eat again. Nope, no more food. Eating food is the root of all evil and it must be stopped.
But of course that was not rational.
My instinct was to stay out of sight until I got back to where I wanted to be. Just turn into a hermit and never leave my house until I felt good again.
But of course that was not realistic.
My instinct was to succumb to the inevitable. To humbly acknowledge that I had ruined everything by letting it all slip through my fingers, and now it was gone.
But that was not true.
And my overall instinct was to give up.
Because there was still a part of the old me buried in there. A part of the old me that figured that it was all too good to be true. A part of me that had never really patted myself on the back and said,”Good job, you deserve to be here and live your best life.”
That was the part of me that was swallowed up by the fat(ish).
But, the new me was in there as well.
The new me, that had worked really hard to lose all of that weight and had maintained it for long enough to know that it was possible.
The new me that was a fighter and wasn’t ready to throw in the towel.
That was the part of me that was clinging to the skinny(ish) by two fingernails and a handful of magic beans.
So, the old me, and the new me, needed to meet each other, face to face, and have it out- once and for all.
If the catalyst that was feeding the fat(ish) monster was that my size 4 clothes didn’t fit anymore, then perhaps I should try on my old size 26 clothes again for a reality check.
Perhaps I should put on the “before” outfit that I had saved in that dark corner of my closet, “just as a reminder”- for an occasion just such as this.
And so I did.
And, I could feel the new me rising up again.
Seeing and feeling how completely ridiculously large those clothes were on me, made the fat(ish) feel smaller.
It made ME feel smaller, which made the skinny(ish) feel bigger.
And the skinny(ish) slowly began to return.
And now, I find that the more I nurture the skinny(ish) inside of me, the less power the fat(ish) seems to have over me.
For the most part, our instincts are there to be heeded and used as a guide for a chosen course of action, but sometimes they can hinder us.
Sometimes, our primal base instincts are merely a gut reaction to distress, and can only be overcome with rational thought.
So, when you look at words like gain and loss, it can be easy to forget that both can be used in positive and negative ways.
Like cause and effect, you cannot have one without the other.
I have lost and gained weight.
And as a result, I have gained and lost confidence as well.
But more importantly, I have lost weight and gained wisdom.
Which has allowed me, to not only survive a weight gain, but also, to NOT lose everything else of value that I have gained in this process.
Every struggle is another victory in the making.
And knowing all of that, makes me feel, extremely, I dare say…