Scaling back on Feel Fat Triggers

Laurie in a red biking scarf with Mark in a purple Hawaiian shirt in a restaurant with Mark's arm around Laurie.
Scroll to the "Comments box" or call 206-350-6445 to tell us what you think.
On podcast pages click the arrow to play the episode.

Mark and I had the BEST sunset dinner last night. It was So delicious and leisurely and the opposite of compulsive.

I’ve Been Feeling Fat Lately

Sigh, the bane of any self-respecting, body-accepting, intuitive-eating, adventurer is the common gotcha bug that can bite at ANY TIME aka as ‘FEELING FAT’. What the hell IS feeling fat anyway? As we all know, fat ISN’T a true emotional feeling like joy, sorrow, anger etc. Fat is a thing. It’s part of our bodies. Can’t have too little, we need some, and it’s debatable exactly how much is too much. So If I look at my hefty-size thigh, WHICH fat cells are the evil bastards, and which are the good, protective soldiers, hmmm?

Can’t tell. Can’t circle with a marker and declare THIS ONE MUST GO – due to any attribute other than quantity. Now, I do know that there actually are different types of fat on our bodies, some more beneficial medically, so I’m not debating that – but truly, where is that magic line that says, “You fat cell, are good” – “You fat cell are evil and shameful”?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of it. It’s like culling the herd, or thinning young oranges off of a tree so the others can grow. The fat cells have done nothing more than exist in too many numbers. Some of the numbers may or may not impact health. Some numbers definately impact our “societal worth”, dang it, but overall, there is NO DIFFERENCE. It’s the luck of the draw which fat cells are protective and which push us into despair.

Laurie and Mark in front of the Wicked Marquee at the Pantages

LOVED seeing Wicked at the Pantages Theatre with Mark – Hate the Chairs there.

Trigger 1 – Chairs

Now depending on your body type, booths or chairs may trigger ‘Feeling Fat’. Mark is an apple shape, so he is more concerned with tummy fitting under the table in a booth. I am a pear, so I am more concerned with my behind and thighs fitting into chairs with arms. To be squeezed into either scenario can set off a firestorm of shame and feeling like a monster. A monster who “does not fit in”. Those with society approved, ‘normal’ sized bodies cannot fathom the shame that occurs when you get the glare from those seated next to you in coach class in the air or at the movies when your parts encroach on their space. Now actually, most modern movie and theatrical venues do have bigger seats – some will argue, AWFUL PROOF OF OBESITY EPIDEMIC. But I say, it is about time that we can fit. I don’t mind paying more. In fact, I remember fitting into coach pretty well even at a bigger size than I am today, before low fare, barebones, Southwest airlines began a fare war with all airlines resulting in cost cutting measures including the elimination of decent meals on flights and stuffing as many seats into the plane as possible to maximize profit making seats narrower and leg room less. I won’t even begin to discuss here how horrendously Southwest treats what they call “Oversize” guests either. The embarrassment and shame of it all. I tell you frankly I fly business or first class or I don’t fly. Why? To be elitist? No! To fit in the GD seat! To purchase two coach seats STILL causes me to be squeezed in a vice that leaves bruises on my legs. It only relieves me of the glare of the aforementioned co-sitter who might have to be subjected to my size. Now I’ve told you frankly I weigh around 200-215 pounds at best guess, and I wear 18W pants. This is bigger than the national average. But I have PLENTY OF COMPANY. Mark, btw can fly in coach as his tummy can fit in front of him. He just has trouble if he wants to lower the flight table. And he has NO ROOM for his legs as he is 6’2″. ARGH! Not fitting physically in is psychologically triggering to self-blame.

Same thing with clothes. When our clothes feel tight, we are prone to feeling despair and shame. Wear a size that fits, you’ll feel better.

Anyway, the Pantages is a historical theater with the worlds smallest, least legroom available seats I have EVER squeezed into at any size. I saw the Lion King there when I was thin, and STILL felt squeezed. Today with my glorious curves abounding, it is hell. I LOVE the shows, HATE the chairs, and when this season ticket is over, I won’t go back. I’m over it, truly.

Trigger 2 – Facing the Dr. and the Scale.

I had my annual check-up the other day and as those of you who read my status updates on FB know, I got myself in a huge tizzy of fear and self-loathing over it. I usually diet like mad for the month before the Dr. visit, trying to undo ALL of my compulsive bingeing, AND I get weighed right before so I can tell the nurse a HIGHER number than I know that I am in order to deflect from my actual weight. They always say, “Oh no, you ONLY weigh 285 NOT 315! or some such nonsense”.

This year, as those of you who follow this blog and podcast know, I have no frickin’ clue what I weigh. I don’t know how I compare to last year. I don’t know anything. I couldn’t tell the nurse some number, because it might be less, and she’s have to announce, “sorry, you’re MORE than that”.

Hear all of this angst? I’m right back into diet mentality and shame and feeling “less than as a person” because my possible scale number might prove me unworthy.

Besides that I don’t WANT to know my scale number. I am doing well maintaining my size without weighing. A number is a trigger for me. But I was scared to ask for what I wanted.

Laurie 1 – Scale 0

So I buckled on my spine and passed through a big victory for me.

It’s been over 150 days since I packed up my own scale and put it on the highest shelf in the garage, so I don’t know my weight at all for the first time since I was 6 years old.

However, since I gave up weighing and have been working the principles of IE I’ve been wearing the same size clothing and so know my actual weight hasn’t changed much.

I have been very heavy AND normal sized, but due to my issues with dieting/bingeing, my weight was always in flux, always swinging wildly up and down the scale by 30-40 pounds, usually several times in any one year. So I’m not even sure what I weighed last year. If I had lost, gained or stayed the same.

Determined not to know any number that would derail my progress, I told the nurse, I don’t weigh myself or want to know my weight number anymore. So while you can weigh me for proper medication, I don’t want you to tell me or have the Dr. tell me the actual number.

This was such a big deal in my head, but it wasn’t anything but neutral to the nurse. She has obviously had this request enough to have a process, and just had me weigh with my back to the scale bars, and she slid the bars back to zero before having me step off, and noted my chart. My Dr. never mentioned my weight, just went over which tests we were doing etc. We talked about other health related topics, and how long until the blood test results would be in etc.

I can’t believe I built this up so strongly as fear in my head. It shows how entrenched my shame and diet mentality is and how tied I still am to what a number can say. I’m so happy I spoke up and got what I needed today.– to NOT know what that number is. Someday I might want or need to know, but not today. Today I took care of myself and that feels awesome.

Laurie looks peaceful as she holds Tiger

Ahh, sweet comfort of Tiger my cuddly cat who doesn’t give a fig about the size of his cat-mama. In fact to him, more to knead and cuddle is a benefit.

Scales Suck, I Rock, and I’m Going to think on Tiger in Future

My cat Tiger doesn’t care what I weigh. He cares that I love him, spend time him, pet him, brush him, cuddle him and tell him he’s special. Mark doesn’t care what I weigh. He cares that I love him, spend time him, pet him, brush him, cuddle him and tell him he’s special. The BCs don’t care what I weigh when I podcast. They care that I love them, spend time with them, have pet names for them, brush away their fears, cuddle them with my voice and tell them they’re special. I’m going to tell MYSELF that too. Laurie, what makes you special is NOT your body – except in that it holds your brain and heart.

Comments box:

25 thoughts on “Scaling back on Feel Fat Triggers

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Thanks Sue, I debated again whether to hit the “post” button on this one, as it isn’t a friendly, funny, kind of post. But I figured better to share for real than for show, if you know what I mean. I have made so much progress, but I still struggle with old thoughts and patterns. The new thing is I’m starting, just starting, mind you, NOT to always blame myself and buy in that *I* should change, i.e., diet and become smaller in order to fit. I will just have to find those places where I DO fit for now, and let my body be what it is. If it changes again, I’ll have to deal with that change then. xoxoxox Thanks for the encouragement. It was very special to read it.

      Reply
      1. Dawny

        Never second guess the ‘send’ button dear laurie. That’s what we are here for. The good the bad and even the fugly.

        Reply
  1. Cassie

    Today, I pre-ordered another diet book from Amazon, but then I thought of you Laurie, and the BC’s and I cancelled it before any more damage could be done. I felt you there after my moment of weakness. Thank You! I’ll buy myself a delicious bottle of wine or some other indulgence instead. I’m trying to be done depriving myself. I need so much less when nothing is off limits.

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hooray Cassie! That is really wonderful. I find that when I allow myself to eat what I want, I do eat less. But I will have to say, that while I have been legalizing I go through periods of eating a lot of the previously forbidden foods. So good for you for exploring what works for you today. While I have not lost weight, I have gained a lot of my life back. For me, this is worth it, even though I still have some leftover shame feelings, as I described in today’s blog post. Intuitive Eating is not a magic bullet, but it is a great way to find what’s inside yourself if that is an issue for you, as it is for me. Hugs and Hooray again! I know how hard it is NOT to gravitate to the “next great thing” for weight loss. xoxoxoxox

      Reply
      1. Cassie

        Laurie XOXOXO right back at you! I still am not comfortable with my weight or size, but I don’t know if I’m ready to give up all of the things that give me pleasure in my life. Good food good wine and good company. I find I isolate myself more from social situations when I’m restricting. Or if I do attend sn event I’ll eat only safe foods there and then hinge later because I feel deprived.

        Reply
        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          I think you have nailed the dilemma right there. I am not comfortable with my size, really either. And it can be a struggle as I am so indoctrinated to feel that restriction is the answer to getting a better body (and hence a better life). But I am proving to myself through all of what I have been doing out in the world AT my current size, that I can have a better life without waiting. I’m also proving that food is just food and not the answer to pain. But it is taking me a long while, much work and therapy to peel back these layers. I believe in my heart that I will eventually drop some weight, but I don’t think I will ever be as thin as I once was when dieting and exercising all day long. That is what it took to get down to my Weight Watchers goal weight. I loved wearing single digit pants. I loved “fitting in”, but I hated how obsessed I was. I hated how COLD I was. And I hated that all of my dreams did NOT COME TRUE just because I finally was thin. So today, I’m trying, really trying, to figure out what those dreams are and to accept my body as is. I don’t have to be thrilled yet. Just accepting and not hateful to my body. I think that one fact is amazing to my happiness. I am no longer hateful to my OWN BODY. Others may be, but *I* am not. Thanks for helping me think through some more layers. More xoxoxoxox

          Reply
          1. Dawny

            I LOVE LOVE LOVE this Laurie
            ” I will ever be as thin as I once was when dieting and exercising all day long. That is what it took to get down to my Weight Watchers goal weight. I loved wearing single digit pants. I loved “fitting in”, but I hated how obsessed I was. I hated how COLD I was. And I hated that all of my dreams did NOT COME TRUE just because I finally was thin.”

            I’m really rationalizing with this in my head!!! YES!! What you’ve written here is it! Thanks yet again for ‘feeding’ my THINKING

        2. Dawny

          Cassie, I can relate to you in so many ways!! I too couldve wrote what you said.

          Yay us being mindful & paying attention and trying to find what works

          Reply
  2. Dawny

    I love this…. =-)

    Great job NOT facing the scale when you didn’t want to, and AWESOME job speaking up for yourself, Im NOT thinking this is something the ‘old’ Laurie would do so ‘freely’

    SUPER proud of you, your AWESOME =-)

    and NO scale defines you as a PERSON, or your self worth, you ROCK

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hmmm Miss Dawny, I think you know me REALLY well 😉

      Great job NOT facing the scale when you didn’t want to, and AWESOME job speaking up for yourself, Im NOT thinking this is something the ‘old’ Laurie would do so ‘freely’

      Yeppers, this was a NEW Laurie. Usually I would comply and not even consider I had the right to say otherwise. We are ROCK sisters since you ROCK too! How’re you feeling lately? Stress getting any better? xoxoxoxox

      Reply
      1. Dawny

        truthfully Laurie, anything that can/could go wrong seems to have this last week.. some-days I wake up and think, well it can’t get any worse, there’s that, but then BAM! I try to keep the faith that it’ll end soon and we’ll move on to better things.. =-) On a good note, ive not been ‘eating’ it, well, not specifically anyway, I do think the poor stress anxiety stuff is starting to wreak havoc on my awesome ‘sleep patterns’ and that’s leading to some not-so-awesome eating behaviors in the night, but VERY mindful, and controlled, and not in the ‘foraging’ way, Im SUPER proud of that!

        Thanks for asking

        Reply
  3. Stéfanie

    150 days.
    150 days….
    150 DAYS.
    1.5.0. D.A.Y.S. !!!
    Oooo.m….g.
    Girl. how do you intend on celebrating this?
    This is a big deal. Please. Highlight this event. Xx

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Thank you mon amie, it is a miracle that I can stay off of a scale 150 days -truth to tell, I am not tempted anymore very often. And the further away from the number I am, the more I tune into my body. In a way I am MORE accountable now I don’t get that moment of relief or disappointment. It’s 24/7 of understanding small moments of how my clothes feel, how my energy is, how stuffed or light am I etc. In fact, I bet I could guess within 5 pounds of my scale weight most days, but am training myself to not think in those terms anymore. Just like legalizing a trigger food, I think I may be able to one day face the scale at the Dr. and not care. Once a food is legalized, and I can take or leave the food in question, I tend to go back to eating traditionally healthier foods, because it FEELS better than many servings of potato chips. I believe that one day,my weight will be a number that is only a number and won’t impact my thoughts, feelings and behaviors, though this may take many months or years as the weighing daily, or multiple times, was such an integral external crutch for me. But you’re right, I will take a moment and celebrate myself for this ROCKIN’ ACHIEVEMENT! Hooray for ME for staying off the blasted scale. Hooray for ME for listening to my body. Hooray for ME for having such a caring friend as you! xoxoxoxoxox

      Reply
      1. Dawny

        I want this Laurie, Im jealous of you LOL, I want to REALLY make peace with my body LOL it’s too scary right now, im doing well to work on the PEACE with FOOD part, and ‘work’ on it I am, I think im making strides forward still, there’s that =-)

        Reply
      2. Dawny

        Did you put yourself on the bravery report laurie?? You are brave! & it was a superb act of bravery to speak for what YOU NEEDED at the dr!!!

        I love reading what you ‘believe’ because it helps me remember to ‘believe’ there’s hope for me.
        I’ve read this post several times just to remember.

        Reply
  4. Cheryl

    I had to laugh when I read the part about the scales because when I went in for my annual last week, I asked the nurse (when she told me to get on the scales), What if I say no? She just laughed and said I’d be surprised how many people decline! Geez. I felt like I was living in a whole new world. I hope you can take SOME consolation in knowing we all go through fits and starts of that same feeling.

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Yes my friend I DO take consolation in the fact I’m not alone with those weird, appologetic feelings when having to get weighed in front of the nurse. But I AM encouraged to discover that there is a whole world out there where the scale does not rule 🙂

      Reply
  5. Amy

    Great post Laurie – I love and totally agree with your conclusion! What makes you special is not your body – accept that it holds your brain and your heart. So very true.

    Reply

What's your story?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *