Let’s face it, we have all experienced a ‘fat day’ at some stage in our lives. For some, this may arise only sometimes, or for others, may occur quite regularly. A fat day is a day when no matter what, we’re convincing ourselves that we look fatter. Our faces look puffier, our belly is bigger, and we’re positive we’ve gained 10 kilos overnight. Is that even possible? Absolutely not! But try telling that to our brains, right?
This feeling, of course, has nothing to do with our actual weight. It’s either all in our heads, or is a natural fluctuation in weight and fluid because of salt and water retention (and for ladies, menstruation, menopause or hormonal factors). However, with negative thoughts creeping in, the simple act of getting through a fat day can feel like a mammoth task!
So, we’ve broken down our 5 ways to look after yourself when you’re having “one of those days” below.
1. Get cosy
Your feelings of ‘fat’ are likely triggered by perceptual cues like too-tight or too-uncomfortable clothing, or the size on the label. So get cosy. Give yourself permission to wear sweatpants, or your favourite jumper, or that old t-shirt that’s soft and worn in, and relish in the comfort. If you don’t have the option of wearing sweats because you’ve got work, keep it simple, keep it comfortable, and wear jewellery, scarves or other accessories to jazz up the outfit, stress-free. When you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, it will be the accessories that catch your eye first.
2. Eat bloat-busting foods
There are plenty of natural foods with the power to banish bloat. We recommend banana and probiotic-packed greek yogurt for breakfast, topped with berries and a sprinkle of chia seeds. For lunch, try a spinach-packed salad with plenty of roast veggies and sliced avocado, and an olive oil dressing. Come dinner, baked lemon chicken with roasted asparagus and sweet potato mash will do the trick. For more foods to help you de-bloat, check out this blog post. It’s also important to try to avoid white flour, processed foods, carbonated drinks and artificial sweeteners, all of which can worsen the bloated feeling.
3. Outsmart your thoughts
Turn these negative thoughts off with challenging brain games, board games, colouring books, or any other activities that require focus and brainpower. Playing these games involves critical thinking, logic, strategy and memory, and as you turn your full attention to the tasks at hand, you are distracting yourself from those ‘fat’ thoughts. And of course, playing against an individual or a group means you’re likely socialising at the same time, lowering stress levels, lowering blood pressure and increasing those feel-good hormones.
4. Make a list
Rather, make two. The first – list all of the things that are going right for you today. Your family, your friends, your job, your health or new opportunities. There is so much more going on in our lives than how we look (or think we look!). So choose to notice and focus on what these things are.
Second list – how are you actually feeling? It could just be that feeling “fat” is smoke and mirrors for how you really feel. Are you feeling nervous, rushed, stresses, regretful, guilty? Are you placing these feelings on your body because it’s easier to ignore the real issue? Self-doubt can easily show up as ‘fat feelings’. So, diagnose your true feelings and write them down mindfully, compassionately and productively, and feel that feeling of fat slip away.
5. Play that funky music
Playing empowering, pump-up music results in powerful, determined feelings. This is because the combination of lyrics, rhythm and melody causes something called illusory control, and leaves us feeling increased levels of personal control over future feelings or events. So play those pump-up tunes and mimic this empowering music internally to start to take control back from those ‘fat’ thoughts. And the next time you’re feeling down on yourself, play the same music to recall your self-empowerment, which is now associated with these particular songs.
And one last thing…
No matter where you are in your journey, you are valid, you are loved and you matter. Sometimes, it can just be a little reminder like this that brings you back out of that funk. Things aren’t always easy, but no matter your circumstance we want you to be kind to yourself. Your self-worth is founded on so much more than your physical appearance. You’ve got this! And if you’d like to see how the 12WBT can help, visit us here.