Feeling Fat

I have no idea what I look like. People tell me that what I see isn’t what everyone else sees but it’s so hard to believe that when I can see with my own eyes and physically feel the fat on me.

I hide under my blankets and dressing gown so that people can’t see how fat I am. I feel as though everyone is judging me and that they must be thinking she’s too fat to have a feeding tube. She doesn’t have anorexia. Everytime my feed is due I get in a state of panic and anger…why are people feeding me when I’m this big, the nurse giving the feed must think I’m a joke. I’m not thin enough to struggle this much with food.

When I look in the mirror I find my reflection disgusting. I don’t see a clinically obese person staring back at me but I see thick thighs, a double chin and sticking out belly. Physically I can feel the fat on me, I get physical feelings like a warm, tingly feeling in my fat places.

I’m told that I feel fat instead of feeling an emotion but I find this rather difficult to believe. The feeling is just so real to me. How can you disagree with something you see and feel?

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5 thoughts on “Feeling Fat

  1. I know it is hard to see at the moment, but you are not fat. I hope one day you will see this and the anorexia loses it’s grip on you, so you can allow yourself to put on the weight you need. Anorexia is cruel and it is not allowing to see the beautiful you that needs to get better. x

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  2. hey Claire, sending you support in what you’re going through. I know the confusion that you’re talking about because I’ve been there too. The last time I relapsed I was having heart trouble and when I was being hooked up to the monitor I just remember being really self-conscious about my tummy. My heart, which had been under a lot of pressure for years was struggling and sending real signals about the dangerous state I was in and all I could think of what – I really have to deal with this belly 😦 Looking back I know that my thoughts were distorted but in the midst of the fear and pain and tiredness of anorexia I wasn’t able to accept that I had a problem. I’m glad that I had support and good nurses and doctors to help me. The only way I know how to deal with this confusion about how I look is to try and remember that I have a) a distorted body image and b) a tendency to see my weight as being far more important then it actually is. In the example I give above – the information that the heart monitor was gathering was far more telling than how I thought I looked. The doctors and nurses around me did NOT look at me and say – yep you’re healthy, they know that looks don’t tell you anything – they use their hospital equipment and blood tests to try and see inside! I also try and remember this because it was a very obvious example of me being taken away from reality by anorexia.
    Feeling angry and panicky around feeding times is also something I relate to. It is so difficult to get through and you’re being really brave and it will pass. The best tactic I’ve found for this is to distract myself. Sometimes writing afterwards helped…sometimes listening to music and just closing my eyes helped. It’s a battle – I’m out here thinking of you and I’m on your side. You’re doing the right thing in trusting the doctors and nurses who are looking after you. It is brave and strong to accept their help.
    In terms of the ‘fat’ feeling and and how to disagree with something you see and feel – something that helps me is to think of ‘real but not true’ – my feelings are real, they’re having an impact on me, they start thoughts spinning in my mind and those thoughts start more feelings, but they’re not true. I work with horses and some of the horses are rescued, one guy we have is a little sweet mini pony and before he came to us he was tied up in a field and kids used to throw stones at him. For some reason he is especially afraid of anything that flaps, he is afraid of the bags that we use to deliver the portions of hay to the horses and ponies in. His fear is REAL – as in, he is trembling and tense and I respond to him by talking kindly and calmly to him and moving steadily so that he isn’t alarmed any further, but his fear is not TRUE i.e. I’m not going to jump on him or hurt him. I think there is a way to try and be kind to ourselves when we’re recovering from anorexia too – our fear and emotions around fat and food are real, but the things we feel are often not true i.e. I didn’t need to ‘do something about my tummy’ when my heart was giving out and your fear around feeling the fat feeling is true i.e. you FEEL it, and you deserve kindness and support while you get through that feeling but its not true that you’re actually fat.
    This is a super long comment so thanks for reading so far. I hope nothing I wrote was upsetting or kicked off any panicking feelings xx sending you support and thoughts, Em

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  3. “How can you disagree with something you see and feel?” That’s powerful. It’s really hard to feel that grip on reality sometimes, ESPECIALLY with mental illnesses and body dysmorphia. I wish you the best of luck.

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