I had someone ask me about “fat days” recently. The assumption, of course, is that these days are normal and universally experienced by all women from time to time. Although I cannot speak for all women, I can say, yes, I have experienced a “fat day.” In fact, there were times I have lived “life in the fat days”. This “life” is much like “Life in the fast lane”… will surely make you lose your mind!
Now of course, we all wake up from time to time not feeling our best. This may manifest itself in a headache, grogginess, sore muscles, or feeling any number of uncomfortable sensations within our bodies. For some reason, we don’t name any of the other days, but the last on the list gets it’s own designation-“Fat Day.” Most women who experience an occasional day like this might become frustrated, walk around with a slight uncomfortable feeling, but, for the most part, know that it will pass, resolve to move on with the rest of their day.
This is not the case for everyone, however. I know many women who live life in the fat days. EVERY day they awaken to the feeling that they are uncomfortable in their own body. There is no comfortable outfit, there is no passing feeling. I have been there… scanning my body in the mirror.. “Did my stomach stick out that much yesterday? Did I eat too much? Not exercise enough? Nothing in my closet fits today!!” Oh sure, you say, we’ve all been there, but it goes away. For those of you who have experienced a “fat day”…imagine what it would be like to wake up every day and feel that feeling? Think those thoughts? To NEVER feel comfortable in clothes, in your own skin? To not be able to remember a day when you woke up NOT feeling this way…Welcome to “Life in the Fat Days”
Whether you spend one day OR your all of your days here…it is time to Get OUT of Life in the FAT Day—and here’s how:
Put on the BRAKES– Stop calling it a FAT DAY! You don’t go to bed at night with one body and wake up the next day with another. Your body hasn’t suddenly changed! Furthermore, calling this experience a “Fat Day” fuels the negative association with the word “Fat”— “Oh I am uncomfortable, I don’t fit, I don’t feel ‘good’ today—it must be a “fat” day!” When we use this word to describe a negative perception of ourselves, we are feeding into the lie that our perceptions/moods about our bodies are the reality. We open up a line of false communication with the Enemy who will take this one word and drive us toward destruction if we don’t put on the BRAKES! Also, it is important to note here that we are speaking about false perceptions about our bodies and how that can lead to false perceptions of ourselves. BUT we also need to be aware that just talking ourselves out of this “false fatness” doesn’t fix the problem. Obesity, for some, is NOT a perception but a reality. For this person moving through life can be both physically and emotionally difficult and not in the kind of way we are talking about here. When we apply “fat” as a negative, as a nuisance, and something we just need to endure until the next day, we are still placing a value on thinness as “better” than “fat”. THIS IS ANOTHER FALSE BELIEF! We are not better people based on our thinness NOR are we worse people based on our fatness (whether this is a perception or a reality for us.) God loves me the same, no matter what. My value is based on my relationship as His child, not by how my body looks. This is true for me; this is true for YOU!
Move to Exit Ramp– Focus on getting OFF of the Highway to (self) HATE. Once we put the brakes on the negative labels, we need to turn our focus away from other thoughts that might swerve into our minds trying to send us spinning out of control. We can’t allow a “feeling” about our physical selves determine our value as people. Instead of listening to the noise that tells you that you are having this “Day” because of something you ate, or did/did not do AND, as a result you should DO or NOT DO/EAT something in order to “make up” for your “mistake”, we need to get off the HIGHWAY of HATE and focus on words of TRUTH that steer us toward the LANE of LIFE (and self-acceptance.) Remember that:
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance… For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25)
For more verses about body image from GOD’S WORD: http://www.openbible.info/topics/body_image
Get OUT of the Traffic-Don’t listen to other people talk about their bodies! When we commiserate with others and self-deprecate, we are giving the Enemy fuel to use against us. The very things we say to ourselves and our friends that seem innocent like small bumps in the road can end up derailing our self-worth sending us on a collision course. A simple, “I was sooo ‘bad’ last night and ate______________….so I am doing “xxx” amount of exercise today”—sets us up for this punishment reward cycle that never stops but keeps turning over and over in our mind. When we talk about being “good” by avoiding “food obstacles” or jumping through the “exercise hoops” and “bad” when we do not. Again, we contribute to the “noise pollution” that fuels the negative mindset. Instead we must tune in to the inward sounds of our souls which never will tell us we are “good” or “bad” that we “don’t fit”. We turn up the melody created by God’s Word that transforms us:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2)
Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. (1 Corinthians 8:8)
I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself. (Romans 14:14a)
For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. (Luke 12:23)
It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth (words); this defiles a person.” (Matthew 15:11)
Take the Scenic Route-Enjoy the ride of your life, enjoy the vehicle of your body! After all, remember that your body is just that- a vessel for your soul and for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body,” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
There are so many ways to honor our bodies and honor God with our bodies. First, honor your body by treating it well even when you don’t “feel” like it. From the basic needs of nutrition and movement to the pampering- pedicures and massages….being kind to yourself is a great way to learn to be comfortable in your skin! Another great way to “take the scenic route” is to get outside of yourself. Instead of getting stuck in the “traffic” of negative thoughts and feelings…move out into the world and use your body in ways that glorify God—offer to help someone with yard work, spend some time caring for a child or family member, volunteer at your church. Use your body to do things that glorify God—which is it’s purpose—allows us to flow comfortably through our days by taking the focus off of ourselves and placing it where it belongs on God and on glorifying Him by helping others!
You have arrived at your destination! When practicing these steps and others such as prayer, Bible Study, and reaching out for support from others, you get out of the “Fat Days” and closer to the “Faith Way”!
NOTE: If you feel like you are stuck in a traffic jam of negative thoughts about your body that keep you from moving forward in your life, please feel free to contact Jeanette at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be my pleasure to speak with you personally about how God can remove the barriers in your life and get you moving again in the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE for which He made you.