Have you ever had a big, indulgent holiday meal full of things like too much Christmas lunch followed by WAY too much dessert, and then woken up the next day feeling bloated and lumpy, almost dirty on the inside from all the booze and grease and sugar?
Of course, your body probably doesn’t look that much different to a casual observer.
But you feel disgusting.
You feel huge, distended, and squashy. You feel like an enormous, tipsy hippopotamus.
When you “feel fat”, it doesn't mean that you objectively look like Jabba the Hutt. In fact, you probably look perfectly fit and healthy to an outside observer.
What you're noticing here is a set of physical sensations that go along with “feeling fat,” like:
- being overly aware of the tightness of clothing
- feeling heavy and sluggish
- feeling bloated, or a sense of outward pressure in the stomach
- feeling physically awkward in one’s movements
- feeling “too large” or expansive
And, not coincidentally, many of the sensations of “feeling fat” are the same sensations as feeling, say, depressed. Or sad. Or anxious. Or self-conscious. Or embarrassed and ashamed. Or frustrated.
All of this gets put together into one simple emotion: “feeling fat”.
(Hey, FYI the same thing happens with “hungry.”)
You “feel” what you pay attention to.
“Feeling fat” or “feeling fit” isn’t necessarily expressing an objective outer reality.
It's a whole world of inner sensations, emotions, and unconscious thoughts to you.
And you may not even realise it. You just “feel fat”.
By the way, “feeling fit” (or “healthy,” or something similar) operates the same way.
Ever noticed how you go to the gym feeling gross, you can come away feeling amazing?
Same person. Same body. Different feelings.
Feelings matter. Pay attention to them.