Me- "I feel fat today."
My therapist- "Fat is not a feeling, Kelsi, you know that. How are you really feeling today?"
Me- "Are you deaf? I said, I feel fat."
Every single week, my poor therapist has to have this same exact conversation with me and every single time she tells me fat is not a feeling I get annoyed. How can it not be a feeling? I'm bulging out of my jeans, therefore I feel fat. It's really quite simple.
Okay, I tend to exaggerate things a little. Logically, I know that I have eaten the same number of calories today as I did yesterday and the day before, meaning my weight has not changed. Even though I still have these "fat" days quite frequently, my weight magically remains stable each week. My healthy brain also knows that my body image is distorted and I don't really see what my reflection shows.
For years, I have used food or the lack there of as a way to cope with my emotions. I was never able to accept the fact that I can't control everything that happens during my day, but I could, however, control the number on the scale. For years I was content to focus on that stupid, meaningless number instead of whatever emotions I'm having. Trust me, at the time it seemed like a brilliant idea. In the short term my problems disappeared, but long term, well, you all know what happened.
Today I decided to try a new coping skill.
As ridiculous and silly as this might seem, wearing my brother's shorts almost instantly put those pesky "I feel fat" thoughts to rest. First of all, how can I even take myself seriously in these things? I can't stop laughing. Second, although my brother might be a good eight inches taller than me, he is nowhere near overweight. We actually rip on him all the time for being one of those lucky people who has a hard time gaining weight. Jerk. I definitely think his waist is smaller than mine, which also goes to show how distorted my thoughts really are. Third, I feel comfortable in these. This just might be my new favorite coping skill.
As disappointing as it might be, I know I can't wear these shorts everyday for the rest of my life or even in public for that matter. However, even if it's just for a little while, the shorts allow me to stop and think about what is really going on with my emotions. Like many things in recovery, this is another first time experience. I might not like the emotions I'm experiencing, but simply feeling them is still progress because they are no longer being numbed by my eating disorder. Thank you shorts.
I wonder what my therapist would do if I showed up to our next appointment dressed like this.