Feeling “fat” and the Connotation.

There is such a stigma and negative connotation attached to the word “fat”. Denotation would be the definition attached to certain words, while the connotation is what society relates, attaches and associates to a word.

Example, blue, is a color, a shade. The connotation could easily be associated with being sad or pure.

I have such a mental block with being “fat”. Lately at work I have even talked to my guys to try and get inside of their heads about “fat women”. When one of my guys points someone out, I want to know just why and “how fat” she really is. “Is she just a little fat?” “Wait, is she bad? Is she like borderline obese?” “I have no room to talk, I am fat.” Numerous times we have had this conversation about who is fat, why, fatphobia, etc. One of my guys literally finds “fat people” disgusting and says stuff like, “They did it to themselves.”, “Well, maybe they should take better care of themselves.” The list goes on and on.

Every time I express my concern about being fat, he disagrees and says something like, “You aren’t fat…SHE is fat.” Or “Hah, no way. You are not fat.” This slightly reassures me that I cannot be trusted with my own body image perspective, but simultaneously I feel confident he is wrong. I pulled out my quinoa lunch the other day and got called a fat ass by a high school kid. I then immediately returned my lunch to my bag, which later I fed to some baby ducks that needed the carbs more than I did.

What, though, is so wrong with “fat”. It is what we attach to the word as a society. I am well aware that I didn’t like myself anymore before I went into treatment, and my weight should have nothing to do with how I feel, or what my worth is. Unfortunately, it does though, and I have expressed that in therapy.

I want to not care, why do I fear being “fat”? Why does it have a horrible connotation and stigma attached to the word? One that makes my skin crawl, one that makes me feel disgusting.

I would love some sort of confidence, to wear what I want without feeling judged and uncomfortable. The biggest thing is to be comfortable in your body and be understanding to it, which I am unable to do either so far. I envy others’ self confidence and wish for even a microscopic portion of it to be spread onto me.

When asked how I “feel”, typically my first response is “Fat.” What does that really mean though?  Even I use it in a negative light. What I mean to say is that I feel guilty for eating, disgusted for allowing myself to eat __________, feeling dumb, stupid, gross, lazy, etc.  Why are all of these words practically synonyms for the term “fat” now a days? Fat could mean so many other things; some that could even be wonderful, but it doesn’t.

The fear of gaining weight constantly runs circles inside my head. Taunting, haunting, scaring me. I fear being fatter. While I have been told I am not fat, this is a daily struggle between me and the mirror, my weight shouldn’t matter though. Unfortunately, the number is haunting though. Whether it is muscle from lifting and squatting, or pure fat, the fear of weighing more is tormenting.


One thought on “Feeling “fat” and the Connotation.

  1. You’re right, there are certainly negative connotations associated with the word “fat,” and since I have struggled with orthorexia in the past, I try to refrain from commenting on other peoples’ bodies in any way–I won’t call them fat or chubby, but I also won’t say how “skinny” or “thin” they are, because I know that any comment referring to their physical appearance is not only somewhat trivial, but could possibly be triggering. Maybe some people would scold me for being too “politically correct” or sensitive, but I’ve found that how a person LOOKS on the outside and how they FEEL about their body on the inside can be two entirely different things. Yes, there are some people who truly need to lose (or gain!) weight for medical reasons and for their personal safety/health, but that doesn’t mean I need to go around pretending I am an expert on whether or not a person is “fat” or not, giving them my personal opinion on their physical condition. I think for me, even though I never felt “fat” per say, the idea of gaining “too much” weight while recovering from orthorexia was initially frightening because it symbolized a lack of control, a lack of perfectionism, and a lack of willpower. It wasn’t the weight gain itself that intimidated me, but rather the concept of NOT obsessively planning out my meals ahead of time in an attempt to feel in control of something in my life, and to eat what I naively thought was a “perfect” and “clean” diet. This is something that people often neglect to remember about eating disorders–at their core, they aren’t always about body image, food, and being skinny; they often involve deeper anxieties and fears that simply manifest themselves through restrictive eating habits. Anyway, I wish you the very best with your recovery, and feel free to contact me through my blog if you ever want to chat about anything.

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