What Can Fat Really Do?

Before I ever work with a client, I send them a six page pre-work questionnaire. One of the questions in the pre-work is, "Why are you overweight?" I am always interested to read the answer to this question in particular because it shows me time and time again how much undeserved power we give to fat.

Here are some typical summarized answers:

I am fat because it protects me from being hurt.
I am fat so I won't get male attention.
I am fat so my husband won't want to have sex with me.
I am fat so I won't be tempted to leave my husband.
I am fat so I won't be threatening to my friends.
I am fat so people won't expect too much from me.

But the truth is, fat cannot do this for us. Fat does not have emotional power. Fat is tissue. Fat just sits there.

Even if you want to make the argument that society is not as respectful to overweight people, I can give you many examples where that is just not true. Oprah is the one who consistently comes to mind. And most of us know someone personally who is overweight, who doesn't seem to notice. They have lovers and money and success. Fat hasn't "done" anything for or against them.

So if it isn't the fat holding us back, what is it?

It is what we make the fat mean. It is the thoughts we have about ourselves and our bodies that cause the feelings. Our thoughts are what have the power, not the tissue on our thighs.

We use fat as our excuse for not living fully.

But the fat is innocent.

Our negative thoughts are to blame.

Turn them around.

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