That's what my five-year-old blurted after dressing up in full snow gear for the first time of the season.
"You are not fat! You have fat, you eat fat, but people are not fat! You can feel fat, but you should never call yourself or anyone else fat."
That's what came out of my mouth before I even realized it.
My son followed up with the age-old, "Why?"
I didn't answer him right away. I'm so glad he asked me this question! It really made me start to think...
Why shouldn't people call themselves fat?
***(I'm not going to dive into why we shouldn't call other people fat here. I think we can all agree that is just malicious).
Well, let's start with what people are trying to convey when they tell themselves, "I'm fat".
Think about the example of saying, "I'm sad."
You aren't the emotion sad.
You feel sad.
There is a big difference. Stick with me here.
When we say things like "I'm sad," "I'm mad," or "I'm happy," we start making them our identity.
But they aren't who we are, they are what we FEEL.
Emotions are meant to come and go, not stick around like our identity. Emotions were meant to be alerts to our brain and body to pay attention to something.
Do you want your brain to only be paying attention to how you feel fat then?
"I'm fat. It is just true, Amanda. I'm just plain fat. Why can't I say this to myself? It should motivate me to do better."
Should it motivate you? Is that what you want your motivation to be?
Even if you think it should, guess what? It doesn't.
Telling yourself that you identify as a fat person does not lead to commitment, excitement, courage, or focus (which are the emotions that lead to weight loss)
No, instead, "I"m fat" leads to more negative feelings like shame, frustration, guilt, and maybe even hopelessness.
The result is being unmotived and disempowered.
Are you ready to lose weight when you're unmotivated and disempowered?
I think not.
Actually, it's the opposite. When we feel disempowered and unmotivated, we look for anything that will comfort us. Like me and for most of you, that comfort ends up being more food.
Here's the root of it all. The enemy has you believing you are less than special and less than worthy. He whittles away at your resolve and your belief that God is supplying you with everything you need for good in your life.
And that, my friend, is an outright lie.
For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them. Ephesians 2:10
We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you … 1 Thessalonians 1:4
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Here's an idea. Trying saying this to yourself instead, "I feel fat. That's ok. I ate a little too much. I can learn from this feeling, though. I can feel fat tonight and really understand why I don't like it instead of pushing it away. That way, I will more likely not repeat it any time soon."
Do you see the difference?
One sets you up for more failure.
The other helps you understand your feelings, pays attention and learns from them. (The reason God made emotions)
You are not your feelings.
I pray you to stop living as if you were.
You may have extra fat on your body. You may feel fat at times. But you never want to put all your focus on creating your identity to be fat.
No, you are a temple, and God Spirit lives in you (1 Corinthians 6:19). You are dearly loved, worthy of all of God's gracious blessings (Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:4, Ephesians 1:3).
You want to lose weight.
You want to believe all of God's promises. But you struggle with living like you actually accept them.
That's why I'm here.