Fat people have gone through a miserable time at some stage in their life. The lucky ones have come to terms with it, but for the vast majority it’s a daily struggle.
Miserable is probably a massive understatement to most people who are overweight, obese or somewhere in between. The mental torment can be a vicious cycle that sends you on a slippery slope into depression, self hate and ultimately illness.
It doesn’t have to be like this. There is a way to be happier. And healthier.
If you’re wondering if it’s possible to feel good about yourself when you’re overweight, or how to love yourself when you’re fat, read on to get some actionable tips and ideas to lift you up.
Is it really because you’re fat?
The first thing to do is take a deep dive to figure out exactly what is making you unhappy, or what’s keeping you from being happy.
Is it really just about being fat? Imagine that you’ve magically shed all the excess weight and your physical appearance isn’t a problem anymore. Are there any underlying issues such as:
- Financial problems
- Career problems
- Family problems
- Unresolved childhood problems
Try to list down everything that’s bothering you. Have 2 columns to separate things that have absolutely nothing to do with your weight, and those which may have an indirect effect.
Spend some time to do a detailed brain dump. Put effort to get in touch with your inner self, your feelings and your trains of thought that trigger certain negative emotions.
No one will know you better than yourself. But you have to be brutally honest. Be real. Take a few days to do this if you need.
Specific reasons, causes and events
Next, make a list of the things that are causing you misery, or limiting you in any way because you’re fat. Jot down examples of actual events that have taken place, things people have said, or anything that’s relevant.
You want to have a mind map in front of you that’s filled with all the possible reasons that are preventing you from living a joyful life as a fat person.
Without a clear picture of what’s bogging you down, it’s harder to shake off the issues that are holding you back.
You need to visualize the main causes, the secondary problems, the smaller issues and any triggers.
Scoping it all out
With everything detailed and contained within a sheet of paper in front of you, you’ll be able to tackle them head on.
Surprisingly, when it’s all laid out openly, you may find that a lot of the things troubling you aren’t really much of an issue. Without knowing the root cause, our minds tend to lump everything together and overwhelm us.
Your goal is to pinpoint the major issues that really get you down. It may be a few or just one main one. This will be different for everyone.
Once you’ve identified them, it will be much easier to solve.
I am happier fat
The classic advice to be happier when you’re fat is to diet and exercise in order to lose weight. You’ve heard it all before, and probably tried it countless ways, and umpteen times.
So, we’re not going to bore you with it. Instead, we’re going to explore alternative ways to be happy and fat.
You may be on the weight loss path already, or have tried it without success, or have health/medical reasons that are preventing you from losing weight effectively.
Whatever it is, we’re going to assume that you just want to be happier fat.
How do I accept that I am fat?
An effective way to solve problems is the awareness, acknowledge and accept method.
Needless to say, you’re aware that you’re fat. But do you really know why you are so big and how you got to be the way you are?
There are 2 main potential causes – a medical related effect, or your lifestyle choices. It is important to know the primary reason as it could help you accept your body weight better, and even motivate you to make positive changes.
Overweight problem due to medical reasons
If you haven’t done it yet, it is definitely worth finding out if your body became fatter because of a medical related condition. Here are some potential causes (especially for women):
- Anxiety Medications (antidepressants) – “Experts say that for up to 25% of people, most antidepressant medications — including the popular SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) drugs like Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft — can cause a weight gain of 10 pounds or more” – source
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – “Obesity is a common finding in women with PCOS and between 40–80% of women with this condition are reported to be overweight or obese. Familial aggregation of PCOS strongly supports a genetic susceptibility to this disorder.” – source
- Gastroparesis – “Gastroparesis is a long-term (chronic) condition where the stomach cannot empty in the normal way. Food passes through the stomach slower than usual. It’s thought to be the result of a problem with the nerves and muscles that control how the stomach empties.” – source
To get a more comprehensive insight on what could have caused your weight problem, take a look at this list of 9 medical related reasons for putting on weight.
In general, if you’re on any sort of medication for a prolonged period, you should look into its side effects and how it may affect your metabolism.
Fat because of lifestyle choices
Accepting you’re fat is often easier if you’ve put on weight because of an illness. There’s something ‘to blame’. It’s not you’re fault.
If there’s nothing medically wrong with you, then you have to take full responsibility and make peace with it.
Here are some tips to help you accept your body for what it is:
- Be thankful you’re not sick – if you don’t have a medical condition as a convenient excuse for being fat, focus on the positive side and be thankful that you’re not sick. Wouldn’t that be worse?
- Acknowledge the reason/cause of your size – did you develop a poor eating habit from young, are you consistently eating at the wrong time (ie late at night), is it the ‘wrong’ type of food that’s caused the issue, or is it simply the quantity you eat that’s made you fat. Whatever it is, admit it. Don’t hide from it.
- Accept the situation & forgive yourself (if you need to) – once you can acknowledge the past, be able to forgive yourself and move on to have a brighter future, knowing that mistakes from the past do not need to keep you miserable in the days ahead.
- Accept the word ‘fat’ and embrace it – don’t let the word ‘fat’ hurt you anymore. Confront it, accept it, and don’t let it trigger negative emotions like it did before. Be comfortable referring to yourself as fat. Initially, it may seem strange and awkward, but you’ll be surprised at how you can quickly numb its potency to make you feel bad.
- Know that it’s a simple choice – accept the reality that you’re fat and allow yourself to be happy. Be aware that fighting or denying it will only prolong the suffering. Understand that it’s a straight forward decision and you can choose the easy way instantly. You just need to think it through clearly and be realistic.
Can I just be fat and happy?
Of course you can. There are many thousands of fat people who live very happy lives and millions who don’t let their size affect their search for happiness. You can too.
This doesn’t mean there won’t be days when things get you down a bit. That’s normal, especially when you’re realigning the way you think and feel about yourself.
So how do you do it?
- Forget about trying to be ‘normal sized’ – constantly failing at trying to achieve the highly unlikely is a core problem. Cut it out. Getting your mindset straight is the most important part of the transformation. Spend time to really get your head around it all. Be clear about what you want, the challenges to go through along the way, and how you’ll manage the journey ahead. Have a plan.
- Don’t wear uncomfortable clothes to try and look slimmer – get comfortable with who you are. Dress intelligently to suit yourself and take pride in how you look. Assess your wardrobe and have a makeover if necessary to craft the new you.
- Focus on trying to be fit – not to try and get to that illusive stereotypical body image, but because you love your body and care for it. Do it for yourself and not because you’re worried about what people think of you.
- Focus on eating healthier – because you love your body, and want to address any illnesses that may be hurting it. Eat well to be well, not to lose weight. It’s important to adjust your mindset, or else you may give up healthy foods if it doesn’t make you thinner.
- Cut out people who don’t value you for who you are – friends, family, co-workers, intimate partners, anyone. Make a stand and make the bold move to change your life for the better. Yes you can be fat and happy, but you have to make firm decisions and stick to them.
- Surround yourself with people who are similar minded and appreciate you for who you are – there may be very few people at the start, or even no one. Be strong. You’re building up a new life – a new you who is fat and happy.
- Learn about how to have a body positive attitude and become very knowledgeable about it – read up as much as you can, understand the psychology behind it, put it in practice to test what works for yourself, talk to other fat people to see how their experiences compare, start writing a blog about the topic, be an authority on how to be happy fat.
- Immerse yourself in an environment that provides positive reinforcement about your body image – find online communities with people in a similar situation, connect with others on social media, read/follow bloggers in this area and listen to related podcasts. Be mindful about what you read, watch, listen to and who you interact with.
How can I be confident and fat?
Start by asking yourself – why do you think fat people can’t be confident? Do you really think they can’t, or is it a personal state of mind that’s been haunting you for far too long?
Remember, thin or normal sized people can have low self-esteem too, for a variety of reasons.
So just because you’re fat, it doesn’t mean you can’t be confident. Just as thin people aren’t automatically confident. Confidence isn’t 100% linked to body size.
Now that you know it’s possible, let’s explore some ideas on how you can boost your self-belief:
- Accept that you’re fat and that it’s alright — it’s not a sin or crime to be fat. The world we live in these days may make you feel like there’s something wrong with you because of your size. You have to be strong to not let people, the media or society in general affect how you feel about yourself. The foundation of being confident is to be aware of who you are and to accept everything about yourself. Be in control of the self doubt to be self-assured.
- Accept that some people will be nasty & you can’t control how they are — Mean people may discriminate and pick on fat people, but you don’t need to have your self-esteem dictated by these people who mean nothing to you. Know that such bullies have issues with all sorts of people who are different to them, attacking others because of race, religion, political beliefs, etc. The problem is with them, not you.
- Accept that everyone is different and you are who you are — People are different in all sorts of ways, from body size and other physical characteristics, to intelligence, interests, life preferences and much more. To be confident, you need to believe in yourself and what you think instead of letting anyone else influence/control your thoughts, emotions or happiness.
- Know that you are not defined by your body image but by who you are — It is understandable how people normally identify us with our appearance, especially those who don’t really know us. Even when we look in the mirror, it is our visual form that stands out. After all, you can’t really see your thoughts, your feelings or your soul. But be absolutely clear that your body is only one part of you. It may be large, but it only represents a small part of you.
- Know that you are a good person who has a lot to give — Instead of letting your size affect your confidence negatively, you should focus on the positive sides of who you are. Try to be a kind, credible and capable person who can be relied on. To be genuinely confident, you should have positive character traits to anchor who you are and be aware of what you offer to others and the world around you.
- Know that those who judge you by your size are the ones losing out — Friends and acquaintances who treat you differently because of how you look, instead of valuing you for who you are can hurt your confidence, if you let them. Have a firm plan to cut them loose, knowing that it’s their loss and not yours. All too often, it is the ones who you trust and value most who can hurt you deeply.
- Know that you have direct control on your confidence and self-esteem — It may seem like your feelings are being controlled by how others think and what they say. Or, that your confidence is dictated by your body size. It can all be overwhelming, and depressing. But, take note that you are actually the one who can be in charge, when you decide it is time to take control. Once you’re aware of this, accepted yourself, and taken action, you will have greater self-respect and self-confidence.
- Know that you have the power to be confident and happy — To be something, or feel a certain way, you have to believe that you can do it. And then have self-belief and determination to make it happen. Fat people don’t have to be unhappy and miserable. You can be fat and that’s totally fine. As long as you know it. And from the confidence and self-love, will come inner contentment and ultimately happiness.
- Know that you are enough as yourself and don’t have to be what you’re not — This is a critical part of accepting yourself for who you are. The media and world around you are constantly trying to influence your thoughts, so that you buy more, search more, watch more, scroll more and end up in a perpetual state of feeling you’re not enough. Take back the control. Be happy with who you are and what you have, knowing that it’s more than enough.
- Be aware of all your strengths and achievements — Make a list of what’s good about yourself to be fully aware of what you’re capable of, what you’ve achieved, what you can do better than most people, and anything that’s cool about you. From big accomplishments to miscellaneous skills, note them all down to let yourself know you’re worthy of the confidence you seek. Once again, you don’t need to set the bar too high. Just be aware that you deserve to be confident and not be held back because you’re fat.
- Be aware of why people are lucky to have you as a friend, employee, partner – once you’re aware of your positive qualities, think through how you give to the people around you. From casual friendships and intimate relationships to co-workers, bosses and clients. Be mindful about how you try to be an empathetic, compassionate and kind person all around. By doing so, you can feel confident about the value you provide as a person, and how anyone who mistreats you is the one who loses out.
- Be aware that advertising has a toxic effect on body image – learn about how the advertising industry works and how the models used in advertisements are not normal. You should not compare yourself to them, or aspire to have a body like theirs, or anything close to it. Read up on how skinny models make people feel bad about themselves, and how the models have to literally starve themselves to look that way. It’s all not real. You are real.
- Be aware that people with picture perfect bodies sacrifice a lot to look that way — yes, they look good. But these body conscious people have gone through a lot to achieve a nice looking body. Months and even years of dieting and healthy eating with daily workouts, waking up early to go running and spending a lot of time in the gym. Do you really want to go through all that? If not, there’s no need to compare. And you can be confident in who you want to be and the life you choose to live.
- Be aware that what matters is what you think of yourself and not what others think — at the end of the day, if you want to feel confident about being fat, you just need to know your self-worth and value your opinion more than others. It may be easier said than done for some. But if you go through the aware, acknowledge and accept thought process to rationalize your thoughts and clear up any doubts or hangups about being big-sized, then you will definitely feel more confident.
- Appreciate the body and life you’ve been given — grateful people are often the happiest. They focus on what they have and not what they don’t. Moreover, they cherish whatever they have to always adopt a glass half full (rather than half empty) attitude. If you can incorporate gratitude into one of your core values, it will inevitably make you happier and have a clam sense of self-confidence.
More Tips on How to Be Happier
Being truly happy is much more than being fat or not.
Do you know:
- What does being mindful mean and why does mindfulness make people happier?
- How being a giving person can make you happy and more fulfilled?
- Why spending time outside in nature (ie. going for a walk) makes people happier?