Let’s welcome Paige Schmidt of blog series Healthy Hits the Spot! Featured in FabFitFun, MindBodyGreen, inspired COACH magazine, the Skinny Confidential blog, and more, Paige started her journey to health at a young age—she considered herself big-boned, thinking that nothing could be done to fix it. But in September 2005, she decided she was going to do something about it. After researching everything she could about weight loss, she was able to see positive results until realizing that she was actually losing too much. It was then that she knew lifestyle changes were in order. Among them were visitations with a naturopath in the beginning of 2011, which helped her develop the healthiest mindset and body she’d ever known. All she really wanted to do was enjoy herself and everyone around her, and now, she makes healthy choices while allowing her body to avoid any cravings. This positive transition led her to begin Healthy Hits the Spot in hopes of inspiring others to love and enjoy themselves as well. With that said, we decided to share one of her posts about those days of feeling fat or uncomfortable in our own skin.
I recently had a reader ask me the following question: “I would love it if you could do a post on how to deal with days where you feel fat…I sometimes struggle with that and I would love some advice.”
So, the first thing I would like to say is this: I do not have high self-esteem 100% of the time.
There are definitely days where I feel less than great, and my confidence feels lower than normal. My confidence is not perfect by any means. And here’s what I’d like to say about this: we don’t need to aim to have a high self-esteem all the time. Sure, self-esteem can be great to have, but I don’t believe it should be our main goal.
Instead, I like to think that we should aim for self-compassion (< book where I learned this).
So, what does self-compassion look like?
Let’s pretend we’re in that moment when our thoughts are sounding a little bit like: “I feel fat.”
Check in with yourself and acknowledge what you’re feeling. Validate your thoughts by telling yourself that it’s okay to feel this way and remind yourself that everyone has these negative feelings about themselves sometimes.
Choose to take a positive course of action. Ask yourself what you need to help you feel better in this moment. It could be anything—going for a gentle walk, making yourself a cup of tea (peppermint is my favorite when I’m feeling this way), laying down for 15-20 minutes, or changing into comfy clothes.
Be your own best friend. Being your own friend and paying attention to your needs will allow you to build trust with yourself when the hard/”bleh” feelings hit. You will begin to feel safe with yourself to work through these tough feelings whenever they come up instead of turning to other means of numbing those feelings or trying to push them away as fast as you can.
Lower your expectations. When you are feeling fat, realize that this is not a time to make a change. You do not need to aim to be “perfect” or “your absolute best self” in these moments. Just give yourself a break. Rest. Solid change never comes from feelings of guilt and shame. Instead, if you feel like you need to make a change, wait until you are feeling calm and a little better about yourself. You will have a much clearer thought process about it!
A time where the majority of us girls feel, simply put, not great, is right before our period. We all know about the annoying ways of PMS—about 7-12 days before you start your period, you begin to feel bloated and uncomfortable. I’m writing a post on this now actually.
So my encouragement is to begin to expect that you’ll likely feel this way each month during that time (especially if you can look back and see a pattern of feeling this way monthly), and begin to care for yourself. Remind yourself that there is no change that needs to be made because the feeling and bloating will go away. That relief always comes. So you don’t need to exercise more, go on a strict diet, or anything restrictive. PMS symptoms are temporary. I wrote this post on PMS and how to deal with it a while back if that helps.
It’s unrealistic to think that we’ll feel great 100% of the time.
We all have those days where we “feel fat” or just not our best. However, the goal isn’t to completely erase those low days (this would be an unrealistic expectation). Instead, the goal is to learn how to talk to yourself and care for yourself in a way that will alleviate those thoughts. We want to learn how to trust ourselves and know that we will be able to care for ourselves when those thoughts appear.
Paige and the team at HealingRadius ask, how do you take care of yourself on those days of feeling uncomfortable in your skin? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below! And as always, here’s to living a healthy and holistic lifestyle.
Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.