I am fat. I know I am fat. The question I put to us is this. Stuffing our feelings down is heavy in calories. Feeling stuffing is fattening, unhealthy, and doesn’t even taste good. How fat would we be if we stopped stuffing our feelings down and instead, allow ourselves to feel those feelings?
I don’t know about you, but I am a feeling-stuffer from way back. Don’t want to deal with a negative situation, stuff those feelings down with a riblets platter from Applebee’s. Stressed and overworked, just grab a Cadbury Dairy Milk large chocolate bar. It might not take away the excess stress and workload for long, but I feel better momentarily when I feel that milk chocolate melt down my throat. No time to shop for healthy food and cook, just run through a drive through, grab a burger loaded with mayo, bacon, cheese, ketchup, onion rings, and fries, and oh, oh, don’t forget the Diet Coke. We sure don’t need those extra calories from a regular soda, right?
Wrong! Why are fatties so afraid to deal with our feelings? What are we afraid of? Are we afraid of offending someone? Are we afraid that our bodies will explode if we examine what it is that is unbalancing us within? We should be more afraid of imploding if we don’t learn to face down food- stuffing our feelings.
Are we afraid people won’t think we are nice if we express the way we feel about things that may make us or someone else uncomfortable? Guess what? I find most people I know who are really nice, and I mean really nice, are usually really fat. It almost feels like the nicer we are, the fatter we get. Does that mean we should not be nice? Heavens no.
All it means is we need to face down feeling-stuffing and, instead, allow ourselves to feel those feelings. Acknowledge them and open ourselves up to truly understanding what makes us feel and think the way we do. When we do this, we are actually figuring out what is okay to us and what isn’t, and why. In other words, we learn more about us.
The next step after acknowledging those feelings is dealing with them. Why are we uncomfortable with those feelings? What makes us uncomfortable? What is a suitable course of action in dealing with those feelings that will leave us feeling good about ourselves: strong, assertive, and contented?
It takes work to do all this. Honestly, if you are like me, you have become an over-achiever at feeling-stuffing, and reversing the habit of stuffing down feelings takes time, patience, and constant work. This is not to say you have to over-analyze every situation. Don’t get paranoid thinking everything has an alternate meaning.
I am talking about recognizing triggers that make you want to eat your feelings away even if it is only momentarily. When you are faced with a situation or crossed boundaries or anything that triggers your “I wanna shove my face into a hot fudge sundae” mode, learn to recognize it and feel it and deal with it.
Another problem with feeling-stuffers is what I call delayed-reaction feelings, the feelings evoked when you are confronted with a situation in which at first you don’t realize that you have been put into an uncomfortable position until later, when those feelings begin to surface at your realization. Now what do you do?
You acknowledge and deal with them. That’s what you do. Learn to make it a habit. Before long, you will become an expert at knowing what is okay for you and what isn’t. You will not be afraid of the confrontation in dealing with those feelings. Sometimes the confrontation is with yourself. That’s okay. Sometimes we need to kick our own derrieres and straighten ourselves out.
So, what are you going to do the next time you feel like doing some feeling-stuffing? You are going to stop, acknowledge, and deal. Go team Future Former Fatties!
Until we meet again, this is Linda Misleh Wagner, Future Former Fatty.