"I'm fat". How many times have you heard that, either from your own lips or from a friend? Statement of fact. "I'm fat".

It's a toughie. "I'm fat" is a one-way ticket to feeling like crap, trying on every damn thing in your wardrobe before deciding on the tent like thing you tried on first, and to start the day feeling not good enough before you have even set one foot outside the door. "I'm fat" is a judgment that comes loaded with unsaid whisper of not good enough, lazy, useless.

"I'm fat" becomes wrapped up with who we are, a judgment on our own true self.

"I'm fat" is a lie. It's not true and continually repeating it to ourselves only keeps us more stuck in the cycle of overeating or under-exercising. When we believe "I'm fat" it's hard to stick at healthy eating or the gym as why bother? It will make little difference and even if it does it won't last. The activity is temporary whereas "I'm fat" is forever. It's a part of us.

A part of who we are.


Except it's not. "I'm fat" should not be used in this way. It's not a useful description of a permanent characteristic, like "I have blue eyes" or "I'm 5 foot 4".

Those things are unchanging characteristics and facts. Other than a good pair of heels there is nothing to be done but accept and embrace.

"I'm fat" is not true. What is far more accurate and empowering is "I have fat". That's truth. It's a temporary situation if we choose it to be. It's a problem that can be solved. "I currently have more fat that I would like" is a problem we can solve with action. It's a far more accurate description as it says nothing about our value as a person.

"I'm fat" allows you to categorise it as a fact. From that standpoint it's easy to do nothing, or to self-sabotage weight loss plans. "I have fat" allows you to categorise it as a problem. If it's a problem then by default it has a solution. Find the one that works for you and get it done.

"Losing weight" is also unhelpful. I don't want to lose weight as there is the semantic implication I will find it again! I'm not losing weight; I'm getting rid of it and that, again, is much more empowering and truthful. It stimulates action and forward momentum.
Will reframing "I'm fat" to "I have fat" change the number on the scale? Absolutely not.

Will it change how you feel and what you choose to do about it? Absolutely.

So there you have it. You are not "fat". That's not who you are. There is much more to you than THAT! But if you currently have more fat than you'd like, and you want to get rid of it, then find a solution that works for you and get it done. No self-hate required.

Louise Thompson is a life coach, yoga teacher and corporate escapee. For more from Louise, visit positivebalance.co.nz or connect on Facebook.