FAT – and all that.
First of all, let’s define what fat is and isn’t.
Being FAT is like saying you experience frequent headaches. You suffer from lower back or knee pain. You feel bloated a lot. You constantly put yourself down (enough that you’re not even aware of it). Traffic and your boss and animal cruelty makes you really, reeaally ANGRY. You can’t remember what true vitality feels like. And you just found this article because you’ve spent the last hour and a half surfing social media.
“Fat” is merely a symptom. Of what? You tell me.
Fat, defined as those extra fleshy parts of ourselves that we’d rather hide under black clothing, is rarely diagnosed. After all, “Fat” is not a diseased in itself, is it? Nope, obesity isn’t a disease either. Nope, not even morbid obesity. Why? Well, that would be too easy, wouldn’t it. Because then we could treat the disease with a drug or a diet or even a surgery, and perhaps a follow-up 12 step recovery program to keep us from ever eating again.
Fat is just a label we put on ourselves; it’s not truly who we are. “I accept myself.” “I love my body.” No you don’t. That’s pop psychology. You actually hate your body. You WANT to be able to walk outside, hit the grocery store, skip to the beach, and frolic and play with confidence in the day, carefree. And you should. But that’s because you’re accepting of NOW and choosing to live in the moment, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the lie you tell yourself about your body image. Notice most people who “love my body” stay that way? Real women have curves because they’re imbalanced. Skinny people are imbalanced too. Heck, so are people of “normal” weight. And you hate THAT about yourself. Even more, you hate that you’re just plain scared and confused. But that’s a good thing. Scared and confused, if addressed, can lead to action instead of suppression.
Fat is imbalance? Yes. So are headaches and bloating. So is feeling that angry and insecure all the time and taking it out on other people who are equally angry and insecure. So why all the fuss about weight? For some, it’s their most obvious flaw. That aspect of themselves that is so painfully obvious to the outside world. While ironically, so is their awful hair. And their attitude. To each his own. So why aren’t we addressing fat as imbalance? In fact, why aren’t we addressing ANYTHING as imbalance?
Need some clarity on balance? Think of yourself as a pendulum. And you are, really. You’ve got a midline, and your arms and legs swing front to back on a sagittal plane. That’s your center of gravity, and the closer you work in that center, the more power you have. Swing too far back or forward, especially if you’re not holding yourself together with a strong core, and you’ll probably fall on your behind.
When we see fat as imbalance, just as we might see our imbalanced thoughts or behaviors, we can begin to take some action toward finding balance. Notice I said finding balance, not removing fat. Should you feel insecure or ashamed now that you realize you are imbalanced? Yes. Yes, you should. You and all the other 7.046 billion people on the planet, minus a few saints, a couple gurus, and…. Naw. Not even them. Finding balance is a process that requires day to day conscious awareness. And there are plenty of schools to teach you how to do that in a style that resonates with you. The point here is to recognize that “fat” is not a disease to be treated by a Paleo diet or a vegan diet or a personal trainer. Nor is it a mindset to change, a perception to shift. “Fat,” again, defined as that excess energy storage of the body, otherwise known as the yucky fleshy parts you want to spot train and starve away, is a symptom of imbalance. Your body is not supposed to have it, because it does not need it. Period. And what you choose to do about that is how you deal with any excess in your life. Shove it in a closet? Give it attention it doesn’t deserve? Let it suck the life out of your vitality? Or perhaps instead choose to spend every minute, as often as you can, observing patterns, finding harmony, listening to your intuition, researching for cutting edge information, and most of all, trusting in Mother Nature’s ability to help you live in balance, just like she’s been doing for plants and animals for eons.
Life grows, stabilizes, wanes and dies. All life changes and evolves. Balance comes when we pay attention to all of that. And we are such a young species with so much to learn.
If you’re interested in some of that cutting edge research on the scientific “why” of fat, here are a few good places to start: