Trigger Guilt

I had a fat day yesterday. A full on “I am rotund and jiggly” internal monologue. And it made me feel guilty.

For feeling fat.

I know… Whut?

I was browsing through the myriad of pretty, feminine dresses at The Bay on the way home (70% off right now!) and realized that I had no idea what kind of dress would look good on me anymore, and the idea of trying one on in the heat of the day made me wilt. I always end up slightly flushed and frustrated in change rooms. trying on clothes can be a workout on its own. Also, lights in change rooms are evil. I swear they are chosen specifically for the type of light that will show off every flaw and blemish, and make you look washed out, dorky, and puffy…

Right. Moving on.


I left the alcove, headed towards the bus, feeling heavy, lumpy, and downtrodden. I liked some of the dresses there, but a lot of them, once on me would look very maternity-ish. My belly fat is in just the right place for folks to ask “How far along are you?” when I wear such things. *sigh*

I got asked just that last week, in the elevator at work. I was wearing a pair of leggings and my Gap slip-over dress. I looked right at the woman in question and said “3 years.” She looked puzzled so I added “My daughter is 2.” She looked embarrassed, but I followed it with a smile and a laugh so she did too. Truly, I felt mortified, but held it in. I waited until later to cry in the bathroom, the comment festering.

In truth, I was incredibly bloated for some reason, thinking desperately about what I had eaten that would cause that, and cranky because of it. How I did not go off on her, I don’t know. (Well, I do. I hate confrontation…)

I have found myself “feeling fat” way more often lately. I know I have put on a bit of weight, having no clear direction in my training, and my eating a bit out of whack with the crazy race schedule I am at the tail end of. But more than that, it is also that I have to walk through the mall every day to catch my bus. Ooooh, I know. Walking through a mall! Such hardship! Horrific circumstances there, sweetheart. *ahem*

Shopping malls are an emotional trigger for me, and have been for a long time. I feel large when I am clothes shopping in a mall, especially the mall downtown, where the  brands are bit expensive, and there seem to be a lot more thin, fashionable urban women walking around shopping in stores I have never set foot in, feeling out of place in them. I feel frumpy, walking beside women in cute, tiny sundresses and shoes, fancy bags on well sculpted shoulders, perfectly pulled together, while I notice a stain on my shirt, my jeans are wrinkled, and I am, as always, slightly sweaty. (I have a mild form of hyperhidrosis – – have had for years and years. Lucky me?)

It is difficult to look into the store fronts and not feel inadequate. I am not inadequate, nor do I need any of these things to be amazing, but it can sometimes be hard when you are bombarded with images of “You should look this way!” or glance in the window and see your reflection, a complete opposite of the ridiculously thin mannequin starting blandly back out at you.

I sometimes even go to that dark place where I wonder how on earth my husband can stand me, or how gross I must look to others.

Society’s message about our bodies sucks, and even though I try to wade through the distorted pictures we are supposed to accept and emulate, I too am sometimes hit heavy with the expectation, and feel horrid about myself, then feel horrid for feeling horrid, because I have no reason to. I am doing great, my journey does not have a deadline.

But there it is. The guilt about feeling this way about myself. The stupidity of tearing myself down making me feel even worse.

I didn’t mean for this to be a negative post, I mean for it to make me think about why I go through these emotional rollercoasters, and allow myself to go to those places that are not a positive reinforcement for me or my journey. I need the reminder of how to simply say “NO!” to the familiar feeling of not being “thin” or “pretty” like everyone else. I need to remember that I am not a slave to my Inner Critic, and can silence her.

To remember Strong. Sometimes it is harder to do that, but I’m working on it… Perhaps it is time to start walking to another bus stop away from the mall.





2 thoughts on “Trigger Guilt

  1. Barbara June 25, 2013 / 12:58 pm

    You are lovely and your body deserves well-fitting clothes to show it off. You should take a friend with good fashion sense shopping with you. I don’t have it, am timid about deviating from what I think is “my style” (ironically not stylish) and not confident.

    As for being asked about pregnancy, I used to go with “I’m just fat.” People should feel moritified to ask such a personal question. Now I’m too old for people to think it a possibility.

  2. Susan June 25, 2013 / 5:12 pm

    I understand exactly how you feel. I’m taller, but still have bulges (and my daughter is 32), and shopping malls (and almost every clothing store, including the plus size ones) make me feel fat, old and unstylish. It’s depressing to see stores that think size 12 is a “plus” size, especially since, even if I lost another 50 lbs, I’d still be larger than that.

    No one asks me if I’m pregnant – or when I’m due – but that’s probably because of the almost white (grey?) hair. I think I’d go with Barbara’s reply of “I’m just fat”, but think that your reply was suitable, too. Assumptions are not a good thing, especially with strangers.

    Kudos to you for training, running and racing! You are one tough mudder – I’ve seen the pictures. 🙂

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