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Being Fat and Feeling Sexy

This culture can cause heavy people to feel as if fat can’t be sexy, but that’s only cultural bias. If you’re fat, you have two choices: to dislike and hide your body or to feel good about it and decide how to show it off in its best light. If you’re going the latter route, here are some great suggestions from Advice Goddess Amy Alkon (Think you’re fat? Try this at home, TICKET, SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, 12/20/12).

She begins by offering research that tells us that “‘walking the walk’—acting the way you’d like to feel—is one of the most effective ways to change how you feel.” When I make this suggestion to clients (about anything, not just body attitudes), I almost always hear, “But I can’t do something I don’t believe. It just doesn’t feel right.” Well, duh, that’s how change occurs: by doing something that feels uncomfortable. So, either do what studies say works—fake it til you make it—or continue staying unhappily the same.

The advice in the article, from STOP CALLING HIM HONEY by Arana and Davis, builds on the idea of behavior changing beliefs and feelings. The authors advise “body-loathing women (of all sizes) who want to feel sexy to strut naked, in high heels, in front of their mirror. They tell you to watch yourself running your hands up and down your bare skin, tell yourself, ‘I’m sexy,’ and really mean it, feel it—and to keep at it until it eventually starts to ring true.” Tell me, what do you have to lose in trying this? Ah, yes, you’ll be uncomfortable. But you’re uncomfortable already, so why not try being uncomfortable in a different way which may eventually bring you blessed comfort?

Alkon offers a role model in learning to feel plus-size sexy by way of a YouTube video of “200-plus-pound indie rocker Beth Ditto, who struts around in body-hugging dresses, corsets and fishnets like she invented sexy.” I urge you to watch the video and note how you feel seeing fat-and-sexy strut (probably intensely uncomfortable; so what!), then use these observations of your discomfort as a way to explore your irrational beliefs behind it. Being uncomfortable is a signal that you have beliefs that need changing.

The last thing to do if you’re fat is cover up your body like you’re ashamed of it. Doing so reinforces the shame. Guess what? You’re entitled to dress up and coif yourself like everyone else on the planet. You can have a stylish hair cut; wear make up and do your nails if you’re a woman; get some cool shirts and ties if you’re a guy; wear clothes that fit and follow your form; and dress to accentuate the most attractive parts of your body. Treating your body better will help you feel better about it, so give these ideas a try.

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