I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Tell Me Tuesday: Nerves/Anxieties


As brave a face as I often put on, I am hardly the courageous type. I am often frozen in fear or nerves. Depending on the situation at hand, this may require a simple self-pep talk or a nice glass of wine. Then there are those times, more often lately than I would care to admit, when my anxiety or would-be anxiety sneakily convinces me that it’s just so much easier to turn down invites and stay the hell home. And then you find me here griping that I have no life, I never go out, I never see my friends, yadda yadda yadda. It’s a vicious cycle!

Many years ago as I was preparing to give a presentation in front of 150 executives and upper management, a colleague saw that I was freaking out and told me something that I will never forget, “You know those butterflies in your stomach? It’s not about getting rid of them, it about making them soar, in formation!” Okay, so I’m a sucker for butterflies (y’all! You seriously have to read the book “The Dangerous World of Butterflies” by Peter Laufer PHD), but she had a point. It’s not about letting your nerves get to you, but about using them as fuel or inspiration.

My BFFs and I have been going to karaoke off and on for several years. The first time I went I was so terrified that I ended up singing a Tori Amos song with a complete stranger because I just couldn’t bear doing it alone! Which is so silly, I performed a lot as a kid, but somehow at that point in my adult life, I had completely forgotten what that meant. After singing that first song? I put in another, SOLO! Woo!

As fatties, we are often worried about how others may judge or perceive us, but especially when up in front of everyone: all eyes on you! Yikes! Depending on your job, lifestyle, etc…You may never have to get up in front of people. That’s cool, too. However, I really had no choice, thanks to my last career (oh, if only I could just be a professional fat blogger). After that first presentation, which I flubbed but my boss totes covered for me all slickly, I felt accomplished! I faced my worst fears and gave ‘em a swat on the ass!

After a few more presentations (five to be precise), I got the hang of it and started to actually enjoy it! Just like with karaoke, once I felt more sure-footed, I wanted to do it on my own, on my own terms. And then, I had a friggin’ blast! And guess what? My workshop attendees did, too! That’s the thing! No one wants you to fail, you don’t want you to fail, but when you’re up there under the lights (or what have you), it seems your only option, right? Ugh!

Being fat in public can feel this way as well. Today, after a bit of a slow start thanks to a later than I had planned evening of karaoke with my BFFs, I got ready to head out and looked in the mirror: I looked cute and fashionable and more like me than I had (or had felt) in awhile. Woo! So when I did walk into my local coffee house, I held my head a bit higher, walked with a little more swagger and just didn’t even think about other people’s judgment of me. Wow! That felt good? Yep! Shocking!

I will hold that feeling in my thoughts for awhile and remember them when I am starting to feel the old anxieties creep back in, because they always do. It’s just part of being human. I mean, if Cher still gets stage fright, shit, I shouldn’t be worried at all! Another thing that has really helped me is having a song that gets you fired up. Now I’m a bit off beat in this way, but I love this one song by my fave singer of the 1930’s & 1940’s Betty Hutton *sigh*, and I would put that song on repeat in the car on the way to the venue and sing along, really belting it out, over and over, until I felt I had expelled my anxiety. It became such a source of strength for me. It helps that the song in the movie it’s from is used as somewhat of an audition for her character, but it works for a lot of things I have found.

I’m especially terrible when going to parties. Oh how I used to love them, but I was dating Jose Cuervo at the time (Ha!). Now? Oh dear Maude! Now I am a bundle of pressure and stress and nerves and that’s just the getting dressed or wrapping a gift part. The drive over itself? Oh I’m such a mess. I don’t know why, but I always think I’m going to walk into a party in full-swing and lose my motor skills! Like I’ll smile and say hi and embrace the host/ess and then my tongue will literally fall out of my mouth and droll all over the place. Fears don’t have to be rational. Ha! But being fat or exceptionally fat (I like that, I’m exceptionally fat, yo!), it can make things feel even more intense than they are for many of us.

What have you done to squash your fears and anxieties? Have you kept yourself from something you want to do because of them? What has being publicly fat been like for you? Tell me about it! 



8 Comments to

“Tell Me Tuesday: Nerves/Anxieties”

  1. On January 18th, 2011 at 1:35 pm Froggyfatty Says:

    I go to a women 30-minute gym around my place… and everybody is SO talking about losing weight, burning calories etc. At first I didn’t mind being a fat lady who does not care about her weight but only her health, but then I felt an awful pressure. Not from the trainers (except for yelling «burn these calories! melt that fat!») but deeply ingrained in my little, fat self.

    It really made me sick and trigged my old ED reflexes.

    I can’t go anymore and I spend many, many bucks on the darn subscription which is NOT refundable, NOT transferable.

    UGHHHH! Pisses me off that I can’t keep on going and not paying attention to all the diet talk – diet products that were not there at first, but grew everywhere!!! I really don’t know how to cope with that.

  2. On January 18th, 2011 at 3:31 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    I have had this exact experience, almost. I went to a ladies 30 minute gym place. At first I liked it, the owners were nice and it was rarely crowded and people pretty much kept to themselves. Then suddenly I noticed a big plaque in the lobby of a “success story” and next thing I knew everywhere I looked was thinspiration things. All of those classic bullshit slogans and images. I started wearing headphones to work out. This way, I thought, at least I wouldn’t have to hear it. But I grew tired of the entire thing because of the sudden change. Then I got laid off and suddenly coudln’t afford to go, I pleaded my case to the owners and they did release me from the contract.
    I share this only to say that all business owners struggle to provide what their customers want. I would suggest, if you’re comfortable, talking with them and explaining that you’re there for general health and that the constant diet/weight loss talk is actually triggering for you and you don’t want to come anymore. They may just be willing to release you from your subscription. Worth a shot anyway.
    But I do understand how that feels. I certainly felt betrayed when I walked in and saw the change. I tried to ignore it, but it gnawed at me in a way I wasn’t prepared for. If you’re not comfortable asking for them to change the diet talk, at least explain to them why you want to leave. They should know, after all. Feedback is a powerful thing and a valuable one, too. I hope you find a way to do what’s best for you. Thanks.

  3. On January 18th, 2011 at 2:16 pm catgal Says:

    I suffer from Depression, I’m fat, and I am also an introvert. Getting out of the house is a big thing for me. I sould so much rather be in my PJs watching TV, but what kind of life would that be? In the new year, I want to work on doing things that I don’t necessarily want to do. My husband would by concert tickets and at the last minute, I wouln’t want to go. Get togethers with other people? What am I going to say to them??? I end up sitting and not saying a word, which people often take as a sign that I think I’m better than everyone else, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. So now, when I find myself in these situations, I force myself to ask questions and make conversation. The funny thing is that I will talk to complete strangers with no problem, the person next to me in line at the store, etc. And I have never let it hold be back from speaking publicly, but I do let it hold me back in my job performance. Also, I travel with no problem, again interacting with strangers… So, I’ve made peace with who I am, I just want to be mucher…

  4. On January 18th, 2011 at 3:36 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh man, you described my husband to a T! He is actually very charming, but a complete introvert as well. He talks to people at the grocery store or what have you all of the time. I’m constantly amazed by this. But the thought of going to karaoke with me and my pals? Ugh! Run for the hills! I respect his wishes and appreciate that for every hour spent in a social situation, he’ll need 2-3 to recover and reset as it were. I didn’t understand this for many years, but now that I do and we’ve talked about it I find that it works for me, too. And spending time apart makes us enjoy our time together more. Go figure. Ha!
    I admire your desire to push yourself. I have found that I learn and grow when I do this and am almost always appreciative, if for nothing else, then the experience. Is there anything specific you have kept yourself from doing/enjoying that you plan on tackling this year? I’m dying to know! Thanks. =0)

  5. On January 19th, 2011 at 6:45 am catgal Says:

    OK, wow… You mention “recovery time”. I almost never go out on a Sunday or a weekday unless I have the next day off to “recover”. I’m wondering what the cause of this is? Has your husband been diagnosed with anything that might be causing this? One thing I think it might be is that I have also been told that I probably had, and have, ADD. (inablity to concentrate, dyslexia, under achieving, etc.) Another characteristics is the inability to smoothly transition between circumstances. So I condiser my buffer time kind of like a reset button.

    Also, I am sorry to hear that you both are having to leave your gym due to the in your face diet atmosphere. I can understand how that can be triggering for someone with an ED, and downright brainwashing into dieting.

    I look forward to hearing back from you both.

  6. On January 19th, 2011 at 9:22 am Not Blue at All Says:

    No, he doesn’t have ADD. I probably do, but that’s another convo all together. Ha! The transition thing is interesting to me. I have this issue, too. I have a hard time letting go of an emotion if I dwell too long (and I always do). Thanks.

  7. On January 20th, 2011 at 10:56 pm j. Says:

    Great post, but duh!! You have them all the time!

  8. On January 21st, 2011 at 9:15 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you!

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