One of the things I learned during graduate school was how you should take a "person first" approach and having a characteristic follow afterwards - for example, using "a person experiencing depression" instead of saying "a depressed person."
I was also taught during therapy that this can be helpful when referring to things about yourself: instead of "I am anxious" try saying "I feel anxious" to describe what you are experiencing at that moment. When we are referring to ourselves, we should not have a certain trait or characteristic be used as an IDENTIFIER for us...because we are not just that one thing being used to describe you.
One of my biggest pet peeves - hearing someone say:
"I am fat."
Fat is something you HAVE...NOT something you ARE.
Also...can we PLEASE stop demonizing fat?! Not all fat is bad (shoutout to the avocados of the world!) and your body actually needs fats to function and perform well.
That being said, too much of anything isn't a good thing...but that is a rant for another day!
This also goes for other types of things we use to describe ourselves at times:
When you're feeling unmotivated - "I am lazy..."
When you're in an argument with a loved on - "I am unlovable..."
When you make a mistake at work - "I am such a f***-up..."
All of these things are things you are FEELING at a certain time, but they are NOT WHO YOU ARE!!!
**Note: please read those last few words imagining me adding a clap between each word
Especially during a time of living through a global pandemic, we need to be more kind and compassionate towards ourselves...we are living through something that we have NEVER experienced before, things are changing rapidly, and we have no idea how long this temporary new normal will last...
During this time of overwhelm and uncertainty, I want to challenge you to focus on controlling the things that you are able to control. You CAN pay attention to how you are thinking about yourself, referring to yourself, and describing yourself - and you CAN choose to make these small changes that can sometimes have a huge impact on our lives. Also, pay attention to how your loved ones are referring to themselves, and try making this suggestion to them.
But most of all - I challenge you to show yourself grace and kindness during these challenging times...
...and please stop calling yourself fat :)