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weight loss=feeling more vulnerable

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Old 10-03-2009, 01:52 AM   #1
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Default weight loss=feeling more vulnerable

I know this will sound silly to some of you...I've always used my excess poundage as some sort of protection. The more I lose, the more uncomfortable it is...as if the fat was used as a "false" sense of protection (my shield is vanishing)from people getting too close to me. I know I am not the only one who does this...I know it is a matter of pushing through the comfort zone.

Did any of you guys go through this? Does the oddness or anxiety go away as you slim down? Did you find anything to make it easier when people moved into your personal space that used to be covered by the fat?
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:26 AM   #2
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I feel similarly. I am short, and being large made me feel... well, larger, and being larger made me feel stonger, more grown-up and respect-commanding. I am very aware of being physically smaller or larger than another person, particularly in my professional life, and I am currently very aware that I am about to belong to the small people.
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:25 AM   #3
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I believe I used my weight as a shield as well, for various reasons.

BUT then it became just too painful and worrisome to KEEP that shield around me. I was totally and completely MISERABLE being so heavy. Miserable, anxiety ridden, under producitve, without energy, with horrible achy knees, high blood pressure, constant heartburn, without much of a life really. And THAT pain became too unbearable. I figured dealing with the shield gone, HAD to be easier then dealing with it ON at that point.

And boy oh boy was I right!!!

Give it some time. Luckily, yes luckily, the weight doesn't come off over night and you DO get to adjust as you head towards goal. I am much more mature and responsible then I was (started my journey at 42) and as predicted, I AM much more capable of dealing with "letting people in" and all the attention that being a slimmer person brings about. Now that I'm older, it's actually been a GREAT thing letting those people in. For the most part anyway.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:02 PM   #4
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I'll just throw out that you may want to talk to someone about this like a therapist. They could help you make sense of what you are feeling and to come to terms with it so it doesn't lead to a backslide down the road.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
I am short, and being large made me feel... well, larger
I am short as well and that is part of it.

Quote:
I was totally and completely MISERABLE being so heavy. Miserable, anxiety ridden, under producitve, without energy, with horrible achy knees, high blood pressure, constant heartburn, without much of a life really. And THAT pain became too unbearable. I figured dealing with the shield gone, HAD to be easier then dealing with it ON at that point.
I am at that point too. My maladaptive coping mechanism isn't working for me anymore. Pushing through is worth it to me now, where as the fear of whatever held me back prior...

Thanks ladies.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:39 PM   #6
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I really don't. The fat, i consider as being 'not me,' or a 'false me.' i want to get rid of the false me because it is like wearing a big scary costume that is giving people false ideas about who i really am. i still see myself as skinny and i hate seeing myself in the mirror because i do not associate me with that person in the mirror. I don't think of that fat costume person as protection, but more like a large parasite, or cancer cell living on me. yek. Didn't think it would get so graphic.

Last edited by giselley : 10-03-2009 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 10-03-2009, 04:04 PM   #7
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If your issues stem from unwanted male attention you might want to try lifting weights to get stronger. Being strong made me feel empowered and like I could defend myself if need be. I am working at getting back there. You may be talking about something totally different here, if so I apologize if I am totally off base. I just know that is part of my problem, and that my fat keeps unwanted male attention at bay.

Even a self-defense class might be an idea.
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Old 10-03-2009, 04:52 PM   #8
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i've been thinking about this thread this whole day. i can totally relate. the first time i realized my fat was my shield was sitting in a chair opposite my therapist i just met that very day. she said: 'there are quite a few problems i see here, we will work on it (...) and you WILL lose your weight.'
there i was, holding strongly with my both hands to the chair, facing the solution to my life-long problem and suddenly, instead of hope and relief, 'cause i came hoping i would get help and stop being depressed and fat, i felt absolute, deep fear. how in the world will i live without my shield, what will i use to scare people off?!
as i later learned (i went to see the therapist for a few months), i used my big body to make people judge me by my looks so i wouldn't have to let them in and have them see how terribly imperfect i was as a person. i also feel (i wish i could say 'i felt') inadequate, not able to bare what real life brings, unable to deal with the risks of love, losses, critics... so it is much easier to be huge and scare people away then to take all those risks.
so, yes, dear better health, i can relate and you are not alone in this fear.
here is how i deal with it:
first of all, i waited for the right time to start losing weight and decided to do it as slowly as i could. i lost some 70 lbs ten years ago rather fast and i felt lost, 'out there' for everything and scared. (got it all back, of course, i needed my shield back.) this time, i'll do it slowly, give myself time and keep my faith - i don't have to be perfect, i do have flaws and some people will like me, some won't, that is ok. i do need to be healthy and i too deserve a chance to be happier in my life just like everyone else. i literally keep telling myself: it's ok. scared, hungry, stressed: it's ok, i can deal with it. and i can. sometimes it takes me a week to lose a pound - it's ok, it gives me time to adjust. and i will adjust. cause i need to be able to walk in my fifties more then i need my shield (i agree with rockinrobin ).

it's hard, it's scary, but you can take it! it's all for - better health.
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:47 PM   #9
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Yes.

When I was thin, my (now ex) husband could pick me up and put me where he wanted me. He could hold me down. He could even flip me upside down and mop the floor with my hair.

No one is picking me up, putting me anywhere I don't want to be, or using me as a mop NOW. Not at this weight. And that feels really safe.

I have had the fear overtake me as I lose weight, and that has led to binges and regained weight.

When I do get thinner I am going to take self defense classes so that no one can ever hurt me that way again.
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:49 PM   #10
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I've always been bubbly and outgoing, even as a little kid, so making friends is easy-peasy. I have a lot of friends, but only 2 bosom buddies, the type you share everything with. That's fine by me, they're girls i've known for 30 years! I've never used my size to shield me from people emotionally, but I HAVE always liked being bigger and taller than most dudes i run across, I don't know - like who's going to try and rape me? who's going to try and mug me? My DH always says when I walk I look like I'm on my way to kick the crap outta someone lol i think my dad being a cop did that! "always be aware of your surroundings, always look like you have a purpose" I liked not feeling physically vulnerable to many. I'm not 'small' by any means now, but i have felt a difference - i'm still tall but there's not as much bulk to it now. But I'm getting stronger, so that's a bonus.
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:59 PM   #11
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I don't have a lot to add, but this thread is very important to me. Thanks, ladies
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Old 10-03-2009, 06:01 PM   #12
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I can totally relate and for me, not yet anyway, it hasn't went away but I hold onto hope that it will so you have to as well
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:17 PM   #13
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I can completely relate. Being fat keeps me from doing things that I might not be good at, or draw attention to myself with. I can't play sports - I'm too fat. I can't dance, or swim or do anything physical - I'm too fat. If you don't like me, well maybe it's because I'm fat, not just because there really is something you don't like about me. See what I mean?

It's my shield to keep myself closed off. I don't understand all of it just yet, but I do recognize it's there.
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:13 PM   #14
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It's a shield for me, too. I've spoken about this with my therapist. It's like I told her, I know me like this. I know what to expect from other people. I don't know what it feels like to be a normal weight or having people notice me. I got to the point where I didn't want to hear compliments. About 4 mths ago, I lost 78lbs. I've gained 50 of those pounds back. It's weird I feel more comfortable. I'm back to being invisible. I'm in my comfort zone. I also think a part of me didn't want to deal with the pressure of keeping the weight off. I am working on making connections with people. It's hard. I still see myself as being inside of a house with people on the other side and looking at them though a peek hole.
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
I also think a part of me didn't want to deal with the pressure of keeping the weight off.
It is such an easy excuse for everything due to the weight...

When you are thinner and healthier people do expect more out of you...not sure why that is?
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