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Explaining Being Fat to a Thin Person

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Old 04-05-2010, 12:54 PM   #1
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Cool Explaining Being Fat to a Thin Person

howdy, I'm Dawn. I'm 39 and been fat for forever. I'm 5 ft 3 and 265. I've been heavy my whole life.

I've been working out with a trainer. He's very nice but is one of those guys has always been thin, loves eating healthy. His partner is a nutritionist. He asked me to send him a food diary and, unfortunately, I did and I was honest about it. I'm a terrible eater, and last week my whole family was here and it was not a good week, even for a bad eater.

I saw him this morning for the first time since I sent the diary and he said he didn't know what to say. He'd never had someone send him a diary where they had cheesecake for breakfast or admitted that they ate three Reese's Peanut Butter Easter Eggs. (I'm thinking, I only ate three and not the bag!)

He starts giving me this whole lecture about how if I only knew how bad the cheesecake was for me, blah blah. I just shut down. It's the same lecture I've been hearing since I was 11 and my mom put me on NutriSystem. He wasn't trying to be mean, he just kept saying that he didn't know what to say to me.

"Tell me what it would take for you to eat healthy," he said. I tried to explain about emotional eating. I tried to explain about how food can be an addiction and how knowing the fat content in cheesecake wasn't going to stop me. I didn't know what to say to him.

So I got in my car and sobbed. And came home and sobbed. Now I don't want to send my food diary. I just want to, you know, eat a house.

Anyway, I've been lurking for a long while, but never posted. I'm sorry for the long ramble but .. what would you have said?
How would you answer the question "What does it take to make you change your ways?"
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:03 PM   #2
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You need a different trainer. He sounds like a perfectly nice guy who is simply uneducated on the issues. And it's not your job to educate him--it's his job to educate himself in a professional manner so that he can effectively help his clients.

Don't obsess about answering his questions, unless you want to answer them to yourself and for yourself. You don't owe it to him or to anyone else to change. You owe it to yourself to change if you want to. It does sound like you want to.

For myself, the answer to what it took to change my eating:

-- A very serious realization that I wanted to change my health (primarily) and my appearance.
-- A very serious realization that I am a sugar-holic, and that's no joke. It's like being an alcoholic, except with sugar.
-- A very serious realization that changing my health and getting past my addiction were inextricably linked; I couldn't change one without changing the other.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:13 PM   #3
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Hi Dawn,

Welcome to 3FC's!

Its great that you were honest about everything in the food diary. That takes courage to say and to put those things down on paper. Saying those things and being honest with yourself about what you are eating is the very first step you can take. A food diary is a tremendous help, especially when first starting out on making lifetime changes.

I think the way the person phrased it was probably the most helpful way he could have said something. The person is there to help you and to help you make positive changes.

It takes time to learn new eating habits and to control the emotional hold that food has on your life. We've all been exactly where you are right now and have felt the same feelings when we feel criticized and lectured.

What positive changes can you make to your diet right now that you can live with?
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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I think he may have been giving you a little tough love.

One thing I'll say is that it is hard to fight emotional eating but it can be done. So yes you may have had cheesecake for breakfast but you need to work to find what is doable for you in the future so you can lose eat healthier and lose weight.

I think he may have been stumped because maybe he is used to people eating things like mcdonalds breakfast 'stuff' and would be able to come up with similar alternatives that were lower in calorie.

Has he given guidance on things to eat? has he offered suggestions?
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:18 PM   #5
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No more tears, you are not alone. You started with a trainer, but tell us more about you?? What's your plan? What do you think you'd be willing to do long term to get and keep the weight off?

The Secret is: CONSISTENCY

Last edited by Sandi : 04-05-2010 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:35 PM   #6
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Unfortunately the guy is a nutritionist, not a psychologist, so it does not surprise me that he is mostly able to tell you *what* you should eat to be fit, rather than address the underlying issues of *why* you don't eat in a healthier way. Technically, this is not in his job description - I think it would have been perfectly fine if he had suggested you join a support group or see someone individually about emotional eating.

But the fact that he's seems completely stumped is concerning - it implies to me that he hasn't worked with many people who are emotional eaters. You may want to find someone else who has more experience with people like us...

Edited to add: I think the fact that you were honest in your food diary was a great first step. To me it shows that you are really ready to accept help to change your eating habits.

Last edited by graceandbalance : 04-05-2010 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:52 PM   #7
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is there any way you could use this humiliation as a means to encourage yourself to eat better?
I too worked with personal trainer, and having to step on that scale in front of him was the best motivation possible. I am DETERMINED that next time I do it, I'll be lighter and healthier than the first time, when he had to tell me I was basically eating myself to death.

Try not to feel too bad about it. You were honest, and that's something to be proud of. Also, you're not alone. I know I have definitely eaten cake of some sort for breakfast lunch AND dinner on a bad day. You just have to decide if you want to change, or if you want to stay the same.

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Old 04-05-2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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First, I would like to say to you that that took a lot of guts to be honest with your trainer about what you have been eating. That is huge - it is a very personal thing to share. Now that you are done crying (which is exactly how I would have reacted, too!) you should give yourself a pat on the back and count this as a NSV!!

You aren't going to help yourself by not being honest. So the next time you are writing down what you are eating, please don't hide or edit it just because of this experience. Sometimes you have to be brutally honest with yourself in order to move forward.

I ager with PP's. It sounds like you would benefit from looking into a nutritionist or counselor or group that focuses/specializes in emotional eating. Your trainer can work on training you, but you need to get someone who understands how to help you with what you eat.

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Old 04-05-2010, 02:16 PM   #9
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okay lmao @ i just want to ... well eat a house THATS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL when im upset , but seriously i think its like any other addiction people who dont suffer from the same problem cant understand it , even ppl with an addiction of another sort have a hard time understanding it because they just dont see the calm factor in something thats clearly upsetting you .. so to them its kinda like why do it ... its really hard but the next time you think of eatting a house... remember thats why your upset in the first place maybe that can deter you from doing that ... best of luck to you because YOU can do this and you deserve it ...

the oay off may not be instant but in the long run it will prove itself too be more worth while than eatting like crazy .... binge eatting is a vicious cycle you eat because your unhappy your unhappy because your overweight and then to calm yourself the rationale is to give up and eat some more .... stop the cycle ...
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:17 PM   #10
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Oh man, that sucks. I can feel your pain. I can really feel it. Most people just do not understand. I understand. And you can change it. It's very hard but doable. Stick around, we will support you!
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:35 PM   #11
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hun your not alone here what would it take to eat healthy? training. drive. and wanting this so much it hurts. I'v ate unhealthy nearly my entire life, your so brave I'd rather die than tell people what i eat =/ but if you really want to reach your goals, at somepoint anyway, you'l just do it, you'l end up wanting it that much, you just have to do it for yourself. For me I take baby steps try a little bit of something new and get used to it i hope i helped
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:46 PM   #12
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I just thought I would add:

There was certainly a time in my life when I would have had cheesecake for breakfast and felt like that was not a bad choice for me at all. After all, cheesecake has got to have SOME protein in it, right?

A typical day for me, two years ago, looked like this:

- I did not eat breakfast at home. There was no time! Too busy getting family out the door! Instead, when I got to work, I would have a gimongous cup of coffee with dried nonfat milk in it; that was my "healthy" breakfast. Or I might pick up a Starbucks mocha (venti size, of course) on the way to work, hey, that has milk too. Maybe I'd bring along a store-bought muffin with me to accompany my milk and coffee for breakfast.

-- At lunch I would eat a couple of Hot Pockets. Washed it down with a diet Pepsi.

-- In the afternoon, I would snack on chocolate.

-- Dinner was some large quantity of meat cooked up by my husband in lots of oil; chicken with cheese and bacon, or a steak, or pork chops. A few times a week we might have some veggies with our meat. Almost always there was bread, or pasta, or mashed potatoes, or tortillas, or some kind of carb to go along with the meal. More diet Pepsi for me, regular Coke for my husband.

-- After dinner there was ice cream, or more chocolate...in very large quantities. I ate several bags of chocolate mini-candies per week. More diet Pepsi.

Notice that in this diet there is a lot of fat, a lot of sugar, not a lot of protein, virtually no vegetables or fruits. I really wasn't getting what my body needed at all, and I was eating far too many calories. It's no wonder I felt like crap.

Today my daily diet looks absolutely nothing like that.

The point is, if you want to change, you can certainly learn how to do that, and do it. And pretty much everyone here in this section of the forums, at least, has eaten the same kind of crap in the same kinds of quantities that you have been doing--so don't feel ashamed, we've all been there too!
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:57 PM   #13
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Good grief - sobbing in your car is aweful. I am so, so sorry to hear this.

I think it comes down to what kind of 'help' you want. Some folks respond well to the 'tough love', Biggest Loser type mentalilty and approach. Other folks respond to kindness, alot of encouragement, good information, strong support,etc. I think each person needs to figure out what they need and then seek it out.

There's something out there for everyone.

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"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." - Margaret Thatcher

I can't lose 100 pounds....but, just maybe I can lose five pounds twenty times.

Last edited by Beverlyjoy : 04-05-2010 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WarMaiden View Post
I just thought I would add:

There was certainly a time in my life when I would have had cheesecake for breakfast and felt like that was not a bad choice for me at all. After all, cheesecake has got to have SOME protein in it, right?
You know I was thinking the same thing. I remember many mornings having cake for breakfast because there was leftover cake, what better time to eat it than for breakfast?

Mentalities do change though but it takes some time. I think it is good to know where you are at and what you can change to get to where you want to be health and weight wise.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:21 PM   #15
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Welcome, Welcome, Welcome Dawn!! and a big hug from me.

I remember not too long ago someone posted here about eating so much they made themselves sick...another person (who never was 100 lbs overweight but was trying to be helpful) said they might have an eating disorder as eating until one felt sick was not "normal"...I posted that as a person who is over 100lbs over weight eating enough to wish I could vomit was something I did on a very regular basis.

My point is, it is hard to explain to someone who hasn't been there what it truly is like to be overweight. I'm not talking needing to lose 10 lbs but seriously big big big!!

Your typical way of eating before hand sounded just like me, btw!! Except, I'd swing by McDonald's for a big coffee and TWO McGriddles most mornings.

You are welcome here, Dawn and amongst people who truly "get" you. It would be a big stroke of luck if you could find a nutritionist or a trainer who had formerly been obese otherwise sounds like you might have to just teach this guy to think a little differently. It might be a big professional kindness to him if you could tell him honestly how his comment led you to feel and let him know that if someone opens up to him about how they truly eat...and then get a big smack down, it will lead them to maybe not be as honest or even to withdraw or quit. He could be in for a paradigm shift!!

Best of luck to you, honey. I hope we see more of you!!

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