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Well, I am not that big....

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Old 05-25-2010, 10:51 PM   #1
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Default Well, I am not that big....

Ok, so since this forum is so great and open and honest and really helps me, I figured I would kind of ask a hard and difficult question. I posted this earlier, but don't know if it got automatically deleted, or if I messed up and didn't really finish the posting process (which seems way more likely),

I know that so many of us fight every day to have people realize that we are real, live, human being, and that we deserve to be treated as such. I am sure that most of us practice a lot of restraint when people give us unsolicited diet and weightloss advice---almost as if they expect us to be unhappy with our weight---a lot of us are, but there are also a lot of us out there who are not.

But despite our eagerness to fight for full acceptance, how many of us sometimes give into what society tells us about the obese?

I will be honest, there have been many times when I see a fellow morbidly obese woman walking down the street, and sometimes, if I think her walking looks like it is hard for her, I will feel bad for her. I may weigh less than her (which is often how I think, but in reality, I probably don't, and there is a good chance I weigh more), but I still know that walking long distances isn't as relaxed and easy as it is when I weigh under 300lbs. I feel bad for the women I see like that, especially more when they are having the same fashion problems I have, etc.

Something happened last weekend, and it made me do a lot of thinking about why I think that way. I was driving and saw a chunky (probably not morbidly obese, maybe only a tiny bit obese) woman eating food in her car. I often eat in my car, and I do feel self-conscious about it. But there is also a thrill of combining certain types of food and drink while driving...sort of like listening to your favorite cd in the car, but it not feeling the same listening to it on the stereo at home.

So, the young woman was eating something, and well, she carried a lot of weight in her face. Some people tend to carry more weight in their face than anywhere else, and they may be a lot lighter than me (she was probably 100lbs less than me), but just carry the weight differently. Something about seeing her eat made me feel....weird. Like, it seemed gluttonous. I didn't like the image. Sort of like seeing a very obese person compete in a food eating contest. It could be that I worry that I look the same way when I eat. (I have never done the eating food in the mirror thing---I honestly think it would gross me out). Where would I get that idea from? I mean, I understand maybe being a big snobbish and not liking someone eating fast food from a certain place, but why do I feel that if she were thinner, I wouldn't think twice about her eating?

I wonder how many of us, though we strive to be accepted, sometimes feel this way about our fellow overweight human. And I know it isn't right. I think it is something from society that we hear, and maybe internalize, and have to constantly make sure we don't give in to that way of thinking. I think be conscious that those kinds of thoughts pop in our heads may be a good way to recognize how we have let society affect us.

Ok, so has anyone else felt the same?
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:36 PM   #2
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I will absolutely admit to feeling this way.
We went to IHOP the other night and there was a very heavy couple there with absurd amounts of food on their table. Now reality the woman may not be bigger than me. My husband said she was but who knows... anyway I thought the same as you. I felt a bit sick seeing them eat and I didn't eat as much and I felt so self conscious about what I was eating.
I don't know how to explain it... it made me sick to think I looked like that and I know I do but its hard to see cause there isn't a mirror for me to see myself eat like she was eating all the time.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:43 PM   #3
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I will absolutely admit to feeling this way.
We went to IHOP the other night and there was a very heavy couple there with absurd amounts of food on their table. Now reality the woman may not be bigger than me. My husband said she was but who knows... anyway I thought the same as you. I felt a bit sick seeing them eat and I didn't eat as much and I felt so self conscious about what I was eating.
I don't know how to explain it... it made me sick to think I looked like that and I know I do but its hard to see cause there isn't a mirror for me to see myself eat like she was eating all the time.
I don't like the gimmicks that people use about trying to lower their food intake (like eating in front of a mirror, eating while naked (hello, never ever cook naked....too much flesh, too many opportunities to spill soup. Not good), pouring salt or water or something on food so you won't overeat (a lot of celebrities have said that lately). Although I admit that if I did eat in front of the mirror, I probably would lose weight, but not in the healthiest way.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:46 PM   #4
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I think I know what you mean. And I'm probably, internally, guilty of all the things you're talking about but I feel almost justified in it because I'm fat, too. I don't like to admit it even to myself, but I do think less of obese people—especially myself—and I do think one way when I see an obese person doing something where I'd feel totally differently about a skinny person doing it. I acknowledge that it's a problem, but I actually think I'd feel a lot more sympathetic to obese people if I weren't so big.

On the one hand, I realize that a lot of it is society being conditioned to hate fat people. But I also think it's more of a...for lack of a better word...rational thing. Most people see fat people as weak, lazy and unhealthy...and I can't help thinking that we are weak and lazy. I avoid social situations because of how I look. I don't stand up for myself. I don't push myself to do some things because I think nothing matters except my weight. Doesn't that make me weak? I sit on the couch instead of working out. I eat packaged, unhealthy food instead of preparing something healthy. Doesn't that make me lazy? And there's no question I'm unhealthy.

So...I guess what it comes down to is that I think until we stop hating ourselves, no one else is going to stop.

I hope this post doesn't offend anyone.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:48 PM   #5
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I am a nurse in an ICU. I dread the morbidly obese patient. He/She is hard to care for and everyone dreads it. It takes everything I have just to lift up the arm for the blood pressure cuff. Yeast gets in the folds if not kept totally dry. Hard to keep the legs apart if I have to clean a stool and takes extra people to turn to or bathe.

The scales says they weigh what I weigh, but somehow I feel better then them. I always feel ashamed when I think that. I feel even more ashamed knowing someone else would think that of me if I were laying in that bed.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:50 PM   #6
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And reading over your last post just solidified what a fat-hate problem I have—I think I'll probably eat breakfast in front of a mirror. I never thought of that, and it sounds just humiliating enough to make me watch what I eat. I'm ashamed that I feel this way, but...
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:52 PM   #7
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I am a nurse in an ICU. I dread the morbidly obese patient.
That's the biggest reason I fear getting hurt and having to go to the hospital. I'm not afraid of being hurt—I'm terrified that other people will have to take care of me. The thought is mortifying.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:14 AM   #8
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That's the biggest reason I fear getting hurt and having to go to the hospital. I'm not afraid of being hurt—I'm terrified that other people will have to take care of me. The thought is mortifying.
So true. Often, when I go to the doctor I feel like I am going to be healthier, but I still have to worry about if the doctor will listen, or just assume whatever is bothering me is due to weight. I come prepared, but still, it is like my concerns fall on deaf ears. You would think doctors would be above that kind of thing, but, well, they are still humans with their own beliefs---being a doctor doesn't necessarily change that.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:43 AM   #9
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So weird just today as I was climbing in to my Big SUV my eye was caught by the woman parked beside me . She was an overweight middle aged lady sitting there in the grocery store parking lot. My eyes met hers while she was mid bite eating out of a deli container of a large piece of birthday cake. I felt pity,sadness and shame. It was very much like I would imagine walking in on a drug addict trying to get a fix. I was dressed in my workout clothes and tennis shoes with my hair still damp from sweat. It was obvious I had been working out. I didn't look at her in disgust and I tried not to let my face show my pity. Not knowing what to do , I waved slightly and backed up to leave. I wanted to go help her and encourage her but that wasn't realistic. I pondered that lady the whole way home and how there was a time I was her.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:29 AM   #10
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wow this post is deep...okay so I guess when I see someone bigger than me I have different thoughts I guess. I often see people way bigger than me with tons of confidence, great friends, with the loves of their life and happy attitudes. And I wonder to myself I wish I had half the confidence they have because I've had low self esteem because of my weight. And at other times when I see them I feel like we are all in the same struggle you know - we are struggling in a society that makes it so easy to gain and so hard to lose and I realize that at one point I was there, I had given up before.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:14 AM   #11
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You know what I feel when i see morbidly obese people that weighed what I did? I feel sadness... because I KNOW how they feel ... how judged they feel... how OUT OF CONTROL they feel. I was them. I felt those things.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:56 AM   #12
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i admit i have had exactly the same or very similar thoughts many times, not so much ment for the person i am comparing myself to, as much it was meant for me and my fears: do i look this big to? do i walk as hard? etc.

the older and more aware of what morbid obesity is (or why is it like it is, what are the reasons behind it), the more i react much differently when i see an overweight person: i feel such compassion and sadness it really hurts. 'cause i know the pain of living that life and the pain that makes you eat as much.

as far as i'm concerned, all of us that weigh 200 + lbs are all the same and have exactly the same problem and the same struggle once we face it. i see no difference between me and my dear friend who is around 300 lbs, we have the same issues, the same problem when it comes to food, emotions, appearing in public etc. and we have to fight it with all we’ve got.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:59 AM   #13
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I saw a teenage girl walking one of the trails I jog regularly. She was very obese. I felt so sad for her. I wanted so badly to talk to her and let her know that I knew how she felt. I smiled, but she just looked away. I wanted to tell her to just keep at it and the weight would come off. I understood the pain in her face when she looked away.
I've felt the same thing when I've seen obese people eating huge portions of calorie dense foods in restaurants. I remember feeling trapped and not having a clue how to get out of the bad habits that were keeping me fat. It isn't something you can do for another person though. I had to figure it out for myself.
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:06 AM   #14
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I agree, for me at least, as horrible as it is to say it out loud, there were two phases:

The first when I was morbidly obese. I was in denial so I would project on other people what I was feeling. I would be a bit disgusted if I saw someone morbidly obese eating lots of calorie dense foods, or if I saw one doing the same things I used to do, like eating in secrecy, binging, etc. I would feel disgusted and sorry for them.

The second, as an overweight person, what I feel when I see the same things is sadness. I feel sorry for the person, because I know how painful it can be to be like that. Which is a little selfish of me, given that my reality is not the only one in the world, and although is common that obese people are usually hurting, there are those who are truly happy with who they are, health issues aside.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:07 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by H8cake View Post
I saw a teenage girl walking one of the trails I jog regularly. She was very obese. I felt so sad for her. I wanted so badly to talk to her and let her know that I knew how she felt. I smiled, but she just looked away.
When I see someone heavy engaging in exercise in public (walking/jogging), I'd like to know the best way to send a positive message. I know that some of them have to sometimes put up with flak and I'd like to help offset it. But I know how easy it is to misinterpret a smile. I've given a thumbs up a few times as I've driven past someone. Is that over the top? I'm afraid even that gesture might be taken in the wrong way.
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