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Anyone else out there afraid to lose her identity with the weight?

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Old 11-03-2013, 11:23 PM   #1
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Default Anyone else out there afraid to lose her identity with the weight?

Hi everyone. Stumpy here. I'm new to 3FC and hoping to find someone who shares my particular brand of mental illness. My problem is I don't really want to lose weight. I like who I am and I am fat.

I've been heavy my whole life except for a couple of years when I was pretty thin. During those years, life was very awkward. People treated me differently and I felt extremely restricted and out of place. As a result I became withdrawn and mousy, and that's just not me. As a big lady, I have the freedom to do and say things I could never get away with when I was little. To further compound things, I think I look amazing at 245-250 pounds. No, seriously, I think I look incredible and I feel really sexy. Weird? Yeah, I know, but wait, there's more! I'm also really healthy considering my size. My blood pressure is good, my blood work is excellent, and I'm actually pretty fit. Before I went back to school I was taking tae kwon do. Now I only work out once a week, but I do an hour of cardio (45 to 50 minutes at my target heart rate) and a 20-30 minute circuit through the weight machines. Not too bad for a girl tipping the scales at 275.

Overall I have very little incentive to lose weight. Sure right now I'd like to drop 20 pounds or so, but if I lose any more than that, I'm afraid I will start losing myself. I should lose weight, I know that, but I would rather be me than be thin, and part of being me is being fat. Has anyone else felt this way?
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:45 AM   #2
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Most definitely. I have no doubt that one of the reasons I never cared much about gaining weight was that it gave me a certain amount of invisibility (as odd as that sounds).

Several yrs ago I lost a significant amount of weight...and started to be viewed/treated a lot differently. I was not prepared for that, and had to work on some issues such as accepting my sexuality before I could handle that sort of scrutiny again.

I started my latest weight loss journey due to some health issues. Because of those, and to reach some personal goals, I want to keep things going. But also because of prior failures, I have a lot better ideas on where my personal roadblocks are. Being more in touch with myself and being accepting of myself helps to keep me from self-sabotage of my efforts.

We're all here for our own reasons, and we all have our own goals. Do what makes you comfortable.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
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Hi Stumpy! Welcome! My question for you is -- if you don't want to lose weight, why are you trying? It's not a requirement to be a human being, you know. If you are healthy and confident and prefer to weigh what you do, why go through the hassle of losing it?

There are great answers to that question, BTW, and I am not trying to trap you or exclude you. I am fairly healthy right now, but I know I am a serial eater who could gain hundreds more, and I am terrified that if I don't go down, I will go up. That's often my primary motivator.

I just think that having a good answer as to why you want to lose will allow you to lose. And if you don't want to lose, we would still loving having you around!
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:18 AM   #4
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First, I want to know how old you are, Stumpy. Hope you don't mind my asking.

I'm a big woman. I've not always been comfortable with my bigness. I love how tall I am. Just not how much I weigh. I don't like how I look. I don't like all the bumps and lumps. But I also don't ever care to be very thin. I think that a healthy 30% body fat is what I'm shooting for.

Being this big has made me "safe" to be around for other people. I think I have a lot of female friends because I'm not any sort of competition to them. I have very few male friends, which is strange because I seem to have more of a meeting-of-the-minds with men than I do with women. I like all the techy-geeky stuff. I can talk shop with them quite easily. So I don't think men look at me sexually. Except for the few out there that are the chubby chasers. And I don't have any respect for them because they ask me out before they even ask me what my name is. Ugh! Blech!

I would definitely rather be me than be thin. But I'm finally of an age (52) and have had enough therapy to know who I am and I know that who I am will not diminish because I lose weight. So I am ready to shed fat! But while I'm doing that, I am also gaining muscle. I do weight training and Pilates and what I really enjoy is feeling strong and kick-a$$! Because that's part of the real me too!
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:08 PM   #5
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First off, I don't believe you don't want to lose weight, you just don't want the weight loss to change you or others perception of you. Your fear is one many have because, though family, friends, relationships all cheer you on when you accomplish the weight loss they are THREATENED!!! Now the question is, why are you letting them control a healthier life for you? I don't say prettier or whatever because part of the problem is that people that are fat are viewed differently and I believe every person put on this earth is beautiful. Gal you need to pull up those big girl panties and get you some gumption and quit worrying what people think. Frankly anyone that treats you differently should be strickened from your life anyway. People who truly love and care about you will not treat you differently and those that do sometimes just need some time to embrace the changes to your life, ie being afraid to offer you a sweet or going shopping with you and not knowing how to treat you shopping for clothes. These things take time. Idiot men who tell you they liked you better fat, sure they do because so many fat women have low self esteem so they can control and make themselves feel better if you feel crummy. Whether you lose weight or not, you need to deal with your self worth first. Build up you self image and quit letting others including tv, celebrities, commercials etc tell you what you should look like.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:39 PM   #6
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Hi Stumpy, when I saw the thread title, I had to come here and reply, because losing my identity was one of the biggest reasons that I was so worried about losing any weight. I've been overweight all my life, so nobody, including myself, knows me as anything less than obese. Sometimes I feel like a lot of my personality is based on this. I tend to have really thick skin, I'm not into a lot of girly things and, as a result, I have friends that look at me as this genderless pal of theirs (and I don't mean in a bad way). To the girls, I'm good company and not competition when it comes to looks and all; to the guys, I'm like just one of the guys. I've been really comfortable in this role. I really like knowing that my friends hang out with me because they enjoy it, and not because they want to get it on with me or something.

My biggest worry is that if I lose weight, I won't know who my real friends are anymore, whether someone likes me for me or for my looks, and that will make me really unsure and uncertain of myself, which is the total opposite of what I am now, and I don't want to lose myself in all this.

I finally figured that there's absolutely no point in worrying about all of that. I want to lose weight for myself, because I don't want to have health problems later in life. Whatever other hurdles I face, I'll take them as they come, because if I keep second guessing myself now, I'll never do anything. I'm 23 and I don't want to waste any more of my life being as large as I am. In a nutshell, I don't want to be fat anymore, and everything else I can figure out along the way.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gma22 View Post
First off, I don't believe you don't want to lose weight, you just don't want the weight loss to change you or others perception of you.
Sorry for double posting, but I agree with this 100%
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:45 PM   #8
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Hey there Stumpy, I gotta start by saying good for you that you posted about this important issue! It takes a lot of courage to come onto a forum devoted to dieting and weight loss and own up to the fact that you like yourself as a fat woman. Hoorah!!

I'm 58, so I've been on a long journey in this regard. I wasn't fat as a kid, but I was short & chunky as a teen, and then all through my adult years, I've more or less steadily gained weight. I say "more or less" because like you, and like many fat women, I've had short periods of being an average weight for my height (short) & build (heavy). The last one was during my 30s, when I went on a liquid protein diet and lost down to 140 pounds. Boy was that disastrous! I remember clearly how horrible I felt at that weight: I felt like I'd lost my identity, yes, but more than that, I felt like I'd lost my layer of protection, almost like I'd lost my skin. Everywhere I went, people seemed to be invading my space, and all the compliments on my smaller body made me feel miserable. To make a long story short, I fell into a deep depression, had to go on psych meds, and regained the weight, and more so, very quickly.

After that experience, I really felt I had some soul-searching to do, so I started reading books about how women feel about their bodies, and what those feelings mean. The author who was most helpful to me was Susie Orbach. Her books Fat is a Feminist Issue, 1 & 2, were eye-opening. Please don't be put off by the title: neither of the two books is about politics.

As a result of my reading and thinking, I embraced the concept of fat acceptance, part of which is reclaiming the word "fat." "Fat" is just a description of one's size, like "short" or "thin" or "tall." The other words people commonly use—"overweight" & "obese"—are pejorative labels. So I stopped thinking of myself in those ways, and learned how to like myself as a fat woman. I even started noticing how being fat was helpful to me in my career, because it gave me, as a short woman, more physical presence when interacting with men.

So basically I've been happy with myself as a fat woman, for over 20 years. I can completely understand where you're coming from!

So why I am losing weight now? Why do I have a goal weight of 130, when the last time I was even close to that size, I freaked out? For health reasons, pure and simple. As I approach my 60s, I'm a lot more aware of mortality, and I know for a fact that being this fat is gonna cut 10 years, at least, off my lifespan. I don't want to lose those 10 years: I have a lot more that I want to do before ny number is up.

But I'm not looking forward to being under 200 pounds. I know it's going to be rough on my sense of self. I know I'll have a whole lot of adjusting to do, psychologically speaking. And other people's reactions to my weight loss are going to be very hard on me.

One thing I definitely plan to do, as I get closer to my goal size, is to lift weights. I'm going to bulk up my muscles. I may well discover that with big muscles, my healthy weight will be 150 or 160. Big muscles will help me feel like I'm still a substantial person, even under 200 pounds.

So Stumpy, I recommend that you do some reading. Get a really good understanding of why you're comfortable at your current weight. You may end up deciding, as I did, not to change your size. I wish you good health, and I wish you the best in your journey! =smile=
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:37 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I am currently 35 and 1/2 years old, and there are two reasons I want to lose weight.

1 - I am currently heavier than I would like to be. My favorite weight to date has been 245. I had wiggle room in my size 20 jeans and I felt wonderful. Weighing much less than that, I start to feel deflated and less substantial. So without reservation, I would like to drop 20-30 pounds, and get down to a size I really like.

2 - I also need to lose weight for health reasons. My mom has been heavy most of her life. She is almost 60 now and is having terrible joint problems. I don't want that for myself. Plus my dad is diabetic and I know being overweight increases my risk substantially. So, much like eating icky vegetables, I don't want to lose a lot of weight, but I know it's good for me and I need to do it. Just thinking, "Oh goody, one day I'm going to have both knees and hips replaced, and (bonus!) I'll be able to enjoy that new hardware with a side of insulin," should be more than enough to get me going. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I'm not experiencing any of those things yet. I know they are probably coming, but I'm a lot healthier than my parents were at my age, and in the back of my mind, it seems a very distant threat. But I also know I'm getting older, and losing weight will get harder, so I should take care of it now. Knowing I should and wanting to do it, though, are two very different things.

Fiona, I can't thank you enough for your post. You understand exactly what I'm dealing with and I very much appreciate your advice. I still have 4 more weeks to go this semester, but over the Christmas break, I will definitely read those books.

Again, thanks to all of your for your advice. I love being me. I don't ever want to not be me. But I also want to be healthy and fully functioning when my kids are grown and raising their own families so I need to get over this hurdle, suck it up, and get it done. *sigh* If only it were that easy to convince myself....
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:08 PM   #10
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Welcome and good luck on your journey!!
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:17 PM   #11
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I'm mentally shaking hands with you for your post! it was honest and I believe I was in a similar situation!

I never understood connecting the size of my a$$ to my self-worth as a person. Food is an inanimate object, the eating of it does not make me inherently a good or bad person LOL

I always liked myself, always was outgoing and happy, never felt picked on or mocked because I was fat. My hubby would jump on me every 5 minutes if I wanted lol so I always felt desired and loved too.

I lost for health reasons, I don't want to die young or be in pain for the last years. As a thinner person, I don't really live that much different a life to be honest, as shocking and disappointing that might be to some. I do a bit more physical activity but I still like reading, and sitting watching tv LOL

I can't say life is any better than it was, because I wasn't miserable. I get a panic attack when I read posts where people say "When I'm thin, I'll feel XYZ" like it's some magic pill to feel happy & successful & confident. Cuz it ain't. If it's not IN you, the size of your thighs won't matter for long.

So if you want to lose weight - good for you, and all the best! And if not, you sound like you'll be fine either way!
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Last edited by Trazey34 : 11-04-2013 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:54 AM   #12
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Stumpy, if you want someone to talk to about what you learn from reading Susie Orbach, or about anything else, please drop me a line. My addy is fionaoceanstar at g m a i l . c o m.

You may have to search online for those books, because they're pretty old. The first Fat is a Feminist Issue is available at Amazon, but I don't see the second one there. And the second one was most helpful to me! Try bookfinder.com: I bet you can find it there.

Oh, and by the way, my health concerns are exactly the same as yours: joint problems and diabetes. I got a minor knee injury while doing nothing more than descending stairs a bit too quickly. It's taking a very long time to heal, and meanwhile, the other knee is starting to complain. As for diabetes, I don't have it now, but I have a parent who does, and my doctor says my likelihood of getting it is very high.
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Current mini-goal: Get down to 260
Pounds to go: 15

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Mini-goal 1: 30 days binge-free —> done 12/21/13 & binge-free now
Mini-goal 2: Get down to 280 —> done 5/22/14

Last edited by Fiona W : 11-05-2013 at 09:21 AM.
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