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Old 01-25-2006, 03:43 PM   #1
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Lightbulb I get it!!

I have had an epiphany. I get it now. My last post was about why I do the things I do. I get it. I've had my light-bulb moment.

It is my form of control. It is the one thing I CAN control. I have done this ever since I was a teen. I can't control other things in my life, so I control my food. Sort of a rebellion. I eat what other people thing I shouldn't.

As well as being a form of control, it is my safety net. I am controlling what I eat, but not to be healthy. I am controlling what I eat for comfort -- emotional and psychological. Overeating gives me my payoff -- I stay fat.

Doesn't sound like a payoff, does it? But it is a payoff, if your (subconscious) goal is to hide. To not be noticed (or attractive). I started overeating in high school. I think I just didn't want anyone to notice me. Well, they still noticed me, but not for anything good - just because I was fat.

Now that I consciously realize this, I feel like I can take control in a good way instead of a self-destructive way. I went out and bought Dr Phil's book again. I had bought it once before, never read it, and gave it away. I picked it up in paperback this time. Some of the stuff he talks about is exactly what I am dealing with, so hopefully that will help me along.

I think I may actually be on the right track this time
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:54 PM   #2
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I'm glad for you Darla ~ for your discovery and hoping that now you can take those steps on the journey to better health.
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Old 01-25-2006, 04:22 PM   #3
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woohoo Darla. that is great.
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Old 01-25-2006, 04:31 PM   #4
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That is very good and u got me thinking too!
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Old 01-25-2006, 06:14 PM   #5
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I know exactly what you are talking about because I am sort of the same way. I see my fat as safety. I want to be invisible and there is nothing more over looked than a fat middle aged women. I realized recently it is my way of protecting myself and it has been a protection I have desperately needed in years past. I can thank my fat because it has kept me safe when there was no one else to help me. For all the down sides(and they are many) my fat kept me from additional hurt that there was no way I was able to cope with. Sure there is other hurts that come with the fat but frankly they are nothing compared to what I have been protecting myself from. In an odd way I can thank my fat for it has served me well.

Recently I have been seeing that I am much stronger now and that maybe it is ok to stop being invisible. It's like I came to a place that said "Ok we have helped you along enough now it's time to test your wings" Yesterday must have been the day for major break though but out of no where came the thought " I will never have sex with a man again unless it is my decision, I will no longer allow myself to be manipulated sexually nor will I trade sex in the hopes of finding love" It was just like a snap of the fingers . All of a sudden I was able to stop being scared. I have had a lot of sexual abuse starting from an early age. I saw that I can be thin because now my mind and emotions are stronger and I can deal with the situation. Being fat has not been the best coping method but it got me what tons of psychological counseling could not do. I think I am ready to graduate to a higher level which is something no amount of talking and antidepressants has been able to accomplish. I feel now I am able to be the strong independent women I was always met to be. All that being said I have come to see my fat for the purpose it served. It kept me alive and functioning when nothing else would.
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:20 PM   #6
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You guys might like the flylady book called "Body Clutter". She has some exercises in there that get you thinking about why and what we do to ourselves. It helped me get motivated again.

I know the feeling. Sometimes fat is a protection. When I was thin, I had a nice shape, big bust etc... I couldn't stand always being stared at. Or creepy guys always acting like they were God's gift, and that I should be delighted by their unwanted attention. At times some of the things that happened were definitely scary. Like when I was about 23 or so, and working really late in a bad part of town. I got off work one night and walked to my car (about 2:30 in the morning), in the dark parking lot in West Los Angeles. When I got to my car there was something left on my windshield under the wipers.

When I picked them up, they were photographs of a man's naked lower body. I didn't really even look at them I just saw what they were and dropped them on the ground and got in my car as quickly as I could and drove off.

Still I know what you mean about being afraid and seeking to not be noticed.

I wish in some ways that I had kept that nice figure and fought to hold on to it, but I think in some ways it was for a protection that I gained as much as I did. When I was seriously on my diet, I got to a low weight that I couldn't seem to get below for very long. I kept sabotaging myself and I couldn't figure out why. Part of it was frustration because the methods that had seemed to work for so long suddenly didn't seem to any more. But I think there might have been more to it than that. That underlying fear, that need to feel "safe" may have been keeping me from losing any more.

I think I'm ready this time. This time I think I can handle any weight. I'm old enough that no one should be too icky to me no matter how thin I get.
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Old 01-26-2006, 01:24 PM   #7
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Good for you Darla. I'm so glad you have had a break through and are ready to take control in a good way. You can do this and I'm hear rooting for you all the way.
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:51 PM   #8
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Puff..I call what you described the "click". It all clicks and makes sense. So happy for you. I understand how "heavy" those things can be on your heart.
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Old 01-27-2006, 11:34 AM   #9
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That's great Darla. Once you get "it" hold on tight to "it" and never let "it" go!

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Old 01-27-2006, 04:46 PM   #10
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You know -- this has just seemed easier the last couple of days. I have made better choices. I'm not saying I've been perfect, but I feel like I am on the right track now.

We had taco salad for dinner last night. That is something that I would often find myself eating mindlessly all night long. I didn't do that last night. I had one serving, decided I wanted a little more, so I had some more -- just one more partial serving. But I didn't sit there and eat it all night long, on and off, and keep eating until I was so full I hurt. This is actually a major thing with me, and I am so happy I could dance

I do get it now... I've had that light-bulb moment, that click. And I will do everything I can to hold onto it. Because I kind of like this feeling
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Old 01-27-2006, 05:40 PM   #11
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That's awesome!! Good for you!
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Old 01-28-2006, 10:26 AM   #12
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Great! Keep up the positive thinking and thanks for sharing got me thinking as well
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Old 01-28-2006, 12:32 PM   #13
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You know I had a sort of "ah ha" moment last month. It was kind of like this. I realized why, after losing 50 pounds, I kept sabotaging myself and gaining back what I lost. It had to do with being a perfectionist, someone who can't do something at all if they can't do it well.

I realized that every time I had a success of sorts, I would beat myself up instead of rewarding myself. That instead of celebrating, I would think about how far I still had to go, or how much better I could have done if I had worked harder on this or that aspect of it. After awhile, I just got tired of never being "good enough." And by stopping myself from trying, I was pushing away the pain of failing... It was like, I could make an excuse and say "well I could have done it if only..." It was like I was afraid of succeeding because then what do you do for an encore?

Setting myself up to fail, because by failing to do ALL that I could, then I could still have hope that if I had done "all" that I could I would have succeeded. What if by doing ALL that I'm capable of, I still don't get there? Now THAT is a scary idea!. Building a safety net for failure because you are so sure you're going to fail is just kinda weird and dumb. Yet that is what I think I was doing.

You know what? There is no failure until you quit working at it. Every slip teaches us something and gives us an opportunity to grow. Every success should be enjoyed to the max, and we should love ourselves for trying! Loving ourselves is hard for most people. It involves forgiveness. We have to forgive ourselves for not being perfect. We have to learn to love ourselves just as we are before we can try and become better.
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:51 PM   #14
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Sherry...ABSOLUTLY RIGHT!!!
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Old 01-28-2006, 08:28 PM   #15
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I did that for years, Sherry. I didn't even realize it. I tend to measure things. I want to see progress. So I keep spreadsheets of my weight loss.

I went back to the last four I've done -- two years ago, three years ago, five years ago, and six years ago. Each lasted about six-eight months. Each started with weight at around 280-300 (highest 310). Each time I lost 30-40 pounds, to about 260. Each time I gave up right about then. (which is where I am right now again)

And you know what? Each of those spreadsheets had not only the list of weekly weigh-ins, but from the starting date, a "goal weight" line tracking a loss of one pound a week. And a second tracking two pounds a week. And a third tracking three pounds a week. That way, I could see not only my up and down regular line when the spreadsheet was charted, I could see these straight diagonal lines marching down steadily next to (and mostly under) my "real weight" line.

Now don't get me wrong. I like charts. I think they can be very useful. But the 2- and 3-pound a week lines were totally unreasonable. And the longer I went along at my 1-pound a week average loss, the faster the other two lines dropped away. And part of me just kept saying "There's where you'd be if you were doing this RIGHT."

I was sabotaging myself without even realizing it.

So while I still chart my actual weight, and I do keep the 1-pound a week line for reference (it's very useful to see trends), my current chart does NOT have the 2- and 3-pound a week lines. I agree wholeheartedly that you have to celebrate your successes, and that many of us are the worst kind of perfectionists -- the ones that get overwhelmed by wanting to do a perfect job on a huge project, so they don't even start.
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