100 lb. Club - Things you don't regret about obesity




midwife
03-19-2007, 10:23 PM
SO, reading the excellent thread on banishing regrets caused me to consider what, if anything, is good about the obesity I have experienced. I think it is important to contemplate and celebrate many facets of my journey through life. So, keeping in mind that there are health risks with obesity and that we are all here to move towards healthier weights, I just wanted to comment on some good things that have come from being obese. (I truly do not mean to offend anyone, so if you feel disconcerted, I apologize).

1) My husband thinks I am hot at any weight. He really does. He has never commented negatively on my weight and always comments positively on my physical <ahem> attributes. Because of this, I know he is not shallow. I know he loves me for me! Fatter, thinner, crankier, happier, depressed or not. He loves me.

2) My in-laws are only supportive. I have never had a negative or nagging comment from them. They celebrate my achievements, but never criticize my short-comings....in any facet of life. They also love me for me.

3) I discovered that I love to run. Growing up (thinner) I hated running. With a passion. If not for this journey into and out of obesity, I might never have discovered how I love it and had such a wonderful way to be healthy...not just weight-healthy, but cardiovascular health.

4) I mindfully consider nutrition. I have educated myself regarding nutrient dense foods and wonderful healthful recipes. I cook more often.

5) I have a deeper understanding of other women (my patients and colleagues) and how difficult the struggle can be. I am aware and more insightful and that allows me to be a better midwife. :)

Obesity will always be part of my life. Even at goal weight, I will be reduced obese, with all the challenges that holds for the rest of my days. But I have found value in that part of my journey.

I am a different person because of my obesity than I would have been otherwise.

Anyone else?


Cheryl14
03-19-2007, 10:45 PM
I have to admit that I have had to think pretty hard to come up with a list for this, but here goes!

1) I was able to keep warmer than most people as I sat on the bleachers during our sons' football games and during their outdoor track seasons.

2) I was a very cushie mama to cuddle with!

3) Because I weighed as much I did, I was always quite strong. I carried P.A. speakers, drum sets, and bass amps for the FORTY YEARS that my boyfriend-then-husband was in bands over the years.

4) I was always a GREAT floater in any pool!

5) I was able to eat as much as my husband, so we had GREAT times eating together.

6) If I had always been smaller, I would never have appreciated how great losing weight feels.

7) If I was smaller and a normal weight, I never would never have met all of you great people here at 3FC!

Cheryl

midwife
03-19-2007, 10:56 PM
#1 made me laugh.
#2 made me go "awwwwwww"
and I could not agree with #6 and #7 more!


LakeGirl
03-19-2007, 11:03 PM
You know, there is one really big thing that comes to mind with this and mind you, I am still obese and have a long journey ahead of me yet. But, with that being said, I think the greatest thing I have learned from being at this weight is tolerance.

I honestly don't believe, for the most part (there are always exceptions to the rule) that people who have never battled weight, can be sypathetic or even tolerant of people with a weight problem. Just looks at the stereotypes that are cast upon overweight people; we're lazy, we sit in front of the television all day stuffing our face, we don't care about how we look, etc. And while there may be some truth to those statements, in so many cases, those things are just not true. I know this because I have battled weight my entire life, as have many of you. I may have been lazy about true exercise, but I always cleaned my house daily, cooked dinner, was active in my church etc.

I really think that when I reach my goal weight, I'd love to help other people reach theirs, because I've been there, because I understand and because I believe that having been there, I could help others and still leave them with dignity, respect and a feeling of competence. I've learned just from being here that all I have needed is to feel empowered. To feel like I can do it, and to learn through reading about what others have done and learned.

This is probably sounding like a jumbled up mess, but hopefully ya'll get what i'm trying to say ;)

CyberGypsy
03-19-2007, 11:49 PM
I am a fighter of big girls, if someone make a Snead remark, I cut them a new @ss**** also for the elderly... I have a very sharp mouth.....and very opinionated

Heather
03-20-2007, 01:14 AM
Nice thread!

The one that popped into my head right away was:
I learned to love ME while I was obese.... I don't base my self worth solely on my weight or my appearance. Mind you, that doesn't mean I loved HOW I looked, but I could see past that in myself.

lisavs
03-20-2007, 06:09 AM
Nice thread!

The one that popped into my head right away was:
I learned to love ME while I was obese.... I don't base my self worth solely on my weight or my appearance. Mind you, that doesn't mean I loved HOW I looked, but I could see past that in myself.


yea i completely agree with you! when i was skinny i was a totally different person. as horrible as it sounds i relied alot on my looks. and now i relie on my actions and kindness. and i finally love me. not my appearance.

penor
03-20-2007, 08:54 AM
I'm still obese too and will be for awhile but...
1. like most have said,I have the appreciation for how hard this is to lose.
2. I found a man who I know loves me no matter what.
3. the being warm thing rocks.(lol) but not the being too hot in the summer.
4. I had an "excuse" not to exersice.
5. I got to eat some yummy yummy food.
6. I learned to have selective hearing and a real tough skin.
I'm still sure the list will be longer about whats good about being NOT obese.(lol)

jillybean720
03-20-2007, 09:26 AM
I'm definitely still obese, but here are some things that I think being obese my whole life has/will benefit(ed) me in life:

I'm a STRONG person. I don't mean physically--I mean it takes a STRONG girl to grow up fat and be made fun of and ridiculed all through elementary and middle school (by high school, the kids had matured a bit). It takes a STRONG girl to go to college at over 250 pounds, make tons of friends, participate in extra-curricular activities, work nearly full-time while attending classes full-time, graduate a semester early, and still have fun. It takes a STRONG girl to go on tons of professional job interviews. If I had been thin/normal weight while growing up, I highly doubt I would be as strong on the inside as I am today.
I'm an understanding person. Living a life of obesity really opens your eyes to other people's restrictions, conditions, circumstances, etc. Where someone else my age might immediately jump to making fun of someone, I tend to be more tolerant.understanding that that person may have things going on in life that lead to their behavior.
I met my boyfriend (now fiance--for a whole week and a day already! :D ) while over 250 pounds. He fell in love with me and has loved me up to 310.5 pounds (my highest known weight). I will NEVER wonder if he will leave me if I gain weight, if he will find me ugly when I gain weight from pregnancies, etc., things that many thinner women often contemplate. I know he loves me for me, and he's told me multiple times that my weight/size does not matter to him.
I'm fortunate enough to have a condition (obesity) that is CHANGEABLE. I obviously haven't changed it quite yet, but I know it is possible. I see it here every single day. It's not a permanent condition for which there is no cure/solution.
I honestly believe that having grown up obese has led me to become one of the most mature people for my age. Even when I was in middle school, I once had a teacher tell my mother that he loved my sense of humor and he loved talking to me, but that he felt I was "too mature" for my peers and that even though my sense of humor was funny, he felt awkward laughing a my comments because they came from someone so young. Even today, I look at other 24-year-olds (I happen to work with a shining example) who are constantly out partying, coming in to work hungover, calling out "sick," paying bills late, and so on--such is life for some, but I feel that because of my size, I have ALWAYS had to be very responible, mature, and hard working to get what and where I want without allowing my obesity to hold me back. When you can't rely on your nice figure and/or good looks to help you in life, you have to be able to work that much harder--and smarter.

NurseMichelle
03-20-2007, 09:42 AM
WOW- I love the answers given so far on this thread! I knew right away what my answer was going to be.

Three years ago, after I had my daughter, I got deathly ill, ended up with retained products~the placenta had not fully delivered and a week after the birth I got septic, feverish and incoherent. Ended up in the hospital for seven weeks, two emergency surgeries, and two trips on the ventillator. The doctor told my family that the abscesses I'd developed were so big, they would have killed a smaller sized woman. That it was my size that literally saved my life. How bout that!

On a lighter note, I always liked my cleavage better in a really good bra the bigger I was....it seems I lose my weight THERE first...they still look pretty good but they certainly got me a few free drinks "back in the day". :D

LisaMarie71
03-20-2007, 11:19 AM
What a great thread!

Here are some things that make me thankful I have experienced obesity (hard to imagine I could think of anything):

1. I know what it's like to be loved for who I am rather than for my appearance. This goes for being loved by my husband, friends, family, etc.
2. I know I have a husband who will always love me no matter what state my body is in.
3. I know what it's like to be invisible. Obese women are so often not even noticed because they're not considered remotely attractive, so for years I've been invisible to males.
4. I know what it's like to be VERY visible. On the other hand, as an obese woman, I was sometimes VERY noticeable because I took up more space than everyone else. Everything I did felt conspicuous, like everyone was watching, especially if it involved movement, like exercise!
5. I know what it's like to watch a scale go down from 275 to 195 (and will see what it's like to go even farther).
6. I know how to lose weight. So many people can't figure it out, or they know what to do but just can't get it together, and because I have been obese and have "recovered" somewhat, I can rest assured in the knowledge that no matter what, I do have the knowledge and the ability to lose a lot of weight.
7. If I'd never gained all this weight, I probably would never have become a runner either. As a thin (or more normal weight) person, though I barely remember it, I was never athletic in the least. Being obese gave me a reason to become a runner, and I love it.
8. I met all you incredible, amazing, inspirational people!
9. On some level, I understand addiction and how truly difficult it can be to recover from it.
10. I can help other people who want to fix this problem. I truly want to use my experience to benefit other people. Otherwise, what was the point?

And the biggest reason to be thankful for ANYthing that seems bad in your life when you're going through it....it makes you STRONG.

rockinrobin
03-20-2007, 02:01 PM
I can't quite title this things I don't regret about being obese, or things I am thankful for, for being obese, because I do find it regretable and I am not thankful for it. But Midwife, I definitely see why you started this thread. It was a real nice idea. And you have gotten some terrific answers.

I will title it this. Some positive things about being morbidly obese. (I always feel the need to stick the word morbidly in there, I'm not sure why, probably to remember just how serious a situation I was/am in.):

- Well this weightloss experience has been totally and completely positive. Although it's hard work, I am truly getting a kick out of it. The compliments I recieve daily are stupendous. I love seeing that scale drop. I love the scale. I love the healthy foods I was forced to switch over too. I love the fact that I was forced to exercise. I've said it a few times, it was almost worth being 287 lbs for the weightloss experience alone. Almost, but not quite.

- I learned that I am strong enough and smart enough to make a change in my life where need be. Though a little late. I figured out how to lose the weight all by myself. I formulated a plan and I stuck to it. I figured out what needed to be done and I DID it. I am much stronger then I ever thought.

- I've shown my kids that nothing is insurmountable. If I can lose over 100 lbs (and I'm not done yet), which seemed totally impossible a few short months ago, is there really anything they can not do - if they put their minds to it.

- I survived. Somehow, some way. I survived and lived to tell about being 5 foot tall and 287 lbs. I survived the mental toll and the physical toll it took on me.

-My husband stuck by me. Always loving me and wanting me. He really, really loves me and adores me.

- My friends and family could care less whether I weighed 287 lbs or 127 pounds. They like me, they really, really like me.

-I've learned just how supportive and complimentary and sweet and kind my kids are.

- I was able to keep my sense of humor through it all. In fact I called upon it often. What a lifesaver that was. I really am funny and sharp and clever and quick. Had to be.

- I am ultra sensitive to morbidly obese and overweight people and anyone with any kind of disability.

- I can help others now. I can inspire someone to change their life. I can make a difference. I'm not quite sure how I will do this, but I'm looking into it.

bizlawchik
03-20-2007, 03:32 PM
I know that if I had not gained this weight that I never would have known how to properly care for my body. I would have continued to yo-yo between 145-160, which is what I did from my teens until my weight started piling on in my late 20's. (I'm 36 now.) By taking this journey I am reinforcing the behaviors that I will need for the rest of my life. I believe that there will be less chance of me regaining this weight than someone who lost 20lbs because I have had the time to really learn how to properly care for my body and how to keep it healthy.

kaplods
03-20-2007, 08:12 PM
I hesitated reading and contributing to this post, because "size-acceptance," and "fat-positive," topics can be a very passionate issue for me. I get a little worked up when fat is used as an excuse to hate someone (even and especialy when it's yourself).

Since I've been overweight and even obese nearly all of my life - it has shaped who I am and how I see the world. I can't really say that I would have it (the past, that is) any other way if I could choose, as I have no idea who I would have come to be without this struggle. Would I be vain and selfish, if I had never been overweight? It's a good question.

I think we often are more generous and understanding and less superficial than those who haven't struggled. Though I've also seen people who have suffered enough to learn compassion, yet never seem to.

I guess I'd like to think I've learned all I can from being fat, and now it's time to learn other lessons.

Chunky Teacher
03-20-2007, 08:33 PM
One thing I found is this.......

In college we had to do a "Mock interview" for a fake teaching position. At the interview they critique you and give you suggestions and recommendations. My interviewer told me that "larger women" have a harder time gaining teacher positions because kids respond better to slimmer, prettier teachers. WELL.... I went on 5 interviews. I was offered 4 positions. I accepted a 3rd grade position. On the state tests my struggling readers scored higher than the MO standards on the test my very first year teaching. My kids wanted to be at school. I think that interviewer needs to get a life, I am who I am fat or skinny!

midwife
03-20-2007, 11:20 PM
[QUOTE=kaplods;1619337]I hesitated reading and contributing to this post, because "size-acceptance," and "fat-positive," topics can be a very passionate issue for me. I get a little worked up when fat is used as an excuse to hate someone (even and especialy when it's yourself).
QUOTE]

Interesting, cause I never envisioned this thread to be about fat acceptance, rather about "me" acceptance whereever I am in my journey....more to do with self-love rather than self-hate...in fact looking to the positives of this part of my life rather than wishing it away totally.

missaprylj
03-21-2007, 03:21 AM
I love this thread! I really can't think of anything new to add... I really identified with Jillybean's post.

kaplods
03-21-2007, 05:01 AM
Midwife, I completely agree, and the title of the thread, I believe, acknowledges that there is a positive aspect to obesity, just as there are positive aspects to every choice, decision, event, and state of being.

However, I have often gotten "in trouble," on threads when I have voiced my opinion that we should be able to work on our bodies and health without hating or guilting ourselves as we do so. The thread title struck such a powerful chord with me, that I hesitiated to dive into the "shark infested waters," again.

But this post has remained completely positive, and I love that. Losing weight will make us feel better about ourselves, is a common belief in our culture, and to a degree success at anything does increase self-confidence and self-esteem, but I really believe that the reverse is more productive. Learning to love, respect, and have confidence in yourself, makes you happier and more able to make any changes in your life that you want to. I do not love myself because I am losing weight, I am losing weight because I'm learning to love myself.

I always thought I had a good handle on self-respect, "despite," my weight. I've always been outgoing, outspoken, and confident under most circumstances, but it hasn't been until relatively recently that I realized that "dieting," usually made me throw alot of self-respect out of the window, as I judged myself daily based on how well I was able to stick to my program and how the scale responded.

My weight loss has NEVER been this slow, but I've also never gone this long without backsliding to the point of regaining all the weight plus more. It might take years to get all of the weight off, and I may never get "all" of it off, but that isn't even my concern at this point, it's every day being the best me I can be - and that included treating myself with respect in all I do, even in what I'm eating.

I think many of us have a habit of "being on the defensive," sometimes because of the outside world's attitudes and behavior toward us, and sometimes more because of what's in our own heads. In my case, the barrier to responding to this thread, was in my head, not based on reality.