100 lb. Club - our image obsessed culture




View Full Version : our image obsessed culture


better health3
09-06-2007, 07:55 PM
Being up to 148 extra pounds on my frame was never healthy, I think what was worse than any physical pain my choices were causing me, was the constant view that society had on me. Almost as if I was a "second class" citizen, the condescending attitude is was gets me. I know no one can make you feel inferior without our consent. Like many of you, I have had some pretty nasty, inhumane, and degrading things said about me because of my weight. :?:

I know many people judge overweight people as somehow less-than, healthy sized people. At your heaviest, how did you keep yourself from buying into that bs-keeping a positive attitide and healthy self esteem?:smug:

I had an OMG moment looking into the mirror and not recognizing the reflection back. It was like a body filled with air that you can pop. It made me so incredibly sad and upset--I did this to myself. I really do want more out of myself than to live with my "I really let myself go version of myself.":( I wonder what made me think this is okay? Probably because I strayed away from mirrors and the scale for so long. This is just unacceptable. Sorry for my long post. I hope someone can relate.:dizzy: All I can do is to use it for more motivation to shrink and get healthier.


Hermit Girl
09-06-2007, 08:01 PM
I am ranting with you 100 percent. I have had to fight the fashion industry tooth and nail to retain any sense of self love, and acceptance of who I am in *this* body. The first thing I've had to do is say NO to magazines for the most part, for it's in most every one, pointing some kind of question at me if I am *really* enough? Second, I've had to turn away from broadcast television for the very same reasons. I started that in my 20's, strengthened it through my 30's, and at 45 I almost feel like I don't belong to a large part of society > I have this image of the huge majority (of women mostly), pushing like cattle at the slaughter chute (big business cosmetics/fashion), to spend money on the latest fashion, to compete like cats clawing at each other for the attention. I can't even begin to express the relief that I never allowed myself to be in that dusty trampling herd. Almost, but I got out of it.

In the last year my personal horror has had me aghast at that reflection in the mirror as well, even at 50 pounds overweight, even by my own modest and forgiving standards of what I should *look* like. All I ever really expected of myself is to be *healthy*, and I really have to question that now. Off it's going to go, 40 pounds of it, how ever long it takes, I'm only competing with myself. It's not so I can be catty with the ladies over my looks, no way, just so I can feel I'm giving it my best as I go through mid-life into older age.

I can really relate. Can I suggest for you also a fast from magazines, broadcast television, and maybe even mirrors for a while? While you figure out how you're going to deal with your situation, perhaps begin a regimen of self love, self acceptance, and self respect, because I believe those things are the foundation of any program that succeeds.
Go Girl !

hellokitty81668
09-06-2007, 08:05 PM
I didn't have a positive attitude or good self-esteem when I was at my top weight. I hated myself and avoided mirrors at all cost. I was so ashamed of being this weight, but at the same time I didn't care( or I told myself I didn't care).
I have never been a person who cared about what other people thinks about them, but when I didn't care about what I thought that was when I hit bottom.
I now use the mirror as a tool to see how good I am doing, I am not afraid to look into it, and know that I am becoming a masterpiece. My change is not about fitting into anyone's image, it is about me loving myself.
cheryl


Cassie501107
09-06-2007, 08:32 PM
I am still struggling to learn how to love myself. Like you said, society can be VERY, VERY nasty to overweight people, and I've experienced lots of terrible things that have made me feel almost inhuman. Like I'm a freak or something...I don't know. But yeah, it's terrible. It's like being mean to people who are overweight is acceptable in our culture.

rockinrobin
09-06-2007, 08:32 PM
At your heaviest, how did you keep yourself from buying into that bs-keeping a positive attitide and healthy self esteem?:smug:



Well, quite frankly, I DIDN'T have a positive and healthy self esteem. That being said, others peoples thoughts about me was not my biggest problem. My biggest problem was my darn inactivity, my lack of energy, my not being able to be physical. Of course peoples thoughts about me was a huge problem, just not as big as the inactivity factor.

I did know though, that no matter what my size, I was a good person. I knew it wasn't a crime to be fat. I knew that I was a decent and good human being.

I also wondered at times, how I thought that it was okay to get so heavy. Like you said, how could I have done that to myself. But just like I was the one to let myself get that way, it was also possible for me to reverse it. When you know better, you do better. We're all works in progress. :hug::hug::hug:

nelie
09-06-2007, 08:49 PM
You know, growing up fat, I think you develop tough skin at an early age. When I was young (junior high and earlier) is when I got the most comments about my weight from my peers. As I grew older, either the comments faded or I noticed them less.

I also felt beat down from the many years of trying to lose weight, of being dragged to doctors, of trying so many diet plans that it is a miracle that I gave it one more try. I had lower than low self esteem at my highest weight but then I did something. I faked self esteem. I didn't allow any negative thoughts about myself into my mind. If a negative thought came up, I replaced it with a positive thought.

One thing that is still hard for me not to do is apologize to people. When I was at my highest weight, I would always say "I'm sorry". What I was really saying is "I'm sorry that I am so fat and that you have to deal with me". I wanted to meld into the shadows but being in the mid 300s, there is no melding into the shadows.

Anyway, my advice is fake self esteem. Don't let your weight be the measure of your self worth. You deserve to feel good about yourself and honestly, I think it is near impossible to lose weight unless you learn how to feel good about yourself.

PeggyP
09-06-2007, 09:28 PM
Wow Nelie, your post spoke directly to my heart....
I have gone for so many years apologizing for the most inane things. My self esteem has been zero for so long.
Better Health, I understand completely. Looking in the mirror and wondering WHAT in the world happened to ME? Where did she go? Only looking at the top part of the mirror, because looking below my neck was so depressing. I am now ready to fix the situation that I've put myself in, with God's help. I can't do it by myself...that's obvious!!
I love this website. It helps so much to know that there are others who know exactly how difficult the daily struggle is, and all of those who have reached goal are wonderful motivators that there IS hope!!

LaurieDawn
09-06-2007, 10:11 PM
I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you want to disappear when you're heavier than others around you. What I did, though, was to constantly try to view myself through others' eyes. Were there people who thought less of me because I was overweight? Absolutely. But did most people think horrible thoughts about me? I don't really think so. I know that I have known incredible people that were heavy, and I loved, respected, and admired them. 3FC is a great example of that. Without naming names, I absolutely love the posts by some of the members whose tickers suggest they have higher weights. If we can be so accepting of each other, what prevents us from being that accepting of ourselves?

I was in therapy for a while, and one of the simplest questions my therapist asked me continues to make a huge difference in my life. I felt incredible guilt over a situation that was not my fault. My therapist asked me how I would feel if someone said those things about my sister that I was telling myself about me over this situation. So, maybe it would help you to do something similar. Think of your sister or someone else you love, and then think of her weighing the same as you weigh now. Do you feel contempt for her? Are you horrified by her? Do you continue to see all of her wonderful attributes? I know that I am guilty of condemning myself for things that I would never think of condemning other people for. Why? I know that you have so much about you that is positive and that dwarfs your weight problem. That's who you are. The weight is just another characteristic that cannot overshadow you.

tingirl
09-06-2007, 11:11 PM
Boy can I relate. I didn't really have to worry want other people thought about me because I was too busy being disappointed in myself. I spent many years telling myself that I was just made this way and would always be heavier than most people. That I was always going to be the largest one in my family. Then I started to notice that I was not only the largest one in my family that I usually was the largest women in the room everywhere I went. You would think that would be enough to get me motivated, but NO! I spent many more years in total denial. To the outside world I was always happy and laughing. Inside I was always crying. Almost 1 year ago several things fell into place and I hit rock bottom. I woke up one morning and truly looked at myself in the mirror. The person looking back at me was very sad, very overweight and old looking. I looked at least 10 years older than I was. Something finally snapped in my head and I decided I couldn’t live this way anymore. I had to make a change and like Robin said I was the only person who could make it happen. Right then I there I made a commitment to myself. This time I lost weight just for me! Not to fit into some outfit, not so other people wouldn’t judge me, not so my husband would be proud of me. This time it is so I can be proud and happy with myself. We have to learn that we are worth it and it doesn’t matter one bit how other people see us, but sure as heck does matter how we see ourselves. I’m finally beginning to like the person looking back at me every morning. We are all so worth it. Sorry this was so long…..

rockinrobin
09-06-2007, 11:57 PM
Right then I there I made a commitment to myself. This time I lost weight just for me! Not to fit into some outfit, not so other people wouldn’t judge me, not so my husband would be proud of me. This time it is so I can be proud and happy with myself. We have to learn that we are worth it and it doesn’t matter one bit how other people see us, but sure as heck does matter how we see ourselves. I’m finally beginning to like the person looking back at me every morning. We are all so worth it. Sorry this was so long…..

:yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes: Yes, that's it exactly. You have to make the decision for yourself. You yourself has to want it. Just for you. Just because you finally realize that you deserve it. That you deserve to have a better life. You finally realize that you don't have to be miserable. Because there IS a way out of it. That's EXACTLY how I felt about it. Finally. And finally, having come to that realization, I was able to dig out of the deep, dark hole that I had dug myself into. Because I AM worth it.
And I need to be proud of me.

Tingirl, you really hit this one out of the ball park for me. You have no idea how much so. :hug:

famograham
09-06-2007, 11:58 PM
:cry: I am in such a bad place right now with my body image.:cry:

It boggles my mind that I can have total confidence in the *person* I am, but at the very same time...absolutely despise the weakness inside me that has allowed my body to become fatter than ever, and the body I live in...

It's like I'm two completely separate people

Linda