I apologize from the beginning that this post may get a little long. This is my story with a question at the end.
I was always heavy growing up, at least since 5th grade or so. Not heavy like I am now, but heavier than most of the others my age. It never seemed to bother me much until high school when boys became important. I have a picture of myself at 18 and 175 pounds. At the time, I thought I was huge, now I would love to be that "huge". I never dated, never had a boyfriend, only a huge string of one night stands that in my mind meant I couldn't have been that bad. I don't remember any weight loss attempts until I was about 23. I had gotten married to the first guy who ever paid attention to me even though I don't think I ever really loved him. I was just afraid that no one else would ever want me.
After about a year, I left him and moved into a place on my own. I don't remember actually trying to lose weight but I became a vegetarian for awhile and spent a lot of time at the bar with my friends. I dropped down to about 145 and I felt great. The string of one night stands (although they increased to several night stands) continued and I got pregnant. My weight went very quickly from 145 to close to 217 when I was pregnant. I was happy with my body for all of a few months before I gained and gained and gained.
Had many attempts over the next ten years or so, but nothing memorable and nothing long term. I seemed to hover around 195 most of the time. I met my current hubby right after the birth of my second child and we have been together ever since, although definately not without some serious struggles.
In 2006, the year I was to turn 35, I lost it. I was terrified to reach what I considered this milestone age and still be this heavy. At 209 pounds, I started losing with diet and exercise and dropped down to just under 180. I was fairly happy with that but was going through a lot personally and quit going to the gym. Well, of course it all came back. Here I am, almost 38 and five pounds over what I started at in 2006.
What bothers me know, is the same thing that bothered me 3 years ago. Even if I lost it all now, got down to my 130 or even something close to it, I feel that I have already lost the chance to do certain things in life. I will never wear a mini skirt, I can't wear those cute tight tshirts that for some reason I have always wanted to wear. I will never wear a bikini, I will never feel comfortable letting people see me naked. Of course, unless you skipped over the first half of this post, you know that attention from men has always been important to me, married or not. I feel like I will never be hot, never be wanted again. I have passed the age where even being thin and dressing better isn't going to make me attractive to others. I am old.
So, I can imagine the responses I might get. You are married, it shouldn't matter if other men find you attractive. And you are right, it shouldn't, but it does. Am I the only one who feels this way? Have others who felt this way ever gotten through it? Do you get to an age where it just doesn't matter anymore? At this point I am terrified that my feelings are just going to get worse as I age, until I do nothing but lay in the fetal position and cry.
I know that I may be more extreme about my feelings than others (hense the counselor) but I figure that I really cant be alone in this thought process.
Sorry about the rambling and sorry to have had to show my crazy side.:(
03-29-2009, 09:15 AM
Nope, not crazy or if you are, move over and make room for one more.
I was going to post a great long thing about having succeeded and blown it twice before and now, only recently thinking that this time when I've done it I'll be definitely officially middle aged at 54 - but I won't, because I'm still trying to sift it in my head.
Just, I do understand a bit how you feel, and you're not the only one BUT losing the weight is still so worth doing, definitely improves the sense of self-worth, and is so worth it from the health point of view too.
03-29-2009, 09:20 AM
Thanks for sharing. 35 isn't old. I'm 39, and still not convinced that I'm old. Or maybe you're right about this just mattering less as you get older. :)
03-29-2009, 09:44 AM
Your not alone in your feelings, I will be 35 in 2 weeks been married to my first boyfriend for 15 years, being attractive to other men is something I would love to be.
My story is the same as yours never thin, never dated,never felt good about myself, I do remember using slimfast in jr.high.:dizzy:
Don't get me wrong I love my DH very much, but the thought of having some guy come up to me and ask to buy me a drink is very appealing to me.
I want to be :smoking:
03-29-2009, 09:57 AM
Before...:welcome: I can totally understand why you feel the way you do. I just turned 40...ok, over 6 months ago, but that's besides the point. I don't care if I shouldn't wear a miniskirt, or a sexy little black dress, or a bikini at my age. When I hit my goal weight, I will buy some goal outfit, whatever it may be, and wear it...probably only in the house, or to a family event, but I will do it, because I've waited all these years to do it! :D You have to do something that makes you feel good. YOu have to have a goal to work towards. Maybe some sexy lingerie you can wear for DH. Buy a couple of those tight tshirts to clean the house in! I am 5'10" and at my HS graduation, I weighed around 180...I felt like a cow in my white graduation dress. What I would do now to fit into that dress and look like that! :lol:
03-29-2009, 09:58 AM
38 is still very young!!! I will be 45 years old in November and I want to be attractive to other guys even though I'm happily married. There is nothing wrong with that. Its called validation!
Why can't you wear a mini skirt??? I surely will when I weigh 125 again! I don't give a hoot what others think. Now the bikini thing has been out of the question since I turned 18 and had my daughter. My tummy just has never been attractive since.
Men will find you attractive, you are not old.......I have guys call me beautiful every day at work. And I'm still a chubby size 9! Part of what lures men is personality more than actual beauty. If you are confident in yourself, men seem to be intrigued.
Try to think positive. You are beautiful!!!
03-29-2009, 10:11 AM
It's all about confidence! Even though I am over 200lbs, I still attract men of all types! 38 is not old at all, I think my 30s have been the best, way better than my 20s. And even though I am overweight now, I won't be forever because I am going to get this off FOR ME!!!! Maybe you just need a shift in your thinking because beauty starts on the inside and works its way outward. If you wanna wear a mini skirt wear it! If you wanna wear a bikini, wear it! You do what you feel like! Don't let age or anything stop you from doing what you want!!!
03-29-2009, 10:41 AM
OMG... Thank you for saying what you did. I truly felt like I could never share my feelings and they are right in line with yours.
You are not old. I feel like I have missed out in so much of life too, but now is the time to not "miss" anymore. There are things that we have experienced that others have not. Perhaps they are not the things that we would have chosen for ourselves, but they have shaped us into who we are. While we may have suffered (in ways) because of it, there are other things that we have now that we couldn't have had otherwise.
For instance -
1. I am supportive of others and do not judge them based on their weight.
2. I know that being overweight is hard and that it's not as easy as "putting down a fork".
3. I still have an outfit that makes me feel "hot". It doesn't even show a lot of skin and I am "hot" in it!
4. I am goofy, partially to deal with low self-esteem, but I am a lot of fun and will still be fun when I am thin.
5. I have a deeper understanding of those teenagers I meet (through work) that are overweight and feel that I can be a better help to them because of it.
Aren't there things that you possess because of it? There has to be. So many of us in one boat, we have to have had similar experiences. We have to think of the positives so that we don't lose them on our journey.
03-29-2009, 11:44 AM
I hope all of us can get over that "it's too late" feeling. It is so counterproductive in every way. Here are just a few of the many:
It sucks energy and concentration from the task at hand, ie, getting moving, getting control of eating behaviors that led us here, getting our heads in the game of living rather than wringing our hands over our weight.
It is totally negative, and we already have enough "Stinkin' Thinkin" going on.
It is just plain UNTRUE! It is such a false assumption. Being 50 *mumble, mumble, mumble something*, (50 is a nice round #, I am happy to have achieved it, but I feel no need to add any more #s to that total), I have to say, 38 is not old, but I read plenty of maintainers on here who don't feel old at 65..or whatever age... pick a #.
Reading the maintainers stories, I don't see a single one where there is any looking back; there is only great joy in the great new world of active, healthy living. I especially love RockinRobin's story, but there are many, many great and eloquent testimonials of lives changed and the great joy of being thin, active, and healthy.
My own short testimonial: I was 48 before I got control of my weight. I had been 70 to 80#s over weight my whole life. I feel younger now, happier now, totally energetic and downright YOUNGER now, than I did at 38..than I did at 28.......or than I did at 18 for that matter.
I go out every spring and start gardening with reckless abandon, and yes, I have a sore shoulder and a sore elbow at the end of the day, but I don't have a throbbing knee the way I did at 38. (You will be surprised at how much a bad knee will forgive you for an 80# loss). I get up off the couch at the slightest provocation, never groaning or feeling that it is too much effort. I go up and down the basement steps countless times each day....for the most minimal of reasons, just because I can.
I don't know what to say about your question about male attention. There is an interesting discussion going right now about "Unwanted Male Attention", so I guess that particular phenomenon cuts both ways. It does appear to me that if you read the testimonials on here..at least every one that I have read, the joy of weight loss is not caused by validation from others, but from an internal, personal and great joy ..self love, self worth, a great deal of (well deserved pride)
I hope you find some of your answers here, and I hope you don't let this concern stop you from achieving your goals.
P.S. did I mention 38 is*not*old??
03-29-2009, 12:09 PM
I agree with maryblu! At 50 something, I wear mini-skirts (with tights). I wear whatever I want, and there is no going or looking back.
We only have the future. We can't change what was. AND, it has shaped us, taught us, and caused us to be who we are today.
I learned some good lessons while I was "fat". I am sure that I am more compassionate and understanding of other's weight loss struggles. I learned more some important lessons about myself as well.
The future is bright, and there are many, many exciting adventures ahead. And I plan to enjoy each and every one of them :)
03-29-2009, 12:16 PM
I'm a 40-something who is crashing the thread. I feel much the same way as you have described. I was slim (5'11", 165 lbs) until I had my kids in my mid-twenties. I never really recovered physically from that and have been significantly overweight since. For 16 years, ages 18 through 36 or so, I was married to the wrong person. Good guy, wrong person. So I was depressed for most of that time, which makes it really hard to do anything about weight. I've now been on my own for what, almost 13 years. All of that time has been spent raising kids and building my new career as a software developer so I've been busy and distracted. Until now.
Now the kids have moved out and are living their own lives. The career is going fine. And here I sit, talking to the cats and wondering....what next? I go through phases where I am invisible to men, and other phases where they are attracted to me (mostly younger men, for some strange reason!). Right now, I'm invisible. I've lost 15 pounds and I'm really feeling good, but apparently I still don't look so good because I'm invisible to men.
I also sometimes feel that it's "too late" for me. Being just a few years away from 50 is NOT a good time/place to be single and invisible to men! But I have to reassure myself that things will work out how they are supposed to. Maybe my journey through life is meant to be a solo journey; I don't know. What I *do* know is that I can be a lot fitter, trimmer, and healthier and maybe do some things that I have never had the courage or fitness level to do, like take a biking vacation or find a group to travel to Europe with.
I guess we need to get over the "too late" feeling because all that will do is hold us back from enjoying the life that we *do* have to the fullest. And as for the mini-skirt--why not just give it a try? If you've got rockin' legs, put on a cute mini skirt with some tights and maybe a pair of boots. I think it could look really cute!
03-29-2009, 02:24 PM
I am 33 and have never been skinny. Heck I was born @10lbs! I have never experienced any of these things. I contribute this to my mother. She was was excellent at instilling self-esteem in me. My personality has alot to do with it. I am very outgoing and self assured. The one thing I do regret is shopping! I cannot wait for the day when I can shop at Bannana Republic, Gap, Ann Taylor etc.. Just like my girlfriends :)
03-29-2009, 02:41 PM
Here, here Karen!!!
03-29-2009, 02:46 PM
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. I know that in reality 38 isn't that old. I guess it hits me harder becasue I work with a bunch of people in their early twenties. I am glad that mentally I am no longer like I was at their age, physically I wish that I was. Self-esteem has always been a problem for me. Even those few times that I lost the weight I always felt like I had to try to make people like me. Sure, I got a lot more attention when I was smaller but it was never lasting. All of the longer relationships I have had have been when I was bigger.
Either way, I guess there is no point in looking back. I am not getting any younger and at least at this point, I am not looking for a man. Lol, I think I need to start going back to therapy.
03-29-2009, 03:29 PM
I'm turing 39 soon and I only feel "old" when I let myself feel old! The things I feel I missed out on more have to do with having a child in college but I've been rectifying that since my mid-30s....I've been skydiving, have travelled the world with my bff (Bali, Amsterdam, Costa Rica, India), etc....I decided I was fed up with limiting myself for whatever reason and decided to do something about it. Now if only I could get my weigh under control :dizzy:
03-30-2009, 10:30 AM
You've had a lot of pain in your life. I haven't read the other responses as I don't want them to bias mine. I am NO expert so take this if it's helpful but leave it if it's not. It seems to me that your problem isn't your weight at all. You and I have a similar weight history. I understand that 'I wish I'd EVER had the chance to be hot' thing you mention. I get it. However the WAY you managed those feelings only made it harder for you as you seem to completely understand.
Weight is a symptom of the larger problem which, in my opinion, is a lack of self worth. That feeling of lack can't be solved by weight loss. Oh, weight loss can help but that's because of the pride you'll take in yourself for accomplishing it rather than the actual weight being gone. We gain self-confidence and esteem when we impress ourselves by doing something that is difficult for us or that we judge is above our abilities. That's internal and self-driven. It may be losing weight (the process) or getting that degree we gave up on or going after our dream in some way but all of it comes from deep inside ourselves and our desires. Slef esteem cannot be GIVEN to anyone because it must be earned.
You are still looking for external validation whether it's attention from men because you are thinner or the flattery of fitting into smaller clothes. None of that will solve the internal struggle and you know this because external validation is the solution you've gone after your whole life but it's failed to 'fix' what is hurting inside you. Until you fix that, attention from other men brought about by weight loss may just help you down the same self-destructive path you've followed at other points in your life and leave you even worse off. That happened to my SIL. She's dead now because the guy she had the fling with when she lost the weight was nuts and killed her when she broke up with him.
Other people cannot fill you up. You have to tackle whatever it is that scares you most and overcome it if you want to feel that pride in yourself all the way to your core. You deserve to feel that good about yourself. You deserve to be defined by more than the size you wear but YOU have to do it- it will never come from anywhere else.
I think you are wise for seeking the help of a counselor and that guidance will be so crucial to you. I've needed that help before too and it makes a big difference. The greatest achievement I've ever experienced (and it was a pretty big, public one) was done at my highest weight. Weight isn't what holds us back unless we let it.
I'm not saying NOT to try and lose weight. It's a worthy goal that will make you feel better about yourself- just not for the reasons you seem to want to do it. If you start to FEEL better about who you are, the weight loss will be a natural result of being a more fullfilled person.
03-30-2009, 10:49 AM
AMEN @ binderbee!!
04-01-2009, 06:57 AM
Binder...you are of course right and I know that. I have known that all along.:(
04-02-2009, 04:35 PM
Wow- so much of your post (OP) rings true for me at age 38. All of it except the husbands. I was also 175 at age 18 and went a little up and down until age 26 when I got to be 128 and finally knew what it felt like to be attractive to men and I did the exact same thing you did (no pregnancies though). I want to cry reading your post. I too feel too old even if I did get down to a weight I was comfortable at. No mini skirts, bikinis, cute tight t's. Full of varicose veins and cellulite. Competing with women 10 years younger and perkier. I dont even want to date because I feel like I will be judged. I just gave up. Why do we beat ourselves up? We are worth more.
04-02-2009, 04:52 PM
I'm 43, and lucky in having a great capacity to create my own reality and a husband who helps me feel very attractive and desireable (and we both like being naked with each other). I haven't (completely) given up on the idea of wearing a bikini or a miniskirt (I've seen some pretty hot 60 year olds). We're very fortunate to be living in a culture in which there are fewer age-dependent norms (and if you can nurture an adventurous and confident spirit, there's no reason not to flout convention and do whatever you want, regardless of whether everyone else thinks you're crazy).
That doesn't mean I don't know or understand what you're saying. I've been fat since age 5, and despite it have had a pretty good life. Some pain, lots of joy, a fair amount of friends and many significant accomplisments, and I still sometimes go down that "woulda, shoulda, coulda" path.
Every choice and event in our life opens some doors and closes others. I had to go on disability a few years ago because of health problems (we still don't know much about what the autoimmune disease will bring as a couple of the possible diagnoses are pretty serious), and it made me start thinking about what I had missed, and all the things I wanted to accomplish in my life and hadn't - yet. There's no way to fit everything I want to do into ten lifetimes, let alone one. It does depress me, if I start thinking of everything I didn't and probably won't get to do. And yet, when I look at all of the things I have done, some are pretty good (or at least "interesting").
What can you do? It is, what it is. But, the silver lining is there is still time to do, what there's still time to do. I've even made a list. Some are small and silly (I want a small tattoo of a tree frog - to symbolize my husband who collects frongs, and a larger tattoo of a wolf - an animal I identify with), and some are bigger (like writing - I've started several novels in the past 20 years, but have never gotten very far into any). I'm getting the frog tattoo when I hit 100 lbs lost. I haven't decided when I'll follow with the wolf. I'm writing every day too (sometimes only a few minutes, sometimes hours).
I think that no matter what a person has done, seen, or accomplished - they can always get very depressed by looking at what they couldn't and didn't.
Women who married or had children young (or didn't), wonder what it would be like to have chosen a different path. Every life has endless possibilities, and yet you only get one life (unless you believe in reincarnation) so you never get to experience everything. You can't relive any of it, but even when you subtract all of the things you couldn't and can't do, you still have endless possiblities remaining.
04-03-2009, 11:37 AM
Maggie I just turned 30 this year and I've had a lot of feelings you do. Like if I don't get my act together in regards to weight I'll miss out on certain things. I already wish I had appreciated my body a little better when I was in my early 20's but I didn't. My body will never be the same since I've had 2 boys and that isn't really a bad thing so much. BUT I do wish I would have just been a little more thankful of my size back then. All I can ever remember is wishing I was another size.
You are still young. I also believe we are only as young as we feel. Also having faith in yourself has a lot to do with it. I have a necklace I wear that says "Dream" and "Believe" on 2 different charms. I wear them to help me believe that I can reach my dreams and my goal weight.