Weight Loss Support - How did we get so big?

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04-22-2009, 08:28 PM
I first want to apologize up front if I offend anyone with this post. It really is just something that I have been thinking about for several years and in no way meant to hurt anyone's feelings.

This morning I weighed 201 pounds. As I was puttering around on my computer, I came across all of the spreadsheets that I make each time I start a new "diet". This only covers a span of about 3 years and my weight ranged anywhere between 214 (the most recent start date) at the high to 178 at the low. I noticed that I almost always started each new chart at right around 200 pounds. For me I guess 200 has always been the number, whether I have hit it or it is coming quickly, that I realize I need to do something.

This morning, I took a walk around my neighborhood. Two miles gave me plenty of time to think about whatever came up. I ended up wondering how people got so large. Much in the way I suppose skinny girls wonder how a girl my size got so big, I wonder how people bigger than me got to their size.

For a long time, I weighed about the same. I shouldn't have since I ate fast food everyday, snacked all day long and ate amazing amounts of chocolate or ice cream every night. I always knew one day it would catch up to me. Well a few months ago, after changing to a strictly sitting job, it did. I gained 15 pounds since September of last year. So here I am on the journey again.

I suppose my question is, at some point I can feel the excess skin under my chin push up when I'm sitting, get so horribly winded climbing the stairs in my house that I am basically forced into action. Don't most people have this same realization? Obviously, in my case, I haven't lost it for good. I never get to goal weight but I knock off 10-20 pounds for awhile anyway.

I know that some people have medical problems that cause them to gain or maintain large amounts of fat but I don't think that is really that common. I know too that some people have higher self esteem and maybe the extra weight doesn't bother them as much mentally as it does for me.

I don't know if this makes any sense to anyone but me and it probably sounds rude and I am sorry for that. I guess it just seems like it would be hard to get to 250-300+ pounds without that AHA moment. I have to say though, that those of you that start off that heavy how amazed I am at your accomplishments. I look at the 50-60 pounds that I need to lose and am overwhelmed by it. I do not know how I would manage if I had one or two hundred pounds to get rid of.

04-22-2009, 08:45 PM
yea i went to the doctor the other day and she said my 'start' weight was actually 223lbs that's crazy to me, i was 135 3 years ago..... thats almost 100 lbs in 3 years... i take medication that has caused me to gain some weight but it was also the way i ate and no exercise.... i now go to the gym everyday and calorie count it's only been 2 weeks but this is my 'aha' time.... i'm getting to my goal and it's not gonna take me a year....

04-22-2009, 08:53 PM
Well, in a way I can understand what you're talking about. As one of those people you referred to who weighed "250-300+ pounds", I can tell you that for me, it was definitely related to depression. I gained weight at a very difficult time in my life when I was in an unhealthy relationship and just didn't care about myself. It was kind of like a blur, or denial. It was like I couldn't (or wouldn't) see what I was doing to myself physically, mentally, or emotionally. The same time I started losing weight was the same time that I began coming out of this "blur" I was in and changing all aspects of my life, not just the weight. So, I just woke up somehow.

Now, that was when I weighed between 250-270. As for anything lower than that, well it's easier for me to ignore, or tolerate because when I weigh around 240, I am much less physically uncomfortable than I am at a heavier weight. I carry my weight mainly in my hips and thighs, so the last place I gain is my stomach, specifically my upper abdominal area. When I gain there, I feel pysically gross and moving around is difficult, and it's just plain hard to ignore. Your post was interesting to me, because I have often thought that maybe if the first place I gained my weight was the "uncomfortable" stomach area, would I let myself get this big? I will never know the answer, I guess.

04-22-2009, 09:01 PM
I do tend to gain in my upper ab area first and you are right, it is very uncomfortable. I hadn't thought of it that way before. Also, I suppose it is also true that if you are used to a certain weight, as I was to being close to 200, that is your normal.

See this is why I posted this. I needed insight into the minds of others, because for the most part, that is what this is, all in our minds.

04-22-2009, 09:12 PM
I have about 125 pounds to lose, probably a little more, and I can tell you that I think about this quite a bit as well. I mean, I've always been heavy, as are most of the women on both sides of my family, so part of it is that overweight has always been my 'normal'. But my sister and I have the exact same body type (and the exact same trouble losing weight) and she never got above 150, probably, whereas I made it 100 pounds past that before I said 'enough'.

Part of my problem is medical, I guess, in that I am super carb-sensitive, and I tried to be vegetarian for ten years. My diet was actually not that bad for the most part, but I kept gaining and gaining because I was eating lots of carbs. I can eat 1200 calories a day, but if I eat too many carbs, I will gain weight. It doesn't matter how low I go, calorie-wise, or how much exercise I do, carbs make me gain.

Anyway, that was part of it. But even when I was a 160 pound high school student I was pretty active, hiking and biking and a lot of aerobics videos. Once I got to college I stopped working out, and once I got to a size 18, I was too self-conscious to work out outdoors where people might see me and stare, so I found myself in a real catch-22.

This is a very rambly way of saying that the weight just sort of crept up over the years, in my case, and once I got to a certain point I was so mad at myself and embarrassed that I couldn't bring myself to do anything about it. I was so depressed the entire time, but my half-hearted attempts at dieting made no difference because I hadn't figured out the carb thing, so I always gave up.

The thing that was different about this time, I guess, was that I started swimming in a private pool, so no one could see me, and swimming burns a ton of calories. So the first 30 pounds came off pretty easily, and then I stalled and had to figure out the carb thing and give up vegetarianism. It was a huge adjustment, and I still struggle a lot. I've been at it steadily for almost three years and I've lost about 75 pounds. Most people can drop that in six months or less when they start at my weight.

But that's the way it is, and at least I know what to *do* now. I sure wouldn't go back, so the only way to go is forward. Getting to morbid obesity was a long process, so a couple more years of weight loss is not going to kill me. At least that's what I keep telling myself. ;)

04-22-2009, 09:13 PM
I think part of it is also what's "normal" around you. If the rest of your family, friends, and coworkers are overweight, then it's probably harder to have that "whoa, wait a minute" moment. I've lived in a lot of different cities/states over the last 5 years, and it was SO EASY to gain a lot of weight when I was living in Dallas, and so much harder to ignore my weight now that I'm in Portland. Most of my friends in Texas were overweight, never went outside, and ate burgers/fries/etc for every meal. It was easy to just do what they were doing, and I felt comfortable. Even pool parties weren't that big a deal. So I just never really had that moment where I was like, OMG, this has to stop.

As soon as we moved to Portland, all of a sudden my friends and coworkers were SKINNY. And everyone I pass on the street looks like an athlete. All the places we eat have smaller portions than the places we ate in Texas, and exotic salads and healthy quinoa bowls on the menu. Even after losing over 20lbs I'm still not thrilled about wearing a swimsuit at the gym. Here, I feel like my weight is a problem, and I need to do something about it. I can't be comfortable and obese in Portland, I don't think.

So yeah, I think part of it is the environment you're in, and what's considered "normal".

04-22-2009, 09:22 PM
I don't know... I guess it was depression. I was 240-250 a couple of years ago and I gained most of that in about a year. I was just eating and eating (binging) anything I could every night, usually when everyone was asleep. =( but damn.. I gained the weight then so fast it left me with a bunch of stretch marks on my body I will have for the rest of my life now. I guess like Sunrose said, it's a blur. I'm taller so it didn't really hit me how much weight I was gaining. I also wasn't weighing myself, but I knew my clothes weren't fitting anymore, and I even had jeans that started to rip and I finally had to buy new clothes and didn't fit into the size 16s in regular stores... and had to go to fashion bug and buy size 22 pants. I was wearing 2x shirts... I can't believe I let myself get to that point :(

My realization point was when I started to like a guy and that gave me motivation to start losing the weight... I got down to 160 then. I did wind up dating that guy for a couple of years then but put my goal weight on the side...and gained back some weight. I kinda wish I knew of this site then, because it was a problem dating and always going out to eat and trying to eat like the naturally skinny guy ate. That relationship turned out bad and ended about a year ago and my weight is already creeping back on. I find myself binging at night again. I know if I don't get ahold of it now I can get back to 250 in no time.

and that's why I'm here... to find support to eat right and reach my goal for good and stick to it.

04-22-2009, 09:40 PM
I ate too much of the wrong stuff. Everyone around me was seriously large and we all were eating buddies. I just didn't care. No need to have an AHA moment if I could make myself comfortable at a large weight -- you can get belt extenders on airplanes, you can have 2 seats at a movie theatre, you can get clothes in any size online at any time of the day...people are adaptable, and everyone around you is encouraging and participating with you in your bad habits. There are lobby groups and political movements based on fat acceptance. While not socially acceptable, there is a movement afoot to accept your size, which is indeed healthy to do psychologically but might not be so healthy physically. So if there is support amongst your friends, and you belong to the political groups, and believe that your size is beyond your control, why change? The ONLY thing that used to bug me was summertime -- hot, humid, sticky, and you can't hide in your clothes like you can in the winter. And summer is coming up. Thank GOODNESS weight gain isn't permanent...

04-22-2009, 10:03 PM
I've been big my whole life. If you gain 10 to 15 pounds a year, you don't really notice it. I've never been "winded" or felt uncomfortable. I probably gained (on average) a little less than one pound a month from my junior year of high school until now. That's not a difference you would notice. For example, say you lost one pound this month... You're not going to notice it - same with gaining.

04-22-2009, 10:54 PM
I feel like I have something in common with a lot of the posters on this thread. I have been overweight since I was a baby. I was 240 lbs in the 11th grade, then starved down to about 175 as a freshman in college. Got married right out of college and my weight started creeping up, year after year. I was on diets left and right but still gaining. By the time I was 29 I weighed over 300 lbs. Finally found Atkins and it was a lifesaver; the first diet that ever worked for me. Lost 100 lbs, looked and felt great. In 2003 my always-rocky marriage started collapsing and I went back on Atkins induction and lost another 50 or so pounds, down to a size 14. The I was laid off and my ex demanded a divorce the same week ~ the rest is a blur (as a wise woman above said) and the next thing I knew it was Christmas 2003 and I was a size 26/28 again...by 2008 I was over 370 lbs.

There was no moment at which I realized I'd gained more than I ever had before. I really had no idea how much I weighed when I committed to this permanent lifestyle change August 14, 2008...I was shocked to learn how much I weighed. I gain weight all over, pretty evenly distributed, so no one body part problem stuck out. It sucked all over.

One lightbulb moment for me on this thread though ~ I do remember how uncomfortable all the fat/extra chin was when I would look down at my laptop before...that's all gone now WOO-HOO! I only have a double chin now when I grin, like 'normal' people...it's wonderful.

Physically why did I gain all that weight? Extreme carb sensitivity. Emotionally? Life-long depression...and I never knew I was depressed until 2008. 39 years. It's so different NOT being depressed. It's wonderful.

04-22-2009, 10:58 PM
Even at my top weight I was on my feet most of the day, doing a job, and coping with life. Like Mandi, I've always been overweight (yup, even as a kid). And probably like her, I never gained a large amount of weight in a short period of time. (Actually, after an illness which was partly weight-loss related I did regain some weight fairly fast.)

I admit that sometimes I read posts from people who are lighter than me, talking about how they can't do things (physically) and I just wasn't there. It was a step on a scale (after my own at 330 error'd out for years) to find out that I was over 400 lbs that started me losing. However, it's quite easy to slowly gain weight over the years without thinking too much about it.

04-22-2009, 11:08 PM
I've been big my whole life, I was big because I ate the wrong foods and I used food for comfort, celebration...my life pretty much revolved around food. But like others said that was my "normal". I'm 27 and I'm just starting to understand now that not everyone views food the way I did/do.

I was a size 20 but the time I was 20. Even though I hated being plus sized, I always told myself it was OK and I wasn't really that big. I denied my weight all the way to 270lbs. My "Aha moment" didn't come until recently because I basically was not ready to lose the weight before now.

Also from being overweight my whole life. I don't feel as disgusted with myself...not like my skinny friends who feel horrible about themselves if they gain ten pounds. I don't know how to explain it, but I just don't feel disgusted with my body. The big reasons I want to lose weight is to be healthy and improve my fitness level. I WAS disgusted that I was lazy and wasting away from lack of physical activity.

Anyway, I think always being bigger all my life aided me in thinking it was my "normal" and that's what lead me to getting to 270lbs.

04-22-2009, 11:13 PM
I have been overweight most of my life. I actually was thinking about this very thing today. 200 was my wake-up call many times. My weight would creep up to 200, I would freak out, get my act together, get my weight back down to 165-170. Still not where I wanted to be, but I would get lax around 165-170 and go back to my old ways. Along with being overweight, I have battled depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember but I managed to keep both in check. Several years ago, between working at a job I HATED, a ton of stress from work, going to school full time, my anxiety and depression sent me into a tailspin. Instead of freaking out when my weight got close to 200lbs, I just stopped weighing myself. I couldn't handle my weight gain with everything else, so I choose to ignore it. I worked with 160 people in which 80-90% were overweight, most obsese, so no one really noticed. I went from 165 to 240 in 9-12 months. I panic sometimes thinking what gaining 85lbs in less than a year did to my body. It scares me...the huge stress that I'm sure that put on my heart, my lungs, my liver, kidneys...I just hope my work now will help reverse the damage I have done. As terrified and ashamed as I was to weight 240lbs, it didn't stop there. I continued to gain another 15lbs on top of that to reach my highest weight of 255lbs.

I still battle depression and anxiety, along with many, many other health problems on a daily basis. I have made countless attempts to fix what I have done in the past...this time I will succeed.

04-22-2009, 11:39 PM
This is actually something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. I was actually underweight as a child, but around puberty starting packing on weight. My mother had her own eating/body image issues (she's very thin and a nose away from bulimia) and put them on me my whole life. I grew up with "No boy likes a fat girl." and "You have a pretty face, but..." My mom made me feel horrible everytime I put something in my mouth to eat so I started to eat in hiding and binged at a young age. I was diagnosed with severe depression at 14 after i attempted suicide which I thought was bc I was "fat" though I wore clothes barely in the double digits. It was the depression that caused the weight gain and not the other way around.

I crash dieted to get down from 165-137 in HS. When the weight started to creep back inevitably, I became obsessive over calories and exercising, and took diet pills (which my mom got me on since 13) which turned into using speed. I stopped doing pills a few yrs later and the weight came back on. In college I was up to 190lbs the highest due to all the binge drinking and late night eating. The next yr, i was down twenty odd pounds, healthy, but got pregnant.

Both times I had my kids, about 2 months later I ran into a bleeding/hormone problem that helped me gain almost 30 lbs quickly each time. (I barely gained pregnant). I became depressed again over it and started the whole binge/guilt cycle.

It's something I am trying to come to grips with even now. I had a horrible 2 weeks and reverted to old patterns. Food can be like drugs, especially when you have addictive tendencies. I am trying to get healthy for my kids by doing it the right way, without pills or drugs, without 4 day starvation periods, without being compulsive. It's hard. I never wanted to see how heavy I had gotten, but until I come to terms with my inner demons, I'll never succeed.

Lori Bell
04-22-2009, 11:48 PM
I've always struggled with my weight, though I haven't been obese my whole life. I worked very hard at staying a "normal for me" size 14-16 for most of my adult life. Sometimes smaller, sometimes larger, but within a 40 pound range. When I started gaining, it was depression, (as it usually was when I started gaining). I became severely depressed when my oldest son was diagnosed with autism. I put on quite a bit of weight and finally caught it when I was around 250 and began the losing process again...I was going to cure my son from autism and I was going to lose weight. I vowed this was the last diet I would ever go on. I got back down to a size 14 and stayed there for a while. Then one day I realized that I could cure myself from obesity, but I could not cure my son. I somehow felt guilty and I sunk into the deepest depression I have ever experianced. It lasted 3 years and I refused to get help. In 3 years I gained an enormous amount of weight and didn't care. I already said I was never going on another diet...so I didn't. And like others, my location didn't help. The majority of the people in my community are overweight. My turning point happened after a severe panic attack where I seriously thought I was going to die, and right then and there, that very moment, I decided it was time to get my life back. Talk about life (and death) flashing before your eyes! So here I am working it, and now weigh less than I have in 18 years...yippee.

04-23-2009, 12:14 AM
I got up to 300 pounds. It didn't come without those "Aha" moments, but those moments are not always matched with commitment, and thus, results. In other words, I was horrified at what was happening to me at times, but I still felt powerless... will-less... or in some way unable to enact the changes for consistent weight loss...

04-23-2009, 12:31 AM
For me the weight gain came when I lost my sister suddenly when I was pregnant in Oct03 and I had my 2nd baby boy that Nov03 and then he died from SIDS that Mar04. I gained about 100lbs

04-23-2009, 12:42 AM
Honestly, it varies from person to person why they gain weight. Could be medical, could be emotional, could be in a lot of cases, plain carelessness or inattention to their own health as other priorities (i.e. work or family) take over.

04-23-2009, 12:52 AM
Interesting thread! I didn't really have an "aha" moment, until I was pregnant, I was always on the bigger side, 160-180 lbs normally, and always trying to get to a lower "normal" weight, but at the same time I was very very active so I didn't experience any weight related issues (other that not breaking that 10 k in an hr no matter how hard I trained- but that's another story). But then 2 pregnancies changed everything. The first one I went up to 250 lbs, even that was tolerable it was the second one that did me in. The last weight I checked in at was 279 lbs the month I had my second son. Now I know it was pregnancy and all, but I truly believe that what I experienced was akin to morbid obesity. I couldn't walk across a parking lot without pain and getting winded, I was perpetually sweating and chafing in various areas (I started wearing deodorant under my breasts and belly for crying out loud), and the scariest thing, when I lay down on my back, all the fat around my chin and face pressed on my throat and made it hard to breathe, and that is when I made the sleep-apnea and obesity connection. That was my "aha" moment. That was when I realized that I did not want to live my life this way. Even having just a taste of it scared me and it also opened a window of understanding, I now have the greatest empathy for people who are struggling with morbid obesity, and especially trying to start moving/exercising more. I could barely walk by the end, doing anything remotely resembling exercise was a major ordeal. I know what a herculean effort it is to take that first step both literally and figuratively. So I say kudos to us all for taking those first steps towards a healthier and happier life :)

04-23-2009, 08:20 AM
Another one who's had a lifelong struggle with their weight but for many years my high weight would have been around 190 which I would lose 30-35 lbs of and regain. My first pregnancy in my late 20s was the first time I saw over 200lbs and then the weight gain does came quite swiftly, particularly the last 3 months. As a full-time working mother I never found the time to make the commitment to lose the extra lbs that came about after my first pregancy. I'd lose a few, gain a few and dieted myself up to about 230lbs before I fell pregnant again. I weighed around 250lbs following the birth of my DD.

I must say that despite being such a weight and I was mid 30s by then, I did not have any particular medical problems and was still moderately active so there was still no ah ha moment. I reached 290lbs before that happened and was approaching 40. I was getting minor discomfort, particularly in warmer months, and my knees were beginning to object. In 2003/04 I managed to get my butt in gear and lose 60lbs and then plateau'd. I maintained around there for a while and in September 2004 I ended up having to undergo emergency surgery to save the sight in one eye. I came through the surgery and recovery fine but the whole event just threw me off kilter emotionally and I slipped back to my old ways. It took me nearly 3 years to regain the 60lbs before I decided again I needed to get this under control.

So yes I do think our thresholds are different and I do believe there there are times in our lives when things other than our own health and well-being need to take priority.


04-23-2009, 08:53 AM
Much in the way I suppose skinny girls wonder how a girl my size got so big, I wonder how people bigger than me got to their size.

When I'm out, and I see people that are teetering on the obese side (not so many, considering most asians are tiny), I also wonder how can they not feel it, and why won't they do anything about it? I think there's a difference in the body language of someone who is taking charge of their weight and making a change and someone who just can't be bothered. It's in their walk.

But when I'm walking home from the train station, and I see some people who are overweight going for jogs and working in the outdoor gym, I mentally cheer them on. Like, "Yeah, go, go, go! You can do it!" I'm hoping some positive vibes help bring them a little further. :):)

04-23-2009, 08:54 AM
I think my problem may have been my perception of myself. At my highest I weighed 257. I still bought nice clothes and in my head I never thought I looked heavy. I avoided the camera and when I saw the occasional photo of myself I was shocked at how I really looked and would attempt to diet but the weight would come back when I returned to bad habits.

As I got older the reality of my family history finally sunk in. (High blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems). I knew if I wanted to be around to see my kids have kids and enjoy retirement with my husband I needed to take action. What's been different for me this time is I'm not "dieting". I have changed my eating to a plan that I can live with for the rest of my life. I'm watching portions and eating more fruits and vegetables. I plan ahead for splurges. I am doing some form of exercise everyday. I have never felt like I couldn't have anything these last several months. I am in a better mindset to decide if something is worth eating. As a result of my efforts, in addition to seeing the scale the lowest it has been in almost 20 years, I have seen great improvements in bloodwork, I'm sleeping better, I no longer have heartburn, walking a flight of stairs no longer leaves me winded, the list goes on!

Thanks for starting this thread OP. I think it is causing people to really look at where they are and how they got there.

04-23-2009, 08:55 AM
I gained a ton of weight keeping my mom's cancer secret from my brothers and dad. I had begun gaining weight before, but not really bad until then. I just stuffed it down with food. Then I was the only one taking care of her and more food, then she died at 53 with the perfect body full of cancer...Now I'm here 2 years later not willing to die at 35 of a heart attack because I can't say no to a cheeseburger and fries. I ate and ate and ate to get this big because I couldn't express what I was feeling so I stuffed down my emotions.

04-23-2009, 08:58 AM
Unlike many of the other posters, I was not overweight my whole life. I was a skinny little kid, and a normal sized teenager and college kid.

Weight loss wasn't something I ever considered until my mid-20s, when I had put on 35 pounds, most of it I think from drinking beer after work every night. I went to Weight Watchers and promptly lost those 35 pounds, but I skipped the maintenance part of the program--big mistake!

After that my weight went up slowly from year to year. No pregnancies, so I didn't have that as an excuse. By my mid-30s I had gained those 35 pounds back. That's only 4 pounds per year gain, so it was easy to overlook or just not know about.

I would follow a pattern of deciding I needed to lose weight, "being careful" with food for awhile, and trying to up my exercise. I would lose some number of pounds, and then life would intervene and I'd stop doing what I was doing. Every time, my weight would be a little higher when the light bulb would go on again.

I was almost 200 pounds when my mom died in 2005. I had to buy new clothes in bigger sizes to go to her memorial gathering. Although I had come to the conclusion before that that I seriously needed to lose weight, this was the turning point for me. But again, I had gained only a few pounds per year, average, since my mid-30s. Easy to overlook, justify, ignore, deny.

I've now realized that eating "like everyone else does" is not an option for me if I want to stay at a good weight. I do have to pay attention to how much I eat, and what I eat. I do have to make sure I stay physically active. I believe this is what everyone should be doing, overweight or not. That's the lifestyle change so many talk about.


04-23-2009, 09:53 AM
I too was a skinny kid and was around 150lbs (both being a miracle since down in New Orleans we celebrate every single change with a party which = lots of food!) when I got pregnant with my first child....I took being pregnant as a free ride to eat whatever I wanted and wound up gaining 80lbs with that pregnancy. Started on WW when he was 2, lost 40 pounds and had to stop officially doing it when I got pregnant with my 2nd. At that point my life was so crazy and my husband traveling for up to 8 months out of the year started just wearing me down and making me depressed.

Then Hurricane Katrina happened and that just opened the flood gates for my depression big time....along came child #3 too. I ate everything and in secret. I felt like I was drowning and no one was there to help. After a lot of meditation & thinking back on how I was letting my life just be flushed down the toilet, I was determined to find myself again. I wasn't only the wife, mother and person everyone came to to make their world right....my whole identity seemed like it was gone and three months into my self discovery the whole thing just clicked after attending a convention. I saw pictures of myself with no disillusions. After that I made the commitment to myself to do this weight loss for me.

So yeah I don't wonder why when I see people with a lot of weight to lose. Everyone has their personal demons....they just come in many forms.

04-23-2009, 10:13 AM
When I was in high school, I weighed around 200-210 and honestly believed that I was the fattest person in the world and that everyone who ever laid eyes on me was struggling not to vomit at my disgusting appearance. Then I got a wordrobe makeover when I went off to college and lo and behold, guys seemed to like me all the sudden. I was getting all kinds of male (and female) attention, and my eating habits were changed by the fact that I was eating in the cafeteria and nowhere else (so never after 7pm), and dropped almost twenty pounds in an astonishingly short time. I maintained 175 through my first year of college, then got a summer job at Burger King, where the onion rings are heaped all over the place and the chicken nuggets are equally plentiful. I started my second year at college at 210 again. After graduation, I had a rough summer trying to find a job in my field and ended up moving from Indiana to North Carolina, far away from my mother and her watchful eyes, reproaching me silently when she could see me making bad food choices. That new freedom from what I saw as criticism, combined with an unprecedented increase in wages, and some serious laziness, joined forces to steer me into the drive-thru every day (occasionally twice a day) for four years. I snapped out of it when I went for my first annual physical last Autumn and the (also a tad oversized) doctor-lady told me that I weighed 276, and pointed out that 276 is startlingly easy to round up to 300, a number my brain found itself suddenly unable to process. She also told me I was playing with fire, and that regardless of how exemplary my overall health is otherwise now (blood sugar = perfect, blood pressure = perfect, low-stress, etc etc), I cannot reasonable expect it to continue this way as I progress into my late twenties. Basically she said, "Rosanne, you WILL be diabetic in five years if you don't fix this NOW."


Thighs Be Gone
04-23-2009, 10:21 AM
This is a really good post and definitely worth the time to think about.

Several things came into play. For me, I had stopped valuing myself as any thing other than a caretaker, a mother, a wife. I wasn't ready to embrace health and beauty and BALANCE. It was easier for me to turn my back on those things and say things like, "I don't care about that stuff"..."I don't like to shop because I don't like today's styles"...."I am big-boned and the weight charts can't be right for me"..blah, blah, blah...etc...Deep down I had low self-esteem and didn't feel worthy of having the health, beauty and balance. Much of this was because of the dysfunctional and abusive home I grew up in and always being treated as if I wasn't worth those things.

Physically, my late night eating contributed greatly to my weight gain. I would eat somewhat normally during the day but when all were asleep in my house and the lights went down I would make my plate. I could easily consume another 1500-2000 calories before going to sleep. So, I gained and gained and I gained. I also didn't exercise and was very lethargic because of my nutrition and because of my sleeping patterns. My nutrition, exercise and sleeping are all closely intertwined. I really must have the optimum of all three to feel well.

04-23-2009, 12:33 PM
I used to weigh 250 about 3 years ago. The weight gain was very slow, certainly not unnoticeable (is that even possible?) but I think I was more accepting of it than if I put on a ton of weight very, very quickly. My biggest problem was simply ignoring the problem. I didn't care to make the effort to eat healthy and exercise, I didn't want to give up my favorite greasy, heavy foods, I loved them too much and simply wasn't willing to give up my food lifestyle even though I was unhappy with how I felt and looked. There was certainly a little denial too. I wasn't overly depressed about myself, I wasn't sickened when I looked in the mirror, I would still go shopping and find a great top and think "hey I look pretty good in this!" I would look in the mirror in the morning and do my hair and think I looked alright. My "turning point" was my sister's wedding in which I was a bridesmaid. I looked at all the wedding photos afterward and I was so ashamed. I couldn't believe how "ugly" I looked and I felt guilty as if I'd ruined all of her wedding photos (weird, I know). That was when I decided to lose some weight and I made my goal 100 lbs! I was sooooo overwhelmed! I've since lost 55 lbs. (not necessarily in a linear fashion but I'm still 55 less than I was back then!) and altered my goal a little so I have only 35 lbs. left to lose and that doesn't seem nearly so daunting. I'm feeling more positive about my weight loss again (I stopped altogether for about a year) and ready to finally get where I want to be!

04-23-2009, 12:43 PM
I was a competitive athlete from junior high through college and then a recreational athlete after college. I was always really strong and really fit. Even after college I would go for 15-mile walks on the weekend, just to be out and moving around.

Then one year I gained 100 pounds in under 18 months without changing my diet or exercise. I just gained. As I gained I got less and less happy, especially as my doctors were at a loss to figure out what had happened.

Then I moved from a decent job in a big city, with plenty of parks and public transportation to get me moving, to a horrible job in a remote area with few things accessible without a car. I had finally stopped gaining dramatically, but now I was depressed -- overweight, new (awful) job, new state, no money, free food (the job had a cafeteria) = more weight, less caring. I kept seeing doctors, trying to figure out what had happened. One -- a short, fat woman -- told me I was just eating too much and should be eating between 800 and 1200 calories a day. I'm 5'11". That wasn't going to happen. I finally found a good doctor who was testing all the possibilities (PCOS, thyroid, Cushing's, etc.) and then moved to another city. Phooey.

Before I left, though, I was diagnosed with PCOS -- homones were off, I had the perfect string of pearls, etc. -- and thus got treated for it in the new city. The Metformin helped, and I was able to eat normally and lose weight. Hooray! Then I met my future husband and lost even more weight -- hooray!

Then I went off the Metformin -- I don't even remember why at this point -- and boom, back up the scales went. I changed jobs again and moved to a new state, where I went to see a new endocrinologist. He was not a nice man. He dismissed all the previous tests that showed that I had PCOS and told me that I didn't have it. He said that I'd had what he called a metabolic shift, and from now on, for the rest of my life, I'd have to wake up every morning and ask whether I wanted to be fat or not. This didn't go over well with me! But I needed health insurance, and they refused to insure me because of my PCOS diagnosis, so I acquiesced and had him write a letter to them telling them that I didn't have it.

And then I got mad, and then I got stuck.

I gained more weight, reaching my max about a year and a half ago. It took me a while to process what he'd said and the reality that he was wrong in one way -- this wasn't anything that I had chosen -- but right in another -- there was nothing I could do about it, it wasn't going to go back to normal, and I WOULD have to make the decision every day whether I wanted to be fat or not.

I made one more last-ditch effort last January with another doctor to see whether there was a medical reason for my gain. There was one hormone that was "off" -- the levels were too high -- but my doctor wanted another doctor to see me, and because he's a specialist in the field, his screening procedures are pretty rigorous, and then last Valentine's Day, I broke my leg. So. I was unable to even walk for 6 months of 2008, which SUCKED. Luckily, my body decided to give me a break, and I only gained 8 pounds over the year. However, I was really unhappy with being where I was, physically.

The weight had come on so quickly, so I just expected it to somehow go away quickly. And I kept expecting it for 1, 2, 3, 4...9 years at this point. Even now, eating 1650 calories a day and burning 3500 calories a week, I'm losing maybe a little under 7 pounds a month.

But I had to accept that although I didn't cause the problem, I had to solve the problem. And here I am. It sucks, and I'm still a little pissed off about it, but it was this or lose the rest of my self-respect, my husband, and, frankly, the ability to move. It was NOT fun trying to go up and down stairs on crutches with a very badly broken leg swinging around. It was even less fun to hear people muse that perhaps my weight had to do with my breaking my leg.

I still get pissed off that I have to struggle SO HARD to lose even a modicum of weight, when I didn't get to even have any "fun" in putting most of it on (100 just...appeared...in 18 months; 40 was through depression, frustration, food, and lack of movement over the next 9 years), but that's the truth of the matter, and there's NOTHING I or anyone else, or the miracles of science for that matter, can do about it.

Geez, now I'm all pissy! I try not to dwell on my past specifically because I get mad about it, and the last time I got mad about it, I sat around and ate pizza because if my stupid body was going to decide to be fat without any input from me, I might as well enjoy the ride! So...no more anger, just determination...breathe in...breathe out...breathe in... ;)

(ETA: Whoa. Sorry for the screed!)

04-23-2009, 01:22 PM
Walrus, you need a hug. (((((Walrus)))))

04-23-2009, 01:42 PM
I've been chubby since fourth grade. I've been fat since seventh. I've been obese for almost three years and it is wearing me out. I was raised to eat whatever tasted the best. Lard covered lard cakes fried in lard or whatever. I didn't really notice how bad it was going from about 200 to 250 when I was three months pregnant with my son. They asked when the last time I weighed myself was and this adorable brunette just smiled while she asked me all these healthy questions from her size 2 floral skirt. I was so embarrassed.

I gained 15 pounds with my son, lost 23, went back to 250 and hovered there until I was done breastfeeding at nine months. Oh, how sad I was to realize that I was not chubby, but obese and just unhappy with myself when I should be overjoyed at how awesome my life is!

I vow to be gorgeous. To myself, to my husband, to my son. I want everyone around me to say "I am SO proud of you. You are gorgeous." I want to be gorgeous inside, I want to feel like my weight is such a small part of me and I am awesome.

I got big by completely ignoring my weight. Eating large portions of everything and being way not active. I didn't even like going for a walk. I'm changing my life for the sake of everyone around me, but most of all, myself.

I'm going to be fit and healthy because, really, what are my other options?

04-23-2009, 01:48 PM
I pinpoint it at 4-5 years ago. I had never been medically overweight until then, though I was somewhat depressed/anxious, reaching the higher points of my healthy range (and meaning to drop some pounds) when suddenly, the unexpected death of my sister threw me into depression.

This huge weight gain was, I think, a result of my social and work isolation as well as my apathy. I only vaguely and occasionally cared that I was getting fatter because it wasn't a priority (however, nothing was a priority). I stopped taking care of other physical-beauty related things because of my weight -- nothing else was worth it because, well, 'I have bigger problems' (literally).

(Edited to add -- Oh, and I got married out of college, when we were both continuing in school. We made just under 18k a year and I thought I was brilliant for making it work with nightly dinners solely based on potatoes, white pasta or rice every night -- dark days. At the same time I was also recently reformed from teenage eating disorders so I was also kind of proud of myself! If I could go back, I'd run up a credit card, anything.)

I had (have) been basically suspended from my normal life. I went on a 'diet' twice but it didn't stick.

At some point last year I realized that the weight was no longer a symptom, but a cause. I was now avoiding things because of my weight and my discomfort (vain discomfort, not really physical).

Since August I have been using my relative isolation and lack of a full life for my new purpose, using it to concentrate on weight loss, health and self-improvement. There's a lot I'm still not ready for, but that's what this time is for. With all the weight I lose, I notice I start taking better care of other things, especially things to do with my person.

I started crying just the other day when I realized that I gained, and am losing, the approximate weight of my sister who died (she was still a child, not an adult weight). I've actually been carrying her around, I think, and now I don't want that anymore. Geez, I am starting to tear up just writing this.

Even though my specific story is overall different from what I've read, I can't even begin to say how many single sentences on this thread have reflected me as well. It's all a blur -- wasn't happy about getting near 200 so stopped checking -- so many single sentences.

04-23-2009, 01:56 PM
And I too will have the stretch marks forever from gaining so fast. I just hope my skin snaps back. I'm going on 28 and it could go either way for the rest of my weight loss, I guess.

04-23-2009, 02:20 PM
This is a very interesting thread! I reflect a lot on our society as a whole and why obesity is epidemic.

As a population, we don't move much anymore. People used to have to physically work for daily needs -- till the fields, milk the cows, chop wood -- and walk miles every day. We don't, our lives have become extremely sedentary. Kids don't even play outside as much as they used to because of safety concerns and computer games. On top of that, high calorie density food is readily available, cheap, and easy. Advertisers push it in our faces everywhere we look. Portion sizes are enormous. We eat, and we sit. That's not even considering emotional eating, physical ailments, and medications that contribute to weight gain. It's no wonder that so many are obese. It's a wonder that even more aren't!

Like a couple of the other posters, I wasn't heavy as a child, but I've fought the battle of the pudge my whole adult life. My most recent "AHA" moment came when I weighed more than when I was pregnant, and absolutely nothing fit (not even my fat clothes -- and I was NOT going to get even-bigger sizes!!). I've yo-yo'd many times, and I'm determined that this will be the last. But, I have to choose to live differently than just about everyone else around me, and frankly, it gets tiring sometimes.

I'm not saying that we aren't responsible for our actions -- what we choose to eat and do -- because we are. But, when every input around us pushes high calorie foods in our face, when restaurants don't have to post calorie counts, when every social gathering revolves around food, and when our cities aren't bike or walker-friendly -- it sure doesn't make it any easier.

04-23-2009, 03:42 PM
Wow! This thread is fascinating! I'm always looking for books, magazines, online articles, and tv programs that are related to weight because they help to motivate me, and this thread I think has them all beat! It so full of emotion and sincerity and reality! Thank you all so much! It's so interesting to hear the different paths and journeys that people have taken.

I was a thin girl who didn't know she was thin. I always wanted to weigh less than I did. I never suffered from anorexia or bulimia, thank God, but I always had weight issues. I am 5'8"-5'9" and at 18 years old at 118 lbs, I wanted to weigh 115. At 21 years old at 121, I wanted to weigh 118. I remember once at 19 years old weighing 124 and fasting for 7 days, only drinking water, as a way to lose weight. That was the first and last time I tried that at least! I may have lost weight, but I was mean and nasty and barely had any energy to get out of bed! In college, I had a caliper test done that indicated my "perfect" weight was 124.8, which I thought was too high! But as I got older, that became my goal weight. I yo-yo dieted between 125-135 during the first 5 years of my marriage. I remember once getting to 137, and my husband making "cute comments" about my weight, quickly saying he was just teasing. Let's face it, young men are idiots, lol! But because I had issues with weight, I never forgot it. Fortunately, he is a mature and wonderful man now, who just yesterday said, "My god, Jacqui, you're beautiful," and I could see it in his eyes that he really thought so. :) So I forgive him for all his mistakes of the past and, hopefully, he forgives me of mine! And boy, have I made some mistakes!

During my first pregnancy, I stopped dieting for the first time since I was a pre-teen, and I went from 135 lbs to 192 lbs, and I have the stretch marks to prove it! Luckily, the weight came back off fairly quickly, but this time, it was a little harder to keep my weight down, and my yo-yo-dieting this time went from 125-145 lbs. Then I got pregnant with my daughter, and I swore I wasn't going to eat "all out" like I did carrying my son. Even so, I started out at 140 and went to 186 lbs. After my daughter was born, I really had trouble trying to get down to 125. I did it once. Mostly, I hovered between 135-145. Over the years the yo-yo dieting started taking its toll, and I found myself sometimes weighing 150 and even 155 lbs.

Then 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and that led to depression, and I was prescribed meds for both conditions, which caused me to really struggle to stay in the 140s. To make matters worse, the antidepressants threw me into hypomania, and so I was then diagnosed as having bipolar 2, and I was given mood stabilizers, and that was the kiss of death, weight-wise. My weight jumped 50 lbs in 6 months! It was a shock, but I was so messed up emotionally by that time that the weight was the least of my worries. After 4 years of wild mood swings, I weaned myself off all meds. It's been a mind-over-matter thing. The RA is not severe and only requires meds when it flares now. The depression I treated through going to therapy. And the bipolar 2 hypomania was a reaction to the antidepressants, so since I am no longer on them, I no longer have hypomania. I've been "crazy-free," lol, for 6 years now. And have only had to take anti-inflammatory medicine for my RA once for only a brief time.

Going off meds made it easier for me to lose weight again, but by that time, I was resentful about ever having to diet again. I saw what I had done to myself, how ridiculous I had been about my weight, and I swore my daughter would never grow up ever thinking she was fat or had to diet, and so I de-emphasized the need/desire to be "skinny" or to diet. (Thankfully, both my children, who are in college now, are naturally thin and do not have weight issues.) But it's been 10 years now since my last diet, and it's time to think about my weight again, and this time, to do it in a healthy way. I can see the mistakes I made along the way--the severe calories restrictions, the going "on" and "off" diets, and never changing the way I eat in order to be healthy. I no longer want to weigh 125. I want to weigh 145, which is a healthy weight for me. I no longer eat junk food. I eat healthily, consuming whole foods with a balance of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats, and I drink only water and green tea. I refuse to eat less than 1200 calories a day and that would be the very lowest I would eat. I am no longer "on" a diet that I'm planning to go "off" once I reach my goal weight. I created this problem with a boost from meds at the end, and now I'm going to fix it...not to be thin but to be healthy.

04-23-2009, 04:10 PM
I cannot say how happy I am to have had this thread have this kind of response. I am so glad that I didn't seem to offend anyone.

I am going to make a kinda weird comparasion...forgive me for a moment...
One day, many years ago, I saw a Jerry Springer episode (lol, life lessons from Jerry!) which was about transexuals. After listening to them talk (and fight of course, it was Springer) I remember thinking how awful it must be to feel like you were born another sex and how you must really feel it necessary to be that other sex. I mean why would anyone do that, putting themselves on the outside of societies "norms", just because. Ever since then, I tend to be more accepting of things that others may find wrong or immoral or whatever.

And how is this relevant? Well, I think that most of us, especailly those on the smaller side of obese, may look at those who are much heavier than us and say "how could they let that happen?" Listening to everyone's individidual stories and understanding more about how they got there makes it harder to be judgemental. Everyone, including myself has reasons that they have gotten to this point in life. A huge common thread is depression, that I think no one can understand unless they have been there.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to learn some about all of you and I hope that you all get somewhere with your weight loss that you can be happy and healthy even if it isn't that size 6. Something that I am taking away from this thread and this site in general is that I need to stop freaking out if I am not losing fast enough. Why am I in such a hurry? Continue to make better choices and it will eventually come off. If it is 1 pound a week until I am at a comfortable weight, so be it. I will still look and feel a lot better a year from now.

Good luck and thank you to all of you!!!

04-23-2009, 04:52 PM
Walrus, you need a hug. (((((Walrus)))))Aw -- thanks! I'm trying to not let it get to me, but I was so fit for so long that this still doesn't feel like it's REAL. Like it should go away if I just, you know, walk a couple nights a week or stay away from chocolate. But I'm slooooooooooooooooo...ooooowly coming to terms with the fact that it IS real, and if I don't want to feel this way any more -- and I don't -- then the only solution is to force my body to obey my mind :club:.

04-23-2009, 07:54 PM
I don't know how I let myself get this way, well yes I do and no I don't.

I was always chubby. I look back at old photos of myself and I was always just a bit chubby, not huge but noticeable. I had a tummy, but I liked to eat. I think part of what saved me was my mother cooked at home but very healthy.

Then just before I hit highschool I thinned out. I was like 145/150 lbs but very curvy. I wore size 10/12 jeans and had guys all over me. I loved my body. I was on the swim team all four years and though my eating wasn't good I was thin.

Then I hit college and BALLOONED. I gained like 85 lbs in 4 years, part of it was always studying, the other part was eating bad, eating out daily, and so on. Then I found out I had PCOS also- right after I went on birth control was when my body went NUTS.

I wish I thought about things more when I was younger- but I'm still young-26- and I want to get rid of this weight so that I can live out the rest of my life healthier than I am now- I don't want to be on all sorts of medications for blood pressure and so on. I'm too young to deal with that!

Peep Smith
04-23-2009, 08:21 PM
Wow, you guys are all so open and honest about your struggles with weight that you make me tear up! This is a wow! thread and I'm going to print it out and keep it around.

I've always had weight issues, but in high school and college I managed to keep myself at 130-140. After college my weight started creeping up, and by my mid-30s, I was around 228. I got home from a trip to Scotland and had hit that high plateau. I was devastated...but saw how it happened. Bad eating, no exercise, and blissfully avoiding reality. I thought that if I wore stretch pants and baggy shirts, no one would notice. At that low point, I decided to get serious about losing some weight, and I did very well. I lost 40 lbs over 6 months and dropped to 180. And then I got sloppy. I had not made the life changes that are necessary to keeping the weight off. I went back to eating large portions, drinking alcohol, avoiding the gym, and pretending that nothing was happening. And I ballooned right back up to 208.

Now I'm back down to 197. I'm forcing myself to read about eating, why we eat, and how to come to terms with eating. I'm facing the fact that, at age 47, I cannot eat like a teenager any more. I cannot be my desired, healthy weight of 140 (doctor's rec.) and have gin on the rocks, chocolate cake, heavy pastas, and other stuff I love to eat. I just cannot.

What's helping me greatly this time is using the same psychology I used to quit a 20-year smoking habit 8 years ago. I do this one minute/hour/day at a time. When I woke up in the morning, I used to tell myself, "Today, I will not smoke. No matter what." When I was quitting, I never thought about 6 months from now, or a year from now, I just thought about the next hour or day. And it was amazing how those days piled up. And I didn't smoke. That was 8 years ago, and it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself.

So now I take this one day at a time. And I'm educating myself, and doing some introspection. Because if I do not change my eating habits, and find my triggers, this is going to happen again. And this time, in my mind, I tell myself that I know how good I could look and that there's nothing to be scared of when I eventually do look that good.

My deepest thanks to you all!

04-24-2009, 01:01 AM
I was a scrawny, underweight kid, an average-sized teenager but I struggled a bit with my weight after getting put on meds for depression, then through most of college I was a health nut, eating well and exercising like a maniac, weighed about 135 and went jogging all the time. Then I got put on prednisone which causes weight gain and increased appetite. I won't put all the blame on the drug, but it acted as a catalyst anyway. I gained and became depressed about gaining. I ended up gaining some amazing amount in a short period, something like 60 pounds in a matter of months. This put tremendous strain on my body, since my muscles and joints just weren't used to carrying around the extra weight; it was like suddenly carrying a big bag of cement everywhere with me. My body couldn't handle it and just walking to class gave me horrid back pains. The weight gain killed my self esteem and made me not want to exercise in front of people, so I just sat in my room and ate and got more depressed and inactive. I felt self conscious to the point I wouldn't want to leave the house unless I absolutely had to. My clothes weren't fitting and I'd hide under layers of baggy tshirts and hoodies and I just had no self esteem. I gained so fast that the stretch marks on my stomach were horrid (prednisone encourages the weight gain to happen in your midsection) and I felt like a monster.

It really was sort of a blur for me, and all this started about 2 years ago, and I didn't really notice until I saw a photo of me a friend took at a bar and I was like "OMG is that even me?" I didn't recognize myself. I knew I'd gained, but it never really hit me over the head until then, and then I started trying to go for walks more (starting very slow), lifting weights in my room (so I didn't feel so self-conscious), eating healthier, etc. I screwed up a few times, I'd lose 20 or 30 pounds, then I'd get sick with the flu or something and end up where I started, but I'm trying to change all that now.

04-24-2009, 02:36 AM
This is an amazing thread. I can't really respond to it fully now as I'm way too emotional (I lost a very dear friend this week and amongst other things he was one of my health/diet buddies who had his own battle with depression and weight )- thank you all so much for your openness and honesty. Its amazing!

04-24-2009, 07:48 AM
I think there are many factors contributing to obesity in people in general, and me in particular. Sometimes listing them off, sounds like a big excuse list though.

One thing that has helped me tremendously, is getting my hormones under control, with the right birth control. It's been such a drastic difference that I'm really sorry I wasn't more aggressive in seeking treatment much earlier (like decades earlier).

I wonder if genetics don't play a role (I'm adopted, and my food issues and weight gain patterns are distinctly different than my adoptive family's).

I do find it ironic that even at my highest weight, when I saw anyone larger than myself I wondered "how does that happen," even though as I gained weight, the number of people larger than myself got smaller and smaller.

I think understanding the factors and influences contributing to obesity is helpful, but only so much as it helps us develop strategies to address them. Sometimes it can be so overwhelming it can seem hopeless. If I am dealing with genetic, social, cultural, economic, psychological, and physiological factors (as we all are), it can seem hopeless. How can I dig myself out of this hole that I (with the help of internal and external forces) have gotten myself into?

How I got to my highest weight is both complicated and simple, and how I'm getting to where I'm going is pretty much the same. You do what you gotta do.

04-24-2009, 08:21 AM
I LOVE this thread. I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories because I can tell that they have come from your heart.

My weight loss journey has been a long one. I’ve battled my weight since my early to mid twenties after the birth of my now 21DD. I spent much of my late twenties and thirties being chubby and trying to convince myself and others around me that I was perfectly happy at this weight and size. My weight yo-yoed up and down usually landing around 180-185. Besides, I was generally a size 16—I could shop in regular stores for bottoms. The top is another matter since I am amply endowed and usually wear/wore an XL.

By my mid thirties I was having some health issues after the birth of my son. It was discovered that my thyroid was low and I started on medication. I was also 245 lbs. I had gained 50 lbs in 3 months. Yikes! Through exercise (which I like because it makes me feel refreshed) and white-knuckling (starving)I got down to my stand-by weight of 180-185. I continued to exercise fairly regularly but started to eat pretty much whatever I wanted in whatever portion size I wanted, and I thought that that was just fine.

Eight to ten years later and after a kitchen remodel, I found myself 10lbs heavier. Those prepackaged foods are loaded with calories, salt and taste yucky to boot. Then after a serious emotional upheaval with my now DS13(He’s doing much better now, btw.), I gained another 10lbs. I also stopped exercising altogether. Are you sensing that perhaps I eat out of emotional stress? But wait, that’s not all—I also like to reward myself with food! I don’t eat late at night, because I’ll have indigestion/heartburn, so that’s not my problem. My danger hour is the time that I get home from work (2:45-3pm) until my son gets home from school (3:30-4pm). My reward/snack probably added another whole meal to my daily calorie intake, because I would of course eat dinner too.

I too have struggled with anxiety and depression on an off during my adult years. But I also think that as a mom I completely ignored my own needs, and my weight. I wasn’t on my list as Oprah says. I figured if I was clean, had my hair and makeup on, and was dressed somewhat appropriately I was ok. As my mom always said, “Nobody’s looking at you.” Which sounds mean when you first hear it, but when you think about it it makes sense. Most people are too concerned with how they appear to others to notice you. I feel like our outside selves are often a reflection of how we feel on the inside.

04-24-2009, 08:39 AM
I gained all my weight by being an emotional eater.

That and a combination of too much beer , fast food and too little exercise!

04-24-2009, 11:10 AM
I was a thin child who always had to wear "slim" jeans. Once I was a teenager, I was still slim but thought I was fat because I weighed 155 (I'm almost 6 feet tall, for goodness sake!). When I was 16, I was a cheerleader who also had an after-school job so my day was go, go, go from 6:30 AM till sometimes 10 PM. Many days I would survive on candy bars, and I got so thin and exhausted that I stopped menstruating.

I got married when I was 19 to the wrong person. Nice guy, wrong person for me. I had struggled with (untreated) depression since I was 14 or 15 years old. I still managed to stay fairly thin during this time, but I don't know how because I ate a lot of junk. I remember in my early 20's a friend and I went on diets because we both weighed 165.

I gained 70 pounds with my first pregnancy at age 24. The baby was born with some problems (he's now fine, thank goodness) so it was a very emotional, upsetting time. I lost almost all the weight (60 lbs) and then became pregnant again within the year. I gained 60 pounds and after the baby came, lost all but 10. So now I was 20 pounds heavier than before babies. I had bad post-partum depression with incompetant treatment after the second baby and the weight gain started then. Up, up, up I went.

I would lose and gain the same 30 or so pounds several times over the next 20 years. I was never really thin, but mostly felt OK about how I looked. Like many here, I just fooled myself into thinking that I was a little chubby or "busty". 12 years ago, I got divorced....I changed from being depressed to being kind of scared and alone.

I've never told anyone what I am about to tell you guys: After my divorce, I figured that eating was going to be my only physical pleasure from here on out, so why not just eat? I had no man and no sex life, and now I was also supposed to give up the pleasure of eating whatever and whenever I wanted? I was very angry at that thought. I would do half-hearted attempts at losing, but it never really stuck. Then several years ago, I got serious and lost 30 pounds. I looked good, felt great.....and guys started paying a LOT of attention to me. Whooops! Time to regain the weight! I kept it off for a year or so but, as of January, it was back plus more.

So....in January I found myself weighing 30 pounds more than I weighed with a full-term pregnancy of a 10 pound baby. How depressing is THAT. But I was also sick with asthma, tired and crying all the time, and literally bursting from the seams of my ony pair of jeans.

I decided that I had to get serious this time. I was tired of feeling fat and invisible and alone. So I faced the scale and I googled for help and, thank God, I found you guys. This place literally threw me a life preserver as I was barely keeping my head above water. You've kept me afloat as I slowly learn to swim again.

I figure that, once I hit the place where I'm really looking good, then I will use my EAP visits with the mental health counselor and just learn to deal with male attention. Do I feel that this is the last time? Yes, but I also felt that way last time I lost weight so I cannot rely on my feelings. I have to rely on my behavior this time around.

And now I have to go because I am going to be seriously late for work!!!! :)

04-24-2009, 11:20 AM
I always had a weight problem, but I didn't care that much. There were too many other self-esteem issues that took precedence. Oddly enough, I was always strong and mostly healthy other than blood pressure problems. I think I was healthier at 270 than I am now. I get winded easily and I can't lift nearly as much as I used to. Guess I lost too much muscle the first time around!
I didn't care when I was at my peak at 287, but I started working on it anyway for other people. Now I'm around 200 and I do care about it. I feel it more now than I did before. Not just emotionally. I can feel the weight on me like I couldn't before.
I don't really indulge. I just don't seem to have any metabolism at all. A couple months of not weighing and counting, and I'll pack on 20 pounds before I know it. No cakes, no candies. It's like a ninja's sneaking in my room and slipping Skittles in my mouth while I sleep.


04-24-2009, 11:27 AM
I have to say, I love the idea of a Skittle Ninja :D

04-24-2009, 12:08 PM
Velveteen *hugz*

Thanks for sharing everyone :)

04-24-2009, 10:10 PM
I have to say, I love the idea of a Skittle Ninja :D

I would imagine his outfit would be much more colorful than a normal Ninja!

04-25-2009, 07:17 AM
This is an awesome thread.

I was thinking about it yesterday while my internet was not working but a post about focus this morning reminded me ...

I can remember fussing about clothing and fit and how I looked when I was in my teens and early twenties. I always was just soft ... you know ... control top hose pretty much did the trick.
I can remember making a two piece dress for Christmas after my youngest was born in October. Someone mentioned how good I looked for having three small children.
I don't think I remember ever weighing 140 something, nor 150 something. But I do remember 165! By then I had three teenagers.
I think I just lost focus or was busy with other things.

04-25-2009, 10:30 AM
I overeat and not active...Food is everywhere and no escape of it.There are so many food places to dine,bakeries,and not one soul of a weight loss center in my area.

I live in a new neighborhood and most of the people are heavy set. I got heavy from eating junk foods and not staying active. Never been married or had kids. I'm in my 40s and tackle this weight in my teens years.

It's a constant battle, my weight caused me nothing but grief and now I am ready to change my shape and be happy for once in my life.

Good topic!

04-25-2009, 11:42 AM
There are so many factors that contributed to my weight problems. I was always a fat kid (not just chubby, mind you, but fat) and had problems with compulsive eating at a young age. I remember sneaking food even before I started kindergarden. When I was young I ate as though I had no "off" button... if I was at my relatives' house and they set out cookies or cheese, I would keep eating until it was gone. Even though I was a fairly active child who loved to play outside I reached 200 pounds well before I started high school. I only kept gaining from there. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I think all of these things contributed to my weight:

Developing a taste for junk food at a young age
Learning to cope emotionally with food
Being exceptionally picky about fruits and vegetables
Having junk food around all the time
Coming from an overweight family
Being sensitive to stimuli for junk food
Normalizing big portions
Not realizing how nutritionally empty the foods I ate were
Eating lots of fried things and white bread, adding oil to everything
Being clueless about calories
Frequent crash dieting and following all of the fads
And other things...

04-25-2009, 04:53 PM
Oh, Drina, I followed your link and am in awe of your progress pics! Such an inspiration to me, because I feel we are similar in starting stats/appearance. I can't wait to drop more sizes and look that good.

04-25-2009, 05:04 PM
/Procrasting about sticking to a plan.Ex.I will start my diet tomorrow,or after a certain occassion.
/Not realizing WHY we are overeating,sometimes it is just about the food,but I
think there are usually other issues,and that is how we learned to cope.

04-25-2009, 05:17 PM
I have been overweight most of my life. I actually was thinking about this very thing today. 200 was my wake-up call many times. My weight would creep up to 200, I would freak out, get my act together, get my weight back down to 165-170. Still not where I wanted to be, but I would get lax around 165-170 and go back to my old ways. Along with being overweight, I have battled depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember but I managed to keep both in check. Several years ago, between working at a job I HATED, a ton of stress from work, going to school full time, my anxiety and depression sent me into a tailspin. Instead of freaking out when my weight got close to 200lbs, I just stopped weighing myself. I couldn't handle my weight gain with everything else, so I choose to ignore it. I worked with 160 people in which 80-90% were overweight, most obsese, so no one really noticed. I went from 165 to 240 in 9-12 months. I panic sometimes thinking what gaining 85lbs in less than a year did to my body. It scares me...the huge stress that I'm sure that put on my heart, my lungs, my liver, kidneys...I just hope my work now will help reverse the damage I have done. As terrified and ashamed as I was to weight 240lbs, it didn't stop there. I continued to gain another 15lbs on top of that to reach my highest weight of 255lbs.

I still battle depression and anxiety, along with many, many other health problems on a daily basis. I have made countless attempts to fix what I have done in the past...this time I will succeed.

:( your story sounds exactly like mine. i think that i have been in denial for a long time. i gained that much weight in a year also. the thing is i think i pacified my depression with food. but it wasnt like i ate at a buffet or ate fast food everyday..i would munch.. a bag a chips here or a candy bar there. i was soo busy with school and work and being a single mom raising 4 kids that i didnt stop to realize anything. this is the largest i have ever been. was i a fat kid? no..but as a teenager i struggled. my mother and sister have anorexia. i on the other hand am a food addict. the word diet makes me hungry.your story touched me. thanks for sharing

04-25-2009, 09:55 PM
I was thin/fit as a child but in my culture the like chubby babies and I guess the fact of my mother and grandparents not knowing about over feeding kids was a total chaos. My mother says that I used to wait for my granpfather and eat again out of his plate (late at night!). When I reached 10 I was looking chubbier, but since I was always active I developed into a fit teen (not skinny like a model but around 110 pound well proportioned). I remember my wardrobe when I was a teen hehehehe. All my college years were fine but I used to eat and eat and think that it would never affect me.

I moved from my country in 2004 and I was in a 120-125 weight by then, got into a terrible relationship and I started eating and getting more and more isolated, my weight started creeping up. My friends would not recognize me, I would not recognize myself and I couldn't believe that me the one that had always been a strong woman was in the darkest hole ever. I ended up the relationship and move on but by then I was overweight.

After that I started dating my husband and in 2007 we decided to get pregnant (I was overweight). During my pregnancy they diagnosed me with diabetes and I got really strict about my diet since I didn't want to cause any harm to my baby. I didn't gained a lot of weight and I was being so diligent that my doctor was very proud of me. When I was around 19 weeks into my pregnancy we were told that our son was coming with a congenital heart defect known as TOF, that was devastating but I continued taking care of my diet. The problem started once I gave birth, I started eating everything and ignoring the fact that I'm a diabetic. I have never been depressed in my life and I think I was facing a post-partum depression but would not recognize it. My son had open heart surgery when he was 3 1/2 month, it was a success. After that I noticed that something was wrong with his back and he was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis and right kidney hydronephrosis, that was another blow for me and I turned to my shelter -food-. I would not take care of myself, I would not look myself in the mirror, I was letting myself go -Me, the once popular girl, the trendsetter was now a total disaster. One night I was feeling so sad that I opened up to my husband, my body was feeling the consecuences and I was feeling sick. My husband told me about WW and their program...I can't be more grateful for having him as my husband. I've being 4 weeks into the program and I'm feeling much better, down 7.4 pounds and got me a new haircut. I'm feeling like I'm finding myself again and nothing it's going to stop me, my beautiful son needs his mommy.

Thanks for reading and I apologize if it was long, I needed to express all my feelings.

04-26-2009, 02:03 PM
A lot of who are/were overweight are waiting for something to help change us. I know I did. I waited for "tomorrow" so start my diet, and each day I blew it and started over I just got fatter and fatter. I remember looking at a month's calendar one day and there was "start diet" marked every day - and every day it was scratched off, in favor of a another tomorrow. Below I have copied and pasted my blog entry on "waiting for tomorrow," in hopes it will help shed some light on why we do what we do.


"Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life."
I just read a post with that title. The poster talks about being fat, how disgusted she is with her weight, and gives people her diet plan for “tomorrow.”

Will she make it? Probably not.

Because planning to lose weight tomorrow doesn’t ensure success - it ensures failure. Waiting for tomorrow is how I gained almost 90 pounds. Because every day I waited for tomorrow gave me a whole extra day to eat whatever I wanted…license to eat everything that was not nailed down. Eat, eat, eat, gorge, gorge, gorge. Because tomorrow - that magical tomorrow - I would start my diet. Finally be thin. The following day, when I “blew it” and hated myself bitterly, I would plan to start the next tomorrow. And so on. Day after day. Year after year. Pound after pound. Tomorrow after tomorrow.

How did I finally change? How did I finally succeed? By starting today. This minute. This meal. NOW. Not tomorrow. It was difficult. I would rather have waited for yet another tomorrow, one full of empty promises to myself. But the tomorrows had never materialized, so I forced my tomorrow to start today. Finally took control of my own life - and succeeded.

When will your tomorrow start?

04-26-2009, 11:05 PM
I think this is amazing, to be able to sit hear and read all the many different reasons that we all got this big.

I think the one factor that drew me to junk food as a kid was- i was NEVER allowed any!
My mum is really healthy..and as kids we were rarely allowed treats. I mean we would go to school with fruit and a sandwhich and maybe a cheese stick. It made me so angry to see my friends eating all this delicious food that i had never got the chance to have before. So when i was old enough..i started bringing money to school so i could buy some junk food. I didnt want my healthy sandwhich and fruit..i wanted a sausage roll and a huge chocolate brownie and a chocolate milk!

Im not blaming my parents here...but being deprived of treats made me binge on them even more!

I have been a little over weight my whole life..not huge..but always a little chubby, i rember always thinking if only i could look like my friends!

It wasnt until i met my current bf that i really ballooned. I just thought i could eat whatever, until i realise our relatiuonship was no longer as great as it used to be, due to the fact that subconsiously i new i looked horrible and never wanted to go anywehre or do anything because i was embaressed by myself!

Argh i just dont ever want to feel like that again!

04-27-2009, 03:27 AM
I guess it just seems like it would be hard to get to 250-300+ pounds without that AHA moment.

As someone who's heaviest weight was 345lbs it's not really all that hard to do as evidenced by the millions of people who are morbidly obese around the world.

I was around 200 for a long time and then I remeber creeping up to 220 and I was not all that worried, I was still strong I could still move quickly I was still fairly young around 35 or so.

And as I got older I guess my metabolism started slowing down, I crept up to around 240 and still I was not worried. I never really weighed myself and I still felt strong and healthy abeit a little chunky but hey who couldn't afford to lose a few pounds right!

Then I didn't think about my weight or weigh myself for a long time and one day I stepped on a friend's scale and I was SHOCKED to see I weight 270 pounds! I started to get worried then. I made a few few lazy attempts to lose weight. I joined a gym and started working out. I didn't really know what I was doing and soon lost interest. And my idea of cutting back the food was I would only eat one burger when I went to Wendy's.

It was about this time my blood pressure started to rise. It was for the first time in my life borderline high! And I became scared. I started taking medication and soon I weighed 290.

Now I realized I was FAT! I felt disgusting. I felt like I looked ugly. I compensated for this by making fat jokes about myself to my friends and family. By now I weight 300 and I didn't even care. I was depressed and I knew it. In my dispair I turned to the one thing that always was there for me to comfort me ... FOOD!

Then the day came and I was at the VA Hospital getting tests and my doc asked me to just carry my files to my next appointment and I peeked into my folder and my eyes instantly riveted to something my doctor had written about me.... "the morbidly obese patient ..."

ME? morbidly obese? I mean I knew I was fat but MORBID? I almost sank to the floor of that elevator I was in.

By then I weighed 345 pounds and that when I knew I HAD to do something or I would die.

So for me my AHA moment was when I decided to lose weight and it was a slow transformation of not just my body but also of my mind.

I was in denial and it wasn't until I had knee and ankle problems, high blood pressure, lower back pain and lower leg edema that I realized I could no longer not think about my health.

And thats when I REALLY decided to get serious and try and lose weight.

sorry so long but I am really passionate about this ... I have had so many people (not meaning you!) say to me ... "all you have to do is eat less thats all"

I believe everyone who attempts to lose weight successful or not has an "AHA" moment. And when they have it is when they start changing their lives whether it is when they are 25 pounds overweight or 500lbs overweight.

I mean think about it. We don't just eat less until we reach our goal weight and then go back to the way we used to eat.

It is a life change you literally change the way you eat and view food for the rest of your life. So it doesn't matter if you only need to lose 40 lbs or 240lbs because you are going to keep this life change for the rest of your life!


04-27-2009, 03:20 PM
I don't think I've ever had an AHA moment, in the sense that it is usually talked about. I've been dieting since my parents put me on my first diet in kindergarten. As I've said, I suspect a genetic component, as my food and weight issues are much different than anyone in my adoptive family. I am the only person in the family, to have been overweight before adulthood, and I don't remember ever having an "off" switch to my hunger, as long as I could eat, I would eat if allowed to.

I was a very bright kid, and was calorie counting by 7 or 8. I always understood the mechanics of weight gain, but I couldn't control my appetite. Dieting was always torture, because I literally felt like I was starving to death - hungry and food obsessed 24/7.

It took me more than three decades to find my successful combination, largely because the two largest components of my success are somewhat unconventional and/or even controversial. I stack birth control to eliminate periods (and stabilize my hormonal issues including hormonal hunger). I've been asking doctors since my 20's about doing so, but was always discouraged. The second component being low carb, which is still being criticized for being difficult to follow and/or as unhealthy. It is difficult for me to follow, but the alternative is insane 24/7 hunger.

I can lose weight on higher carb, low calorie diets, but if I do, I feel starved all of the time (and usually end up bingeing in frustration). So losing weight hungry or not hungry - I'm going to prefer not hungry.

Personally, I think that much of my food issues are simple physiology and genetic programming. The natural world does not have large surpluses of calories lying around - animals and primitive societies of humans compete for food and overpopulation occurs before widespread obesity. Also, food doesn't come to you, you've got to go to it, even the easiest to gather foods require a decent amount of energy output to aquire.

We've turned the natural world on it's head, and so it's not particularly surprising to me, that otherwise very intelligent people can feel that the battle just isn't worth fighting. In my late 20's I decided for about two to three years I refused to diet, mostly out of fear that dieting had always resulted in more weight gain than loss. That my weight stabilized and I didn't lose or gain during those years, does make me think that for some folks traditional dieting is actually more a part of the problem, than the solution.

Weight gain and loss is theoretically simple (calories in, calories out - even if you acknowledge that some foods may change the rate of calories out), but in practice, quite complex because there are so many physiological, genetic, environmental, socio-cultural factors. Knowledge isn't enough.

04-27-2009, 08:29 PM
So many things on this thread apply to me...

While going through a brutal divorce, I lost 50lbs, and was feeling and looking pretty good at 165. That lasted about five minutes before I suddenly started gaining again. I had quickly regained about 40lbs before the doctor found out that I was hypothyroid. Even though my levels are now within normal, I've never been able to feel better or lose more than a few pounds since. The doctor won't increase my medication because my bloodwork is within normal limits.

Other than that, I don't exactly know why I got to my high weight of 283. I have some ideas, but they probably all contribute, rather than being the main cause:

-I got remarried, to a man with a BIG appetite. He loved to cook for me, and his very large portions became my very large portions.

-My husband is an extreme pack rat, and I hate clutter. Feeling suffocated under his clutter, it caused a lot of trouble in our marriage, but rather than divorce him, for several years I ate and stuffed my anger.

-Deprivation. Living on a fixed income, when it gets toward the end of the month, we tend to live on foods that "stretch"--potatoes, breads, etc. Also, when there's not enough money to do much else in life, it's easy to look at a bag of Reese's or a box of doughnuts as a "treat", "splurge", "reward".

-Loneliness. My daughter and her family moved 1500 miles away. Phones and e-mail are nice, but it's not the same as being able to see each other, or to take care of the grandchildren, in person. I feel like a huge part of me left when they did.

-Diets and discouragement. Many, many false dieting starts have left me an ever-gaining yo-yo. Carbs blow me up like a balloon, yet I've never been able to stick to a low carb plan either. After years of watching yourself go up and down the scale (usually always up), you get discouraged and end up throwing in the towel. Why sacrifice so much if you aren't going to lose more than four or five pounds out of the hundred and twenty you should lose?

-Narrow life and just plain exhaustion. Other health problems have left me unable to drive more than a mile or two, and I haven't been able to hold a job outside the home for a few years now. As my world becomes narrower, I grow WIDER. I don't know if it's a touch of boredom, depression, or just plain exhaustion, but sometimes you wonder, what's the point--and is it worth it? I don't think that *I* am worth the trouble to keep trying, so that's probably part of it too.

I lack the spark that will make me want to try again, seriously, to improve myself. Sometimes I'm just too discouraged and tired to care. :(

04-28-2009, 11:37 AM

You ARE worth it.

I am His
04-28-2009, 03:23 PM
I have felt that way before. You are worth it. Don't give up!

04-28-2009, 03:48 PM
Hi, I have also wandered how I got so big, I've been a yo-yo dieter for years and I am sure that's contributed to some of the weight gain, as well as the fact that at times I've simply put losing weight on the back burner. These days I am really trying to make sure that I keep myself aware of what's going on with my body and not give in to hiding my head in the sand during times when I am going through a lot of stressful
situations, although during those times eating seems to give me a bit of relief, I have now admitted to myself that over eating is a temporary fix and that it creates even more problems in the long ran.

04-28-2009, 03:49 PM
I've been eating my emotions since middle school.

When I'm particularly emotional or down (I've gone through cycles of clinical depression since childhood, more specifically atypical depression), I not only eat more, but I eat really unhealthy foods. The problem reached its peak a year or two ago when i was able to down almost a dozen donuts in just an hour or two.

My highest weight (that I recorded...I could have been even a little heavier) was 260. And yes, I do notice when I put on weight. I can feel it in my face, in my stomach, in my low-quality sleep because I end up waking myself up every time I laboriously turn around in bed. But food provides a temporary high for me that, when I'm not doing well emotionally, is really difficult to avoid. And when you're depressed...getting off that damn couch to go exercise is really hard to do. When I'm happy and normal, I'm an outdoor junkie and pretty active. But when I'm depressed...no.

Fortunately this past winter and spring have been really great for me. I sought therapy for my problems for the first time last fall, and since then I've slowly been healing. If this semester hadn't been so crazy and unpredictable, I think I would be doing even better today when it comes to weight loss. Plus I finally made some new year's resolutions that I can actually stick to. No more 'lose x amount of weight by next fall or else'. Instead, I resolved to cut negative things and people out of my life, spend more time preparing the food I put in my mouth rather than purchasing ready-made, and to become a more confident person. That explains 1) the weight loss I've experienced so far and 2) my first boyfriend/serious relationship! At 23 that might be a little sad to some people, but whatever.

And to the OP, I do not find your questions offensive at all. I've thought the same thoughts about people who are at a higher weight than I am. But then I see so many of them doing so well, and damn. If that isn't encouraging, nothing is. Don't get me wrong, the 100+ pounds I still need to lose seems really daunting to me, but people are achieving a lot more than that every day.

04-28-2009, 03:52 PM
I was skinny as a child. I was sexually abused for several years, starting in early childhood until I was 14. When I hit puberty and things got worse, I became depressed, so I stopped being active, I stayed in my bed all the time unless I was at school. And I started eating a lot because it was comforting to me. Also, part of me mistakenly thought that if I got really fat that the abuse would stop, but of course it didn't. I finally got my life together in my late teens, and started my weight loss journey. I lost 50 pounds of the 80 I needed to lose and was well on my way to goal. I ended up getting pregnant with my second baby at that time. I managed to do OK in the beginning, but halfway through my pregnancy I was put on strict bedrest. I was on bedrest for abut 4 months, and unfortunately in that time I let boredom, cravings and my emotions get the best of me so I gained it all back. Lost a little after that baby, but was pregnant again just 9 months after having her, and I ended up on bedrest yet again, so back in the same pattern. A year later, pregnant again (see a pattern yet? LOL!) and of course, bedrest again.

I am an emotional eater for sure. I was carrying a lot of baggage around for a long time, and even though that baggage isn't really a factor for me anymore, as you can see the coping habits I used back then still haunt me today. Whenever I am down, I want to eat. Now I am just trying to replace my bad habits with good ones, permanently.

04-28-2009, 04:02 PM
Truffle, please don't feel like you aren't worth it!! You are worth it, and I'm sure that the people who are closest to you would agree. :hug:

04-28-2009, 06:53 PM
I was always a little "heavy" but never this big. As a matter of fact, when I got married I was a size 7-8 which for my height would be "curvy" and I thought I was a whale...go figure. My ex-husband is a great cook and his specialty was pasta, and we both worked late shifts so our dinners were huge pasta dishes at about 10pm every night. When I got pregnant with my first son I gained about 25lb, not a huge deal but I never took it off; instead I "gave up" and dedicated myself to the house and baby and stopped taking care of me. slowly I went from about 130lb to 190 and that's when I got pregnant with my youngest. I gained about 40lb with that one and to date I've only really lost 10lb and he's 4 years old!!!
This is it though! I'm doing it this time!!

04-29-2009, 02:00 PM


I'm sitting here at work supposed to be working but instead I read through this entire thread. I am like the OP, I sometimes see overweight individuals and wonder how they let themselves get so big because I had an AHA moment at almost 230 pounds and just KNEW I had to do something. But this thread has shown me that you never know what's going on with people, everyone has their own issues and crosses to bear, as I did.

I was pretty slim as a kid. I didn't really gain weight until high school. I was 175 then and thought that I was fat compared to the other girls in my class. I slowly packed on even more weight during college. I went to Temple U in Philly.. Cheesesteaks, hoagies, Chinese food, fast food. You name it, I ate it. I remember eating whole foil tins FULL of Chicken Lo Mein in front of the TV watching Jerry Springer before going to my work study job. And physical activity? Please. I BARELY MOVED unless I was going to class.

After I graduated I came back home to NY to look for a job, and since I was in the house all day I ate and ate and ate. My parents never said anything, but I'm pretty sure they were like damn she's eating us out of house and home!!!

I finally found a job, then another job that paid more and moved out into my own place. But I ended up hating the job AND the apartment and became depressed.

Lucky for me I was in a neighborhood where there were mostly, how can I say this - ethnic people living there, mostly African American and Caribbean. I honestly believe that they put many fast food restaurants in poorer areas because they know they are the ones who eat there most often. (Just to give you an idea, there were barely any supermarkets in the area, I had to drive to a decent Stop and Shop or Pathmark, the ones in that area were just BAD...but every fast food you could think of was right around the corner.) Every single fast food joint imaginable was up and down one block. And I remember deciding pretty much every night which one I was going to eat at. Because I surely wasn't cooking in THAT kitchen. White Castle, Taco Bell and Wendy's were my drugs of choice. I'd just sit on the couch and stuff myself. I was miserable in the apartment, miserable with the LONG commute to and from work and miserable at the job it took me so long to get to. I would be on the phone with my mom crying almost every day. I thought I was stuck in the apartment because I had signed the lease and I was job hunting but nothing was turning up. I just kept getting fatter and fatter and that depressed me more, so to ease the pain I ate and ate.. which made me fatter and fatter.. and I KNOW I don't have to tell y'all about THAT vicious cycle...

I hit 220 pounds and saw some pics of me dressed for a night out in the city my birthday weekend. I looked like a STUFFED SAUSAGE in my skirt and red blouse. I hated shopping because I could only go to Lane Bryant for clothes and I hated going out because I always felt like the fattest girl in the club. I got NO attention from MEN at all and just felt horrible about myself. :(

I eventually broke the lease and left the apartment after an incident involving bees (more insects) and the management company's refusal to send an exterminator, and managed to find another job. Once I got those things situated I started going to WW and lost about 40 pounds which put me at 180. I loved my new size and loved that I could shop almost anywhere for clothes.. so I did... and ran up quite a bit of credit card debt in the process. Once the bills started piling up I realized that I didn't have the money to pay them... so I had to get a second job... which put WW and workouts on an indefinite hiatus. I tried to keep up with my WW meetings, but I was so tired all the time and was just angry at myself for letting the bills pile up like they did, angry at myself for letting the weight come back, tired from working so much, just UGH! So the 40 pounds came back along with 6 of his friends.

I finally got the bills under control quit the second job and decided to return to WW for the second time in Jan 06. This time I managed to drop 65 pounds in about a year, bringing me down to 160. But it was INCREDIBLY hard to maintain that weight and because I was being soooo restrictive with my eating I began rebelling, and binge eating and managed to regain 30 of the 65 I had lost. I felt like a failure for a LONG time, even went to therapy earlier this year to try to conquer the binge eating demons, but honestly I found that it only made it worse, talking about food food food all the time... so I stopped going. I can honestly say that I'm doing alot better now, lost 10 of the 30 I gained last year and am slowly trying to work my way back down to 160. I'm confident I'll get there, and I try not to put pressure on myself about time frames. It WILL happen and I honestly don't care how long it takes me.. I know I will get there.

Thank you all for sharing your stories!

04-29-2009, 03:12 PM
Everyone's stories are so amazing! I would love to see this thread "stickied"!!!

04-30-2009, 03:49 AM
most people got big b/c they settle down and just got a little lazy, hey its the american way. :), we get older an we tend to relax more... Another thing is fast food places are everywhere and alot people tend to eat there instead of at home, i guess because its affordable. weight takes time, just weight loss takes time. Remeber you have to eat to lose weight, most people will eat less and that will make you gain more weight. The body is like a car, food is the gas, so if you miss meals and do not eat healty, your engine will not run correctly, which is why your metabolism will become slower and slower, to speed it up, you have to eat every three to hours, meal, snack, meal and so on.

04-30-2009, 10:07 AM
I am studying to be a therapist...which might explain my way of thinking...but I believe that people all deal with stress in different ways. My coping mechanism is food when I am tired, sad, depressed, frustrated, or feeling fat. Food addiction is a lot like drug addiction...which runs in my family. As difficult as it is to be overweight, I am glad I am not addicted to drugs. However, as someone who is studying to be clinician, I dont think there is enough attention paid to food addiction as an ADDICTION. I have been looking to see a therapist who specializes in weight loss...but I havent found any. I think overweight people are looked at to be just "lazy" and it is not taken seriously. I will be interested to see if the food addiction will ever be taken seriously as a mental health issue...

04-30-2009, 11:17 AM
However, as someone who is studying to be clinician, I dont think there is enough attention paid to food addiction as an ADDICTION. I have been looking to see a therapist who specializes in weight loss...but I havent found any. I think overweight people are looked at to be just "lazy" and it is not taken seriously. I will be interested to see if the food addiction will ever be taken seriously as a mental health issue...

Maybe there aren't any of those therapists right now, but perhaps that's a niche you could fill. In the past, I have pooh-poohed the idea that there is often a huge mental component to being way overweight, but now I agree that there must be. I don't know if I would call myself an addict, but I have heard enough stories here of people eating one tiny bit of refined carbs and going into a crazy eating frenzy to believe that there IS such a thing as addiction. And I think that others of us eat for complex reasons that we may not be aware of (fear of intimacy, fear of failure, etc).

Best of luck in your career! :)

05-03-2009, 11:10 AM
for me i gained weight quick and i think ive been in denial about it. About 18 months ago i weighed about 140. For the first time in 18 months i weighed myself yesterday and it said 198. I just couldnt believe my eyes. about 60 pounds in just 18 months. I just found this site today, and yesterday after i weighed myself I said to myself im ready for a life change. I want to loose my weight, im young (22) and only 5'4. Ive noticed my weight gain was due to drinking alcohol, eating late at night and not watching not one bit what i was eating. Plus I was not working out at all.

05-03-2009, 06:54 PM
In high school I was thin- about 128 or so. My problems started when I was about 21 and I had no direction in my life. I didn't "know what I wanted to be when I grew up!" So, my weight went up and down about 20 pounds either way from year to year. Nothing really drastic, just annoying. Then when I was 27 I got pregnant and gained a TON of weight.

My doctor even got mad at me for gaining so much. I think it was because I had been a vegan for years and he told me to eat dairy and eggs. So, of course I thought that cheese enchiladas were in the "dairy" family. ;)

I gained 82 pounds. The February day I went in to deliver my son (who is now 13) I weighed 240. Though, I was down about 35 pounds the next week, just water weight and what-have-you.

But my 10-year class reunion was in that June- I weighed 145. Then up and down a bit with my second child five years later. I was about 40 pounds overweight. At my 20th year reunion, I was 145, so I guess that is a good weight for me. But I feel like if I am several pounds less that that it won't get out of control so easily. So, it really is a stuggle for the 138 number, but I have to keep my focus on it, I believe. That's my story.

05-03-2009, 07:07 PM
How did I get so big?

One bite at a time. Thousands of choices over many, many years.
An extra 100 calories a day = 10 lbs per year.
Not exercising every day = 10-30 lbs. per year.

For someone so good at math, I sure failed when it came to the simple math of being fat.

05-04-2009, 07:07 AM
How did I get so big (not necessarily in that order of importance):

1 - Not moving enough (I don't even mean exercise, just never going out even for a short walk at some point in my life).

2 - Bad food habits gained during my childhood and teen years: we had lots of money problems, and my parents often used quick fixes like "let's have bread & Nutella for dinner, it's cheaper than meat and veggies". T_T

3 - Living in denial. I would often nag under my breath at "that skinny b*tch, she's whining because she's gained 1 lb and must now diet a little, what could *I* say, huh"... until I realized that if I, too, would whine at that 1 lb and nip it in the bud, then I wouldn't gain 10, 20, 30 extra lbs!

4 - Not using the right coping strategies: when putting on enough weight to gain one clothing size, the right thing to do is to take the weight off, not to buy new (bigger!) clothes until three or more extra sizes end up piling up.

5 - Persuading myself that "I don't know that vegetable, therefore I don't like it". Solution: going in reverse psychology and Pavloving myself into thinking "I don't know that vegetable, therefore I may very well like its taste".

6 - Corollary of point 5: before, the basis of every meal was, for me, starches. (Now the basis of my dier for every meal, including breakfast, is veggies/fruits.)

7 - Living for years with a BF who was way taller and especially way more physically active than I: I unconsciously scaled my meals on his, eating just as much as he'd do. The result wasn't pretty. (It wasn't his fault, of course, only mine. ^_^; )

8 - Not weighing myself, not paying attention. (Goes hand in hand with points 3 and 4.)

9 - Having no awareness of nutrition whatsoever, and believing that pizza every two days was okay.

...Gee, this list stinks. XD