Weight Loss Support - Overweight=Safe Any advice?

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02-17-2011, 03:49 AM
I know there have been other threads similiar to this one but I am really stuck. I have a real problem with the strong feeling that I want to keep the weight on as protection. I know this is crazy and based in absoultely nothing normal. I guess it feels like at my weight approx. 300lbs that I am invisible. Invisible in the fact that people don't really notice me, guys don't notice me and for whatever reason I feel safe. Also, in a strange way maybe, as bad as I hate to admit it, people don't expect as much out of me so I am less apt to fail and definitely less apt to try. I know the extra weight keeps me from living a whole life. I get that it keeps me from feeling my true feelings and facing things. I understand all that and think I can overcome with some practice living in the present and feeling my feelings without eating but the safety issue and losing that feeling of safety has really got me stuck.I have come to the point which could be construded as positive, that this issue is the biggest thing holding back from losing the weight and getting healthy.

Has anyone ever felt this way and got beyond it and lived a better quality life? How did you do it?

02-17-2011, 08:57 AM
Well I started by really trying and get to the root of my emotions. Taking about an hour to sit and ask myself questions like "Why do I feel this way?", "What does that say about me as a person?", "What happened in my past that could have caused this problem in the first place?", "What should I have done differently?" "How will these changes affect me as a person?", "Am I under the impression that my weight is a part of my personality?", "Who told me that?", "How will I benefit emotionally from losing weight?", "Do I love myself enough to make the changes that need to be made", etc.

From that point, if I caught myself having negative thoughts or feeling vulnerable from the weight loss I would repeat mantras. You should really find one that you enjoy and that works for you but for me I simply repeateded in my mind, "I want this. I can do this. I do not need to be overweight to feel safe." Mantras helped me a lot but they would not have worked had I not taken the time to really come to terms with my emotions and reasoning behind them.

I suggest you meditate on you and your life and just try to be very honest with yourself. Use some of the questions I mentioned to get you started. Do not let yourself get distracted or weasle your way out of answering them. The only person who needs to hear the answer is you so don't let judge yourself. Best of luck. :)

02-17-2011, 09:22 AM

I thought I could never lose a pound. My doctor told me eliminate bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and sugar.

It was simple to understand. It was any counting. I just quit those things. Start somewhere simple like that!

02-17-2011, 09:46 AM
I can see where you are coming from.

265 is my highest. The first time, I was pregnant. The second time -- I don't know. I'd gotten back there somehow without realizing because I was so tied up in getting my kid out of baby hood and into elementary school. It was a slow creep over many years and I suppose that's how I missed it happening. I'm trying to lose it again now.

I never really noticed it as far as dating, because I met and married DH young. I was actually fine without male attention because I wouldn't have wanted it or responded to it any way -- I was married! I was in the 190's-200's then.

I did feel fat prejudice when I was interviewing for jobs. That bothered me more. I was probaby in the 210's-220's then.

As for how I did it -- I just did it. Started keeping a food log and started exploring activities. Water aerobics was a big fav because my class was little old ladies. Even fat, I could do a lot more because of my age so it was like I was the star student! And the ladies themselves were very encouraging. I eventually outgrew the class level and had to look into a gym that had a harder water aerobics level. Then I started walking.

Maybe in your journey you could try doing some things that take your out of your usual safety zone. Volunteer some time somewhere. Or go visit a new place and explore. Take a new class at your library. Whatever -- just something some weekend afternoon that is new. And then try something else. That way you are slowly coming out of your shell and interacting with people so when you have achieved your goal, your people skills are up to speed.


02-17-2011, 10:25 AM
I don't know about the "safe" thing, but I certainly am comfortable in what I perceive as the "invisible" place. It's wonderous to me how different that place is for different people, but for me, the invisible weights are 250 to right about where you are. Moving through life not calling a lot of attention, not a lot of expectations, relatively comfortable I suppose.

I think I got a little TOO comfortable and took my weight a lot farther to a high of 350 lbs. At that weight, moving through life invisible was gone for me. Now I was THE spectacle. I tried very hard not to notice, but people started to STARE when I was that large. And, I'm sure, pity me, were disgusted by me, etc.

Now I'm back in the invisible comfort zone. But coming this far back, I'm really ready in my head to take it to the next level. I have a confidence I almost don't recognize. Gone are the days when door to door salesman could talk me into anything and people could just walk on me whenever they felt like it. I'm done being "invisible", and I'm done taking crap. Get the heck outta my way because I have places to go and people to see. I am VERY important these days. I think that's the RIGHT way to feel about yourself!

I've been thinking about your post this morning, and I guess this big long response is more for me than anything. I still have to convince myself often that I deserve to feel this way. I hope you can find that place, too!

02-17-2011, 11:08 AM
I'm not sure what your reasons for feeling like you'd be unsafe at a lower weight are. I think niafabo is right and you need to do some searching within yourself to figure things out. Mine was pretty easy to figure out. I was raped at 13. If I was a weight that made guys not want me then I wouldn't be raped again, right? Nevermind the fact that rape almost never has anything to do with sex and fat chicks get raped too. Our brains are funny. I'm dealing with it by building up muscles to be strong and able to fight back if need be and I have plans to take some martial arts classes. How you deal with it really depends on the reason for your fear.

02-17-2011, 10:55 PM
Thanks So Much To All For Your Input. It Helps.

02-17-2011, 11:52 PM
I do not believe in the word fail! No one fails, you only find out how to do it wrong, until you find out how to do it right.

Imagine if Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, the guy who invented the telephone, Mr. Ford all made one attempt and said, I failed so screw it.

Where would we be?

I can tell you one thing, we would not be here. We would not have light bulbs, electricity, the assembly line, cars, phones or the internet!

The only person you are failing is yourself. Losing weight does not mean you have to jump out of airplanes or ride the meanest rodeo bull in the world, or look hot hanging from a stripper pole, but give yourself a break, there is a great big world of great stuff out there!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuAdv9PC26E This is my 63 year old aunt, indulging in her favorite hobby! She drives them, her DH builds and fixes them!

I've done the rodeo, (barrel race) thing, mud wrestled in a bar, (lost one, won one:carrot:) done the tractor pulling thing, water skied, snow skied, hated that. Loved, lost, won, had my heart broke, and loved like no other! Raised great and successful kids, hung out on an oil rig, my Dh used to pick up train wrecks, he's been on the national news from airial chopper cam, and so on.

There is a great big world out there! Go get it! Live it! Love it! Being fat is not going to save you!

02-18-2011, 12:53 AM
I agree with what the others have said here. It all comes down to one question: What is it that you're afraid of? Maybe you need to dig the root causes of your fear, of why you feel safe with your weight. Life is there to be experienced; don't let your fears hold you back.

02-19-2011, 02:30 AM
You all have such wonderful advice. I knew that fear was holding me back, BIG TIME. Seeing that fact in many of your replies is very meaningful and powerful.

hope for recovery
02-19-2011, 10:28 AM
Thank you for posting this because it is helping me to carry on looking at myself. I also have this... I want to lose weight, I know how and so I do... then I get freaked out, I eat to put it back on and I feel a .... comfort and habit...

So for me I want to hide from people, because they might talk to me, criticize me, like me, I hide my emotions, I hide my wishes and dreams, things like that. I am scared to be me. And the real me is not fat, I know my nature is not fat.

I am not even on a diet... weight has come off, just based on my attitude on food. What I do is that mantra thing... I am ready for my weight to come off, to go, I don't don't need it, I don't need to hide, I can be me. This is the attitude, my action is that I say what i think, I take a risk, I admit when i am wrong or don't know, I acknowledge my emotions and i certainly do not eat beyond full. And out of fear. I quit stuffing myself with food. I don't need to restrict food and deprive myself, I just need to stop stuffing my body with food and do some exercise. I also repeat I can eat little, I can feel light, it is ok, just for one meal, things like that. it works for me.

AZ Sunrises
02-19-2011, 01:26 PM
For me, it was the realization that I was still hiding from men after being sexually assaulted. Yes, I'd had relationships, but I kept my distance (emotionally) there too. It eventually reaches a point where you realize that it's just not worth it anymore.

Sometimes the very thing you're hiding from is a sham. I eventually realized that I was simply playing mindgames with myself. People weren't at a distance because I was fat. They were at a distance because I stay aloof in conversations and interactions. :( I was hiding from myself and memories of scars that still haven't completely healed.

Live your life for you. If you let the fear hold you back, you're not living.

02-19-2011, 01:59 PM
For me, it was the realization that I was still hiding from men after being sexually assaulted. Yes, I'd had relationships, but I kept my distance (emotionally) there too. It eventually reaches a point where you realize that it's just not worth it anymore.

Sometimes the very thing you're hiding from is a sham. I eventually realized that I was simply playing mindgames with myself. People weren't at a distance because I was fat. They were at a distance because I stay aloof in conversations and interactions. :( I was hiding from myself and memories of scars that still haven't completely healed.

Live your life for you. If you let the fear hold you back, you're not living.

This is me, too. I am very fortunate to be married to a man who has been my unpaid therapist for 23 years. He keeps reminding me that rape is not about sex but violence, so my fat doesn't protect me, it only hurts me. I know he's right, and at times I think I feel safe enough to put the fat suit away. Then something happens and I sabotage myself. Frankly, the mental work has been far harder than the diet and exercise part of this journey.

02-19-2011, 02:19 PM
I can't say I have had those same feelings... I went through a phase that I didn't want to lose weight b/c I thought I should love myself for who I was. I also went through a phase that I didn't want to lose weight b/c I just couldn't stick to anything or put on the work you have to do.

Now I only regret it took so long for me to start losing the weight. I feel so much better physically and mentally that I know I should continue this journey.

02-19-2011, 06:50 PM
Hi Bonnie,

I have felt similarly and still get into that mindset these days. I can't say that I've conquered it because I lost my weight and then gained it all back. Losing all the weight, especially when it's a dramatic loss, does garner more attention. I didn't like the extra attention I got, to be honest, even if it was positive.

The best thing I can recommend is counseling and maybe journaling, or reading a book on how to improve your sense of self-worth and self image.

I think you need some help in changing your perspective so that you don't equate getting some attention with feeling threatened, exposed, etc. I personally hate attention but one thing I've learned is that the attention you get after losing weight is not constant and so it's definitely survivable. I did not notice that people all of a sudden expected a whole lot more from me or anything, they were just happy to see me healthier. So, I doubt you'll have a real need to worry about everyone expecting you to be perfect once you're healthier.

Oh, another thing you might think about trying is some form of self-defense class or martial arts program. That may give you a sense of empowerment, feeling in control and more safe, and a good workout :)

Good luck!

Lori Bell
02-20-2011, 10:14 AM
I always thought that being fat made me invisible... I was so wrong.

Now being on the other side, and staying at a normal weight for longer than I ever have, I realize that being the fat invisible chick was something that I made up in my mind. I was not invisible. I was the quite the opposite. The snickers the stares the comments the glares did not make me invisible. They made me miserable. So I comforted myself with more food and booze. And guess what? I still wasn't invisible. I was in denial.

02-20-2011, 11:49 AM
I never felt happy with my old weight, but my efforts had all been in vain, so I made myself feel happy about it by saying to myself, hey at 295 I carry myself well. I'm doing alright at this weight, I can still walk for miles on end.

But walks made me feel tired, exhausted at times.

People made fun of my chest, things like people calling my chest man boobs, not feeling comfortable taking off my shirt in the summer when other men did. Slouching often to try and not get comments about my chest, even though I knew it was not fat in my chest that caused those comments, but I don't need to get into why those comments would be made if it is not fat in that area that got those comments.

I did carry myself well at 295. And I will carry myself well at nearly 300 when I one day don a 120 pound vest to continue in my strength training for my shoulders and legs. I could carry it once, I will train my body to carry it again for different purposes the second time around.

You are no better off at your weight then I was at mine. That safety net we create for ourselves to justify it is simply ourselves trying to mislead ourselves. In being overweight and unhealthy, we are our own greatest enemies. Does it make you, or my former self bad people or wrong people? Not at all.

We are all students in life, learning about ourselves always. What makes us happy, what we want to change. If you can say you are truly happy where you are at then by all means, be happy. I would rather wish happiness on the world then tell someone they have to lose weight to be happy.

But if you want a change, then you definitely are taking a step in the right direction by approaching the subject.

I was not happy, but I was not sad, I simply was. I was there, and I was able. Now I am stronger, faster, and greater then I have ever been in my life physically, and in many ways mentally.

Take my advice and others any way you desire as well. Even if you don't take it at all. But think about this. Everyone here, and myself, took time out of their own lives, to talk to, and encourage you. We can't encourage everyone, no one is physically capable of doing that, but we took some time out of our lives for you, well, I know I did at least, and I personally wish you the best, and hope the best for you.

02-20-2011, 03:13 PM
when I read your original post, I felt like it resonated with me. I've gotten down from over 300 lbs, and feel much better, I'm healthier, able to be more active, and have an easier time socially. But at this weight I do get the sense that I'm struggling to plug in and get this weight down due to a sense of fear, like what you mentioned, of more being expected of me, of having to do more and put myself out there.

for me, there are other complications and factors too, biological and schedule wise, etc. Like for anybody. I do think there is that need to be in control to counteract the fear of "the new me" and what "the new me" brings with it. I think it's a matter of taking small steps, and gaining confidence in my own abilities to make the right decisions for me. I can do something or not do something regardless of what the number on the scale is. Does that make sense?

Also, there is an aspect of it that just involves having a plan and following it, exercise wise and eating wise. the mindlessness of that helps me break through the fogginess that the emotional issues can cause.

02-20-2011, 03:31 PM
My weight problems really started when I was dumped by a boyfriend of 10 years. I gained because I was depressed, not only because of the break- up, but because I felt like a failure on every level, personally, career- wise, etc. I also felt that I did not ever want to go though the devastation again that I did with the breakup, and completely lost interest in dating. I think the weight makes me feel safe because I feel invisible to men, and I wanted it that weight. I also went through a very traumatic when I was young, and that left me feeling threatened if I got any attention from men, and my weight makes me feel safe from that. However, I just finished college and have started an exciting new career and feel more confident than I ever have. I'm still not interested in dating, but I really want to lose weight now not for anybody else, but for me because I care about my own health and well-being, and that is a good thing! I think it's all about loving yourself enough to realize you are worth the effort

02-20-2011, 03:34 PM
I meant to say that I went through a traumatic rape when I was young, which made me feel threatened by any interest from men.