Weight Loss Support - This might sting a little




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Quite-a-Handful
06-27-2005, 08:47 PM
When I started this weight-loss journey last week, I vowed never to be dishonest with myself again. And since then, I've been tackling some tough issues. Some I've worked out on this board and gotten tons of support with. But this new one might be the toughest for me so far. I heard someone say recently (or I read it somewhere) that everything we do we do because we get something from it. With the good stuff, it's obvious. With eating, of course it's obvious when it comes to breaking down and enjoying some high-cal treat -- we do it because it tastes good or soothes us, etc. But what about the over-riding picture of remaining overweight? Of subconsciously sabotaging our efforts? The question I put to myself was "What do I 'get' from staying overweight?" Of course, the "benefit" must be subconscious because I certainly don't WANT to be overweight. But something, somewhere, keeps me from staying with a healthy eating/living plan. Yes, lack of willpower is the first-level answer, but what causes that lack of willpower? What has been undermining my efforts all these years?

I'm not ready to answer this question yet. I'm trying, but I can't dig deep enough. So I thought I would put it out there to try to get us all thinking. Once we identify whatever it is in our psyche that is hindering us, then maybe we can face it head on and break the grip of fear that is making it so hard for us to lose weight. Or an I just talking outta my butt?! :?:


abinormal
06-27-2005, 09:59 PM
As soon as I read this I had to post. All this week I have been dealing sorta with the same issue, really what do we get from staying overweight?? well here is what I get:
1. Not feeling like I fit in anywhere because I am one of the largest people in the room.
2. Not feeling attractive to anyone of the male persuasion.
3. Not being able to join in when all my friends are rough housing because I don't have the endurance.
4. Feelin depressed almost every single day of my life for feeling like I am missing out on my twenty's

I could go on for days...why do i sabatoge myself...I don't know, I am currently trying to do a lot of soul searching to find my triggers for why I am so dependant on food. I have lost about 53 lbs in the past year with little work but I know that will not be true for the additional 60 I have to lose, so what do we want!!
I want to be able to feel like the person I have always known myself to be and to let other people share in who I am by not being afraid to have them to close.
So Maggie, I feel ya, my highest weight was 267 but I know that with determination I can reach my goal by my next b-day , june 2006.

BellaLumina
06-27-2005, 10:41 PM
I too have addressed that question and have wrestled with the hard answers. We do things cause they work, perhaps disfunctionally but on some level, at some point it made sense. :dizzy:

I know for me, overeating started as a strategy to keep myself safe from sexual advances. As part of my weight loss journey I have been working on these issues and on finding healthier ways to keep myself safe.
It also works as an excuse. I've never been an active person and have defined myself more as an intellectual than as a physical person. I have come to learn the two aren't mutually exclusive and my excuses don't really make any sense. I can't run a marathon but I can walk around (as long as my fibromyalgia isn't flaring up LOL), I can swim, I can play, I can dance and I don't need to rely on my fat excuse.
It also worked as an excuse to have SPACE. As women we are often taught to shrink, to accomodate and to be flexible. Staying fat has been one way to impose myself and say "here I am!"
In addition, eating worked as a way to not handle my emotions in a healthy way. I'm lonely? I eat. I'm angry. Eat. Sad? Eat. I'm frustrated, happy, tired... I eat. I have been learning how to reverse this trend and really listen to my body's cues. Hunger feels quite different from sadness now.
In an odd way, my weight has also been a way to be different, not one of the bunch. Obviously there are MUCH better ways to do this :lol: .

I have lost some weight and I have a lot left to lose. These are issues I am dealing with in journaling, collaging, my online support group and my daily life. It always surprises me when I discover I'm falling back into old patterns without even realizing it. Being much more conscious about myself and my body has helped tremendously.

I have also started identifying the things that I have put off "until I'm thin," and enjoying them now. I like going to the beach, making love with my partner, hanging out with my friends, dancing, and making my happiness now. I don't need to wait until I'm thin to do that. That makes it less scary for me and takes some of the pressure off.

I'm looking forward to reaching all of my goals but I'm no longer defining myself as "good" or "bad" according to what the scale says. At least not on good days! :^:

Good luck with your weight loss journey! :wave:
Leticia


Flower Power
06-27-2005, 11:43 PM
Dr. Phil always says...we always get some kind of payoff for what we're doing. I do think that for me my excess weight protects me from having to deal with men. I've never had very good luck except with my late husband. He was a good guy who I met at the bottom of a diet, married and had a wonderful son with. He died when my son was 2...It has just been my son and I for 14.5 years now. We do alright, our life has been good. I think that if I stay big I won't have to deal with a relationship and it works. Plus I put out very strong signals that I am only interested in friendships. I can totally avoid intimacy. Eating and I are old friends, or maybe old enemys. I have always used food to cope with growing up with an alcoholic father, making mostly bad choices in men dealing with life in general. Now I am trying to make peace with food and use it for the purpose it was intended for~to nourish my body. Very interesting subject ladies really makes a body think.. Cindi

hayleymp
06-28-2005, 02:43 AM
hi Bella,
i too feel as though being fat protects me from sexual advances from my partner,
i was wondering how you over came these issuses,as you say that your not waiting till your thin to enjoy being intermate.
i have a reall problem with this as i am just so embarassed about how i look, and constantly wonderhow he does it because of how i look.
any advice on how i can change my mind set would be great.

many thanks!

hayley

kykaree
06-28-2005, 02:47 AM
I think we have a theme here, my pay off for being fat is also protection. I know if I am fat, when I meet a guy who likes me, I know they like my personality, because it surely won't be a purely physical thing. And now I am losing the weight, my dh feels threatened because he thinks I want to attract men, when really I am terrified of losing the weight in a way, because I won't have my "protection" anymore.

And BellaLumina I love what you said about being fat makes your body say "here I am". It's a way of asserting ourselves and being out there as a fat person. I had gotten to the stage where I was 90% comfortable about who I was, and in fact, all my friends at work were stunned when I announced I was going to lose the weight and they had to help me. Being big was part of my identity and I seemed so happy with it that they saw no reason for me to change.

I am more determined than ever to overcome the psychological barriers to losing weight. And I must say that exercise has played a huge part in this. Although I am still obese, I feel strong and confident, and I feel like I have really achieved something, now that I can lift weights, jog, swim and do things that I had been avoiding for years. I find exercise comforts me in a way food never did, no guilt!!!

BBWonwheels
06-28-2005, 03:07 AM
I have found that if your love your extra weight then you can lose weight without the worries or the frustrations. it took me 10 yrs to love myself as a big gurl and i wanted to lose weight but im gonna take my time and enjoy my body like it is. Nobody want to be heavy but its happen but you got to take that bull by her horns and ride her until she give up and quit!......lol

jillybean720
06-28-2005, 11:26 AM
I conquered this question a while back. For me, I was afraid to lose weight. Yup, afraid. Of what? being skinny? being healthier? being able to fit everywhere? being "normal"? Nonono, of course, it's all much more complicated than that :p

Most of my life, I was quite depressed. I was always overweight, got made fun of, felt like an outsider, all that good stuff. I would seem happy enough to people on the outside, but I would cry myself to sleep on countless nights throughout junior high, high school, and even college. Hating myself, my body, my frustration, my life, I had 2 fears about losing weight:

1.) I feared nothing would change. I feared that if I lost the weight, my life would still suck! And that could only mean one thing: there's something else wrong with me! And who really wants to face that reality? The one thing I blamed almost all of my unhappiness on my entire life was my obesity, and if I lost that and was stil unhappy, then good lord, imagine the puzzles I would still have left to solve!

2.) I feared everything would change. I feared that if I lost the weight, all of the frustration and anger and discouragement and unhappiness I had felt all my life would go away and be replaced with an alien wonderful life. Boys would ask me out, I wouldn't huff and puff from going up a flight of stairs, I could share clothes with my friends, I could go swimming in public, I could wear fashionable clothes, champagne would flow from the heavens...;) Why did this scare me? Well, if losing weight and changing my physical appearance could change my life so drastically, then that meant that everything and everyone that I'd surrounded myself with my entire life was completely and utterly superficial and materialistic. If being thin meant being happy, then I would hate everyone around me for having made me feel so badly when I was overweight! I would never trust a man romantically--I'd always be thinking, "Would he like me if I were 100 pounds heavier? Why didn't he ask me out when I was fat?" etc...every job I got, I would have the same questions. Would I have been hired if I were wearing a plus-sized suit? Would I get this promotion if I were obese? These questions ould conitnue to haunt every aspect of my life, and I would constantly be second-guessing everything I did and everyone I met, and that's just not a sane way to live!
It wasn't until I was able to overcome these obstacles that I was able to begin losing weight. I finally got a boyfriend a little over a year ago (my first serious relationship EVER). I realized that he obviously loves me for me or else he wouldn't have stuck around for so long! Once I learned to trust him, intimacy was never a problem (even though I had never had sex before I met him). I thought I would NEVER be able to let a man see me naked, but now I do it all the time, and he has NEVER done or said anything that would make me feel uncomfortable in any way. I also graduated from college, got a good job, got a great apartment--things were falling into place. I was becoming successful and happy, and I was still fat! My life finally didn't suck, despite the extra 150 pounds on my bones! Having lost the emotional weight of the depression, anxiety, and frustration, I am finally able to realize that I can do anything, fat or not, so why not be thinner and healthier so I can do it all for many more years to come?

swissmiss
06-28-2005, 11:38 AM
Hi, I'm new here, so bear with me ;)
For me, eating has always been about combating loneliness. I don't eat much when out with friends, but when I'm by myself... well... munch munch munch. Recognizing the root of overeating was one of the most critical steps for me to get started on weight control.

FerretNose
06-28-2005, 11:59 AM
hi Bella,
i too feel as though being fat protects me from sexual advances from my partner,
i was wondering how you over came these issuses,as you say that your not waiting till your thin to enjoy being intermate.
i have a reall problem with this as i am just so embarassed about how i look, and constantly wonderhow he does it because of how i look.
any advice on how i can change my mind set would be great.
many thanks! hayley

I can, from personal experiance give you a little push on this subject: you need to fill a man's sexual needs, so that he will not become frustrated/bored. One of the reasons a man stays in a commited relationship (believe it ot not) is regular sex. People make jokes about men not getting any after marriage, but that's mostly a myth. Most single men have a hard time getting regular sex. Therefore, it is a perk for him to stay in a steady relationship. Sounds kind of crude, but then again, one of the perks for me to stay in a relationship is financial stability for myself and my child... and thus does the world go round, exchanging sex for a man's protection.

And the whole point I'm trying to make is that a man doesn't so much care about how you look naked- what he cares about is how frequently you get naked. If he makes advances, that means he wants you sexually. he knows what you look like already, has accepted it, and wants that for himself. Ask yourself: would a man rather have a frigid, uptight woman with a perfect body that getting sex from is difficult- or would he rather have a large woman who is hot for him very often and gives in sexually whenever he wants? Any woman is much more likely to keep a man by acting like a sexpot (now I'm talking in a steady committed relatonship here, peeps) because all his life, a man has heard rumors that he won't get any if he commits. So get lusty, lass! :D

And, let me say that nearly everone looks good in candlelight. men are visual, and they need to see things. Candlelight lets them see *just enough*.


*JillyBean* says, "1.) I feared nothing would change. I feared that if I lost the weight, my life would still suck! And that could only mean one thing: there's something else wrong with me! And who really wants to face that reality? The one thing I blamed almost all of my unhappiness on my entire life was my obesity, and if I lost that and was stil unhappy, then good lord, imagine the puzzles I would still have left to solve!"

and I remember feeling that way about quitting smoking! What if being without my smokes wasn't this great wonderland full of self-esteem and healthy goodness, and I still felt depressed and unhappy after i quit? What if my life still sucked as a non smoker? Cause then, not only would I have a crappy life. but I'd not have the cigarettes to make me feel better. Arrrgh. Well I know now that life is not a bed of roses because i quit smoking, and i know it won't be when I lose all my weight. But I also know that after quitting, life was *way* better! So I know that losing the weight will make things that much closer to perfect. I have to accept that nothing i do will cause my life to be perfect. :p

BellaLumina
06-28-2005, 12:27 PM
It's encouraging to see so many posts dealing with this issue. So many of us struggle with similar chocolate covered demons :devil: and it's nice to be reminded that we are not alone in this.

hayleymp: You asked how I overcame the issues in order to enjoy being intimate now, instead of waiting till I'm thin. I think part of it comes from having a partner who loves me and enjoys my body at any size. I can't say I'm not ever self-conscious or inhibited but I do know that this is me today and I deserve as much love, pleasure, fun and enjoyment as I would if I were at my goal weight. I also try to focus on the moment and on sensation rather than obsess about how I look. I think this is a difficult issue for so many of us. It doesn't seem to matter whether we are 100 pounds overweight or 10. The truth is that we need to make peace with our bodies and learn that we don't need to be perfect to enjoy them.

kykaree: I love what you said about finding comfort in exercise. I agree, exercise is a much more comforting and fulfilling activity in many ways. The trick is remembering that when I'm whining to myself about wanting chocolate! LOL!! Old habits die hard.

BBWonwheels: Ride 'em cowgirl!!!

jillybean: (btw I love that nic, it's an old coworker's baby's nickname) I think your two fears sum it up beautifully!

jillybean720
06-28-2005, 12:57 PM
For those of you dealing with intimacy issues because of your weight, there was a really great conversation about the topic in the 20's Group (maybe not everyone here is in their 20s, but it's still a great thread with lots of helpful ideas and observations, no matter what your age!).

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57716&highlight=intimacy

boiaby
06-28-2005, 02:42 PM
It was definitely an excuse. An excuse to not have too much expected of me. An excuse to not have to even set myself up for inevitable failure. An excuse to not have to get too close to anyone and ultimately not get hurt by anyone. I didn't want to be relied upon for anything for fear of letting someone down. It was protection from the world, a way to go unnoticed. When youíre morbidly obese you are treated like you donít exist. When people donít acknowledge you then they donít have to face potentially uncomfortable situations that your obesity might create. I could be invisible, hiding from the world, and from myself. I didnít have to worry about people (men) seeking me out, and not knowing how to handle it if they ever did. My fat was my suit of armor, my protection from the unknown, my shield from what I perceived to be a world of hurt. Yet my protection was the very thing that was destroying me, and would have ultimately killed me if I had allowed it to continue. Now that I am at the other end of the spectrum I have, at times, felt completely exposed and overwhelmed with a life Iíve really never had to face before. Itís scary sometimes, to say the least, but exhilarating at the same time. For the first time ever I am living fully in the present, taking risks I never would have considered before. Reaching out emotionally and learning new ways to deal with disappointment other than burying them with food. Because, ultimately, life happens and itís up to me to decide how to deal with it. Itís my choice to pile food on top of the hurt and hide from the world, or to face lifeís ups and downs head on with the newfound belief that I can handle anything that gets thrown my way.

Beverly

jillybean720
06-28-2005, 03:05 PM
When youíre morbidly obese you are treated like you donít exist.

I think a lot of this has to do with your personal attitude. I have lived alone, with roommates, in large cities, in little country towns, in Connecticut, Virginia Beach, Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania...point being, I have been surrounded by nearly all types of people, yet I have never actually gone unnoticed or been treated badly because of my weight (aside from being picked on as a child), and I have been obese for almost my entire life. The only times negative weight-related issues came up, it was because I was being so negative about a situation due to my hatred of what I had physically become. I'm still nearly 300 pounds, yet I get the friendliness, respect, and attention I deserve. Perhaps I will get more when I am thinner, but I am certainly not lacking any right now. Unfortunately, I think we assume people will treat us like dirt, and so we are trained to believe we are worthy of being treated that way.

smilan
06-28-2005, 03:09 PM
Gosh this is the best post ever! I am not quite sure why I sabotage myself after weight loss success. The thing that blares out at me is LAZINESS!. It seems simple and superficial to some. I think a lot of people assume that the reason people are fat is due to lazziness. This of course is untrue. I got fat in high school. It snuck up on me actually. I looked up one day and was about 140 lbs. while most of my peers were just creeping up on 100.

I am someone who never finishes anything. I didn't finish college, any of the 4 times I started. I haven't finished any of the countless endeavors that I have began (fashion design, singing,etc...) Likewise when I start a fitness program, even when I am having success (the right way) there comes this point when I quit. It can't be just laziness. I guess this requires more soul searching than I expected. I think more that the fear of success for me, it's a fear of failure. That maybe I am not as smart as I think, and everyone will find that out. Maybe I can't sing as well I as I think, and everyone will hear. That maybe all of this is in vain, and I won't lose as much as I need, and will eventually gain it all back. My gosh, is that low self esteem or what? No one in my world would believe this...

I have just recently started having the intimacy issues. Not wanting my partner to look at my body nude. I have begun to even feel contempt for the ladies on television or in the real world who are shaped the way I want to be. I realize that these issues are spiraling out of control and something must be done physically and emotionally. Thanks for probing my mind with that question perhaps it's the key to unlock the door to health and fitness forever!

boiaby
06-28-2005, 03:18 PM
I think a lot of this has to do with your personal attitude. I have lived alone, with roommates, in large cities, in little country towns, in Connecticut, Virginia Beach, Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania...point being, I have been surrounded by nearly all types of people, yet I have never actually gone unnoticed or been treated badly because of my weight (aside from being picked on as a child), and I have been obese for almost my entire life. The only times negative weight-related issues came up, it was because I was being so negative about a situation due to my hatred of what I had physically become. I'm still nearly 300 pounds, yet I get the friendliness, respect, and attention I deserve. Perhaps I will get more when I am thinner, but I am certainly not lacking any right now. Unfortunately, I think we assume people will treat us like dirt, and so we are trained to believe we are worthy of being treated that way.

Good point Jilly! Perhaps I was putting off a "leave me alone" vibe, that would certainly explain a lot! Who would want to be around someone who obviously didn't want to be around herself, right?! Thanks for showing me another way to look at it Jilly.

Beverly

CA85
06-29-2005, 01:32 AM
Wow, this made me think. I know I'm relatively lucky because while "chubby" has been a part of my life for the last several years, I'm not predispositioned for obesity. I know a problem I have is being jealous of every woman I ever see. If it's not her tiny waist, it's some other physical characteristic...gorgeous hair. Beautiful eyes....but it usually comes back to weight. Some little voice inside my head keeps telling me that I can never look like that, it's no use, I'm just a big girl. So I eat something comforting like peanut butter toast, Cheez-its, a chocolate chip granola bar. Or all three.

If I can convince myself that I CAN do it, I think I WILL do it.