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Old 12-08-2008, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default DON'T want to lose weight???

So how's this for circular thinking?

I'm therapy right now (EMDR therapy, it's really intense, really fast, and really effective--or at least it is for me) and the thought I've uncovered in the last week is that I don't actually WANT to lose any more weight. Because if I do, I won't be "remarkable"--I'll just be any other average thin woman.

I've been overweight most of my life. I've also been active. I go to the gym 5-6 times a week, I do cardio and lift weights. I have two degrees (an AS and a BS) in exercise-related fields. I have great blood pressure and great cholesterol. IMHO I'm sexy and fun and a marvelous 'catch'. I'm old-world beautiful, not the beautiful in magazines but in my own way. And I weigh at least 50 pounds more than I "should". I'm a fit fat woman--and that's an intrinsic part of my self-definition. If I let that go and lose weight, I'll be just like anyone else who's lost weight.

(Not to offend anyone out there at ALL, I'm trying and probably failing to explain what the depths of my subconscious is holding onto.)

When people see me they think, "ah, fat woman" and glom me into a stereotype. Which I then proceed to destroy, step by step. It's almost defiance, and it delights me. It gives me power, to be able to prove them wrong about judging me.

Obviously there's still a part of me that wants to lose weight, or I wouldn't be here. At least I'd like the clothes! But there's this subconscious side that is sabotaging me, thinking that if I DO, I will have lost that thing that makes me remarkable, that thing that makes me unique and noteworthy. Does anyone out there sympathize? Can anyone understand this? Does anyone have any advice for letting go of that desperate need to continue to defy people's judgment of me?

I'm sorry this is probably very circular and nonsensical. Rest assured I'm trying to understand it too!
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:35 PM   #2
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Human beings can want opposing and conflicting things. I don't think there's anything really unusual about having conflicting goals.

I do understand, sometimes I do have an irrational fear that losing weight, at some point could mean losing part of me. But what is stopping you from finding a way to defy people's judgement of you in a non-desperate, and non-weight-related way?

What can you do to stand out, and defy expectations in other ways?

There are zillions of stereotypes, and zillions of ways to defy expectations. There are countless ways to shock, surprise, and even delight or horrify others.

Maybe instead of trying to remove the need, redirecting it could be more effective for you.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:36 PM   #3
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You know, it's very interesting that you bring that up. Right now I'm actually trying to deal with my own issues regarding my subconcious saboteurs and I'll tell you, it's a lot harder than following any diet or exercise regime. I wish I did have a shrink to deal with all this so in your case you're lucky to have that extra support but I can definitely empathize with you. I've come to find that part of the reason that I am holding on to this extra weight is defiance as well. For years my dad was the one who was always berating me about my weight and telling me that I need to lose weight constantly and never did anything to listen to me and my needs and it became a sore spot for me and I think subconciously I saw holding on to this weight as one way to go against his wishes because when I was younger I really had no way to voice my opinions and desires to him so I continued to just pack on the weight partially due to hormonal imbalances but partially from overeating to hold on to this weight just to piss the **** out of him. So I can relate to you. When it comes to releasing the need to defy people's expectations, I'm not sure what to tell you. I myself have really been working on trying to release many things, especially my fears tied to weight loss and I'm not sure really what to do. I think it's one of the hardest things to do, to let go. The only other way I can think of is going to a more spiritual way and meditating and getting in touch with ones inner consciousness to feel all the emotions attached to it and maybe then you can release it. Or try being conscious of what you're doing and why you're doing it if for example you're reaching for that bowl of ice cream and it really isn't what you want to eat but you're reaching for it because some emotion inside you is bringing up those feelings tied to the need for defiance. I don't know if any of what I've said helps or makes sense but I hope things work out for you. I'm here if you need an empathetic shoulder to lean on because I know exactly how you feel.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:05 PM   #4
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Yes, I certainly can sympathize.

I have been overweight for a while and seem to be stuck here. But I'm healthy like you - good blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, everything else. I exercise and take particular pleasure in telling co-workers about my long bike rides and hikes. I am strong, have good endurance, and can out-walk most of my younger and thinner co-workers.

Part of me wants to be smaller. I remember what it was like to weigh 40 pounds less. It was easier to find clothes that fit and looked decent. Interestingly, as I grow older and develop more confidence in my professional abilities and personality, the less I care about my weight (as long as I'm healthy). The part that wants to be smaller is slowly being overpowered.

Sooo ... it seems to me you're not ready to lose weight yet. If your health is good and your quality of life is not affected, perhaps you don't really have a good reason to lose weight right now (cute clothes is probably not a good enough reason). As kaplods suggested, maybe you need to spend some time discovering other ways in which you are unique and remarkable, other than being a fat fit woman. Who knows, once you do this, maybe you will be ready and you'll stop sabotaging yourself.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:22 PM   #5
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Thank you to everyone who has thus far commented. I really appreciate you helping me pull this apart.

I feel such a deep sense of shame in admitting that I don't want to lose weight. I agree, sf40, it may not be the time for me. But I live in Southern California, and I have for 25 years (I'm 33). The only acceptable body type out here is thin and young and firm, and women will go to any lengths to achieve that. And here I am defiantly refusing to even try? I've always been a good girl--good student, honor roll, no drugs EVER, no drinking, no boyfriends, I even worked in a *library* for 7 years starting when I was 16--and to admit that I'm NOT being a good girl about this issue is something I haven't been able to see for...well, years. I'm NOT going to do what I'm supposed to do, and they can't make me! No matter what people think about me, no matter how they judge me, no matter what assumptions they make about me. I'm not gonna change, so they're the ones that can change their opinions about me*.

Whiew, how messed up am I??

I still don't know if I'm making any sense at all, but thanks for all your comments anyway!
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:37 PM   #6
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sidhe, there's a whole community of people that are proud to be big, beautiful women. Maybe that would help you with feeling guilty about not wanting to lose weight. OR maybe it would make you want to lose weight. Maybe I'm not reading this right, but it seems like you are proud to be different. I am that way... if everyone turns right I want to turn left. It's my natural impulse.

My only fear about losing weight is change. Like EMDR therapy, which I am familiar with, losing weight could shuffle things around in a way that I wouldn't be able to reverse. Once it starts, it is there and you have to deal with it. I'm afraid for my relationship... I have only dated my boyfriend as an overweight person... an overweight LAZY person. Our number one date idea is laying on the couch with beer & pizza and watching many hours of TV & movies. He has reassured me up and down that he would only be HAPPIER if I pursue my goals, whatever they are, and one huge goal is losing weight. I said, that would mean way fewer lazy nights and probably less time together while I'm working out. He still says me pursuing my goals would make him happier.

I've only known how to act as a fat person for the past 7 years... amazing how my memory won't help me relive how I acted when I was much thinner. And it's kind of a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" situation. It's totally logical that a significant other would be happy to have a slimmer, healthier, more energetic partner. But I always have to be different, or believe that I'm in the situation where I'll feel WORSE after losing the weight.

I think my brain was implanted upside down.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:50 PM   #7
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I know exactly what you mean! I gained about 170 pounds after an incident with a much old, perverted, prick of a boyfriend (I'll spare you the details.) But I wanted to be unattractive because boys...were bad? I don't know...and then I went through my rebellious tiff where I didn't want to be thin like everyone else...it's similar I think. My wake up call was a 27,000 dollar hospital visit that almost killed me. I recovered from that and took it as a second chance. I don't know if you can just tell someone...it's not like feeling it. Having your blood sugar over 900 and your pancreas failing...well I can just say that I woke up. That's why loosing weight is so important, you know? Not for looks, or fitting in...or lack thereof...it's about being healthy. Not putting so much strain on your body, and living life to it's fullest.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:50 PM   #8
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I know what you mean about Southern California. I spend my most of my time in Orange County, California, and have lived in the southern half of the state for all of my 43 years, most of it in the greater Los Angeles area.

You are making sense to me. I have struggled with similar thoughts for many years. I still do! I really think that losing weight, and keeping it off, is very mental. So why do you want to lose weight? Why do equate losing weight with being a good girl? These are questions you probably need to answer.

As far as coping in Southern California, I saw a bumper sticker that read "Raggedy Ann in a Barbie doll world."
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sf40 View Post
I know what you mean about Southern California. I spend my most of my time in Orange County, California, and have lived in the southern half of the state for all of my 43 years, most of it in the greater Los Angeles area.

You are making sense to me. I have struggled with similar thoughts for many years. I still do! I really think that losing weight, and keeping it off, is very mental. So why do you want to lose weight? Why do equate losing weight with being a good girl? These are questions you probably need to answer.

As far as coping in Southern California, I saw a bumper sticker that read "Raggedy Ann in a Barbie doll world."
Thank you SO MUCH for some very thought provoking comments!

Around here, and I'm sure you sympathize, the ONLY WAY to be attractive is to look like a Barbie doll. The ONLY THING that is accepted as beautiful is the picture-perfect looks-like-everyone-else version of what's beautiful this year. The long golden hair. Straight, of course. The thin brows, perfectly arched. The perfect, subtle makeup. The clothes that are effortless and sunny and light and airy and suggestive and flirtatious at the same time. You know what look I'm talking about, I'm sure. That's acceptance--that's acceptable. If I CARED what they thought of me--if I CARED what society thought of me--if I LOVED myself, I'd change to meet their expectations.

And yet I accept myself as beautiful my own way, and therefore I can never be what they want me to be. I CAN NEVER BE WHAT THEY WANT ME TO BE. And I don't want to try.

Jesus, this is getting deep.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:06 AM   #10
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It's great that you're figuring this out for yourself. It sounds like you've had an epiphany regarding your motivations.

The only thing I would add is that in my opinion, someone who is overweight and accomplishing great things despite their limitations (either real or perceived) is capable of accomplishing even greater things without weight being an obstacle. Don't get me wrong, even at my highest weight I was proud of the fact that I lived my life actively, and could out-walk, bike or hike almost everyone I knew, but now that I'm smaller I can push that even further. I'm telling you, it is SO much easier to be active at this weight. I took that drive to be better than average and applied it to other things. Knowing me, I was afraid to try to compete in the "normal" world because I wasn't sure if I could. I still struggle with that.

Using weight gain as a rebellion (in my personal opinion) is not a great idea in the long run, because of the health issues involved. There are tons of ways to carve out an identity for yourself, and I think that's a big part of the process of losing and maintaining your weight. Trying to define yourself without it is HARD, almost like losing a protective layer, but it's also one of the most rewarding things I've done.

But you have to do it for yourself, because you want to. Any other reason is not going to work.

Anway, I commend you for being honest with yourself, even if it's hard or confusing.

(And please note that I'm talking about a healthy weight range, not necessarily society's definition of "skinny".)
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:10 AM   #11
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Sorry, just saw this and wanted to add --

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidhe View Post
Around here, and I'm sure you sympathize, the ONLY WAY to be attractive is to look like a Barbie doll. The ONLY THING that is accepted as beautiful is the picture-perfect looks-like-everyone-else version of what's beautiful this year. The long golden hair. Straight, of course. The thin brows, perfectly arched. The perfect, subtle makeup. The clothes that are effortless and sunny and light and airy and suggestive and flirtatious at the same time.
Yes, but why do you equate losing weight with having to be perfect, or fit in, or maintain the status quo? You'll always be YOU, regardless of how much you weigh

Being healthy or smaller (or even attractive) does not necessarily mean being the same as everyone else.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:10 AM   #12
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Joyfulveggirl, you bring up some interesting points particularly in regards to you always being you no matter what weight you are. It is very easy to logically have that make sense but emotions are so much different especially when you've been exposed to a certain environment for an extended period of time. I'm not trying to argue with you because that is such a true and valid point but it is sometimes hard to reconcile that though with the logical mind with the emotional one. Maybe it's just me that has that issue when it comes to reconciling the two but I think that's what makes weight issues that are tied to emotional ones that much harder because it takes time to start to feel what you know in your head is true which is why sometimes you need someone outside yourself to remind you of that like you just did for sidhe.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:44 AM   #13
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Oh, I completely understand. I'm not trying to diminish the emotional aspect of it at ALL, because I know it's really easy to tell yourself one thing or be told something, but it's a whole other thing to do it. I just wanted to say that it is possible.

But if it was easy, I would have been at goal years ago. It is an ongoing struggle.
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:08 AM   #14
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I went to college two years in Santa Barbara, had enough of S. California and moved back to Oregon. Found the girls skinny and snotty, at the time I was skinnier then most of them though (ha) and fit in a bikini pretty good might I say (now that I'm 40). If you don't like it in Calif why live there? So much competition. Just a question? And as for being heavier then them, how about the perspective of how losing weight will help you live longer, be happier etc. I know about sabatoge, I've done that, and it's my yo yo thing I ought to find a shrink to talk to about. I grew up feeling not as pretty, was quite shy, reserved, in a very religious home (told to be a fading wallflower)... there was a point after leaving a hurtful relationship I went overboard, got down to a size 6-7 again, and studied fashion/clothes/makeup, I was quite obsessive in my quest for perfection (ie about 4 years ago). And you know what I felt really alive, healthy at what could have been the worst part of my life. But more then fashion/makeup etc I learned about psychology. One thing we can do no matter what our issues is ACT AS IF and some psych/advice books suggest this... you start acting as if you are the skinniest most attractive chick around. You carry your shoulders high, smile at strangers, be more confident then ever. And somehow the rest follows. What I don't understand is what's going on if you are working out this much, that you aren't losing weight? As much as I've yo yoed I've found it easy to lose 10-15 lbs just working out and cutting calories. I'm at it again, as I sabatoged myself for several months and gained. But have you really looked at your nutrition and what you are eating? One thing about eating really clean and healthy is your moods improve drastically! Even if you are heavier you feel better about yourself and live on a great diet, it puts a bounce back in your step.
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:09 AM   #15
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Right on. That is so true. I think a lot of us wouldn't be here if we didn't have these emotional issues and/or need the support this forum provides, that's why I'm here. I need the feeling of kinship and knowing that there are others out there that feel me, you know? I've tried this so many times before by myself and I decided that this time around that I needed to try something where I could get the support I need because I felt so alone every other time. I so hope this works.
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