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Are you a thin person trapped in an obese body?

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Old 07-18-2010, 08:04 AM   #16
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You know, I was never overweight until I got married and had babies.
I am 5'7 and weighed between 120 and 140 in high school. I was a cheerleader and played volleyball and swam on the swim team.
My mother put me on my first diet when I was about 12. I remember the 1000 calories I was allowed to have. I remember eating cans of green beans because of the low calorie count. I think 60 calories a cup. lol
I remember "being sick" on days my mom was working so I could stay home and eat in peace. I got my first job at 16 at Long John SIlver's. oh man, I ate while i was at work.
I remember being paid 5 lbs for each lb I lost and learning how to manipulate the scale so it looked like I was losing weight.
By the time I got married, almost 22 years ago, I had a very unhealthy relationship with food.
I got pregnant almost immediatly and gained 72 lbs!
My weight continued to creep up through the years. I never saw myself as 'fat" though.
About 9 months ago, my oldest was home on leave and we had family pictures taken. Wow, what a wake up call that was for me. I finally had proof that I was huge.
I always felt thin even though I wasn't until i saw those pictures.
I have lost 29 lbs since then. It is coming off slow but at least it is coming off.
Sorry, I think I got a little side tracked.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:43 AM   #17
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I have worked really hard during this journey to forgive and understand what my former fat self was trying to accomplish by overfeeding myself. Like others, I slowly gained over time after marriage. Now I realize that I was eating to soothe/reward myself. I was trying to take care of myself, but it wasn't working. I cannot deny that I was fat, nor can I say that I felt like I was a thin person trapped in a obese body. Like Glory and others, I always believed that I was a "big-boned" girl--think big//thick Scandinavian farm girl. And my family perpetuated that idea. At 5'6", I am the amazon in the family. Most of my other female relatives are 5'2" or less. Now I realize that I have a medium sized frame, which in today's society is considered small.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:29 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmead View Post
I don't like the phrase "thin person trapped in a fat person's body" because I think when some people use it, it's a weird form of denial. It's like they think some people are "naturally" fat--with the implication that it is some how a character flaw--but that they aren't one of "those people", they just look like they are.

I know a man who developed an addiction to crack cocaine in his 50s. Over the course of a couple years he went from being on the brink of an early retirement to being hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. One of the significant roadblocks in his recovery was his refusal to go to NA meetings or anything like that, because those sorts of things were for crackheads. He wasn't a crackhead, he was just addicted to crack. I mean, a crackhead is irredeemable scum, a bad person. He wasn't a bad person, so he couldn't be a crackhead, so all the advice they gave crackheads didn't apply to him.

In the same way, I think people who are ashamed of being fat, who really, deep down, agree with the idea that fat means lazy and weak-willed, will somehow redefine their own fat as an aberration, as something that just happened to them, not something they are. From this perspective it's easy to ignore all the good advice out there as being for "fat people", so you get things like "FAT people need total lifestyle changes, but I just need to lose this weight and go back to normal" (Because fat people must have a bad, stupid lazy lifestyle to be fat, but I am not one of them) or "Fat people need to count calories carefully, but I can just eat until I am full and stop" (because fat people have no self control, but I must, because "normal" people do).

I don't think everyone who feels like thin person "inside" engages in this self-destructive thought pattern, but I think it happens.
I get the negative connotation associated with the "thin person in a fat body" mentality, though I didn't know that existed until visiting here. Reading it this way helps me to understand that side of it.

For me though, it's all about that mental picture we have of ourselves inside our heads. I don't understand how people can get close to goal and still picture themselves inwardly as fat because I am the complete opposite. The image I have of myself inside my head is thin and I was always devastatingly shocked when I saw a picture of what I had become. I am also an extremely active and fidgety person, and active fidgety people are supposed to be thin, right?

For me it's not a slam on other people at all to feel this way. It's just who I am and how I feel. I definitely felt trapped and developed horrible social anxiety along the way in part, in large part, because I felt like a fraud. Imagine showing up to work every day in a costume. That would be wrong, to try to pass yourself off as someone you aren't. That's what I felt like. I was passing myself off as this person in that body and it wasn't me. It wasn't the person I saw when I closed my eyes.

It's a very disconcerting place to be if you have a distorted vision of yourself like that and it's VERY hard to explain knowing it's possible my feelings about myself can offend someone.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliana View Post
It's a very disconcerting place to be if you have a distorted vision of yourself like that and it's VERY hard to explain knowing it's possible my feelings about myself can offend someone.
I understand completely, and I am not at all offended. It's normal and healthy to think "This is not me". However, human nature being what it is, sometimes the next thought is "I am not like her." or "I am not one of them. That is unhealthy thinking and should be avoided. I do think it's more common than people admit: it's how an obese person can make catty comments about how another obese person eats--which I have heard many times! Everyone thinks they are a special case.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:11 PM   #20
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This is a very interesting thread!

I grew up very fit and healthy. I wore "slim" sizes before I hit puberty. I was a late bloomer; I was still wearing undershirts when all the other girls were wearing bras. But I was always taller than the other girls, so people would call me "big". I rode horses, worked around our farm, was in sports and was a cheerleader. I recently saw a picture of myself at my wedding shower--I looked positively teeny around the middle. Tall and slim.

But I had two babies in rapid succession in my mid twenties and never really lost all that weight. From my late twenties through mid thirties, I gained at least 50 pounds and I think that was due to my unhappy marriage, which ended when I was 36.

I knew I weighed more, but I really didn't feel "fat" in my head. I thought I carried it well, and I was one of those people who thought that I looked like I weighed less than I did. I lost about 30 lbs in 2006 and thought I looked really, really great. Gained it all back, didn't think I looked too bad. In 2009, I lost 55 pounds and my reflection in the mirror was finally starting to match the image in my head as a thin person.

But now I have gained back 15 pounds, and I feel the same as when I was at my highest. I don't feel like I'm just a few pounds above my "I feel thin!" weight; I feel like I'm back to the super heavy weight.

Weight and self image is really not a straight-forward thing. I totally get what Shmead is saying, but I also think that it's not always so simple. And maybe it's human nature to feel like our situation is somehow different; I dunno. Interesting, huh?
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:38 PM   #21
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I think everyone that is overweight feels they were given the wrong body, and the wrong metabolism. Some people just accept it, but society and the media always reminds us that being even just a little chubby isn't attractive. Like when it's news when an actress or model puts on a few pounds... it's made into a big deal.

I was always taller, so always felt bigger, but looking back at pictures of myself as a kid, I was a normal weight and thinness up until I was about 8 or 9. So I don't know, I was always teased for being tall, then teased for the weight which bothered me more. I sometimes feel I'm just a fat person that will always have to struggle, work my butt off and take it day by day resisting the good food to stay a normal weight..not even a thin weight, but just a normal weight. Maybe that's the wrong mindset, I should start thinking I'm a thin person and maybe I will be a thin person.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Glory87 View Post
Heh no...I always felt like a huge, amazon woman with big bones, a "big girl" who was genetically destined to be fat always.

Thinness has been a shock - a surprise. I am smaller than I was in high school. It took about 2 years to reorient my mental image of myself and even now, 5 years after reaching maintenance, I am still surprised by myself in the mirror.
Glory..you look beautiful! It's success stories like yours that give me hope that one day I'll get there.
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryblu View Post
I would say lately I have felt like just the opposite..a fat girl hiding out in a thin body.
Heh... I feel the same way as Maryblu a lot. I still, even after a year of maintaining a normal weight, scan areas for the sturdiest chairs, search for the the widest walkways, pick out clothes that are too big while shopping and fear bleachers... Though I was always overweight/obese except for a few moments in history.

It's funny but the last few days I have gotten a lot of male attention...(maybe my new wrinkle cream is working ). Today we ran into the grocery store to pick up a few things after Church and I was pretty dressed up in a new outfit I got yesterday. Several men stopped and did that wide-eye looky thingy and gave me the cheesy sultry grin... And each time I couldn't help but think..."Don't you know I'm a fat chick...." HA
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:42 PM   #23
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I think obesity is often seen as such an evil, unforgivable sin/shame/crime, that to have any self-respect at all, a person has to see themselves as something else. "Not really a fat person," in some way. A thin person trapped in a fat body, is just one way to feel "not really" fat.

My physical body is a part of who I am, but not a very large part, just a sliver, really. I'm no more a thin person trapped in a fat body, than I am a healthy, strong person in a disabled body, or a red-head in a dishwater blond body. Dying my hair didn't make my outside match my inside. Red-head is just a very tiny portion of the current manifestation of my identity.

Body weight is no more a part of my permanent sense of self than is hair color.

When I decide I'm at a weight that I want to maintain, I don't think it will be because I've found a weight at which my insides and outsides match. Rather, I think I'll decide to maintain whichever weight results in the best balance for me. Cost, benefit analysis. How much work am I able/willing to put in, in order to acheive the results I want.

If I'm not willing to put in any more work, then I have to be satisfied with the results I've achieved. If I'm not satisfied with the results I've acheived I have to put in more work.

The day that I'm satisfied with both my results and my efforts, that will be the weight I choose to maintain.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:01 PM   #24
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well, yes and no.

In my teens and early 20's, where my best friends were underweight and I was average, I felt "fat" even though I was not.

Now, at 33, I have been obese, overweight, etc. The one weird thing that I seperate myself a bit mentally from other obese people is that every time I have gained weight, I have done so on steroids. Anyone who has ever been on long term steroids knows the horror, and if you don't low-carb during these times you pack on lbs like there is no tomorrow. My appetite went through the roof; suddenly I was eating dh under the table. After each course of steroids, I was able to maintain but not lose. Here is the pattern:

teens to 21- about 120-125 lbs
steroids at 21- gained 25, held at 150 for yrs
steroids at 26- gained to 170- held until pregnancy 1
27- pregnant, gained to 208
had baby, lost to 160 and maintained that
28- steroids, decided was not going to gain more weight so did CAD at the same time, maintained 160
31- pregnancy 2, gained to 198, lost to 170

So it's weird. I always seem to maintain unless there is steroids or pregnancy involved, but my body will not lose weight without a lot of effort. I'm hoping it will be relatively easy to maintain my new to come low weight once I get there..LOL
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:47 AM   #25
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This is my first day here or on any weight loss forums. I'm stuck and have been stuck for over 20 years and I want to get unstuck.

I'm 66, have lived in Mexico for the last 16 years and have an absolutely fabulous life here full of great friends and wonderful things to do.

I've read through this thread and although a few of you flinch when someone says "I'm a thin woman in a fat body" that's what I feel I am. I grew up thin, in fact, they called me Twiggy in high school, was a size 7 when I married (the first time) and until I hurt my knees in an accident, I had no weight problems. I was very athletic with no impediments.

The accident happened at a bad (personal) time in my life. I was in pain and remember the day I looked in the mirror and actually noticed how much weight I'd gained. My body had never been an issue for me before then, and I don't even remember thinking "I'd better start losing this extra weight before it gets out of hand."

When my accident happened, there were no MRIs. Tests were done because I was in pain but nothing absolute was found. As the years progressed, my right knee got worse and worse to where I had to go up and down stairs on my butt. Finally, with a new job and great health insurance, my primary care physician (a woman) had hooked me up with a sports doctor who, just like all the other male doctors I'd been to, told me I had to lose weight and put me in pool therapy.

At an appointment with my primary doctor, she asked me how the therapy was going and I bust into tears saying nobody listens to me, there is something wrong inside my knee. She scheduled me for an MRI. A few days later, I got a call from the sports doc's office to come in, there was something showing on the MRI. He asked me what I was doing there and I told him about a problem with the MRI. He said, "I didn't order an MRI." I said, "I know, my doctor did." He returned sheepishly saying how very sorry he was that he hadn't listened to me - I had a broken kneecap and had been walking on it for years. I immediately had surgery to repair it.

Since then, I have had a total knee replacement on my left knee. The doctor here in Mexico made me lose 40 pounds before he would operate. It was hard but I did it. Now I need the right knee replaced too but have to lose more weight and I just can't seem to get going again.

Exercise is a real problem sometimes because I'm always in pain and after walking or riding my recumbent bike, the next day (sometimes) I can hardly walk. I do try and work through the pain but sometimes it gets the better of me. I am really looking forward to hearing from this group. I belong to a great group here, kind of like Weight Watchers, and they are very supportive but I joined 3fatchicks in hopes of finding even more support.

Sorry this was so long. Looking forward to hearing from some of you who may have had similar issues. Que le vaya bien!
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:37 AM   #26
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What a terrible struggle for you our Mexico chick. My husband has had two full replacements on one knee and getting ready to it it a 3rd time. He hasn't been as limited as you but I sure have watched the pain and impact on his life. I'm so glad you are finding a path through it finally.

I'm 61 so not far behind you and applaud your wonderful happy life. Here's to pushing through to make it even better in the months ahead.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:56 PM   #27
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Yes. I was thin and fit until I was 28. I didn't know it, but that's when my thyroid began to fail and I started packing on 10 lbs a year. I still actually see the skinny me when I look in the mirror, not sure why. But when I see photos of me, I'm always shocked at how much bigger I am than what I see in the mirror.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:15 PM   #28
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I am who I am. I don't find it helpful to think that there is some more authentic self out there in the future that I am trying to find.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:25 PM   #29
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I don't relate exactly to the phrasing. But I will say this I definitely feel more myself at a lower weight.

People don't often mention this here but I found losing the weight had many mental aspects not just strength, endurance, movement, vitality, etc.

I just feel clearer, crisper mentally, better moods, much more myself mentally. Equally as nice as the more physical side of the changes.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:45 PM   #30
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Interesting question. I think a number of people are overweight because they don't see themselves as fat.

I know I certainly didn't. Even at almost 300 lbs, I didn't feel fat. Sure, I knew the number on the scale and what size I wore but it really didn't hit me until I started seeing pictures of myself. That's when it finally started to sink in.

It's that distorted view of ourselves that so many people carry, and why some people may never be motivated enough to lose weight. I'd imagine it's the same way on the opposite end of the scale with people who struggle with anorexia and why they still see themselves as fat.

Just my opinions...
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