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Are you a thin person trapped in an obese body?

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Old 07-17-2010, 09:55 AM   #1
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Default Are you a thin person trapped in an obese body?

I always felt like I was a thin person trapped in an obese body, like I was never supposed to be obese. I wasn't always obese, I was a very fit teenager and probably would have been an adult too, but things just got away from me (I'll save the whole story for my goal post).

At first when I started feeling like I was a normal size, I felt like I was missing appendages because the fat was melting away and it was somewhat disorienting. But as I adjusted and now that I'm entering what I like to call the thin-normal range I feel like me again, I feel like this is who I've always been and am starting to trick myself into believing that that other person just never existed. Maybe if she never existed my risk of being one of the 90 some percent who regain doesn't exist either.

I don't know where I'm going with this exactly, but it's just something I've been thinking about a little bit.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:57 AM   #2
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:08 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:48 AM   #4
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I would say lately I have felt like just the opposite..a fat girl hiding out in a thin body. *sigh. My own fault..this 7-8 # gain is really *weighing on me.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:53 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:15 PM   #6
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Shmead, I hear what you're saying, and I think it has a lot of validity. That said, I believe that the experience inside one's body is different for those who have always been overweight/obese as opposed to those who attained that state later in life.

For instance, my husband has been big his whole life, so losing weight always feels kind of foreign for him, even though it feels good. I was thin as a child, and then in my late teens I was overweight, but not obese. Whenever I am in a slender weight range, I just feel that I'm back to where my body is supposed to be. If I let things get out of control and allow myself to become morbidly obese, then I can know for certain that it's not because I was genetically programmed to be overweight. I can't say the same for my husband.

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Old 07-17-2010, 01:02 PM   #7
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Very, very interesting thread.

I've sat here for 10 minutes, trying to work out what I think.

Apart from the first 9 months of life, I've always been overweight. Apart from the month when I made it to 'normal' before bouncing right back up like a Wimbledon forehand smash.
So I have no consciousness of my inner person being other than fat.

but then: my childhood memories of food and fat are all to do with my mother feeding me up as a sign of love but letting me know that being fat was something shameful.

I want my inner me to stop being ashamed - but so far, even when I get thinner, it's still fat and ashamed. Hm. I need work.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:29 PM   #8
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Yes! That is exactly how I feel, inside me... this is not who I am. I am a fit girl, who is not necessarily thin, but just fit, without jiggling fat around me! And I am going to beat my addiction to food and I am going to let my natural six-pack come out and shine! And I am going to do it because this is who I am! And I don't want to go back to this depressed person who stuffed my body food just because I could not cope with life! Because my consequences are now very painful to me!

Btw mother also fed me as a sign of love, then reminded me that I am fat and that is terrible. I am now more open to her about my food issues and that I am starting a diet and she said no you are great, you look great, this is just who you are naturally, you don't need a diet! But I know I do because this is who I am on the inside!
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:32 PM   #9
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I most certainly did.

I was a skinny child, a chunky adolescent, and an eating-disordered teenager. Once I stopped with the eating disorders, I gained up to a healthy but slim 125 pounds and stayed there for a couple years.

Then, I gained 50 pounds in 6 months. I felt like I woke up and got fat. I was robbed of my self-confidence and none of my clothes fit me. Whenever I got drunk, my mind reverted back to my "thin" self and I became very frisky and flirtatious.

I looked in the mirror and saw a fat stranger looking back at me. I felt like she wasn't the "real" me. I showed everyone my "thin" pictures to make sure they knew I was once "hot" and "attractive." I had based so much on my looks and used my physical appearance to get away with everything. When I was fat, I couldn't do that.

Once I lost the weight, I felt like "me" again but with a new appreciation for what I took for granted before. I was forced to cultivate my personality
when I was fat because I had to work twice as hard to be noticed.

I was VERY ashamed of being fat and hated myself for allowing it to happen. I always had to prove to everyone that the fat person they saw wasn't the real me. Looking back on it, that was a silly philosophy. I am ME regardless of WHAT I look like, but I prefer being this size because I am most comfortable in my skin this way.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:34 PM   #10
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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.
Same. I think part of this came from the fact that I was a big kid even before I was a fat kid, which seemed the same in my mind. I thought I was always fat. In my late teens my mom had to pull out the photo album to SHOW me that I was not fat until age 8. But I remember thinking I was fat even before kindergarten. But I was just bigger/taller than the other kids, an early grower.
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:03 PM   #11
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I do relate to the feeling of being mistakenly assigned the wrong body.

Because deep down, I'm an aesthete. The way things look matters deeply to me. For instance, while I was 17 years old, still living in a dorm room, I started collecting antiques & teaching myself about styles & periods within the decorative arts, and buying Victorian furniture that needed refinishing. (You should have seen my room in my college apartment that I shared with seven other students -- it was quite unlike the rooms of any of my peers -- with the Victorian ladies' chairs & the marble-topped table & the stained glass Arts & Crafts lamp.) One of my fellow students was studying fashion design & the history of clothing & I used to borrow all her books & sometimes sneak into her lectures. I have always loved clothing. Just to finger the fabrics. sometimes. I have always loved playing with makeup & in fact, I still find the "how to" makeup application videos on YouTube endlessly fascinating. Nothing makes me happier than an excuse to visit Sephora & splurge on some makeup or beauty product.

And yet there I was, fat & misshapen. I remember the arrival of the Spiegel catalog as something that could make me nearly sob with longing because I was unable to fit in the clothing that I admired & I looked at as though it was an art object, never meant to be worn; and even if it came in my size, it did not look right on me. Easier to focus on the look of rooms instead. Even then, to me, I was always the oddest-looking thing in the rooms I was decorating. I created these environments imagining that a woman of distinction & beauty lived in them, but I never felt I could quite live up to them -- I was a set designer doing this for some famous actress, not for myself, really, but for someone I wished I could be. That woman would be thin & sophisticated.

So yeah, I had those feelings all the time. All the time.
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:21 PM   #12
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I've been overweight/obese since I was 13, but my friends have always been super beautiful skinny/athletic girls who could pose for those clothing catalogs. Heh. We never mention my weight, either, so even though I've looked like this for 15 years, it still sometimes surprises me when I look in the mirror and realize I'm fat.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:36 PM   #13
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I feel like a fat person on the inside and i am on the outside. I want to lose weight but on the inside I think I will always be fat even if my outside changes. I've been overweight since I hit puberty so I'm not even sure what I'll look like when I finally get the weight off. It makes me kind of nervous and I think in some way that is one of the reasons the weight isn't coming off as fast as it should. I think subconsciously I worry about what it will mean for me.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aclai4067 View Post
Same. I think part of this came from the fact that I was a big kid even before I was a fat kid, which seemed the same in my mind. I thought I was always fat. In my late teens my mom had to pull out the photo album to SHOW me that I was not fat until age 8. But I remember thinking I was fat even before kindergarten. But I was just bigger/taller than the other kids, an early grower.
Wow, this really hit home for me. One of my earliest childhood memories is being in daycare and having the same name as one of the other girls, so she was dubbed "little Ashley" and I was "big Ashlee". It was only because I was taller but like you said, big equaled fat in my mind. I also remember being told by a boy when I was in third grade "you have a big butt!" (I'm pear-shaped and I guess I've always been lol).

I've never been obese, just overweight, but I've been bigger all my life. My mom is very small and petite and my dad is very tall and big boned. I am average height, but my mom always tells me I take after my dad in the big bones area. Part of me thinks she is right, but the other part wonders if maybe there's not smaller bones under this layer of fat. Only time will tell I guess, but I'd like to show people (mostly my mom's side of the family) that I can be thin too.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:38 PM   #15
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I grew up into a slim, attractive and active teenager who often modeled and did fashion shows. In college, I weighed 128 pounds. I didn't start gaining until after I married and had two pregnancies in quick succession. I ended up with 50 extra pounds. Since I had never had to watch what I ate, this was bad news for me and I have struggled with these extra pounds for over 30 years. I managed to lose some and then gained them right back because I did not realize that I had to permanently change my eating habits to maintain my weight. Today when I go back and look at photos of me, I am shocked at how bad I looked. Always a fashionista, I did my best to look well, but it did not really matter. My weight trumped my attempts. I'm not sure if I was in a state of denial or dispair, or maybe both. And I stayed fat for longer than I was thin. I wish I could take back all those years but I can't. I just focus on the now and my ongoing weight loss goals.
I have to tell you something quite amusing that happened in our family. My beloved aunt was always with us for holidays and special occasions. Over the years, she put on probably a hundred pounds and had quite a large rear end. When my grown sons would be around, she would always make comments to them such as "you've put on some weight, haven't you?" They would just about come undone (in silence, of course) because of her comments, especially considering that she weighed more than both of them! It got to be a family joke, to be discussed when she was not around. It just goes to show you that some people are actually oblivious to their own size, but feel free to comment on the weight of others!
Anyway, I'm definitely feeling more like my old self with each pound that comes off. I've jazzed up my wardrobe (purple suede boots, for example!) and I enjoy fashion just like I used to. It's a great feeling! Oh, and being healthy is not bad either!
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