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Old 01-15-2012, 04:47 AM   #1
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Default Question about relationships...

I have been overweight all my life and as such it has really shaped the way that I view myself and my ability to be in a relationship. I have spent so many years with the perception that because I was overweight I was not allowed to have normal relationships with anyone. Let me explain my mindset...

I am overweight, therefore I am unattractive. I'm unattractive, therefore no one should have to deal with the embarrasment of being seen with me. Hence, in my mind, it is not fair to expect that another person could have any feelings for me because of the embarrasment that I would cause them. (I should clarify that these feelings don't have to be romantic, I still think this way when dealing with friendships).

Because of this I find that I have retreated from most social situations.

Now I know that this is a very superficial view, but the problem is that this is what I have been telling myself since I was a small child.

Another problem is that I am getting to the point where I am so unbearably lonely that some days it is difficult to simply function.

Have any of you dealt with something simlar and how did you overcome the self doubt ??
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:47 AM   #2
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I've dealt with social anxiety and self doubt for a long time now; when I was fat and when I've been thinner too. It didn't go away when I lost weight. I guess my point is that if you were thinner your feelings of not being good enough might not go away, so it's important to deal with those feelings.

I promise you, nobody worth your time would feel embarrassed to be seen with you. Those who do - they don't matter.

I spent a good 6 months without any real friends due to a variety of unfortunate circumstances. I was so lonely, and I felt like the world was going on without me, and I felt like I was missing out. I slowly started forcing myself into social situations, and kept doing it. It was hard (torturous!) at first, but it gets easier with practice, and I found that people wanted to hang out with me. (Me?!! Surely not!) Knowing that others valued my company and appreciated me for who I am helped me to begin to stop my self-doubt.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:19 AM   #3
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My feelings of my confidence and feelings about myself have always been better when I am thinner.

I also found myself retreating when I was at my heaviest, but it was more out of embarrassment and depression, and just not feeling good about myself. I lost some good friendships in the past few years too, that really dinged my perception of myself, my ability to have and keep a friend, trust and so on..... and kind of pushed me back further. Why foster new friendships? Who really likes me?

I decided that I needed to focus on building relationships with like minded people. I needed to look for and find happiness for myself in areas separate from work and home. I decided to join a running group. It has been a plan while I built up my distance, and time, but I'll start meeting with them this week.

Maybe something like this could help you too. It sounds like you're going to have to do more work to change your perception of yourself, but maybe being around others who share and interest with you could help. A walking group, hiking group, exercise class.....
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:56 AM   #4
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I've had/am having this problem as well. But I've also had it my whole life even when I was thinner. I was a 'bigger boned' girl so always felt huge around my slimmer friends. However, what I know now that I wish I'd known then is that I really was thin. I'd give anything to turn back time. But on top of that I never felt worthy to be in a relationship. So the ones that I actually did have were toxic.

Now as I've gained tons of weight those feelings have gotten a lot stronger. I'm so lonely right now. I'm struggling to hang out with my friends because none of them understand what I'm going through. Plus they're all unhealthy and I can't be around them or I'll eat and drink to excess like they do. However, they don't have the metabolism issues that I have. So now it's made me even lonelier. And then a year of failed online dating (no responses) has made it even worse. I totally don't feel worthy of any man remotely loving me or even wanting to spend time with me. And it sucks because trying to lose weight when you're depressed is extremely hard. There are some days that all I want is for someone to touch me. It's been 15 years since I've had a relationship I'm embarrassed to say, and sometimes all I crave is human contact of any kind. It's funny how a simple meaningful hug can make all of the difference in the world. Yet I don't feel worthy of it.

I'm not sure what the answer is. If you find out will you tell me? :-) All I can think of for now is to keep moving forward. Don't quit or give up. And hopefully you'll figure it out.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:17 AM   #5
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I also find that when a "handsome" man has shown an interest in me & we've engaged in a relationship I find myself just waiting for him to leave me for a prettier, thinner girl. As I've grown older I've tried to change my attitude, to realise that I deserve happiness as much as the next person. Its a work in progress.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:35 AM   #6
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I As I've grown older I've tried to change my attitude, to realise that I deserve happiness as much as the next person. Its a work in progress.
Very true. It's all in your mindset.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:41 AM   #7
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I think I could have wrote the exact same post, word for word. I completely understand where you are coming from and I definitely know how hard it is to be in such a position. I always hate to hear of people feeling lonely because I know from experience how it feels. I don't have relationships, I don't date. I have a very small network of friends, and even with them, I still don't have a close relationship with them.

A few months ago, a guy that lives upstairs from me in my apartment asked me out. Okay, he actually had to be very persistent about it for several weeks before I would even accept. We went out twice and I was seriously so uncomfortable, and awkward and nervous that I broke things off after that. I could not get out of my own head wondering why he was even interested in me, and wondering what other people thought of us while we were out that I just could not handle it. I ran into him last night (the downside to dating someone that literally lives right upstairs from me) and he mentioned he is sorry things didn't work out and if I change my mind, he still interested.

I'm so irritated with myself for being this way. I do in fact get lonely a lot, and I feel this need to have physical contact with someone, but I just can't seem to get past my own issues and insecurities to make such a change.

Part of my goal on this journey is to work on such aspects of my life. I know that simply losing the weight is not going to magically fix everything else, but I do think since I am focusing more on me right now in order to lose weight, it's a good time to focus on working on all part of me that need work.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:52 AM   #8
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WildThings ~ Do you have a good relationship with this man upstairs? I mean, could you invite him down for a talk? It doesn't need to be deep & meaningful but you could let him know that you're working through some things. Explain that while you want to see him & get to know him, it needs to be at a slow pace with no pressure. Just a suggestion.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:51 AM   #9
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These thoughts are your sense of esteem talking and perhaps it's a little low. For a while, although I am a good friend and person, I was embarrassed to see people I hadn't seen in a long time b/c of my weight but then it dawned on me, I wouldn't care if someone I cared about and hadn't seen in a while had gained weight. People care about me and love me for who I am as a person, not my weight.

It also dawned on me that is why others don't care to hear about the dieting aspects of my life, they don't care about my weight, they care about me. It's a very freeing thought if you think about it. Yes, losing weight might be a goal and while they'd like to hear about it sometimes and be congratulatory, it isn't the sum of how much they care about me.

So, if you are feeling unloveable b/c of your weight, imagine seeing someone you love and haven't seen for a while who's happened to gain weight. Would it take away from your want to see them and how much you cherish their presence? No, of course not. Would you want them to stay away b/c they put on a few pounds? Absolutely not. Their weight wouldn't really matter much in your everyday interactions and the fact that they are there to be loved is what matters.

Recognize that this is your self-esteem talking and then work on holding yourself in the regard that you hold others. I know it's a struggle but it can change the way you view yourself and approach others. They don't care about your weight, they care about who you are and chances are very great they like who you are. Don't hold yourself back from making friends either, give them a chance to like you, chances are just as great that they will.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:58 AM   #10
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I've skipped too many parties and social situations because I felt like it would be too hard at my weight. Even when guys didn't have any qualms about my size, I thought, no way...wouldn't work. Can't be true. It came from friends and even my sister reinforcing that feeling in me, because they felt like their weight had a direct correlation with how successful they would be in social situations.

The truth is many people feel social awkwardness that stems from many sources: income, background, personality, looks, on and on. It's so easy to say "it's all me!" when stuff happens. And some people are shallow and insecure.

I have a long time bf, but am short in the friend department. I did have more friends in school, so much has gone on after that, I moved away from my home state, and on and on. I got back in touch with relatives and old friends, they're far away, so I don't get to see them all the time. I have visited and emailed. That's one good thing to do. I've taken classes, for pleasure and career. It doesn't always lead to closer relationships, thought it can, and it feels social and is fun and interesting.

I've gotten involved in the local church, they have committees which I've participated on (though I don't have a lot of time for that), and a book club that I go to about once a month. There's a couple we've gone out with a couple of times.

So I guess I'm saying that for me it was a matter of plugging in. I think you'd be surprised at how many people who would be thrilled to know you and have you as a friend. It can take patience and effort. I think eating healthily and exercising has helped me keep a better mind frame too, it's helpful for much more than just "losing weight" which is a big goal of mine as well.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:56 AM   #11
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I was overweight and well into the obese range for the majority of my life. My middle school years were miserable because everyone made fun of me for being fat and boys would tell me their friends liked me to freak out their friends.

However, life really picked up when I learned to love who I was. Was I happy all the time? Nope! I had my moments...but I learned that just because I wasn't thin didn't mean that I wasn't a beautiful person.

In college I had guys after me because I became really confident. I remember shooting some of the perverts down and they looked SHOCKED because a fat girl is supposed to take what she can get, right? Haha no! I laughed at them and just didn't care what people thought.

It was my personality that reeled my fiance in when we met (which he met me when I was somewhere in the vicinity of 190-200lbs) and he still loves me now and will love me if I happen to be in the majority of dieters who regain their weight.

I often look back at old pictures of me and even when I was obese I was still smiling--I was happy and having fun. I didn't let that stop me and I hate it when people are made to feel that they are less of a person because they are overweight or obese. You're allowed to feel happy, attractive and have memorable experiences. You're allowed to date and find love. Don't let a fatphobic society tell you otherwise.

My biggest piece of advice to people who want to lose weight (other than 'don't get fat in the first place' that is) is that they shouldn't hate themselves thin. It's quite a horrible way to get there.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:06 PM   #12
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It sounds like plenty of us have been there at one time or another. I'm in a similar position I guess because my weight overshadows every aspect of my life, including relationships. I don't think my life would be perfect if I were skinny or that losing weight is the answer to all of life's problems but if it changes your behaviour and the person you are then I think losing the weight can help to improve your life.

I'm lucky to have a couple of close friends but we live thousands of miles apart so I spend a great deal of time alone. I'm chatty with co-workers and such but my weight keeps me back from socialising so for now I kind of enjoy my own company (and working out on a Saturday night haha). I do get lonely times but it's nothing to get too sad over for me.

As for guys, where are you girls finding all these guys?! I've never had a proper boyfriend and I'm almost 30! I've never told anyone that before but there you go. I've had a few guys who were happy to keep it on the down low but once I actually wanted to do the boyfriend/girlfriend thing instead of the booty calls they weren't into it. I know I'm awesome though, we all are That's what you need to remember. Not everyone is everyone else's cup of tea so to speak and that's just fine.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:59 PM   #13
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I also have this problem. I feel better when I'm thinner and also when I exercise, but everyone is different. but, I have to say, you have to start building up your confidence and believe you are worthy to be with someone and that they are worthy to be with you. If a man tells you he finds you attractive and is supportive, you have to believe it. If you are full of self doubt you'll drive any man nuts and many men will not want to be with someone who constantly doubts their feelings.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:21 PM   #14
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If a man tells you he finds you attractive and is supportive, you have to believe it. If you are full of self doubt you'll drive any man nuts and many men will not want to be with someone who constantly doubts their feelings.
For me personally, I used to think this was the case... until I met my husband.

After four years being together (three years of that being marriage), I am still the same person I was when we met... insecure about my body and doubtful that anyone (even him) finds me attractive.

But you know what? My husband just accepts that part of my personality.

We just brought home a new elliptical today.. and still after four years I said to him "I don't have any exercise clothes, I hate to be flopping around on that thing, all ugly with next to nothing on," and he says "But there's only me, and I don't judge you."

Deep down I'm sure he knows I may never believe that phrase.. but he also knows it's a great comfort to me to hear it, even if he has to say it 5,000 more times. He never gets tired of reminding me, never becomes frustrated with my poor self-esteem.. never judges me and never rushes me.. never expects from me more than he knows I'm capable of providing when it comes to these things.

That, to me, is the definition of having found my soulmate.. someone who just accepts me for me, without my having to go out of my way to pretend to be someone I'm not, namely someone with a lot of confidence and self-esteem.

Anyway, that's just my story..
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:46 AM   #15
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I've been there...for as long as I can remember. Even today, if I get the feeling a guy is interested, I question it, and I cannot figure out why he would be interested in me. I get the "interested vibes" but dismiss them, saying to myself, "why would he be interested in me?" I was watching a concert one time fairly recently and was flirting with the bassist, all this long eye contact, etc., and I kept looking around at all the thinner and better-looking females and wondering what he could possibly see in me. In retrospect, I believe that my own insecurity may have "robbed" me of possible relationships, because I dismissed interest many times. I used to like a guy a few years ago, and I got vibes that he might be interested too, but I dismissed them and ignored him, because I didn't want to get hurt, which I thought would be inevitable. He wound up with someone else, and over the years we kind of became friends, and I talked to him a little about guys and dating. He told me that if I'm intererested in a guy, I have to show him, to speak up, and he said "if you had, things might be different now". I thought he might have been implying that if I spoke up those years ago, he and I might be together today.

Anyway, I did lose some weight, quite a bit actually, 100 pounds. I started getting flirted with a lot more often. I flirted back, and my confidence was high enough to show interest in a cute guy who was interested, and we did hook up. That was shortlived, but gone was the insecurity I used to feel around men. I have gained back almost half of that weight, and losing is a constant struggle still, but I have to admit that my insecurity about men is back. I am working on that insecurity, but it is difficult.
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