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Don't kow how NOT to be overweight

In the last thread I read, someone mentioned this problem as a potential method of self-sabotage.

I once had a psychic reading on my birthday and the woman told me that I wasn't losing and wouldn't lose weight until I dealt with the fact that the attention I receive from men is overwhelming to me. This might sound vain, but i think it was valid!

She didn't know it but I have been the victim of too many inappropriate sexual advances from men since I was very young, even 10 years old. And, I wonder if I maintain 30 lbs of excess because of that? I have a bf and a safe, loving realtionship. Why the mental blockage?

Thu. Jan 26, 2:48pm

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I was that poster from the previous thread and I have all of those issues. I don't know how to overcome this. I too am in a wonderful marriage, and I think I am happy. But a huge part of me holds back on life. I blame my weight, but why can't I really make the change?

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, January 26, 2006, 3:29 PM

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Fat Suit

I kept a fat suit for a long, long time. Somehow it was a test - if men were attracted to me it was for me and not my looks. Of course, it still ended up being for my looks as well--I ended up being a bit fetishized by some men because of my weight and the whole power thing for them that went with that.

I think it helps - if necessary through counselling - to identify what's at the root of your "fat suit." Also helpful would be learning the tools to manage unwanted advances with confidence and strength.

Years ago there was a great book called "Lifescripts" and it was just that - it scripted some of the most difficult discussions we need to have as adults: asking for more money at work, ending a friendship, working through divorce. What they all have in common is that you learn the language, style, tone for these kinds of things. It can be quite empowering learning how to strongly and tactfully say "no" in no uncertain terms.

Good luck.

Thursday, January 26, 2006, 3:41 PM

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Thank for the last poster's comments. I will check it out. Also on the same lines and a little separate from this post is Difficult Conversations by the Harvard Negotiation Project...

I know my bf loves me for me and he tells me he loves my shape, although i know he loved it more minus the 30 lbs from two years ago. Maybe I should try counselling. Anyone else deal with the issue described above and have some advice?

Thursday, January 26, 2006, 4:37 PM

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You have to reach deep and see what's there. I know that sounds vague but I found a LOT of rage. I was molested as a child too, and over the years struggled with men grabbing me inappropriately and never finding the voice to really fight back, only to say no (and shouldn't that be ENOUGH???). But I began to heal when I confronted my family about why they kept it under wraps for so long, and made sure they heard me. I had to face the possibility that some wouldn't speak to me again, but I felt someone had to be accountable for me when I couldn't (age 2-5)! So I found my voice and some true courage, and I'm working my way out of my fat suit.

Thursday, January 26, 2006, 6:38 PM

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to the last poster.....

I think my life has been more affected, not by my abuser, but those that knew it was happening and didn't stand up for me.......just to avoid being uncomfortable.

how is it you feel?

Thursday, January 26, 2006, 7:50 PM

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Oh, yeah, it's always more convenient for the others around, that aren't affected or turn their feelings off and pretend it's not a big deal. I always told myself the "story" over and over through my life like I was detached too, as if it was a story that happened to someone else. But when I got to my mid-twenties and was settling into my life and career, I found myself crying over nothing, crying in the middle of sex with my loving and gentle partner, angry at random times, just everything. Then I started having dreams that I was violently killing my abuser. And I thought, gee, hon, think you're mad? lol
You have to laugh a little...boy did I let him suffer! And I was glad!
But once I confronted my family about it and had a big blow-up (I think my anger scared them more than my crying), it allowed me to make a big step and regain some control in my life. I can't say "heal", because unfortunately, I don't think there is such a thing. It's like losing a loved one- you're never really over it because they're never coming back. And I'll never get over it, but I can learn to reclaim myself and stand up for little 2 year-old through 5 year-old Me, so I can be the adult for myself NOW that no one else was.
Now THAT'S self-love.

Thursday, January 26, 2006, 11:32 PM

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Right on, right on...

In high school I started experiencing some of the same, anger and really a lot more guilt. No one in my family hid it, it was always out there and they fought hard and saved my brother and I from the abuse.

But, what made/makes (?) me mad is that at 2-7, it was a huge deal but later in life 10-14, when men would makes passes at me or try to touch me and my brother (which I learned about only a while ago from him), we could do nothing and not a whole lot was done.

Mom's poor life skills and alcoholism after she divorced and moved away from Hollywood kept us as children and young teens around predators and I feel like she had enough to deal with in life and she doesn't really know about the later abuses. My options are slim, hurt a very broken woman further or keep it in?

Friday, January 27, 2006, 10:57 AM

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To the last poster,

You forgot to mention a third option, talk it out with someone other than your Mom. Keeping something like what you've gone through in is obviously a really bad idea and leads to all sorts of health issues but understandably you feel bad about talking about it to your mother. Have you looked for support groups?? You need to get it out...not necessarily to her but out in general to people who will understand. I'm in Canada and "luckily" due to certain circumstances I can access a psychiatrist and therapists with no problem or cost but all the support groups I've heard of have been free, all you need to do is spend the time. They can be hard to go to but seeing that look in someone's eyes when they know EXACTLY how you feel can be sooo helpful at times.

Please to everyone in this post...I know everyone originally came to Peertrainer to take better care of their bodies but don't forget to take care of your mind and soul as well. cheesy annoucement is over.

Friday, January 27, 2006, 11:09 AM

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to poster: Thursday, January 26, 2006, 6:38 PM

i don't know if you still read this thread or not but I am giving you a standing ovation! What courage to go to your family. I was molested as well. My family felt it was shameful. My mother was abused as well but her abuse was far worse than least that is what she told me. nothing I could have done would ever be as bad as her.

I am going through the book "The Courage to Heal" and it is helping me deal with the deep, confusing and complex emotions that I struggle with. The "fat suit" is my protection. It keeps the 6yearold girl who was abused safe & warm and secure.
Its as scary as hell to remember & deal with the past. But its so worth it. To have emotional freedom.

Thursday, September 06, 2007, 2:53 PM

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to poster: Thursday, January 26, 2006, 11:32 PM

wow! you sounds just like me. i haven't had the courage to confront my family. I don't if I ever can...but I admore you nonetheless.


Thursday, September 06, 2007, 2:55 PM

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Thank you, OP, for bringing up this issue. I just wanted to add my own experience of this. I am often the victim of a lot of inapppropriate advances, and I have analyzed my behavior and have decided that I sabotage myself by dressing badly, and trying to lose wight, so that I would lose all my curves and men would not pay attention to me anymore. Kind of similar, but in a way, opposite. Thank you, all, for your affirmation on this subject. It makes me feel so much better that I am not the only on that suffers from this.

Thursday, September 06, 2007, 7:31 PM

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So many thoughts,
A few years ago I finally felt safe, had a male friend who treated me like I had value, talked about taking care of me and watching out for me....
There was a series of experiences with men making advances as well as I had lost nearly 200 pounds and started to show some curves and look pretty. I was overwhelmed and he thought it was funny. Or thought nothing of it.
Well over a matter of days he leaves me and takes up with another woman and I am alone and terrified once again. So what was my choice. Obviously you can't trust men... So I gained it all back. And I have found that fat suit does protect you to a degree but it also has kept me from experiencing life. I am ready to experience life. That is why I am here.
One of you talked of rage. Oh boy I came in contact with that. It is amazing what you will find inside if you look hard enough or are pushed hard enough.
Two years later here I am having finally decided that it is not right to me. Me now or me the child not to at least give myself the best life I can. I may be getting older but that doesn't mean I can't still have a life.
So my biggest issue was/is I am terrified of being raped. And you can't say, oh that will never happen. It already did. So then what?
Well I have come to the understanding all of a sudden one day that rape is a matter of control and not sex. At least in most cases. So my job is to make myself the strongest person I can be. Inside. Not to cower before people but to realize that I am worth life. And a good life. I don't deserve what was done to me and I am not what was done to me. I do not have to be defined by the abuse. Nor am I the fat that everyone sees. I am a person who has value and no matter how much fat is on my body it doesn't diminish the spirit inside. And at the same time when I reach my goal I will be no better a person or be a more worthy person just because of that.
People it is what is inside that matters. And if when you look inside all you see is the abuse, believe me there is more to you. It's kinda like a blanket that covers who you are. when you can peel that blanket back and see the beauty inside.
Male or female Just because we were abused to whatever degree you are an amazing person. And the best gift you can give yourself is to forgive. Both your abuser (s) and yourself. (yourself, for percieved guilt )

To the poster who's mother doesn't think your abuse was as bad as hers. I am sorry. No matter what degree of abuse a person suffers it changes you. It is not right for someone to make light of what you experienced.

I have confronted, and discussed within my family those that I thought necessary. And yes it was rough and painful but there is a degree of control over your life that you get back.
After years and years of couceling all I can say is you do what is right for you.

Thank you to the original poster. This is my main concern in losing the weight and I appreciate getting others opinions on this issue.
I wish you all health and safety.

Thursday, September 06, 2007, 8:27 PM

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You know what when I was young and 80lbs less( but thought I was fat) I thought that was one of the rereasons I was overweight. I still haven't figured it out But I still have men hit on me. Of course they are older like me now( 50 something!) It is a joke i think men will forever hit on woman! You just get better looking guys when you are thinner! By the way i am now happpily married for many years! Don't analyze ( sorry for spellin) utilize! Don't worry about why you eat just try and do the right thing and when you fall pick yourself up!

Thursday, September 06, 2007, 11:36 PM

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I think it helps to know why. If you don't understand or know what triggers your overeating then how can you overcome it permanently?

Just a thought.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 12:37 AM

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I can understand where everyone is coming from. I was sexually abused (molested, raped, etc) as well as being beaten and basically kept as slave labor by my birth father from age 3 until age 15. My birth mother did nothing to stop it even though she knew. But than she had children with him knowing that he had molested his youngest sister when she was a child, so it wasn't a big surprise that she didn't stop him and still sees nothing wrong with it. I finally had a minor nervous breakdown at 15 right after we found out that the police wouldn't charge him. Well I hide behind my fat suit for a few years after that than when I lost the weight at 18, a co-worker tried to rape me as well as one of my birth mother's friends. lol life is a odd thing. I left home than and went to live with my aunt (the same one my father had molested) and my uncle and their three daughters. That was the best thing I could have done. The nightmares that had haunted me for years finally stopped. I started caring about myself again and learned that I had done nothing to deserve what had happened. I healed. I actually forgave my birth parents because if I didn't the bitterness would have eaten me alive. My aunt and uncle eventually adopted me even though I was an adult already but it was the symbolism of it. They were wonderful people who were more parents than my birth ones and gave me back myself which I had lost. They died a few months ago and I started to hide behind my fat suit again as I am always using it to do just that....hide. But I realized that they wouldn't want me to do that, they would want me to live and stop hiding from the world. Thus I am going to shed the fat suit and stop hiding forever.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 8:55 AM

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to poster: Thursday, September 06, 2007, 8:27 PM

i am the one that spoke of my mother who said my abuse was nothing compared to her's.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for what you have shared. You are such a strong couragous person for sharing & for loving yourself enough to heal.

THANK YOU AGAIN! I have just started the healing process. I'm 5 months into remembering and dealing with abuse that I had forgotten & was hiding in my head my whole life. You have made the light at the end of my tunnel a little brighter.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 9:27 AM

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Losing weight is an identity change. Being a fat girl is an identity, just like being female or rich or Latina. As I continue to lose, I am struggling with learning how to "be a skinny girl". I never used to wear baggy clothes or hide my figure but now I don't know how to dress my new body. Interestingly, I feel kind of "average" now that I wear the same size as my friends. My size was something I was defensive about and protective of... just like many people are about their backgrounds or race. Its different nagivating being "typical". And its frightening. While it didn't sabatoge my weight loss, I could see how those emotions and thoughts could subconsciously keep you from taking that step. But I have taken a different path than some women have in order to cope - instead of "reaching deep" and trying to solve my emotional delimmas as a strategy for successful weight loss, I simply thought of it as a health problem I needed to fix. If I had a disease I would take medication or have surgery without deliberation. I have to take care of my body so it can be there for my mind. So while I am taking the steps to get healthy, I am working out the issues that come along, but its in that order for a reason. I'm not letting any issues I have hold me back.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 9:43 PM

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To: Friday, September 07, 2007, 9:27 AM
From: Thursday, September 06, 2007, 8:27 PM

Thank you for letting me know that my words helped. Your response touched my heart.
I understand the forgetting and the remembering and how painful it all can be. Just know that you are not alone in this journey. There are people here who will support you even though you may not know who we are.
I wish I could take your pain away or ease it in some way but we all have a path to take and obstacles to overcome and that is what makes us stronger, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.
Take care of yourself,
I wish you peace.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 9:57 PM

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