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Author Topic: Having Self-Esteem While Fat  (Read 28971 times)
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« Reply #15: February 13, 2011, 09:55:11 pm »


At 6'1", 175 is not bad at all!  Jeeze!  My ex husband was 175 and 6'2" and very skinny.

I look at women on the TV and wonder how much damage are they dong to their health to stay that anorexic!  It's like the women who get acting jobs now are mostly those who look decent in the face when they are severely underweight!

I'm healthiest when I fit in size 16 no-stretch jeans.  Not slim by any means, and certainly fat by today's standards, but it's where I feel good and can eat normally and have energy and all.  Right now I' heavier than that because of thyroid shit - but that's under control so I'm exercising now that I have enough energy and it's coming back.  I don't diet - my metabolism just shuts down when I don't get enough calories.  And the SO - he likes me that way too, and bitches at the anorexic women on tv....so many reasons to love him.   Grin
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« Reply #16: February 13, 2011, 11:48:51 pm »

Large amounts of aspartame, or even the slightest bit of saccharine, will send me into a migraine that lasts for days. Stevia works for me, though it's MUCH sweeter than sugar.

Only reason I found out it affected me like that was I was drinking slimfast on my 2 small breaks to keep my blood sugar up.   I started having horrible migraines, my chiropractor explained it was the artificial sweeteners doing it.  When I stopped drinking them the migraines let up.

As for self-esteem and size.  I am a large woman.  When I was young I looked anorexic yet ate like a horse.  Seriously, I could out eat my uncle who was a walking mailman by at least one full dinnerplate.  Now no one would ever guess that.  Part of my problem is that I can carry ALOT of extra weight on my frame without it showing.  Most people guess me at about 50 pds lighter then I am.  Lately I haven't cared so much about my actually weight.  I'm concentrating on WHAT I eat and how I FEEL.  I'm trying to eat healthier, less fatty foods, junk food and cutting down on the sugary stuff.  The side effect of this, plus my very physical job, I have dropped 32 pds in the last 6 months.  I feel awsome.  I'm in a better mood and can move better.  My knees don't hurt like they used to.  I don't ache all the time either.  The next step for me is that I'm getting back into yoga and karate.  I'm also going to try Zumba cause that looks like fun. Cheesy  I'm becoming more active cause it makes me feel better, not to lose weight.  I'm sure I will, but let's face facts.  At my 'smallest' I'm at the top of my weight for my height, any smaller and I get sickly looking.  So thin?  Nope, never will happen.  But I don't particularly care like I used too, cause even at the weight I am now, I'm turning heads. Wink And it's in a good way. LOL

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« Reply #17: February 14, 2011, 12:06:02 am »

Large amounts of aspartame, or even the slightest bit of saccharine, will send me into a migraine that lasts for days. Stevia works for me, though it's MUCH sweeter than sugar.

Yeah I love Stevia but depending on the concentration as little as one packet can sweeten an entire pot of black coffee, it's also tricky to use as a one-for-one sub with sugar for baking because aside from its flavor it has none of the characeristics of sugar. I did see an adapted stevia based sweetener that can be substituted for sugar at a local herb shop but it had some organic plant fillers like oats etc. Agave nectar is also used by some diabetics. IIRC Stevia doesn't metabolize as a glucose so it can be safer for diabetics but, as always, check with your phsyician and check yourself before going all out Smiley

Stevia is a plant based sweetenr the plant is called sugar leaf and other names you can chew the leaves and even raise the plant at home if you live in a warm climate or can be dedicated to it as a house plant. I've seen cookbooks specifically geared toward stevia in its raw and concentrate forms but don't have any atm.

As far as weight goes I'm not even sure why I still have a scale, we used to have one that was largely for weighing luggage and such - even though it was a bathroom scale and so not meant for that lol - but it broke so I replaced it. The new one is all modern and sleek etc but I usually just leave it under the sink. I once knew a woman that was my height and to look at her she looked very svelte and thin but weighed a good ten pounds more than I did she was just that muscular, and while that may not be the case for most of us it is worth remembering. My philosophy is that as long as I feel better, stronger, happier and healthier the scale is largely irrelevant.
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« Reply #18: February 14, 2011, 12:14:03 am »



I love that this thread came up now. It's just been in the past two months that I've really accepted myself, as I am, now. I've struggled with eating disorders my whole life--swinging wildly between two ends of the scale. I'm topped out after having a baby six months ago, and I haven't lost much weight since giving birth.

Gaining the pregnancy weight sent me into a tailspin that I just broke out of about six weeks ago. It's embarrassing but--I snapped out of it because I found myself at Target, reaching for diet pills. It was so uncharacteristic of me--I had done so much work in therapy, at home, in my relationships, with myself--but...I don't know. I wanted a quick fix. I wanted to lose the weight. But then I just thought that what if my daughter was 5, not  6 months, and what if she found those pills in my bag? What would I say? And that broke my heart. Something snapped in that moment. It felt like everything I'd "learned" in the past years finally...clicked.

Since then I've made pretty large strides in just accepting myself as I am, now. Now is happiness, contentment. Now, not in ten pounds, not in forty pounds. Now. I can be happy now, and concentrate on my family, my faith, my garden, my writing, or I can obsess about food and weight. For once, I'm doing the right thing. It's taken over a decade to reach this point.

Sometimes I'm disgusted about how much time I've lost to it, but I'm trying to reconcile that. Most people struggle with something, and this was my thing...And hopefully for not much longer. I hope to get to a point where it doesn't even cross my mind.

Thanks for this thread. It feels good to talk it out with other people who are aiming for the same goal.
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« Reply #19: February 14, 2011, 12:19:38 am »


I have some ideas on self-esteem, but I'm not sure if I can express them accurately.  I think a person needs to look beyond their physical traits to find what really matters...in other words, who they really are.  I don't think of myself as a fat person; I think of myself as just a person.  I am a writer, art-lover, dancer, avid reader, budding gardener (had to do it!) and a photographer.  I create beautiful things because I am a beautiful person--and I decided that.  I am in a place where I don't need to have others tell me that I am beautiful, smart, funny...because I already know that I am in my own way.  Also, if you depend on others for your self-esteem, your feelings will constantly be fluctuating, so it is better to have confidence in yourself coming *from* you.  I know that is not an easy thing, especially since most people with low self-esteem have been/are made fun of and our society as a whole holds people who are "overweight" (even those who are not) in ill favor.  But, if you can get past all of that, putting faith in yourself, you will find self-acceptance and love.

Also, my therapist used to make me say one good thing about myself at each session...I hated it at first, but it really did wonders for my confidence.  

And there is the old adage, "Fake it until you make it."  Smiley  
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« Reply #20: February 14, 2011, 12:47:26 am »

Whereas for me part of my body-image struggle has been to understand that I'm not fat just because I'm bigger than your average woman.

I have a fascinating body-image thing that strikes me as slightly related to this, so I'm hanging it here because I'm reminded of it.

The majority of people I've seen who say that they're fat look just ... average to me.  Which has a variety of social consequences, to say the least.  (Like vehement agreement with the vileness of body policing making perfectly within-a-sigma-of-the-center-of-the-bell-curve people claim that they're fat!)  But one of them is that I cannot listen to people talking about dieting.

When I listen to people talking about dieting, the following very scary chain of events happens:

* I hear the people talking about their diets and how they totally need to lose so pounds and how awfully, awfully fat they are.
* I boggle internally.  "They look totally normal to me."  (This is generally the language that I have, even though I know that 'normal' is problematic usage in a lot of ways.)
* Glitch.
* I look perfectly normal to me.
* ... but all of those perfectly normal people are apparently too fat.
* Glitch glitch.
* So there must be something wrong with me that I cannot even perceive.
* HOW DO I FIX THIS??!??!
* GLITCH.

At that point it goes ugly in a way that I suddenly went "ANORECTIC IDEATION" to and shut myself the hell down over.  And now when people talk about their diets I leave the room.

In my rational brain I know that I'm ... well, I used to be ten or fifteen pounds underweight, but I'm carrying ten more pounds post-baby so I'm probably much better off than I was (or would be if more of the padding were in my ass and less in my breasts).  But apparently my ability to avoid a lot of the stuff through being long and bony hasn't kept me from having the body-police install the tripwires - just in a back room that I don't use much.
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« Reply #21: February 14, 2011, 03:53:18 am »


Just a song for people to listen to, written and performed by a friend of mine, Mitch Benn-it is kind of appropriate. I love listening to it when I'm having weight issues (or I think that I am). Like others, my weight has fluctuated between 9 stone and 15 stone (I'm 5'7) and I cannot take compliments when people say that I look great/slim/pretty etc. I can always see something wrong. I can't diet or excercise well because of medical conditions and the truly mental number of medications that I am on. Some days I don't eat at all, others I can't stop. Can't have low fat as I have to have the calories to function properly and I can't handle sweetners. I get such a headache! Maybe one day I'll come to terms with my shape and size.  Undecided

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« Reply #22: February 14, 2011, 06:39:22 am »

The thing I do find frustrating is that people tend to view weight loss as uniformly positive - before the thyroid stuff was diagnosed, I lost 35 pounds in less than 3 months (and promptly regained it.) Didn't get *one* word from my doctor that this might in fact not be a great thing. (And in fact, it's extremely worrisome: in hindsight, it was my thyroid going very hyper briefly as it struggled to work, which can have significant heart implications, among other things.) I do not like a medical system which works like that - what else are they going to miss?

THIS!!!!

I have lost serious weight exactly twice in my life - and once was because I was STARVING because I had a nasty medical problem that the only thing I was keeping down was Ensure.

Ensure does not a reasonable diet make.  The doc's reaction - "eh, it's healthy enough".

I'M STARVING HERE!  *grr*

If those are my choices .. yeah.  I'd take almost anything above being THERE again!
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« Reply #23: February 14, 2011, 10:14:29 am »

Which really, puts the framing where it should be: my genes happened a certain way due of something that's supposed to be *good*, not bad. It seems really stupid to blame my body - or damage my self-respect - for that.

This is really pivotal in a lot of things.  Those stick thin 17 year olds making wrinkle commercials for overpriced brands are not necessarily walking examples of clean living.  Largely, genetics can take credit for their shape.  No matter how many raw foods, cardio equation applications or toning classes I take I - nor most humans will never look like that. 

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« Reply #24: February 14, 2011, 10:20:38 am »


Related to Darkhawk's comments, there's a great set of Flickr photos put together by Kate Harding - here's the post on her former blog, Shapely Prose, talking about it: http://kateharding.net/2007/09/28/illustrated-bmi-categories/ . Basically, she collected photos from people all over the BMI spectrum - it's a great illustration of how messed up the categories are in terms of what we think of when looking at other people.

(The blog is also great, and there's lots of good stuff in posts there, and in comments - she's just moved onto other things, so she's no longer updating it.)
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« Reply #25: February 14, 2011, 11:26:58 am »

The doc's reaction - "eh, it's healthy enough".

The truth is, that no matter what they want us to believe, no one really knows everything about nutrition and what makes food 'good' or 'bad' food and if the things they advertise are the ultimte truth for everybody.

Well, in fact it is not.

Everybody is different.
I know people doing really good on some low carb things and feeling healthier.

Force me to do it and around day 8 or 9 I will have the urge to vomit on my high proteine breakfast.

Everybody is different - thank the Gods!
And everybody is the only expert about hir own body, because no one else is living in it.

I will loose some weight, because I want to do it.
Not because others think I am too fat. Couldn't care less (fat goes away, stupid is to stay).

I am taking up my place in space and time, yes, I have no desire to starve myself down to a skeleton so folks can ignore me better.

Girls - become more, not less than you are!
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« Reply #26: February 14, 2011, 11:53:12 am »

Related to Darkhawk's comments, there's a great set of Flickr photos put together by Kate Harding - here's the post on her former blog, Shapely Prose, talking about it: http://kateharding.net/2007/09/28/illustrated-bmi-categories/ . Basically, she collected photos from people all over the BMI spectrum - it's a great illustration of how messed up the categories are in terms of what we think of when looking at other people.

That is utterly awesome.

(And led me to go calculate my BMI for shits and giggles.)
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« Reply #27: February 14, 2011, 12:23:31 pm »

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  All fatties claim thyroid problems, right?  Yeah well, mine is caused by stage 4 papillary carcinoma, so there.  And it's back.  So, a total thyroidectomy+lots of time off Synthroid for tests+Synthroid resistant me=more fat.  Rah.

Hey there, my thyroid cancer was follicular. Sucked, big time. Here's hoping that once you get your thyroid out, that will be the end of the cancer. Best wishes for a full recovery.

Moving on to being fat.
When I first started my thyroid thread asking for input I was a real mess. It wasn't only the weight gain, but all of the other changes that were wreaking havoc on my self esteem. I'm much better now. I've gotten to the point where, I just don't give a shit what anyone but me thinks of how I look. I'm 5 foot 3inches, and I'm 170 pounds. I stopped gaining several months ago, so I think this is where my body wants to be.

A bunch of those pounds are boobs! LOL! Getting used to hauling a 40DD chest around was interesting, but I'm used to it now. Hell, when I think of how many women pay good money for a set of these, I get a good laugh. So I've got a big ass, so what? All the better to fill out my jeans with. Besides, my husband loves my body just the way it is. He proves this by cooking some of the yummiest gourmet food (he's a professional chef) that you've ever tasted. No low fat in my house, his motto is "fat is flavor".

I've reached the point where I'm actually feeling pretty good about myself. I don't feel the need to conform to what society thinks a 42 year old woman should look like. I have every intention of taking care of myself, however, that doesn't include screwing with my already wonky metabolism by dieting, or having plastic surgery, or spending hundreds of dollars on skin care products that are all a load of crap anyway. This was a big step for me because I spent most of my adult life selling department store cosmetics. The pressure in that world to look young and thin is unbelievable. Even though I've been out of it for quite some time, some of that thinking had lingered. Now, when I see women my age with fake faces and store bought bodies, I think it's really kind of gross. To each her own, but it's not for me.   

At this point, I can honestly say that when I look in a mirror I see a beautiful, mature woman. Fat, wrinkles, gray hair and all.



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« Reply #28: February 14, 2011, 12:34:39 pm »

<huge grin> Sure do - I love her, and her site is one of the first I recommend when I'm handing out links (you might even have got it from me; I posted it in the "thyroid issues" thread, and I know you were reading/posting there).
Sunflower

Haha, that surely is where I got it Smiley I just didn't connect it to you. Well anyway, it is a link worth being mentioned here!
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« Reply #29: February 14, 2011, 01:42:17 pm »

And now when people talk about their diets I leave the room.

I can't visit my mother too much because of this.  When she starts, I shut her down.  If she won't shut up (which happened over Christmas, thanks to this new acupuncture regimen she claims has helped her lose 50 pounds...while she's sucking down energy drinks and smoking) I show faux concern that it might be a tumor.  It's not kind, but it works.

I don't own a fucking scale, either.

Brina
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