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Author Topic: Having Self-Esteem While Fat  (Read 28382 times)
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« Reply #60: February 18, 2011, 08:38:27 pm »

Just had a "Oh, right, we never did pull this out explicitly" moment.

One of the best ways to maintain a sense of self-worth is to be aware of what you're exposed to - in terms of media, advertising, etc.
 

I completely agree. I watch TV via Hulu and Netflix, and I stopped buying "women's" magazine (like Self, Glamour, etc.) a few years ago and...it's awesome. I still have my own issues to work through but not being exposed to all the advertising certainly helps. Also, I find that I've felt much less pressure to consume since I stopped reading them. Win-win.

When I start to feel like my confidence is fading I try, try, try to exercise it out. A good run, weight routine or digging in the garden (right now we're double-digging our beds in clay-rock...makes for a good sweat) helps me to change focus. Though I love yoga, meditating and walking, I need something vigorous to truly shift my focus.
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« Reply #61: February 18, 2011, 11:27:37 pm »

What self-esteem? I haven't had self-esteem about my body in.... ever. If its not the number on the scale, its the sad lack of identifying female features. You know how most "fat" women have at least part of that fat go to the boobs? Yeah... I haven't changed bra size since I started buying them. At 12 years old. I have a huge butt and thunder thighs. Sometimes the weight doesn't bother me. I mean, I can sling 50 lb feed sacks, stack kiln shelves, pick up my twiggy friends- I have a goddamn reason to weigh a lot. What I wish for is slightly better proportions. I don't need to be a supermodel, but looking less like a freak would be nice.

THIS.

You have described me to a T. I have the biggest ass that doesn't belong to a black woman. (Sorry. It's just true.) However, I have never gone higher than a low B cup. I really wish I could steal some of my butt and put it in my boobs so I'd look slightly more proportionate.
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« Reply #62: February 19, 2011, 01:14:48 am »

THIS.

You have described me to a T. I have the biggest ass that doesn't belong to a black woman. (Sorry. It's just true.) However, I have never gone higher than a low B cup. I really wish I could steal some of my butt and put it in my boobs so I'd look slightly more proportionate.

My issue with my ass is the opposite--I feel like it's too wide and flat. What I really hate, though, is how my face has rounded out in the past couple of years or so. In my thin years, I had these gorgeous high cheekbones that I can't even see anymore...and my mother's so fond of telling me that if I only lost the weight, I'd be "that pretty" again.

I'm having one of those nights where I look in the mirror and think "ew, gross" anyway, not least because a customer described me as "the chunky woman I talked to before" over the phone. You know, I work so hard at NOT hating the way I look, and then someone comes along and shits all over it. It's like, how bad must I look for that to be the first description he went to? Not the pale one, not the tall one, not the one with the short hair...the chunky woman. I'm not sure whether to be angry that people are so rude, or to cry because the coworker he spoke to on the phone knew exactly who he meant with no more description than that.
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« Reply #63: February 19, 2011, 10:50:30 am »

I have the biggest ass that doesn't belong to a black woman. (Sorry. It's just true.)
Can we gripe about fat prejudice, without bringing racial stereotypes into it?  The idea that black women have bigger asses than women who aren't black is right up there with the idea that black men have bigger penises - a stereotype, not a fact.

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« Reply #64: February 19, 2011, 11:07:33 am »

One of the best ways to maintain a sense of self-worth is to be aware of what you're exposed to - in terms of media, advertising, etc.

Agreed.

I try to remember that much of what you see in the media isn't even real. From makeup, to lighting, to flat out creating images. Even when it comes to adds geared towards plus sized women, (dove "real beauty" adds come to mind) you can't possibly hold yourself to those standards unless you've got a team of professionals in your linen closet to get you ready in the morning.

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« Reply #65: February 19, 2011, 02:49:05 pm »

...
I'm having one of those nights where I look in the mirror and think "ew, gross" anyway, not least because a customer described me as "the chunky woman I talked to before" over the phone. You know, I work so hard at NOT hating the way I look, and then someone comes along and shits all over it. It's like, how bad must I look for that to be the first description he went to? Not the pale one, not the tall one, not the one with the short hair...the chunky woman. I'm not sure whether to be angry that people are so rude, or to cry because the coworker he spoke to on the phone knew exactly who he meant with no more description than that.

I had a customer come in and tell me I was looking particularly hideous because I had a zit on my cheek. I was already having a pretty low self-esteem day and he just really made it that much worse.
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« Reply #66: March 22, 2011, 01:29:10 pm »

I had a customer come in and tell me I was looking particularly hideous because I had a zit on my cheek. I was already having a pretty low self-esteem day and he just really made it that much worse.

(((Sekhemib-Nymaatre))) That's a reflection on him, not you. 
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« Reply #67: March 22, 2011, 05:23:26 pm »


This thread is for talking about developing and maintaining a sense of self-worth while fat (a little fat, or a lot fat; from whatever cause or set of causes).  What helps you?  What sets you back?  What inspires you, or angers you?

Awesome. I used to be thin - I went from undwerweight (not due to dieting, I just couldn't gain until after I was 22 or so) to a really healthy weight at around 24, that was perfect for my height. I felt really good at that weight, and I felt really pretty at that weight.

And since then I've had five babies. I bounced back fairly well after the first three, although I never got all the way back down to my "ideal weight" I got pretty close. During my fourth pregnancy, something changed. My metabolism tanked, I had zero energy, libido fell off the planet (which was NOT something expected, pregnancy usually had the opposite effect on me) and I couldn't get off the couch. I sat on my couch and cried because I wanted to do things and couldn't muster the energy to do it. I had to take breaks walking up the one flight of stairs, and I would be completely breathless. I ended up getting all kinds of blood tests to check for deficiencies, because something was *missing* -- all came back normal, and the thyroid results were pretty much unquestionably normal. I gained weight with that pregnancy (past what I expected) and it did not come off after he was born. I weighed the same when he was a year old that I did when he was a month old. My weight stalled out there. I've had another baby since then, and I'm a little bigger than I was. I'm about 40 lbs overweight, which I know doesn't sound like a lot to many, but I'm 5 ft tall, and it's more on my frame than it would be on someone taller.

Every time I see myself in a mirror, I'm shocked. It's like waking up one day in a completely different body (like Kafka's MetamorphosisSmiley) and never quite getting used to it. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by people who tell me I look good, and since almost all my friends are mothers, they have similar issues -- and I think some of them would be irked if they knew I was self-conscious about my body. But I'm not comparing it to their body, or anyone else's... on some level, I always compare it to my own body, the way it was ten years ago. That's hard. For me, anyway.

The good news is, that I've (independent of my PCP, who is helpful but not a diagnostic whiz) figured out that my issue -- when my metabolism stalled out -- is nutritional. Growing up and in college, even though I ate enough calories, I didn't get adequate nutrition, creating slight deficits. I could skate by on my stores, especially once I started eating better, but when I started getting pregnant -- the underlying deficiency started being a problem. Each subsequent pregnancy took a little more from me, until I reached the point in my fourth that it just bottomed out completely, and I was done. I haven't recovered from that completely, but supplementing crucial nutrients has been a lifesaver. At this point I feel like a normal, albeit sleep-deprived, person. And that's pretty awesome.

However, since I'm still breastfeeding my fifth, I know that I absolutely don't have leeway on my nutrition. Someone with good stores can have more freedom with it, and can miss out on good nutrition for a while without severe repercussions (IMO) --  I've gotten mine back up to "getting by" levels, but nowhere near "optimal" levels, so I have to really learn discipline with my nutrition. It can't even be about losing weight, it has to be about feeding my body what it needs. 

What helps me? Is focusing on getting to know my body, as it is now. Focusing on feeling strong, energetic, and limber -- trusting that I can feel that way in this body. Yoga, when I can do it, is helpful, as is bellydance.

What sets me back?  Not having clothes, particularly jeans, that fit, and not feeling like that's even really an option. My belly means that pants don't fit right. Physics is against it. The best I can hope for is clothes that create an illusion of fitting. I'm so sick of maternity clothing, but it's my most well-fitting clothing. It is so hard to embrace this new body when clothing doesn't fit, isn't comfortable, and looks bad.

What inspires me is people who encourage me to seek joy and to live my ideal life, right now, in this body. To not make enjoyment of my life conditional on looking a certain way. There was a discussion about the word empowerment in another thread, but in this case, it empowers me when someone encourages me to have fun with this body instead of to get serious about getting the old one back. There is a local bellydance teacher who is amazing, and she's not thin, and she also has the mama-pooge... but she ROCKS IT. In midriff-baring bellydance garb; she is joyful, confident, and unapologetic. It's so inspiring.

What irks me is when people make me feel like it's whiny nitpicking if I don't always love my body. Like I bought into something Cosmo told me. When I was 60 lbs less than I am now, it wasn't awesome. When I was 40 lbs less than I am now, it was terrific - it felt really, really perfect.  And this weight I am now, it isn't awesome. I've been some different weights, and I have experienced the range that is best for me. I miss that. I want that back. Not sure how that could possibly be offensive.  Huh

Also, people who assume that since I'm not my ideal weight, I must not know anything about nutrition, fitness, etc. It's disconcerting to so obviously look like someone who doesn't know even rudimentary things. So not only do I look lumpy and tired, I also look ignorant. That is the worst.

Those two things - either my mere 40 lbs being a slap in the face of someone who is dealing with a bigger weight problem, or that people will treat me like I'm an idiot - keep me from talking about it much in real life. So I dumped here; sorry.  Smiley

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« Reply #68: March 22, 2011, 08:36:41 pm »

So I dumped here; sorry.  Smiley

I'm glad you dumped here!

I've had similar experiences. I've gone shopping at a few plus sized stores that had some really great clothes. Unfortunately, it wasn't a really good experience for me. The women working there treated me as if I was insulting them by being there. Like I wasn't fat enough or something. None of the clothes fit anyway because I'm too short, the proportions were all wrong.

If I go to regular stores, nothing fits because I'm too big for it all and the people there look at me like I'm out of my mind for even trying to find anything there.

What do you do when you're in the middle like that? Affordable, plus sized petites, that don't look like my grandma should be wearing them are pretty hard to come by. I've gotten to the point where I just order online and hope that it fits.

It is frustrating to be judged and looked down on from both sides of the fence.

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« Reply #69: March 23, 2011, 12:57:13 am »

I'm glad you dumped here!

I've had similar experiences. I've gone shopping at a few plus sized stores that had some really great clothes. Unfortunately, it wasn't a really good experience for me. The women working there treated me as if I was insulting them by being there. Like I wasn't fat enough or something. None of the clothes fit anyway because I'm too short, the proportions were all wrong.

If I go to regular stores, nothing fits because I'm too big for it all and the people there look at me like I'm out of my mind for even trying to find anything there.

What do you do when you're in the middle like that? Affordable, plus sized petites, that don't look like my grandma should be wearing them are pretty hard to come by. I've gotten to the point where I just order online and hope that it fits.

It is frustrating to be judged and looked down on from both sides of the fence.


Trust me, it sucks just as badly trying to find tall plus sizes, especially jeans long enough for a woman who's 5'7-8ish and likes to wear high heels. When I'm looking, I can always find petite sizes, but nothing comes in tall/long.  There are a few, especially "urban wear," places where I can buy off the rack if I'm going to wear flats, but if I want to wear my heels, forget it!
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« Reply #70: March 23, 2011, 01:36:38 am »

As promised in my post in the "PCOS (and weight loss)" thread.

Hi, I'm Sunflower, and I'm fat!  (Heh, can you tell I hardly knew how to start?)

This thread is for talking about developing and maintaining a sense of self-worth while fat (a little fat, or a lot fat; from whatever cause or set of causes).  What helps you?  What sets you back?  What inspires you, or angers you?

Sunflower

Greetings from another fat-ass!
 
I'm 5' 9"  and currently 285 lbs.  Reading this thread got me curious so I dusted of the scale and checked.  About 18 months ago I was 295, so maybe it won't come back? Back in '03 I started truck driving. According to my DOT physical I weighed 225.  After almost 6 years of driving 10 hours a day, every day, and not having many options for food, I wasn't too surprised when I saw how much I gained.  Actually, I was surprised I hadn't gained even more weight.   Eventually, the excess weight will come off but until then, I refuse to worry about it.
 
 -begin rant-

My biggest bitch is trying to find clothes in a size that fits and doesn't cost a small fortune. (I'm not cheap, I'm thrifty!)  It seems like every time I manage to find a pair of jeans that fit, they get discontinued before I can pick up an extra 2 or 3 pairs.   I've been to the specialty stores and they all seem to cater to petite, office-career, types.  I really don't think I'm asking for too much... I just want to find a pair of tall 22W blue jeans, (NOT stretch denim either, thank you) and not be expected to pay upwards of $50. I know my butt is big, but it's not that big.   Especially when I see the same brand in a size 14 for $20.  The whole clothes shopping thing is demoralizing. At least I can find t-shirts that fit... in the men's department. Roll Eyes

My other beef is with the DOT.  It seems they want to start pulling the medical cards of drivers that have certain health conditions, obesity being one of them.  Thankfully, this hasn't happened yet.   My position is that if the government wants to legislate my health as a truck driver, then it needs to legislate Mc Donald's, etc. out of the truck stops. Most truck stops no longer have a real restaurant in them anymore.

Insurance provider,quit giving me "helpful" tips on a healthy diet.  Very few trucks have a refrigerator, very few businesses will allow a driver to park the truck there so s/he can buy fresh fruits and veggies, never mind that the best most drivers can do for storage is a cooler that either freezes your lettuce or doesn't keep things cool enough.  And those recipies that you so helpfully include do look mighty tasty, but I have yet to come across a freightliner that has an oven, a sink, a stove top...  If you want to be helpful, give out tips on how to sneak in and out of a grocery store without getting the truck towed away and recipies  for one person that use a cooler, and a crockpot running off of an inverter. 

-rant over-

When I was little, I was a fat kid.  Now that I'm an adult, I'm still fat.  Sure I would like to lose a little weight but I refuse to stress over it.  I like the way I look and my man does too.  Any one else can go take a long walk off a short dock. 

Has anyone else noticed that old movie stars of the 40's and 50's would be considered obese by today's standards? 
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« Reply #71: March 23, 2011, 08:43:22 am »

Trust me, it sucks just as badly trying to find tall plus sizes, especially jeans long enough for a woman who's 5'7-8ish and likes to wear high heels. When I'm looking, I can always find petite sizes, but nothing comes in tall/long.  There are a few, especially "urban wear," places where I can buy off the rack if I'm going to wear flats, but if I want to wear my heels, forget it!

Well, don't you know, fat girls aren't supposed to want to wear heels or be sexy or anything... Roll Eyes which, could start me on a rant about lingerie, but I'll skip it this time.

I've pretty much given up on jeans completely. If they fit around my middle, I get the saggy crotch thing. If they fit my hips and thighs, I can't button them. The same goes for tops. If they fit my chest, the shoulder seams are on my arms, etc. I'm just tired of looking dumpy all the time.

Anyway, my sister is 5'8 and she gets a lot of jeans from old navy that are long enough for her to wear with heals. Maybe try there?

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« Reply #72: March 23, 2011, 08:53:58 am »

My other beef is with the DOT.  It seems they want to start pulling the medical cards of drivers that have certain health conditions, obesity being one of them.  Thankfully, this hasn't happened yet.   My position is that if the government wants to legislate my health as a truck driver, then it needs to legislate Mc Donald's, etc. out of the truck stops. Most truck stops no longer have a real restaurant in them anymore.

Wow, that sounds like a discrimination suit waiting to happen. Could they really do that? I could see them getting away with raising rates, but could they completely deny coverage?
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« Reply #73: March 23, 2011, 12:07:24 pm »

Wow, that sounds like a discrimination suit waiting to happen. Could they really do that? I could see them getting away with raising rates, but could they completely deny coverage?

DOT is Department of Transportation, not insurance. To hold a commercial driver's license, a driver has to have an up-to-date medical card, saying that s/he can see well enough to drive, doesn't have any health issues that make him/her a danger to hirself or others, etc.
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« Reply #74: March 23, 2011, 12:32:21 pm »



Jumping back to the finding-clothes-that-fit issue for a moment: A friend of mine who happens to be a TG BBW posted this on her FB wall earlier, and I think it might merit a look-see for those of you who have trouble finding clothes.

http://www.ComfortinFashion.com

I haven't looked myself, but she usually has great taste and is on a budget herself, so it seems plausibly useful to share.
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