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I can't relate

July 17th, 2011 at 01:46 pm

I've been trying to lose weight recently, since April 15th. After being so sick last year I wanted to get healthier. I'm not drastically cutting calories or exercising more than normal. I'm willing to lose the weight slowly. As part of the effort I am reading a lot of books on how to lose weight and be healthy, and books by people who have lost a lot of weight.

One of the books I read recently was by a lady who was on the Biggest Loser. I can't remember the title of the book or her name right now, but it was Julie something. She was a stay at home mom and won a car for one of the contests.

Her book told a lot about how she hated her body. How she was disgusted by her being fat. How she looked at other fat people and thought they were disgusting. How she was afraid to meet other people thinking they were disgusted by her fat. How she wanted to be thin so other people would like her.

I was talking to my mom about the book and told her I just couldn't relate to the woman and her story. I've been overweight since I was 6 and fat my entire adult life, but I've never thought that way. I don't like being fat because it's uncomfortable and unhealthy, but I don't hate myself or my body. I don't think of myself as less than someone else because I am fat. When I look at other fat people I don't think they're so fat, they're disgusting. It's just a classification. I think it about skinny people too.

When I'm in Walmart walking all kinds of random thoughts go thru my head when I see people, but they aren't moral judgements, just commentary. Look at those legs, they are so skinny, how do they hold her up. That's a pretty color on her. What beautiful skin. Weird color hair. I like those earrings. Look at those tattoes. That lady has a strange hair color. Nice looking guy. What a pretty girl. That lady is big. Neat t-shirt. That lady's outfit looks classy, etc, etc.

The only time I'm disgusted is when I see behavior like yelling at kids, or talking loudly on a cellphone, or picking their nose or something like that Smile

Fat is not synonomous with bad or immoral. Someone isn't worth more as a person because they are thin. Then my mom surprised me because she said she can totally relate to the woman's story. She's felt that way her whole life. Less than because of being 10 or 20 pounds over what society says she should be. She compares herself to others and she always seems to come up as less. Less pretty, less thin, less creative etc.

She has been on a diet and exercizing her entire adult life and has never been satisfied with herself. I asked her if she looked at other people in the store and thought things like that lady is fat, she's disgusting, etc. She said she doesn't but I don't know if I believe it. She's said things to me before about how someone is so skinny it makes her sick. And how she is so fat, she doesn't want anyone to see her.

I know when I was growing up my sister was skinny and she seemed to get more praise for her looks than I ever got for grades or awards. I knew that my mom thought her being pretty/thin was a better accomplishment and worth more than being smart or achieving something. Even though she was skinny naturally and didn't have to try to be that way. My mom would deny this of course, but it was obvious.

I always had enough accomplishments growing up, that I guess I never considered my value as a person was related to how I looked. I knew I had worth because of the things I did and the awards I got. I didn't have low self-esteem. I just didn't care as much about my weight/looks as I did about enjoying food. Eating food I liked, when I wanted it.

I believe part of the reason I got so fat, is I have very little body consiousness. Once I'm dressed for the day I never think about how I look again. Someone has to tell me if I have something on my face or if I spilled something. I just don't notice.

I never thought that if I was thin I would be more popular or whatever. Why would I want to be friends with someone who only wanted to be my friend if I weighed a certain weight and not anymore?

I wonder how many other people think like my mom and the lady who wrote the book. When they see other fat people, do they think they are disgusting? Do most people have a running commentary about how other people look and make judgements about them based on that, or is it just commentary and classification? I know teen-agers do that a lot, but once people become adults and learn that you can't judge someone on their looks, do they keep doing it anyways?

Now I have to admit, if I see someone scary looking I might think scary looking and be leary of them, but I don't think bad person. Just cautious. Also if I see fat hanging out of clothes or butt cracks, etc. I get a little disgusted, but still don't think the person is disgusting, just the piece I saw that I shouldn't have Smile One thing that really disgusts me even with thin women is when they bend over and you see the top of their butt crack and their thongs - yech!

Now if I could wake up tomorrow skinny would I take it? It depends, how skinny? Less than 130? No thanks. 130 - 150, if I was healthy and didn't have to live on lettuce leaves for the rest of my life then yes I would. Would it change my viewpoint of myself? I don't think so. Would I suddenly become body conscious and start buying lots of clothes to show off my body? I don't think so, but you never know until it happens and maybe I'm just a hypocrit. Since it won't happen overnight and will probably take years, if ever, at the rate I'm losing, I guess I'll settle for liking myself regardless of my weight and still trying to get healthier as best I can.

I finished reading my book Blood Challenge by Eileen Wilks. Paranormal/mystery/romance - very good. I really like this series.

7 Responses to “I can't relate”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    I admit I have those feelings about myself, somewhat. But I don't have body dysmorphia or anything; I know where the feeling is coming from (the overwhelming societal view that overweight is unattractive/disgusting/a reflection on a person's character). So I can usually dismiss those self-hating feelings when they surface. (I have to admit it's much easier now that I'm out of the dating pool.)

    I don't have those feelings about other people, most of the time; in fact, I find lots of people much heavier than myself to be attractive, so obviously I'm harder on myself than anyone else. Occasionally I find myself feeling disgusted (in the annoyed sense) if someone who's very overweight is getting in the way, taking too long getting on the bus, etc. I always give myself an inward scolding if those feelings surface. I get better every year, more empathetic and less likely to have those kinds of knee-jerk reactions. I don't like having those thoughts but again, I know where they're coming from, so I just have to remind myself.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    I think I am very much like you. I just don't relate to that kind of negative self-thinking. I have a running commentary in my head about people, but yeah, it's more like, oh, such pretty blue eyes, I wonder where she got that turquoise shirt, how does she walk in those shoes, sort of thing. Probably the only time I get negative is judging food in shopping carts if it's all processed and no fresh fruit, veg, and meat, because I'm pretty anti-processed foods, but that's about the extent of my judging. I don't think of myself in a negative way either. I know there are places for improvement but I don't hate myself for them. It's a healthier mindset, that's for sure.

  3. baselle Says:

    I think it all boils down to:

    Are you at peace with yourself?
    Are you at peace with others?

    When I was 210, I avoided mirrors. I put something on in the morning, aimed for solid colors, and thanked my lucky stars that I worked on non-profit databases. I got brave the first time that I was in the gym, but I never hated myself ... I always treated myself as a work in progress. I'm not thrilled with the fact that I seem to be on an eternal plateau and that others seem to drop pounds like a snap. But I am proud that I've been able to maintain my weight loss and my inch loss (which frankly is the only visible statistic) very well.

    Sometimes in my negative moments - tired, stressed, hot flashy - I get to the cranky judgments, but I keep my mouth firmly shut. Later, I get reflective. Being fat was uncomfortable, tiring, and you feel at the total mercy of the eating-industrial complex because you crave eating crap.

  4. laura(momcents) Says:


    This has been a very liberating summer for me. I joined the pool where lots of people I know also belong. I am 5'3 and vary between 135-140 pounds (that is a lot more since I started having kids 13 years ago - seven pregnancies). My thighs rub together, my butt's a bit bigger (a lot bigger) than I'd like it to be, I'd like to be bigger in the top area, BUT I do like my flat stomach with no stretch marks and my hips which are curvy. I've seen lots of those who look better than me, BUT I've seen lots of people who look worse, too. I've decided to be happy with what I am and what I have.

    Last nigth at dinner with my parents and grandma, we were talking about my brother's present girlfriend's body image issues. She's a healthy size 8/10 and won't go to the pool (I should add that I wear a 6/8/10 depending on designer and store). My grandma said, "Is she a big girl?" My husband said "No, she's normal." And my three son's said in random order, "She's not too big." "She's not too small." "She's normal. She's just like mom." So I guess I'm normal. Smile

  5. rob62521 Says:

    I have been overweight my whole life and had some awfully mean comments made to me...my own mother would go on and on about how big I was (she was tiny) and then she would give me Oreos or something like that. I had a boss tell me how fortunate I was he would overlook my weight and looks and hire me and my mother-in-law would often make snide comments.

    I remember a few years ago I was in a group who made a presentation at a national conference. The gal who knew the most and had the best information was overweight and I could see most of the folks tuning her out, while the gal who was thin and what one would consider pretty, had basically "fluff" information, got the most attention. Unfortunately, a large segment of society judges us on looks.

    I often wonder if things would be different if fat was considered sexy and extreme thinness wasn't?

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    Whether it's wrong or not, sadly, our society does judge people by their appearances. It's just the way people gather first impressions about others they don't know.

    They've done numerous studies about how attractive people of either sex are more successful in the work world than the plain Janes among us.

    There's not a whole lot you can do about it except boost your own self-esteem and interact with others you meet so they can see you are more than just your body.

  7. Miz Pat Says:

    I relate to this. I have friends who hate their bodies. Sometimes I hate my body. However, I realize that I'm allowing a societal norm that values women by their exterior potential so I learn to blow it off.

    It goes back to valuing ourselves based on people's opinions instead of realizing our own self-worth.

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