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What does it feel like to be fat?

I was just thinking about what it feels like to be fat. First off, what do I mean by "fat"? For me, when I say fat, I mean that when I started on PT, my BMI was over 35 - which is defined as obese and which has a serious associated health risk. I was thinking back to when I started my journey on PT towards not being fat. I realized that it certainly wasn't the health risks that pushed me forward, nor any crazy fantasy that I would look like a skinny tv star.

I think what really got to me motivated this time to try to figure out permanent lifestyle changes was just how much I felt that my physical self undermined my personal and professional interactions. Even though I am smart and competent in what I do, I felt that my very fat self somehow announced to the world: "well, here is one thing you can be sure she is not very good at." It's a problem you just can't hide. After all, if I were a cleptomaniac or an alcoholic, you probably wouldn't be able to figure that out the first time you met me and may not be reminded of it every time you saw me, but the fact that I am fat - well, you really can't miss it no matter how brief our interaction.

In addition to feeling like my body can undermine me with others, I have also felt and continue to feel like my fat body is just not me. It's alienating to have this fat body that just does not feel like it belongs to one's personality or true self.

So . . . those are just a few thoughts I have been having about what it feels like for me to be fat. I'd be completely interested in what other people have to say on this topic.

Mon. Sep 25, 12:33am

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Don't know when I was young I was 100 pbs thinner but I thought I was fat. To me I am still the same person

Monday, September 25, 2006, 7:06 AM

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I totally agree that being fat announces to the world exactly what your weakness is and how weak you are in it (ie: how fat). I find that as I lose weight, other aspects of my life become more organized and disciplined, too. While I know you can have success in life even while fat, I think when you make an effort to be successful professionally and exert the organization necessary to get physically healthy too, you have to become more efficient and more competent at what you do.
And I know there are lots of "fit" people out there who are failures, but that's not what this thread is about, so PLEASE people.

Monday, September 25, 2006, 8:33 AM

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Neglect & Self-Neglect

I agree. As you neglect yourself, your health, your weight and your appearance you present the image of a person who is unable or unwilling to take care of things. I often dress poorly because I don't look good in my clothes. Since I don't look good in my clothes I don't bother to iron my shirts unless they are in dire condition. I often don't polish my shoes because they really don't detract from such a poor overall appearance. The bottom line is that I present an unkept appearance that indicates that I am either completely unaware or that I don't care. Neither are true.

When my personal appearance at work is combined with my cluttered office I think the message is reinforced.

When I am losing weight everything improves. My organization, my planning, my follow through.

Monday, September 25, 2006, 9:04 AM

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So true. You can hide addictions like being an alkie, but you can't hide being fat. Your addiction if front and center, with everyone.

Monday, September 25, 2006, 10:44 AM

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To the OP: Good for you for really looking at your situation and figuring out what it is that motivates you. You can't do it because of what people are thinking about you, although you are right that some will judge you based on what they believe fat people are... lazy, uncaring, whatever.

There is a difference between being a slob and being overweight. They do not go hand in hand. I work with a number of "fat" people, and some dress correctly for their body type and are clean, etc. Then there is one guy that is the wrinkly and stained clothes kinda guy. That is the type of person that makes the bad impression... whatever their size.

And even though I am only about 10 lbs overweight, and everyone thinks I am "so skinny" (just because they are so not!) I don't feel like this is the body I'm meant to have. I feel flabby and out of shape & that's driving me to action... I don't care to look like a skinny tv star either. I just want to get rid of the parts that aren't me!

Monday, September 25, 2006, 1:41 PM

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just ask tyra banks what it's like to be fat. she must know-after all, she donned a "fat suit" to find out first hand...what a crock! looking fat and feeling fat don't always go hand-in-hand. i felt fat 15 years ago when i weighed 60 lbs less than i do now. i look very fat now, but i feel better as a person inside. it's like the symptoms caught up with me...

Monday, September 25, 2006, 3:02 PM

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I feel fat when my mental image of myself doesn't match what I see in the mirror.

I used to be teh geekette with a capitol G. Glittery unicorn shirts, rainbows on my pockets, thick glasses, braces, bad skin and bad hair. All the boys (and many girls) picked on me mercilessly. In high school I shot up to 5'10", had a thin, muscular body from working on a farm, grew out my hair, improved my wardrobe and got contacts. The skin cleared up and the braces came off and all of those boys were suddenly panting at my heels. I hated them - loathing is too mild of a term. Couldn't they see I hadn't changed? That inside I was still the same person? I also hated my body because thats all they saw - 'I' didn't matter only what I looked like mattered. Well, I still feel like that about my body. It's like I don't even recognize the outside sometimes - as if it belonged to someone else. I am coming to like it much more now that it is more directly linked to my consious efforts to change it, but I still have days when I don't recognize myself and I hate the piece of skin that I live in because I know that's what the rest of the world believes to be 'me'.

Monday, September 25, 2006, 5:02 PM

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5:02 poster

Wow! Good honest post. Thanks for sharing that!

Monday, October 02, 2006, 2:27 PM

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when i was in high school, i had gained a terrible amount of weight during puberty and was very heavy. my classmates referred to me as "swollen" and sang the rawhide theme song at me (swollen, swollen, swollen, keep those thighs a-rollin'). well, a healthy diet and regular exercise allowed my to lose 60 pounds by my junior year. many students who had only known me as a very heavy girl now thought i was new to the school and many asked me out during the first month of school. i did not hide my disgust about their attitudes regarding weight when i had been heavy and i, too, was uncomfortable with the attention that my "new" body was garnering. i had a lot of trouble with unsolicited attention for the following 8-10 years. men old enough to be my father asking me out or young guys making lewd comments to me. now i have gained a lot of weight again, but it isn't so bad because the gross attention i received for years has virtually stopped. it is creating a problem for me with succeeding in my efforts (when i try) to lose weight. it is awful to feel separated from yourself, body and mind.

Monday, October 02, 2006, 3:00 PM

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5:02 and beyond

No, boys or girls teenagers for the most part are just as shallow as they seem - and most of them never get better. FWIW, the ones who don't are (mostly) the ones who wind up 20 years later as utterly immature middle aged children who whine constantly about how tough life is.

This I promise you, there are others out there who will see past the skin, past the 'pretty' and to the beauty: not many, ever, but more in places where caring and concern find concrete expression. Trite as it seems, ask yourself what your ideal mate would spend their leisure time doing - and then find those activities and involve yourself in them. This isn't theory, it is how I met my wife of 18+ years.

Monday, October 02, 2006, 4:08 PM

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