Weight problems?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2003
Weight problems?
6
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 12:11pm
Hello all,

I am embarrassed to say that I am at the heaviest weight I have ever been. And being only 5'2", I am way too heavy. I have read about others weight problems on the board, but I wonder how many people here struggle with weight issues? For me I use food as comfort. When I get up in the middle of the night because of bad dreams, or whatever, I eat. I don't even think about it, I just do it. I have been more conscious of this in the last few weeks, and I will get a bottle of water instead. I would like to know how everyone else handles the eating issues and maybe some suggestions on how to break the cycle. I am looking into joining an OA group in my area, but I am really scared to do that. I can't pinpoint why at the moment, but I just feel really scared when I think about doing that. Scared to the point of having chest pains scared. I get really frustrated because I feel that I sabatage my efforts to lose weight. I have been able to lose weight more than once in my adult life, but have never been at a normal weight. The times I have lost weight (and I am talking 60-70lbs), someone (usually male), makes a comment about how "good" I look, and that is the end of my will power and iniative. I guess I don't want to look "good" to other people, especially males. It makes me nervous to know that men think I am attractive. I don't want men to look at me like that! My perps made me believe that the way I dressed, the way I looked, the way I had my hair, was the reason they hurt me. I know that is at the root of it all, but I can't seem to get passed that. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Katy

~~~~~Katy~~~~~

Avatar for ready2go2000
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 10:26pm
Hi there,

You know this actually suprises me, i always though I was alone with my not wantin men to say i look good, or for them to even look at me. When my bad stuff happened I would eat. In one year I gained 50 lbs. I didn't even know why at that point. I was young, and it was not hormones. All I know is I ate and ate. If i felt to sad i'd eat. Heck even if i felt happy I ate. But then I realized I had a problem. I still do. But it does take time. I really mean that. Now when I have fears, or am sad I eat a fruit, or have drinks of water. If I'm upset I excersise. It REALLy does help burn the steam.

I hope I was of some help, and if not, then i apologize.

Hope you find what you need.

Kristina

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 10:50am
Wow, I can totally relate to what you're talking about, Katy! I am also about 5'2", and I have a LOT of weight to lose. I've realized in last several months that I put in on as a protection after I got married so that other men wouldn't make passes at me. It's weird, but I feel invisible being heavy, even though I'm not. But I feel that other men won't notice me or give me a second look. I believe this a very good reason for why I sabotage my own efforts to lose weight. Even thin I was very well "endowed," and got looks and comments.

There is a book called Fattitudes (can't remember the author's name) that discusses this sort of thing. It's got sections that are like a workbook that you can look through. I actually found it when I visited the 100 Pounds and Up board (something like that) here at ivillage and they had a link to the author's board, also at ivillage. I visited the board and his website, and it rang true to me. I haven't gotten the book yet, but I think it would provide a lot of keys for getting past these issues. He says that to lose weight, the rewards for losing weight have to outweight the advantages of holding onto it. It seems to me that I haven't felt safe letting go. The author of this book says that putting on weight to protect your marriage is actually quite common. I had started putting two and two together before reading this and though I was really psycho, so I was relieved and surprised to hear this.

Freegirl, the other cl here, belongs to Overeater's Anonymous, and has found it extremely helpful. I would like to join one here where I am. I remember her saying that it was interesting to find that a large number of people in her group had been sexually abused. It's quite a connection!

I don't have suggestions myself on how to get past this, because it's a huge issue for me and I haven't even begun to tackle the weight issue effectively. But maybe the Fattitudes board and book would be helpful to check out. I felt really good about it when I found it, but at that point I hadn't addressed my SA issues honestly and knew that I wasn't ready to zoom in on a weight loss program.

Let me know if you check it out, and what you think. I hope that at least you don't feel alone with this issue.

Love, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 8:01pm
Oh yes, I know all about using weight as a cover up (literally). I used to weigh around 245 lbs and needless to say that got rid of most of the male attention. But at some point, I just became really sick of being fat, and my knees and feet hurt, and I had to hold my breath just to bend over and tie my shoes! So I went on a diet, and lost about 80 lbs (I actually lost more than that originally, but my health suffered so bad - I stopped menstruating and had dry hair and skin, and cold, numb feet, so I had to gain back some of it to be well again). I have kept it off for over 6 years, and yes, I have had a bit more male attention, but not much. I will never have a body like a fashion model, so I don't worry too much about the men. But yes, I think that it is a very real phenonmenom among those who have been sexually abused. My abuser was female, but the effect is the same. You just don't want anyone to ever invade your body again, and fat can seem to protect you.

As for looks, even at a normal weight, you can (I do this sometimes, not so much to hide but for comfort) just dress like a slob (obviously if you have to dress nice for work you can't do this). When I wear cutoff jeans and baggy t-shirts and old sneakers, with a bandana around my head, men seldom ever look. So you can still protect your physical health by losing the weight (I would suggest a program but my mom and I did our own thing - low cal and low fat), and still protect yourself by your dress. But however you lose the weight, support from others is key. It's very hard to do alone, especially if you live with others who aren't dieting.

Not sure how much help my suggestions are, but you are not alone in the weight battle (I still must watch what I eat to this day).

Lee

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-1999
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 11:55pm
All of this is true for me also. I was abused repeatedly by different men/boys when I was between the ages of 10 and 28.

Long ago I spotted the pattern of protecting myself with fat or food. It has gotten to the point that I can often see it and stop it when there is a trigger, but overall, my internal attitude is to just keep eating to stay fat.

Obvious recent triggers for me were times like going to work out in the gym at work and being approached by a man who was very clearly flirting with me. I promptly got off the treadmill and went straight to the cafeteria and ordered a huge meal. More recently a man made some lewd comments to me in the parking lot of the apartments I live in and I drove straight to the convenience store and bought three candy bars and ate them before I could stop myself.

I am 5'3" and about 250 pounds and I HATE it... but I have never learned how to handle attention from men whether it was subtle or forward... I feel like a idiot because I can see the patterns and understand the triggers but cannot seem to get a grip on this.

I am 36.

Paula

-------------------------


Paula = 43; Mike = 38; Tubal reversal 12/4/08, one tube reparied; Healthy baby girl born 2/16/10; PG again, EDD 3/18/11!


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2003
Sat, 08-23-2003 - 10:14am
Hey guys, thanks for responding so honestly. I am working really hard on my physical health right now. I have health problems that prevent me from exercising, so I have to do it all with diet. That is really hard. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a fancy name for ovaries that form cysts all the time (big, big ones). Because of this, my body is insulin resistant. That means that I don't effectively use the insulin my body makes. Because insulin is a "fat storer", I have trouble losing weight. Also, because of this condition, I am taking monthly injections to shut down my "female system". I do not have periods or anything while taking these shots. But, because of this depleting my estrogen levels so low, and needing estrogen to protect my bones from osteoporis, I have to take estrogen pills. These make me hungry all the time. I have done well over the last 9 months not gaining weight, but I can't lose it either. I only have 3 shots left, one in Aug, Sept, and Oct, and then I can quit taking the estrogen also. YEA! It gives me palpitations so bad! Basically the shots are putting me into a medically induced menopause, so if I don't take the estrogen, I have all the side effects of menopause, and that isnt' fun. On top of all that, I have had 5 surgeries on my knees for old softball injuries. My right knee needs a knee replacement, but because I am only 40, the Dr. won't even talk about it. I get cortisone shots in my knee about every 4-5 months, ouch! I can't walk too far without it hurting me, so walking for exercise is out. I have a recombinent bike in the garage, but it still hurts my knee at times. I just feel that I am between a rock and a hard place with my weight. I HAVE to do something soon.

Sorry I got into all of that, I needed to get it off my chest. Thanks for responding though, and I do know that I am not alone with my weight issues.

Smile, it moves great mountains.

Katy

~~~~~Katy~~~~~

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Sat, 08-23-2003 - 4:09pm
Hey Katy,

Have you thought about water aerobics? I've done them and feels WONDERFUL. You can do things in the water that would be difficult on land.

I did them when I was pregnant. Started when I was 7 months along with my first. I had gained a LOT of weight with the pregnancy, and every visit I had gained more. Once I started the water aerobics I didn't gain another pound except for one or two at the very end.

Lots of people who have the kinds of knee problems you described, arthritis and other issues have found this beneficial. And since being very overweight can put stress on your joints, it's good for that, too. Listen to me preaching when I'm not doing it right now! LOL Anyway, thought I'd pass that along as something that you might be able to look into.

Hugs, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board