12.31.2008

#100 - Blaming something else for my weight gain

This is going to be a difficult post to read. It's a difficult post to write. But it's something that needs to be said. We all got fat for a reason. It didn't just happen. Sure, there is a small percentage of people that gain weight due to medical reasons, but I'm betting you and I are not one of them. We gained weight mostly due to emotions. Food is a great coping tool for life. It makes you happy when you are sad (gotta love the calming effects of the carbohydrate). It gives you company when you are bored or lonely. It lifts you up on a down day. Food is always there for you. Food is awesome that way. But there is the flip side. Food will let you down in the end. It's not the miracle cure to all of life's problems. Food will trap you. Once you start to overeat, you need more and more food to satisfy you. And like a junkie, you keep going back for your fix. Food can be a drug, plain and simple. You need to be careful how you use it. Food is meant to nourish our bodies and keep us alive. But we've turned food into this tool to help us get through the bad times.

I suspect if you are like me, it took some pretty bad times to get you where you are today. Why did you turn to food? I truly don't think we can lose this weight until we face up to why we got fat in the first place. It's so easy to blame something else for our weight. "It's genetic." "I have big bones." "I don't like to waste food." "I quit smoking and gained weight." "I have a medical condition that makes me gain weight." "I don't have time to watch my weight." "I don't like to exercise." Sorry, but I think all of those excuses are crap. It was a choice. You chose to become fat. Sure, you didn't wake up one day and say, "I think I wanna be fat now!" Of course not, but you chose to overuse food for whatever reason got you started. You say it's genetics? Ok so you were dealt a bad genetic hand. That only means you need to watch your weight more closely. Some people can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. You are not one of those people. You know it. So choose. Fall back on your excuse, or work at it. You say it's medical? Then get to a doctor and solve the problem. So many people fall on this excuse, but it is VERY rare to have a medical condition that makes you morbidly obese. Sure there are lots of medications and conditions that can predispose you to gain a bit of weight (a bit, like maybe 20 pounds), but true medical conditions causing you to gain 100+ pounds are very rare. Again, you choose. Excuse? Life?

I hate to be so brutal, but it's the brutal facts. We make choices. And we've apparently made some bad choices. But it's not the end of the world, it's not game over, we can fix the problem. We can choose to use food in a more normal way. Remember, food is there to keep us alive and nourish us. It's not an emotional coping tool. This brings me back to the real reason most of us got fat. Emotions. We hate to admit it, but food was there when we were down, and it temporary lifted us up out of whatever crap we were going through. So why did I get fat? This is the hard part to write. To actually put down on paper and share with the world why I got fat. When I was a little girl I was sexually abused by a relative. It went unnoticed for seven years. I hid what was happening to me out of fear and shame. I was a little girl. I was brainwashed into thinking I would destroy the family if I said anything. And I believed that. I thought it all must have been my fault. Initially I didn't use food to deal. Though I was taught food was a reward for my silence. I got an ice cream cone after every time. Sad huh? But my way to cope overall was by becoming the perfect child. Perfect student. Perfect friend. Perfect clothes. Perfect life. Perfect everything. It's pretty hard to be perfect all the time. Finally when I was fourteen years old, I snapped. I basically had a nervous breakdown. I couldn't stop screaming and crying. Of course my parents freaked out trying to figure out what had happened to their perfect child. Ironically, my father was a psychologist, and it wasn't long before my parents figured it out. I couldn't utter the words, but they knew. They knew there was only one thing that would make a girl fall apart so bad. We went to the police. We did everything you do in this situation. I started therapy. But after all of this, I was numb. My whole life seemed false. I wasn't that perfect child. I was just me. Was just me good enough? I didn't think so anymore. All the threats that had been whispered to me came true. My family was destroyed, everything fell apart. My immediate family broke off from the extended family, and became isolated. He was right, I wrecked everything. Of course that was what I was thinking then, I don't think that now. It was all his fault. No question. But I took on all the blame. That is a lot for a fourteen year old to deal with. And so it began. I made the choice. Ironically, I used food just like he had taught me. Feel bad... eat an ice cream cone, and so on and so on. I gained all that weight to protect me from the world. If you are fat, you are less desirable. Who wants a fat girl? I was safe.

Does this story sound familiar? I wouldn't be surprised if it does. It's estimated that 25% of obese people have been sexually abused. Only 6% of the thin population have had the same experience. It's even been shown that people with a history of sexual abuse have a harder time losing and maintaining weight loss. Any small failure or set back seems like the end of the world and we quit. Food is so much easier.The choice seems so easy when you feel so bad. But where does it get you in the end? Food lies. It's a quick fix. In the end, you are more fat, more miserable, and have less self-esteem than when you started. It's a bad choice. I can sit back and blame my life's events for my weight. I can eat all my problems away. Trust me, I've done that! But I won't do it anymore. I went through therapy, I dealt with everything that happened, I came to terms with my life, and I'm moving on and choosing to live. Unfortunately my body hasn't quite caught up with my brain, but I'm working on it. For me, the fat is kind of like the scar left behind after everything. I'm still healing, and slowly the scar is starting to fade. Maybe someday, you wont even notice the scar anymore. Everyday I make a choice now. Fall back on bad habits or move forward. I choose. What do you choose?

88 comments:

Sarah said...

Yes, difficult to read. Difficult because it's so true. You are so brave to write this and I have no doubt it's healing to do so. Thank you for sharing your story!

April said...

Very good post. I know how hard it is to write those words, no matter how much you've come to terms with it, saying it loud or writing it down for the world to see can be so scary. I'd give you a big hug right now if I could. *virtual hug*

I had to go through this same process of accepting why I chose to overeat and let myself gain this much weight. Like you, I was sexually abused, by my father. It was the trigger point for a lot of self abuse that included food. Then add onto that, a medical condition that basically handicapped me for many years while continuing to eat the way I did and I got to where I am now. I could make excuses, I have plenty of good ones, crippling depression in addition to all that for one, but I have accepted responsibility. These are my handicaps but they are not my excuses.

elife said...

Very powerful post. I'm sorry to hear you've suffered so. Thank you for sharing it, it's given me a lot to think about.

Nancy said...

I'm so glad you posted this. It certainly gives me a lot to think about as to why I use food to get me through those times you described. I never want to fall back to using food to make me feel good anymore either.

It was a very insightful post,and I hope you'll keep us up to date on your progress with this struggle.

biz319 said...

Great post! Yep, you hit the nail on the head. Until you figure out WHY you got fat, the weight will never come off.

I know I gained weight because the father of my daughter didn't want us. So if I got fat, no one could hurt me again!

It wasn't until I decided to make that change, that the weight came off. I lost 70 pounds, felt good about myself, met and married my husband!

Not to say that emotions don't still play a role in my life. Sitting in hospital rooms while my husband is in pain is not easy!

Check out my January 2 post - its all about weight loss/exercise/personal choice challenge.

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Happy New Year!

Lisa said...

you brought tears to my eyes. very sad post, yet very true.

seen as youre at post 100, will your next post be your last? or will you do more then the 101? i very much enjoy reading your blog, would be sad to see the end.

Happy new year also. i hope 2009 treats you well.

A True Heart Girl in Jersey said...

I don't know the exact reason why. I am well aware of the choice, I just don't know why. I am actively trying to find the reason. At least you know. And your knowledge is power in your fight against the weight. Best wishes in 2009.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is WOW. You hit it right on the button!! I was also molested by a relative for years, when I was 12 he went away and I thought I was safe. But then nature betrayed me, I was a intelligent teenager with an IQ near genius range, weighed about 118lbs and wore a 44DD bra by the age of 17. Do you know how many men (and women in many cases) found it hard to look me in the eye let alone listen to what I had to say? As I started to gain weight and the size of my bust became less noticable people started to take me more seriously. But I didn't stop and now I'm so big people see me as disgusting and again don't take me seriously.

***The Wii Fit Warrior*** said...

Wow! You hit the nail on the head. There are underlying reasons why some people need the constant fix of overeating. You are very brave for posting this. Sometimes I kid myself into thinking that nothing is wrong with me and that I can stop the addiction anytime I want. This truth is that the never ending cycle results from unresolved issues. This year, I will work on those issues, and use sucess as motivation. Good luck to you in 2009!

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Chub said...

I praise you for writing this. You are very brave for addressing this sbject and I hope you are on the journey towards recovery.

chrissie said...

Thank you for sharing that. It's an important lesson and probably the most difficult to come to terms with.

Katly said...

You are very corageous for posting this. And you are right. I have written about mental issues causing us to over eat. I hope you can understand that what happened to you wasn't your fault. And the fact that you survived it and can write about it shows you have taken your life back. I am very proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Your post has struck a cord with me becuz this exact issue has been on mind all afternoon. I am a person who stays in a range just above thin. I keeps asking myself why can't you lose 25lbs.? I really believe male attention is scary to me, I have been married for 13yrs. so that is strange but true. If a male shows the slightest sign I am attractive, all dieting goes to hell. I think some abuse victims, if we somehow felt how bodies attracted the abuser in fact disfigure our bodies so it won't happen again.

Another Fat Girl said...

I love your blog its amazing!!
I hope I can achieve what you have some day!!
Keep up the great work :)

Mike said...

I agree, this is a good inspirational post. While something may be appealing at one point, you may regret it later. Although I must admit I haven't been eating too healthy this holiday season....

run4change said...

Cool blog. I turned/turn to food as a way to medicate at times. this is why I got huge in the first place. Food is like prozac or some other form of medication for me. Great post. I have lost 130lbs and kept it off for a year on weight watchers. I have fun reading honest posts from people on the same journey as me. I started running too and that has changed my life a lot. I even ran a 50 mile race. Anyways, cool blog.
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George said...

Thank you for writing this. I know all these things in my head, yet am still fat. I am one of the people choosing to live with you.

Diane said...

Extremely powerful post. Congratulations on having the courage to write it. I was unaware of the profound link between overweight women and sexual abuse. I will have a lot more tolerance in the future.

Katie said...

Your post struck home....because I went through the same as a child and am still dealing with the effects of a totally sucky childhood. I've done well the last 20 years...or so I thought....but then, have I?
I'm hugely overweight, but working on it.
It's amazing all the little epiphanies we have on this journey, isn't it?
Thank you for being open in your experiences and sharing them. It helps those of us who think we're alone at time.
:)

Elisita said...

Fantastic post. very brave and honest. keep them coming.
love,
elisita.

Kat E said...

Haven't stopped by in a while so I'm just now seeing this. What an amazing post. Really honest and well-written. I think it's so important that you shared this and I'm sure there are many people that can relate who will be touched by your words.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this post is amazing.
You're helping so many people,
People who might be afraid & going through the same thing you did.

Thank you for being so strong.

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Anonymous said...

It is so hard to tell anyone when something like that happens to you. It also happened to me for many years. One night I got brave eneough to tell my husband but after I said the words I felt so ashamed and told him that it only happened once. Even though I know it was NOT my fault I still feel ashamed and nasty when I think about it!(which is every day) I have tried to forgive him, my uncle. But, how do you do that? How do you forgive the person that destroyed your life? It's so hard to trust anyone, I always have this doubt in my mind.. It drives me crazy at times, it drives me to eating and eating some more, then eating some more. Its a never ending cycle. People like us really need a support group, a place to talk openingly about our issues with other people with the same issues. A place where we won't be judged.. I am so over weight and I know what I need to do I just don't do it. It is sad to say but food is my BF and I hate it! Your story is very inspiring to me and to post it for the whole world to see wow good for you. I would be very open to any advice you may have for me.
Thanks for such a good story...BJ

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Just Me Again said...

Wow. You have no idea how happy I am to have found your blog. I've only had time to read a couple of posts so far, but it's like my thoughts looking in a mirror. I wish I had known about it a long time ago, and I really hope you continue with it. :)

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embiggening said...

I've only just started reading your blog (which is fantastic by the way) but this post - this post was so brave. I cried for you when I read what happened but you are so brave, so strong. Isn't there a saying that 'even when the abuser stops the abused keep hurting themselves' (because thats how foul and insidious it is). I guess thats what many of us do with food. We pretend its our friend but really its harming us too.

wren said...

I commend you for putting this out there to share with other people. While I have never been through anything as horrible as what you went through, I still connected deeply to what you've said. My mother is manic depressive and has gone through many dark periods where she was suicidal. Even as a young child she would confide these feelings to me and tell me that I was the only good thing in her life.

"If you are fat, you are less desirable. Who wants a fat girl? I was safe."

This one statement is so true on so many levels. While I was not necessarily running away from secual intimacy, I was running away from emotional intimacy. I resented my mother for putting so much on my shoulders. I know that I use my weight as an excuse to keep people away. A part of me doesn't want to "burden" others with my life's problems, and I think another part of me doesn't want to have to BE burdened with someone elses. I don't want to feel that kind of resposibility for someone elses life.

What ever the reasons, I think a lot of people who struggle with their weight find comfort not only in food, but in being fat.

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fra said...

I love the latest part of this post. It's just BRILLIANT

"For me, the fat is kind of like the scar left behind after everything."

You're so right! Great post,
hugs
xoxo

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a personal post. I personally am just under being 'obese' and have always been bigger. When I was young, 6ish I wasn't what you could describe as being fat but I was 'plump'. I believe the reason why I've gotten to my current size while hating it so much is due to my poor relationship with my mother.

When I was young I didn't think I was fat but my mother was constantly telling me not to eat this, not to eat that, telling me I couldn't wear the same things as the other little girls, she tried putting me on diets because she said it will be easier now to lose 15lbs than when your 20 and need to lose 60 etc, you'll thank me for this. As you can imagine as a child this was extremely frustrating and it made me so angry. My little brother is a normal size and he has an excellent relationship with my mother. Whenever I fell out with her, I went to the kitchen and ate and ate, with each bite giving her a fuck you to not being good enough "i won't do what you want me to do". And obviously through conditioning my thinking this way, whenever I am angry I go into a frenzy and gorge. Although its different with sadness. When me and my boyfriend split up and he went off with another girl, I lost 25lbs in 6 weeks (which is significant for me, I am currently 5ft0 and 154lbs and I'm 18) I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep and exercise was an outlet for my anger, constantly thinking 'i'll show him what an idiot he is, i'll make her feel as low as i do'... in the end we got back together, and we're together now which is probably a very dangerous thing for me.

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Miranda Kelly said...

I used to do the same with my chronic pain. I couldn't admit that my unwillingness to seek further treatment is causing me tremendous pain. I'd pop generic ultram every couple of hours thinking to myself, "I don't deserve this."

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Alex said...

Thanks for such positive post. You are a courageous and honest person. it takes really some gut to admit such things.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you - I didn't intend on reading you're post today - I'm not even sure how I ended up reading your blog - except that I hate being fat too!
When I was 8, an older cousin got me to have sex with her. I didn't know what was going on - but it felt "funny" and I liked it. After the summer months of "fun" were over - she stopped wanting me to "play" - maybe I was liking it too much or she realized it was wrong. I remember crying like crazy when it was all "over" and not because I felt abused, but because I wanted more - but she said no more. And looking back, I can see my school photos change from being a thin cute little boy to being a big fat ugly beast after that fateful summer. Like you, I somehow must have felt that if I closed the door of attractiveness that no one would want me, and I wouldn't be hurt again.
Right now I'm stuck - FAT - FAT - FAT - and I HATE IT!! The trouble is that I'm married with kids - but I'm still FAT and I still hate it!! I've lost weight, gained weight, lost weight and gained weight - I am at a total loss - I really don't know how to fix poor broken me.
Thank you for sharing and helping me to think about my own situation.

Sophie said...

I think one of the ultimate excuses is being fat itself. People use fat as an excuse for the state of their lives.

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Elle said...

Fantastic post! It brought tears to my eyes. I suffered abuse also, though it was as a young adult. I had actually lost a lot of weight not long before hand, and was slim for the first time in adulthood, so I know it is a direct link for me. within a year of the attack, I had gone up 4 dress sizes, and have gone up another 2 in few years following.
I'm a little behind you, and still at the stage where I'm struggling to come to terms with everything, and lose weight for more than a few weeks. You are such an inspiration, and I would like to thank you for your bravery, and your honesty. Your doing great things in your life, making fantastic changes, and pretty soon, if not already, you will be free from all of these issues that got you to where you where in the first place.
Big Love! xx

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Jessica said...

I am the 25%...I coped and did not let anyone hurt me when I became the "fat girl". Now, I find motivation in the fact that if I really want to conquer the situation I need to be myself and no longer let my abuser do any more damage than he already has. Never let them win...you have spent enough of your life with it affecting you.

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Let me just say, I really enjoy your blog and will continue reading it in the future.
You are awesome, girl! You have my prayers!

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LadyTessa said...

I really like this blog. I'm also struggling with my weight. I could list a few of my own...I hate to be fat comments! It seems to affect all parts of my life. Sigh!

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Hi Jen..I'm not familiar with the roca labs mini bypass. Can you explain?

Jon Sam said...
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livinghealthyitworks said...

Karaokekitty, Loved your blog and pretty funny. I am just learning how to blog so I have been researching sites of people I would connect with. I am a knew distributor for the company "It Works" and I am a fan of their 'Greens" product which has made my hair shiny again. They also have Fat fighter's,Ultimate Thermofit that are at the top of my list. I was wondering if you could maybe check out my website and look at the ingredients in the products and maybe when I am ready we can link up. These products are all natural and the company grows their own herbs, use no pesticides or chemicals. Maybe we can help people together reach their ideal weight. Looking forward to hearing from you. https://Laurad.myitworks.com/home
Thank you,
Laura

Abby Postlewaite said...

I'm 14, 5' 7"... and 180ish (I round down for my dignity's sake) pounds.

Honestly, how the HECK did you lose 70 pounds? I only need to lose about 35ish (once again, the round-down policy, this time to save my sanity...)

jack peter said...

It was a very insightful post,and I hope you'll keep us up to date on your progress with this struggle.

jack peter said...

I'm so glad you posted this. It certainly gives me a lot to think about as to why I use food to get me through those times you described.

LifeTime Fitness said...

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Gobinda Lal Gaine said...

For fat and weight loss, you can use CLA(conjugated linoleic acid) as the natural weight loss supplement .

Michele Grey said...
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Jessie Shaffner said...

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Adrian Rian said...
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Adrian Rian said...

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