Weight and appearance

(62 Posts)
Simpkins Mon 07-Jan-13 11:58:17

This is a bit of a personal rant, I'm hoping others out there will have opinions to share too though so we can vent together!

I have a weight problem and have done so for my whole life. I've come to the conclusion in recent years that my issues were terribly emotional ones- I am scared of failing at losing weight, and so the myriad diets I have "done" have not really started as I have not wanted to admit that I'm on them so as to not risk failing (how fucked up is that?) I also eat when I am trying to drown my emotions out- which I do a lot as the envioronment I grew up in, whilst loving and happy, was also about making sure everything appeared fine even if you were dying inside (mum was dreadfully unhappy married to dad and this was terribly obvious to my sister and I but we never acknowledged it and still haven't in any detail) and sadly I learned this very well and am now repeating this pattern. That's a whole other thread though!

On a personal level, I think that I am "frightened" of losing the 3 or 4 stone that I need to as I am so so SO cross that people will think of me differently. Why the hell should they? I will still be me, I am disappointed in "society" if all of a sudden I am slimmer and - hey presto! I am not invisible any more. Its almost like my weight is a way of shunning the way that I feel society prizes thinness- but at the same time I know that I need to lose some serious lbs for health reasons. I want to be around long term for my children and for me to enjoy life. I did lose weight in my teens and I know from first hand experience that I went from a nobody at school to having lots of attention in a matter of weeks- I lost a fair bit of weight one summer due to just generally growing up and having an active time for the 6 weeks, and all of a sudden people wanted to know me. I was just a kindly swot before that. This makes me FURIOUS. It didn?t at the time of course, I was thrilled that I was suddenly popular.

In particular, if my husband ends up treating me more nicely because I am thin (which I am terrified of as I think it is amost a certainty) then I will have to make a difficult choice- do I stay with a man that quite plainly does not love me for "me" but what I look like? I am not sure if I can bear the disappointment in him or even myself for choosing such a twat, if you'll pardon the expression.

So many issues here!

Has anyone else been in a simlar position with wanting to lose weight? What were your experiences?

Bonsoir Mon 07-Jan-13 12:01:00

Oh gosh you poor thing. You have a lot of emotional baggage and you are very fragile.

What, apart from your weight, is very critical to your identity?

Simpkins Mon 07-Jan-13 12:09:52

Do I really Bonsoir? Not being disingenuous at all- are these lots of issues? One of the "things" about not really dealing with emotional stuff is that I tend to downplay anything so never quite sure what is a "big thing" and what is not!

Re: what's critical to my identity- ummmmmm- tolerance? Not really sure.

Why is weight so bloody well intertwined with womens' view of themselves!!!

musttidyupAllTheChristmasShite Mon 07-Jan-13 12:19:00

My husband treats me differently since my weightloss. He's more attentive and affectionate. It's nice that he really fancies me again so, no, I don't think he's a twat for it, I think it's natural. He still loved me when I was fat, but now he loves me and fancies me too. I don't blame him - I now like the way I look for the first time in my whole life (with the exception if my pregnancies, which I loved) so why shouldn't he?

musttidyupAllTheChristmasShite Mon 07-Jan-13 12:20:23

Why is weight so bloody well intertwined with womens' view of themselves!!!
We, for me, because I look and feel so much better without the extra weight. But that's easy to say after having lost it I suppose.

Simpkins Mon 07-Jan-13 12:29:40

Musttidy- my dh does have a tendency towards being a bit controlling, and whilst he knows this and we sort of work together on managing that I do worry that he would "reward" me with nicer treatment if I was thinner. Because I know how much prouder he would be of me if I wasn't this overweight. His background is one of "fat people are lazy and repulsive, the disgusting overwight stupid fools" and whilst he doesn't outwardly believe this, there is a bit of that attitude somewhere in there.

But then I haven't discussed this with him and so maybe I am being unnecessarily crititcal!

TeapotofDoom Mon 07-Jan-13 12:32:50

I have PCOS so my weight fluctuates. At one point, I lost nearly 40lb and was very disenchanted by some people's reactions. My niece, who is morbidly obese, made some really bitchy comments - she felt threatened because she had been hiding behind excuses why she hasn't got healthy her whole life, then I go and do it, despite obstacles. My SIL was blethering on about my nephew losing 20lb - but never even once remarked on me going down 5 dress sizes.

My husband loved me at any weight but for me, the weight loss had the opposite effect. I began to resent him for being equally attracted to me at my fattest as I felt that meant he didn't care that I was unhealthy. (Weight makes the PCOS symptoms far worse, and can risk you tipping over into diabetes, etc, much faster than for a woman without PCOS - which he knew). I wondered then if he had ever really loved me, as I got no tough love when I was fat.

Meantime, some of his male friends treated me like a whole new person - were creepily all over me, in fact. One of them had a morbidly obese wife who he makes no secret of no longer fancying, and he kept making wistful remarks along the lines of he wished his wife had done what I'd done... Which I thought was vile! My weight loss (which was over two years, so not dramatically fast) made me see people very, very differently.

I realise now I was too hard on my husband. But maybe should have given his pervy friend a piece of my mind, rather than bit my tongue when he used my weight loss as a stick to beat his poor wife, with.

Simpkins Mon 07-Jan-13 12:39:59

Teapot- 40lbs (or thereabouts, wherever you've ended up at) is such an achievement! Hope you celebrated it smile?

I suppose my dh is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't- if he's nicer to me should I lose weight then he's shallow, if he is the same then he didn't support me enough in wanting to lose weight. No wonder we just don't discuss my weight, he's probablby terrified of getting it wrong smile

TeapotofDoom Mon 07-Jan-13 13:24:57

Simpkins, I celebrated and then within weeks, my dad went into the final stages of his illness and died. After that, I totally stopped caring. Now I have that same 40lb to lose again! So am in the same boat as you.

I'm wondering if we're not a bit similar in that we self-sabotage. I didn't go on a crazy faddy diet, but lost weight painfully slowly and carefully by eating wholefoods, and just being sensible really and never, ever cheated, felt hungry or had a problem with it. But the end of my weight loss coincided with what was to be one of the toughest times in my life, as I was very close to my dad, and it has taken me maybe five years to get back to the point I feel I am ready again, to eat clean and sustain it, this time.

I think, like me, you just need to let go of all the over-thinking and just plunge in and go for it in whatever way seems best to you. x That's what I'm doing.

That 40lb was radical enough for me to see how people's reactions to me changed and I really didn't like it but now, looking back on that reaction, I wonder if I was already sewing the seeds of sabotage when I reacted so badly to the creepy friend, and my family's bitchiness/ignoring my achievement? I mean, I thought I was doing it for myself. But maybe, I still wasn't ready.

musttidyupAllTheChristmasShite Mon 07-Jan-13 14:17:24

It has a lot to do with how I feel. Slimmer so more confident and happier with myself, household is happier, husband is happier. I really enjoy the fact that he is proud of me but I do see the flip side that he wasn't so proud before but if I was pissed off about that I would be cutting off my nose to spite my face IYSWIM.
I think the bottom line is what weight loss will do for you and bugger anyone else's attitude to it.
For me the moment was when my eldest DC 'noticed' that I was fat am you know how tactless they are grin. It made me realise that I wanted to be healthy and slimmer and live a longer life. And I wanted to look like to peron I felt like. Now the big thing is keeping it off smile.

musttidyupAllTheChristmasShite Mon 07-Jan-13 14:18:04

teapot what a shitbag the creepy friend is.

TeapotofDoom Mon 07-Jan-13 15:11:36

musttidy, he was an idiot - all over me the minute I was size 12, and acted like I was invisible when I was bigger... The way it revealed his attitude to his wife's size was the worst part. They were very committed catholics and he told my husband he didn't believe in divorce, so he felt he was 'stuck' with this large woman who wasn't the woman he married. Idiot. We were all middle aged anyway - and the most interesting part is, he was well overweight himself.

mindosa Mon 07-Jan-13 15:44:36

All men prefer their wives with better figures. Of course your husband loves you larger but he will desire you more when you are slimmer, which will result in more physical attention.

There are no advantages being overweight. Its not a feminist issue.

AbigailAdams Mon 07-Jan-13 16:43:20

"All men prefer their wives with better figures....Its not a feminist issue."

He he he. Best laugh I've had in ages. grin

catwomanlikesmeatballs Mon 07-Jan-13 17:59:58

People will think of you differently when you lose weight but you shouldn't care what they think as long as a healthier lifestyle makes you feel better about yourself.

MMMarmite Mon 07-Jan-13 22:00:37

Mindosa Of course weight is a feminist issue. What figures are considered beautiful varies from culture to culture, it's not all hard-wired in. The strict beauty standards that women (and to a lesser extent men) are held to, and the way women are treated when they don't conform to those standards, are an important problem for feminism to tackle.

snowshapes Tue 08-Jan-13 09:41:50

I agree with MMMarmite, what is seen as desirable and beautiful is totally cultural. The very thin aesthetic is very recent historically.

To the OP, though, I think cultural issues aside, I would recommend concentrating on what is important to you. You seem to have recognised that you don't have a healthy relationship to food and diet, so I would try and work on that - I don't mean set yourself a target weight, but maybe look for support and resources to address the underlying issues around eating, and then, I think, though I am no expert, with a more healthy relationship to food, you may find your natural weight and more acceptance of yourself. You have valid reasons for wanting to do that which are nothing to do with either your DH or how society views women, they are to do with well, having a healthy relationship to food and addressing your underlying emotional issues.

mindosa Tue 08-Jan-13 09:59:24

MMarmite and Snowshapes. Fat isnt considered attractive in many cultures though is it and it isnt healthly in any culture.

I dont agree with the whole idea of exercising or starving yourself into oblivion but most slim (not skinny) women stay that way through moderate exercise and controlled eating. Surely that is a better way to live than being overweight.

Abigail I would think that most men prefer their husbands slimmer than fatter.
Why feel the need to defend being overweight as some rightuous choice - its not, its unhealthy and unattractive.

mindosa Tue 08-Jan-13 10:00:38

Sorry edit to most wives prefer their husbands slimmer although I am equally sure that in same sex partnerships husbands also prefer their husbands slimmer!

BunFagFreddie Tue 08-Jan-13 12:15:53

I lost about 4 stone in my late teens and I suddenly because visble to men. I had some male friends already, but plenty of the lads just ignored me until I lost weight. The fact that some women I thought were friends started to get really bitchy with me upset me more though.

Last year I lost nearly 2 stone and my friends husband went from being quite rude and taking the piss, to being far too nice. It embarrasses me and makes me feel uncomfortable and it has harmed my relationship with my friend, who is visibly pissed off when this happens. Losing weight changes the dynamics of your relationship with other women too.

Simpkins Tue 08-Jan-13 12:39:43

Mindosa- for me it is a feminist issue. I feel that the way my body is viewed is not to do with whether being overweight is cuturally acceptable in general but culturally acceptable as a woman.

I am not for a second arguing that there are advantages to being overweight. I am saying that as a woman I feel terribly pressured to conform because of looks- nothing to do with health.

"Why feel the need to defend being overweight as some rightuous choice - its not, its unhealthy and unattractive." Your attitude is exactly the sort of one that causes hurt to people- whilst of course it is right that you have opinions about whether something is attractive or not, expecting everyone else to believe the same as you and criticising those people who do not conform to your own personal list of acceptable criteria is narrow minded and hurtful. The fact that I am actually unhappy with my weight makes comments like yours even worse.

I don't think you really understand what I am trying to get at. Me wanting to lose weight or not is not aimed at trying to get my dh to desire me more- that is totally beside the point and I would hardly have chosen to post on a feminist board about my weight problems if the only thing I was worried about was whether or not men fancied me.

And as to preferring my dh slimmer- actually no, I find him more attractive with maybe 1 stone above his "ideal" weight on his bones.

I am not morbidly obese. I'm 5ft 7 and a size 16-18, but I am worried about the sorts of issues that BunFag has experienced. I can imagine Buns how disappointed you must be in your friends, male or female sad.

snowshapes Tue 08-Jan-13 12:44:24

Without getting into a lengthy debate, mindosa, what is considered attractive and what is healthy are two separate things. There is a quite a wide range of healthy BMI; but what is culturally deemed as attractive is at the lower end of this and into the underweight category. Also, what Western societies deem as attractive is very recent historically (compare 19th century or non-industrialised societies with late 20th/early 21st century industrialised societies), I would have thought that was acknowledged fact, there is a mass of literature on it, feminist and otherwise.

I'm not defending being fat as a righteous choice; actually I think if people eat healthily and exercise they will be a reasonable weight, but the problem is that there is still a disparity between normal weight for many and cultural ideals of slenderness, hence weight/food etc being an outlet for any other issues of personal unhappiness.

snowshapes Tue 08-Jan-13 12:46:03

sorry, x-post with OP

AbigailAdams Tue 08-Jan-13 12:58:23

"Why feel the need to defend being overweight as some rightuous choice"
I haven't.

I am merely exasperated amused that someone comes on to the feminist section with such stereotypical remarks about women and then confidently declares that it therefore isn't a feminist issue. It is an attempt to shut down debate.

Feminism is a political movement. Pretty much any issue can be discussed from a feminist perspective. But one that adversely and disproportionally affects many women is most definitely as "feminist issue". A woman's weight, how women are viewed and objectified, villified for their appearance and their appearance being a constant source of focus ways that do not happen to men is what the issues are here.

AbigailAdams Tue 08-Jan-13 13:03:44

In fact I don't think anyone on here has felt "the need to defend being overweight as some rightuous choice".

And maybe some women do prefer their husbands slimmer. But men don't get daily pressures of being told what they should look like, what they should eat, how they should look etc. They do not expect to be judged on their looks, but rather on what they do. You will find many many many more examples of fat men with slim women than the other way round. That is far more normal for society.

BunFagFreddie Tue 08-Jan-13 13:10:12

Simpkins, I lost the weight because I knew I was having major surgery and I wanted to be a healthy bmi. It is disappointing, but more so when it comes to women changing their attitude towards you. I think this happens because weight and body image has become such a huge deal to women. In all honesty, I think it's more of an issue for women than it is for men. I don't doubt for a minute that DP finds me more attractive when I'm slimmer, but how much of that is to do with confidence? We still had a healthy sex life when I was bigger.

I am making a point of never commenting on other women's weight. Instead I will tell them that their complexion looks healthy and glowing or that they look fab in their new top but only if meant genuinely. Why bring size and weight into it?

I'm going to re-read this thread later but one thing stood out to me, op, that you wonder if you'll lose the weight and suddenly stop being invisible - my experience is (delightfully to me at least) the complete opposite - I've lost nearly 4 stone and finally feel like I can just blend in, not stand out and catch someone's eye purely because of my size. I finally feel normal. Though I relate a lot to your op and losing the weight was something of a journey, I do feel not only have I lost the weight but also a lot of the negativity I carried around, I was blind to how this was linked in my mind.

Also conforming to any 'look' is about far more than being a certain weight. I feel healthy and active now - this was my motivation to lose weight and remains my motivation now to keep it off.

snowshapes Tue 08-Jan-13 13:25:31

Re weight being a feminist issue – I read somewhere that because our cultural ideal of thinness is more akin to the pre-pubescent female form, girls have higher self-esteem when they are younger and as they start to put weight on their breasts and hips (a natural part of growing up), their self-esteem falls. Whereas for men, cultural ideals of manliness fit more with adult male forms, so as boys grow up (becoming taller, heavier), their self-esteem goes up.

Into the realms of my own speculation: I suspect that a man could carry a couple of extra stone and it fall within the parameters of normal, we’d just call him well-built, whereas a women carrying a couple of extra stone would be called fat? The same standards of slenderness are not applied to men, heavens, slender even sounds a feminine adjective. I’m wondering about slim – he’s slim, she’s slim – do we even think/talk about men in those terms? And if we do, it’s probably more descriptive than judgemental.

BunFagFreddie Tue 08-Jan-13 13:29:56

Good points snowshapes. It seems that men and women both fill out in their mid to late 20's and they get a more muscular and adult shape. This is seen as desirable for men, but women still strive to be very slender like a teenager.

musttidyupAllTheChristmasShite Tue 08-Jan-13 13:36:01

I definitely prefer the way DH looks when he's a bit porky grin but prefer myself slimmer. Because I look nicer that way and I can wear nice clothes, I don't think it goes any deeper than that.

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 08-Jan-13 13:44:38

Simpkins I really identify with the 'why should I' aspect of losing weight. It really annoys me that my weight determines how I am perceived instead of my profession.

LeBFG Tue 08-Jan-13 14:08:56

What is surprising to me is that men nowadays have been brought into the whole 'looks' and 'fatness' bleurgh that has so afflicted women I've known in my lifetime. A totally normal, healthy teenage boy I know is jovially teased and called 'fat' by his good friends because he hasn't got a washboard stomach and I'm told this is really commonplace sad. Men are dieting much more - it's no longer cute and endearing to have a wobbly midrift.

People are much more health conscious now I think - people are smoking less for instance. Fat, for all sexes, attracts more and more virulent distaste.

So I think this debate has two ends. At one end, is OP losing several stone a feminist issue? No, I think it's a health issue and one that affects both men and women. At the other end, does healthy women being pressured to conform to a particular body shape constitute a feminist issue? I think it probably does and should be lumped together with the eternal body issues like body hair and wearing makeup etc.

Women get judged more on their looks because they are the ornate sex whereas women get to do the picking and choosing once they've lured potential mates. I guess what I'm saying is we can only expect people/society to change through education to a certain degree. Women will always be judged to some extent on their looks because it's an innate, evolved reaction that is (unfortunately) difficult to override.

mindosa Tue 08-Jan-13 14:10:28

Snowshapes I don't agree with your comment re men and women with extra weight being viewed differently.

Men are generally a bigger build than women so can 'hide' weight better. My friend is a size 16 but she is almost 6ft and broad so she doesnt look particularly overweight whereas I as a size 16 would be very overweight.

A man who is 2-3 stone overweight looks it and to most people is unattractive.

I agree with everyone who criticises societies obession with unhealthy thinness as damaging to young women and I would try quite hard to ensure that my daughters dont view these celebrities or models bodies as 'normal' or desirable.
However I do not want them thinking that 2-3 stone overweight is normal either.

Simpkins You said you werent sure you wanted to lose weight as people might view you differently. I do think that statement is ridiculous in that weight is a health and wellbeing issue and what other people think of you is secondary. Sure you husband might find you more attractive, would that be a bad thing. Mine finds me more attractive when I have my hair/nails/makeup done and am dressed up for a night out. I prefer him when he is showered/shaved/in a good suit. The fact that we might not be equally as attractive to each other in jeans and a t-shirt doesnt bother us.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Tue 08-Jan-13 14:52:54

"There are no advantages being overweight."

Hmm. Current research seems to be showing that the healthiest BMI to have is around 26. Which is technically overweight.

So apart from the health advantages, then...

mindosa Wed 09-Jan-13 09:29:35

Ok one study in a sea of others that show being overweight to be unhealthy.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Wed 09-Jan-13 09:49:30

Don't think any study has shown that negative health effects start at a BMI of less than 30 (that's over 13 stone for a 5'6" woman) which is 'obese' not 'overweight' - but you might have been using the words interchangeably?

Willing to stand corrected if this is not the case.

But being overweight seems to come up statistically like drinking, a little bit is good for you but loads isn't.

The problem, mindosa, is when you start to generalise from your personal experience. So you and your husband prefer each other slimmer, nicely dressed, made up, etc. -- that's fine, but you seem to be saying that this is 'natural' or innate. It isn't. Everyone is different. My own DH honestly doesn't seem to care about my weight, and most of his spontaneous 'you're so beautiful' moments seem to come not after I've made a huge effort but at times when I think I look awful.

And there certainly are many cultures even today, even within Western societies, where being really thin is not prized. I spent most of my life in the US, in a city that's majority African-American, and the different expectations were very noticeable. I once lost 20 pounds and found all my white friends saying, You look great!, while all my black friends were saying, You look too damn skinny! There is even quantifiable evidence of this, as studies have shown that black women who are overweight have higher self-esteem than overweight white women (in the US).

OP -- would you ever consider going for CBT? I believe there are studies showing it's very helpful for losing weight, because it's all about tackling the emotional issues that lie behind it and changing negative thinking patterns. I think that might be a healthier approach than dieting or anything more direct, because the weight is less important than the emotional issues that are troubling you in several aspects of life (it sounds like).

LeBFG Wed 09-Jan-13 12:30:34

Ah, but I think you are generalising from your own experiences too dreaming. There is no real innate preference for weight. If there was, we would see agreement between cultures and epochs. Culture has a huge part to play - in general I would say that most cultures view heavily overweight or underweight beings as unattractive (the exceptions come from cultural issues like, lack of food or lots of wealth). I would see this as more-or-less innate as it has clear long-term health and thus survival/reproductive consequences.

General characteristics that are pretty common across all cultures are that women are prefered younger (most fertile period) and men are prefered either as rough-n-ready (sexually provocative, agressive, short-termers) or naice-mummy's-boy (think boyband - unthreatening, caring, long-termers). Men like women who appear younger: slimmer, blonder, less-hairy. Make-up is used to imitate a younger, more fertile state: red lips (ovulation), foundation (smoother, younger appearance)....some men (thankfully) don't fall for this and just see the make-up grin.

Obviously, we are all tainted by our cultural unbringings and other factors at play like availability of mates (low-status men are less like to get a partner than low-status women for example), changes in diet/wealth...so many things that any great generalisations are silly - of course, some men love adult, full-breasted women etc.

Darkesteyes Wed 09-Jan-13 16:50:40

Wow thats the first time ive read a thread on this board thats made me feel like crap.
Well guess what..... i lost ten stone in 2002-2003 and my husband STILL didnt want to touch me. (my situ is well documented on the Relationships board) So can we PLEASE stop blaming this on women and weight because it has nothing to do with it.
And apparently according to something said upthread i am now obese again. Great.

Darkesteyes Wed 09-Jan-13 16:53:20

At the moment i am somewhere between 15 and 16 stone and 5"5 but a lot of it is on my breasts.
I comfort ate after my affair ended and am now trying to tackle it. Not easy when i now know that it wont make any fucking difference to my life anyway.

specialsubject Thu 10-Jan-13 11:12:11

Darkesteyes; yes it will, you will be healthier and reduce your risk of dying earlier.

Simpkins Thu 10-Jan-13 23:58:06

Mindosa, telling me my feelings are ridiculous really doesn't make you sound terribly nice.

I want to lose weight, I've made that clear, but I am also scared of doing so. Scared if failing, scared of being treated differently, scared of having to admit that I am fat.

I think you might be Rosemary Conley in disguise!

Dreaminbohemian- I did have a series of cbt sessions in the past. Whilst they worked short term, I found that they only addres the behaviour and not the underlying cause which ultimately meant that I just found other negative behaviours to replace the ones I successfully stopped. I am finding though that expressing myself more (about anything strangely, not jut food) is helping me to be more honest about food.

Darkesteyes Fri 11-Jan-13 00:02:58

Simpkins i understand where you are coming from totally.

Darkesteyes Fri 11-Jan-13 00:09:31

specialsubject from the day after Boxing Day to last Thursday (so for a whole week) i had that horrible winter bug. sore throat, bunged up, boiling yet shivering and vv bad watery diarrheoa. Because of it i havent had any diet coke since 30th December (when the stomach symptoms started) and although im better now i havent gone back to drinking it. ive been drinking an immunity drink diluted with water and i havent missed diet coke at all.
I also have shrunk my portion sizes after only eating small amounts after i recovred. Worst flu i have ever had but i thought i would use it to my advantage to change the way i eat. So something good has come out of something bad.

Darkesteyes Fri 11-Jan-13 00:12:13

Just occured to me though that Simpkins and i are feeling the need to justify ourselves on a feminism board of all places.

shine0ncrazydiamond Fri 11-Jan-13 00:17:53

I've only read your OP but what stands out for me is how you are self sabotaging yourself. You want to lose weight yet worry about what will happen should you do so, as opposed to concentrating on the job in hand and letting the future take care of itself.

Maybe focus on losing weight for YOU and should you achieve this < which you will do if you stop sabotaging yourself with negativity > then see how folk are reacting to you and deal with it when it is actually a tangible issue.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 11-Jan-13 22:16:11

simpkins, just wanted to say that as another chubby swot grin i can totally understand the thing about not wanting to try in case you fail - this is a very fundamental part of my personality, but it's a really crappy negative one, and one that I'm trying to escape from!

Oh - I guess one thing that has worked with me in the past is to frame the weight loss/health thing as a fitness challenge; on a diet your weight can go up and down in a depressing and dispiriting way. But if you go to the gym/whatever exercise, you can usually lift a little bit more weight or jog a little bit further every time, so there's a lot of mini successes in there to keep you going IYSWIM.

Darkesteyes Fri 11-Jan-13 23:18:07

Im actually pretty appalled at some of the fat bashing threads that have come up on these boards. (there are two running on AIBU at the mo) and one poster has said how mums cant help going up to a size 12 despite going to the gym.
Yes a whole size 12. Im fucking speechless. You can certainly tell its January. A lot of posters are buying or subscribing to mags like Closer by the sounds of things.
FFS There are a lot of female mysogynists around.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sat 12-Jan-13 10:19:08

Yeah, I can barely imagine the horror of dropping three dress sizes ballooning to a size 12 grin

Any threads about weight will bring the same few posters out of the woodwork, holding forth on the evils of being overweight. I call them the Fat Police; I imagine if they ran the world, it would be illegal for women to be over a size 10.
It's their own problem really, though. Actually caring that much about what other people weigh is more than a little odd if you think about it.

Unless they're sitting on you or something, then I guess it would be OK to be concerned.

musttidyupAllTheChristmasShite Sat 12-Jan-13 11:04:34

But, we were asked our opinions. I am not definitely not the fat police but someone who had been fat/ obese/ slimish and am far far happier and healthier slimish. However, I couldn't really give a fig how fat/thin anyone else is.
Also, I was fat because I ate too much and exercised too little. No underlying issues causing it.

Darkesteyes Sat 12-Jan-13 16:15:08

Boulevard one of the reasons it grates with me is my mum has the same attitude as some of the Fat Police posters on that AIBU thread.
Someone like Beth Ditto will come on TV and instead of admiring her for her talent and fucking AMAZING voice my mum will sit there and bang on and on about her size.
You should have seen the look on her face though when Lisa Riley danced so well at Strictly.
I dont normally watch those kinds of shows but my mum had it on and got proved spectacularly wrong.

mindosa Mon 14-Jan-13 11:31:33

No I am not Rosemary Conley but the OP asked for an opinion and I gave it. I have no anti feminist agenda re weight. I simply think being a healthy weight is better for you and looks better.

I dont subscribe to the ethos that women should punish themselves to be stick thin, hairless etc but I do think that obesity is a massive health issue and we shouldnt try and justify it because of feminist principles.

The same way smoking and excessive alchol and dangerous to your health, so is being excessively under or overweight.

curryeater Mon 14-Jan-13 13:52:19

simpkins, it seems to me (wild guesses from a stranger on the internet) that the problem is your husband. your first post is about a lot of things that "people" think, but a later post seems to point that this is about what your husband thinks. I suspect that a part of you feels controlled by your husband, or in danger of being controlled by your husband, who doesn't like fat people on some level, and if you lose the weight you are effectively "knuckling under". I think you should look at this and find ways of feeling free and safe from control within the relationship (this may mean actually changing some things in the relationship - I don't mean you "feel" controlled and it is in your head - I mean maybe you are being controlled, and you are fighting back through your weight) and then you might find yourself free to lose weight for yourself.

larrygrylls Mon 14-Jan-13 14:11:40

It was a feminist issue when I joined the City in 1986, when it was normal for all the guys to be several stone overweight and still have beautiful gfs/wives. Fast forward 25 years or so and it is very equal. Everybody goes to the gym because they know what being obese does to you, both in terms of life expectancy and quality of life. Nowadays, most women will also be quite judgmental about men who have piled on the pounds (just check some of the threads on MN about not fancying obese husbands).

Should looks in either sex have anything to do with anything? Probably not but we are still bodies and minds and it is natural to look at both when we interact with people.

Simpkins Tue 15-Jan-13 12:22:52

Are you in my head curryeater? You have articulated in one little post something that I have never really acknowledged- thank you for helping me understand it!

I have always known that there is something a bit “fuck you!” about me not losing weight- a bit of defiance somewhere in it all. But I have never been sure where or why this has been. I have thought on it recently and come to the conclusion that now I would really like to lose weight for my health, and not for any reason of vanity (or toeing the line perhaps) that it finally feels achievable. I am still scared though. And from a feminist perspective the health issue trumps anything that media or society or even just my husband might think- I just want to make sure that I am here for as long as possible for my children, and so that my life is longer and I can therefore fill it with more of the things I want to do.

Thanks everyone for talking to me about this.

Xenia Tue 15-Jan-13 15:26:38

On the first post why do you think no one takes you seriously or wants to know you because of your weight? If women can carve out fascinating careers and get to the top they are courted for much more than looks. i could have lunches every day of the week with people who think if they buy me a meal they are entitled to time with me. They are not after my breasts but my brain, career and connections.

The richest woman in Australia is not very thin. The solution is get going on a career and people will want yo because you are the best economist in the UK or run a great business or are head of the association of girls' schools or whatever.

Simpkins Tue 15-Jan-13 23:45:25

Xenia- its not that I don't think anyone wants to know me or takes me seriously because of the fact that I am overweight, more that I am pretty sure I will get a better reaction if I am not.

Xenia Fri 18-Jan-13 08:48:39

Well... that conclusion is correct except for a few African tribes. So the question might be why do men and women want men and women who aren't overweight? It is not just engrained through sexism. Surely it is wise we do not have fat acceptance because if we trumpet that as a desirable norm people will die off or at least die early. Now that 60% of British people are overweight and we are the second heaviest nation on the planet it is just as well we are not all working hard to get to 20 stone as some kind of desirable nirvana.

Adversecamber Fri 18-Jan-13 09:27:28

I have had both CBT and counselling and they are very different treatments. I think you would benefit from having counselling regarding your childhood and how it has affected you.

A lot of disordered eating is down to emotions within us. I am the opposite in that I struggle to eat due to anxiety.

I have encountered a lot of hostility, only from women I hasten to add who have criticised my thinness.

I loathe the way lots of people feel as if they can comment on weight, it is so very personal.

Xenia Fri 18-Jan-13 09:36:12

AC, I would hope most people would not comment on the weight of others. I don't think I've ever met someone and mentioned their weight to them. I am more interested in them as a person than how they look.

There is a real feminist issue in here. If people think looks are their main currency that is very very sad. My looks are 1% of what I am perhaps, if that. I don't spend much time in mirrors and genuinely my life is about loads of things such as work, children, hobbies and all kinds of things. Looking in mirrors and worrying about if my hair is straight just seems a world away from me and how I am and also we used to have a sin of vanity in the UK and sayings like - pretty is as pretty does, beauty is only skin deep etc.

We seem to have lost the view that fussing over appearance is a moral wrong. That is a pity which has done people of box sexes not much good.

Lifeissweet Fri 18-Jan-13 10:52:29

A lot of the OP rings bells with me. My weight yoyos from overweight (BMI of 28/9 at biggest) to the middle of normal (around 22/3) and I have a very odd relationship with my weight and with food. I find I am unhappy with my weight at it's highest and strive to get thinner. I find that the effort it takes to lose the weight can be pretty all-consuming. When I have had success at it is has been because of absolute determination, which can rather take over. Then, when I get to a sensible weight I feel oddly deflated. I am irritated by people making comments as if I have suddenly become a better person. I hate the fact that my Mother seems to approve of me more when I am thinner. I don't like getting people's approval for my weight. It annoys me because people don't tend feel the need to express approval about other aspects of me as an individual, so why about my weight?

I am heavy at the moment - and unhappy about it, even though I am perfectly health (I sometimes think people mistakenly think that fat always equals unhealthy. Yes, it does in a lot of cases. Certainly being obese does, but I have never been obese, just larger than what is considered in the 'normal' range. I am fit and active and rarely ill. I cycle to work everyday and I eat good stuff (just too much of it). I can't be content, though, because I feel such a pressure to be thinner. It is almost as though I feel being big is a character flaw of mine.

For those trying to say it's the same for men - it really isn't. Being overweight as a man is not the same. My DP is overweight. He has a similar BMI to mine at the moment (27), but looks chunky and well built rather than fat. He talks about needing to lose a few pounds, but doesn't feel the same sense of shame and guilt about his size that I do (and I think women as a whole tend to). It is just a fact and he will maybe do something about it when he feels like it. I loathe myself a lot of the time.

GiveMeSomeSpace Fri 18-Jan-13 16:26:26

I think that a large part, if not the majority, of the change in other peoples attitude towards us is because we are happier in OURSELVES when we are in better shape. Happier people are more attractive. I dont think the physical side is a big as the personality side of things.

And I think it applies as equally to men as to women. (I am a man)

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