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Being FAT is a symptom of emotional problems NOT the cause?

(94 Posts)
StrugglingDemonFighter Tue 19-Jul-11 11:09:19

I have for years blamed my lack of self esteem/confidence/financial/career success on the fact that I 'let' myself get fat because I am greedy and lazy.

It has recently dawned on me that the reason I am fat is BECAUSE of my lack of self esteem/confidence and until I engage with/battle that I will not get anywhere.

I firmly believe that most if not all people are in the same boat as me. They may blame it on genes/medication whatever but the genetic thing is probably explained by growing up in a household where low self esteem is the norm and the medication thing is down to feeling that that there is something wrong with you BECAUSE you have to take medication. Of course, medication could probably make you put on a small amount of weight due to hormonal/metabolism changes but not to the degree that some very overweight people that put it down to.

Basically you must hate yourself to some degree to put up with feeling like shit/ugly/heavy/sweaty and until you accept it and work on bringing the emotions causing this to the surface, no diet in the world will help you and you will not get anywhere.

So next time, you see a very overweight person and think, 'how could they let themselves get like that' bear that in mind.

All you fellow fatties out there stop hating yourself and work out why you do.


nethunsreject Tue 19-Jul-11 11:13:20

For some, yeah.

For some, it is habit and just goes up gradually and is not indicitive of anything deeper.

It is also becoming the cultural 'norm' to be overweight.

nethunsreject Tue 19-Jul-11 11:14:23

Oh, sorry, should say though, good luck. smile I have been very overweight and underweight in my life and neither is fun!

worraliberty Tue 19-Jul-11 11:15:07

YABU to think because you've come to that personal conclusion, it's the same for others.

People gain excessive weight for all sorts of reasons...the main one being they eat too much and move too little.

Also, where does your theory leave fat children who have been overfed by their parents and allowed to lead a sedantry lifestyle?

Tanif Tue 19-Jul-11 11:16:08

I'm fat because I generally like eating food that is bad for me, and am not so keen on food that is good for me. <shrug> DP is the same and I always assumed most fat people were pretty much just like me. Too many yummy treats and not enough jogging!

bamboobutton Tue 19-Jul-11 11:18:06

i don't think that's the case with me.

i got fat having kids, went from a size 8/10 to a size 14/16.

it has caused me emotional problems as i have been strictly dieting since feb (and i'm not kidding myself, i have been doing WW and have been keeping detailed food diaries) and have only lost 7lbs so i am getting very down about it now.

miniwedge Tue 19-Jul-11 11:18:59

YABU. You can't seriously believe that every overweight person is overweight because they hate themselves?

That's a massive generalisation. (no pun intended)

lesley33 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:19:47

I think being fat is often a sign of using food to cope with stress/bad times. This doesn't mean there are deep emotional issues. But it does mean that when that person is unhappy, stressed, etc they turn to comfort eating.

If you comfort eat you may successfully lose weight. But you won't keep it off if you don't find something to replace the comfort eating.

Humans do many things that are self destructive to cope with the hard aspects of life. Smoking, drinking alcohol, gambling, over spending, self harm, etc. Comfort eating I think sits amongst this type of behaviour.

Kewcumber Tue 19-Jul-11 11:21:31

I don;t think its really that siple. Everyone has different reasons and often its a complex mix of reasons. Gentleovereating over a number of years, failure to recognise the problme, self-medicating with food to make yourself feel better or "treat" yourself, low self esteem, greed, enjoying food, disliking exercise, being unable to exercise, hormone imbalances, drugs, medical conditions - and I'm sure people could add even more... but these are just the ones which apply to me!

lesley33 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:23:09

Also many people don't realise how finely balanced our eating/weight balance is. You don't have to eat much more on a daily basis or reduce your excercise by much to start putting weight on slowly. So that half a chocolat bar that you share with your child every day for example, will lead to you slowly getting pretty overweight, if everything else stays the same.

I used to be 5 stone overweight. I have always liked sports and healthy food. But I used to buy a chocolate bar every day. Stopping this simple habit has led over a long time, to me losing a lot of weight.

lesley33 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:24:45

And i know other fat people who exercise regularly and eat healthy food. It is just that they also eat unhealthy food such as cakes or chocolate. Not all fat people are couch potatoes and there are thin people who never exercise and eat very unhealthily.

It is the balance of food versus exercise that is the important ratio.

Kewcumber Tue 19-Jul-11 11:25:55

bamboobutton - its fairly well recognised in teh medical weight loss community that the best way to put on weight is to strictly diet (unless you talking fairly minmal weight loss). You need to be aiming for about 0.5lb per week by making small changes in your diet and exericse to have a long term effect. Otherwise you will fall into the "diet/fail/put on/diet/fail" cycle which reinforces your lack of self worth and ends up with you weighing more in the end.

Of course people will tell you that they lost 2 stone in 3 months and some do but the vast majority of successful long term weight losers do it very slowly over a longer period and you probably would hardly recognise that they were on a diet.

Kewcumber Tue 19-Jul-11 11:26:58

And some overweight people eat pretty healthily just too much.

It's also a symptom ofur dependence on sugar and fat - even bread has significantly more fat in it these day s because its a cheap preservative.

Peachy Tue 19-Jul-11 11:28:10

I am overweight, inclined that way becuase I am rarely able to sleep more than 2- 4 hours in a stretch: it's know that this makes you prone to eat more becuase you crave energy foods. Also I am sometimes housebound by fiddly reasons (boys SN, am not disabled) and exercise is hard.

BUT I am mostly overweight becuase of the calories I eat.

it's not self medication but something else- tiredness, lack of exercise, the fact that not being able to get out makes the obvious choice for a social life of sorts a meal in for Dh and I....

Dh has gained 4 stones in the last 5 yeras but still is OK as his starting weight was silly low (8.5st). I have gained half that but was never really slim so it means more. Lost it and gone down to thin a few times but never for long.

StrugglingDemonFighter Tue 19-Jul-11 11:29:26

Also, where does your theory leave fat children who have been overfed by their parents and allowed to lead a sedantry lifestyle?

The parents must have some emotional problems to want to overfeed their DCs - protecting them from something, substituting food for love/comfort. This will then rub off on the DCs. None of mine are overweight btw.

I also got fat after having DCs bamboobutton and I think that is because a lot of childhood emotions and insecurities surfaced after having children of my own and I comforted myself by eating.

Basically you must hate yourself to some degree to put up with feeling like shit/ugly/heavy/sweaty - I stand by this statement Tanif. You cannot tell me that you don't feel self conscious about being fat and it does not stop you doing things.

I am talking about fat people here btw not those who are overweight because they like the odd cake and drive everywhere and I would put a 14/16 size down as overweight bamboobutton not FAT.

Blurry29 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:30:14

Interesting thread........

Back in 2007/8 I was a very healthy and comfy 8/10..... Worked in a job that allowed me to take advantage of the free gym across the road.......

2008-2011 new job, 17 hour days, no time for gym etc etc etc

Present day- Quite over weight....why?? Because I put too much crap in my system and don't get off my fat ass to do anything about it...........I need to learn to use my time effectively to get some fitness in while kids are at school, have house to myself etc etc etc

Pure and simple as that, in my case....Too much junk...not enough moving the trunk!!!

I have a lot of confidence, great stable family life, ok money could be better but hey ho, have a great circle of friends, close to family, no health issue etc etc etc

I DON'T HATE MYSELF just need to pull my finger out my fat ass!!!

I only have myself to blame for feeling jiggly

bamboobutton Tue 19-Jul-11 11:31:45

kewcumber - i don't mean strict diet in a very low cal sense, i mean strict in that im sticking to a sensible diet and not cheating by snacking or going over my points allowance.

think my problem is having too many carbs a day but atm i am too tired from not sleeping and having a baby to run around after to cut them right back, i need the energy.

worraliberty Tue 19-Jul-11 11:33:27

The parents must have some emotional problems to want to overfeed their DCs - protecting them from something, substituting food for love/comfort. This will then rub off on the DCs. None of mine are overweight btw

I see

So anyone with a fat child, doesn't show them love or comfort?

It's an emotional problem rather than parents being ignorant of what to feed them/portion size/lack of exercise is it?

None of those parents put it down to 'puppy fat' and then realise eventually their child has a serious weight problem?


Laquitar Tue 19-Jul-11 11:34:31

YANBU apart from the use 'most if not all'.

Perhaps you should have said 'many'.

The same also applies for many very slim people. In both cases there are often emotional problems and family impact. It is very sad that people get so judgemental and i fear that both extremes are increasing which worries me as a mother.

I am glad for you that you have recognised it and also i think it is honest and good of you to post this op.

MsPlaced Tue 19-Jul-11 11:35:38

YABU to speak for everyone. A sample size of one does not make for any kind of evidence.

GwendolineMaryLacey Tue 19-Jul-11 11:36:27

Applies to me, you're spot on. Don't know about anyone else but self hatred is definitely the case here and it started way way back before I was fat.

Tanif Tue 19-Jul-11 11:37:36

struggling I genuinely don't feel self conscious. I've been fat and I've been thin and both times I've felt pretty much the same. People immediately assume I must be self conscious because I refuse to go swimming but actually, I just hate having large amounts of water closing over my head. And what can I say? I enjoy a big juicy steak with chips much more than I'd enjoy wearing a size 8 again... I'm sure there must be others like me. I can't be THAT weird, can I?

ExitPursuedByAGryffin Tue 19-Jul-11 11:38:40

I am fat because I eat too much food and drink too much wine.

MadHairMoody Tue 19-Jul-11 11:40:45

Some medication can cause severe weight gain, so yabu there. People on long term steroids can gain a lot of weight over a long time. Last year when I was on steroids I gained a stone. Lost it after coming off, but saw how easy it was, and believe me it was nothing to do with my emotional state - simply the effects of that particular medication.

lesley33 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:43:15

Of course parents are overfeeding children for a reason. My mum fed me too much food as a child and she now does it to her pets. She shows me lots of love, but part of her way to show love is to provide tasty healthy food - but far too much of it. She is thin btw.

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