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To want to offer up to all the fat shamers...

(599 Posts)
WichitaLineman Mon 27-Jan-14 13:57:35

... On mumsnet who peddle the old "fat people are lazy and lack will -power" or proffer their simplistic formula of "eat less, move more" an incredibly succinct description of food addiction by Marcus Brigstocke. I will admit that that sentence isn't quite so succinct wink

"Eating is different [from drug addiction]; it's dirty, it's horrible - you do it on your own and you wear it. [With] alcohol and drugs, you have moments of sobriety, [but] you don't stop being fat. You wear it; everyone can see it - it is a brand… an overcoat of shame for everyone to see.

"You despise yourself, you make promises to yourself, you say 'I had a bad day, that was bad but that means this is baseline and I can start', then you go and break those promises and do it again, and worse.

"Eating disorders are more pervasive and subtle [than alcohol and drugs] and availability and acceptability are much higher... the ”high“ comes from the totally full-up feeling ”It is an anaesthetic. You lie like a python digesting what you have, it slows your brain down and you are physically inert. Numb and dull, that is the feeling you get."

Whilst I am not saying that every obese person is a compulsive overeater, I wold wager that most are, including myself. This has resonated with me and is the best description I have read of the self-loathing involved in compulsive overeating. It is a faulty mechanism to deal with emotional pain and the fat shamers can't cause any more shame than we already feel for ourselves.

Whilst there are many people on mn who are understanding, I am always appalled by those who aren't. Please think on this when those threads come up. Thank you.

WichitaLineman Mon 27-Jan-14 13:58:23

Ps I am an old timer name-changer. See. Ashamed. sad

RooobarbAndCustard Mon 27-Jan-14 13:58:50

Good post.

Purplegirly Mon 27-Jan-14 14:04:43

I eat because I hate myself, it's a form of self harm. As a kid I used to cut myself. Now I eat. Everyone can see how awful I am ....

angelos02 Mon 27-Jan-14 14:10:19

I agree that people are often very simplistic when it comes to discussing people that are overweight. It would be odd to hear someone say to someone anorexic, 'oh, just eat more'. Yet people are happy to say 'just eat less' to someone that overate.

Sammie101 Mon 27-Jan-14 14:13:41

The biggest thing that annoys me is when people say, if they make horrible comments about someone it will spur them on to lose weight. All the nasty comments I got didn't make me think 'they're right, I should lose weight', they made me go home and eat more for comfort.

The biggest motivation when I was losing weight was all the people who noticed and said lovely things. It spurred me on to keep going and know that people could see the difference.

I hate it when people think that their nasty comments can spur people to lose weight!

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 14:14:01

I posted on a fat shaming thread how my friend was brought up as a child with disordered eating. Her sister had anorexia, she is very fat. Different side of the same coin in their case.

Even then there were posters saying - well if she really wanted to, she could lose weight.

On some threads, I struggle not to have a very low opinion of some posters.

headlesslambrini Mon 27-Jan-14 14:15:15

Very true

RandyRudolf Mon 27-Jan-14 14:16:13

I am new to the world of being fat shamed. Until a couple of years ago I was very slim, ate well, never exercised and never put on weight. I considered myself blessed that I didn't have to try to be slim. However now I'm older I find that I'm eating the same portions but I'm not burning it off and for the first time in my life I'm overweight and getting fatter. My family like to grab my flabby overhang and make 'jokey' comments about it. They're shocked to see me, someone who has always been slim actually carrying weight. I'm glad they find it so amusing because I bloody well don't. There are lots of things I could critisise about them if I was that way inclined but I would never dream of being so personal.

Birdsgottafly Mon 27-Jan-14 14:17:11

The main thing that I hate about threads like this is it starts off about overweight people and then interchanges with Obese people.

There is a big difference in carrying extra weight and being obese.

The recent research, once again showed that as long as you are "fat and fit", you are in no risk of disease or some health conditions.

The key is activity levels and fitness, whether you are thin or carrying body fat.

Obesity is something different.

I thought that this thread might be about the new research.

I agree with what you are saying, but I think that some women do genuinely struggle to maintain a medically correct weight.

Emotional over eating is a symptom and carrying body fat is an outward sign of that.

OpalQuartz Mon 27-Jan-14 14:18:38

Good post OP

Dawndonnaagain Mon 27-Jan-14 14:20:26

“Is 'fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is 'fat' worse than 'vindictive', 'jealous', 'shallow', 'vain', 'boring' or 'cruel'? Not to me.”
JK Rowling.

WichitaLineman Mon 27-Jan-14 14:20:51

I agree. I have been reasonably slim and had the same compulsions and self loathing. I am now obese.

The fat is the symptom and it could just as easily be drugs or alcohol (although I do think that compulsive overeating tends to be the drug of choice for people pleasers and codependents).

Being overweight because you like food, or you occasionally overeat out of enjoyment is totally different. I hate food but I can't stop eating.

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 14:22:07

Birds - We virtually all do things that are bad for our health for a variety of reasons. The OP explained a reason why many people are fat or obese. And you have to comment with your stupid health issue that everyone knows about.

Do you post on threads about anorexia - well being underweight is bad for your health.....?

Just listen to the OP and think about the real issue instead of posting the usual trite stuff people say.

SkinnybitchWannabe Mon 27-Jan-14 14:22:37

I am a compulsive overeater and am very slowly learning that food is not a comforter or a friend (if that makes sense).
Ive tried every single 'diet' there is. I've bought pills off the internet and attempted bulimia at one point.
I even tried to cut the fat off my stomach once when I was about 15 years old.
Im the stereotypical smiling bubbly fat girl but inside I was slowly dying.
I have a heart condition that I'm on medication for.
I am losing weight, 4 stone last year hoping for the same again this year. It is a daily battle to stop having a complete binge.
I really wish those people who say 'just stop eating crap' could live a day in my head.

Technically you don't have to be too overweight to be deemed obese - it just means you are 20% over what you should weigh so say if you are meant to weigh 10 stone but weigh 12 then you are obese....ridiculous but true.

I do agree OP but it goes the other way too........I am following a really strict gym regime at the moment as for me it is the only way I can control what I eat. I am an all or nothing person, starve or binge although currently I am being ok and healthy. I get comments like, you are too thin, your face looks too small, oooh look at your muscles, don't you ever eat....and it is very tiring.

So really, fat, thin, short, tall, we all get ridiculous comments so what matters is how we process and deal with them. I just grow a thick skin.

Birdsgottafly Mon 27-Jan-14 14:28:48

"And you have to comment with your stupid health issue that everyone knows about."

Try reading what I have written.

I write the same in every "fat" thread, being overweight isn't that much of a health risk.

I was pre-empting all the "what about your health" posts that are about to follow.

Health isn't dictated by body size, that was my point, as said to pre-empt the usual "fat shamers".

The distinction needs to be made between obesity and overweight. It keeps threads on track, most are pointless and go round in circles, otherwise.

I have just gone from the obese category to overweight after leaving an abusive relationship.

Try reading posts properly and think about what is written, rather than assume.

Rooners Mon 27-Jan-14 14:29:24

I always feel awful reading a comment that attacks people who overeat.

I say this as an anorexic since childhood, who used to overeat as well - it's a different side of the same coin.

I am very LUCKY to be at a stable weight now but many people are not so lucky.

Having said that I don't agree with the sense of fullness being satisfying that is described in the OP. To me that would be terrifying.

Maybe that's why I went to the other extreme.

It is never as simple as eating less for someone with a weight problem, but that's because it isn't about the food.

WichitaLineman Mon 27-Jan-14 14:30:43

Well done skinny - I hope you are getting emotional help too?

I have been in a residential treatment facility for addicts but still struggle daily. Having spent months with, and developed deep enduring friendships with heroin addicts, compulsive gamblers, sex addicts amongst others, the most pervasive and difficult to treat addictions were always the eating disorders. We have to live with our drug of choice every single day and it is exhausting...

I do function, and have loving relationships including a fantastic, understanding husband and wonderful kids, so I don't mean to come across as self-pitying. I would just like people to try to empathise with how soul destroying this is. I do everything I possibly can to try to ensure my kids have healthy self-esteem and don't feel the need to medicate their feelings, but it scares the shit out of me that they may have to suffer this too.

Rooners Mon 27-Jan-14 14:31:30

Grennie wasn't that a bit uncalled for - I for one didn't have a clue that Birds had any sort of health issue.

I'm sure it isn't relevant even if I did. Or if other people did. Which most of us probably didn't.

<loses train of thought>

Birdsgottafly Mon 27-Jan-14 14:32:25

"And you have to comment with your stupid health issue that everyone knows about."

Just to add, a lot of people, especially on MN, don't understand weight and health, or health in general.

We get the same clap trap every weight discussion thread, about " the health risks" of being overweight.

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 14:33:55

My comment wasn't about bird and any health issue she may or may not have. My point was that psychological distress is the issue here, not physical health.

And sorry, but your comment did make me really angry.

WichitaLineman Mon 27-Jan-14 14:35:04

With respect, Betty, I don't think you really understand what I am trying to convey. It is not about nasty comments about our weight.

There is a deep seated revulsion for the behaviour and the evidence of that behaviour - from ourselves and others. It is an illness, and it would be really, really nice if people could try and understand that.

Poloholo Mon 27-Jan-14 14:35:29

Caitlin Moran has a great piece in her book which you can also find here

WaffilyVersatile Mon 27-Jan-14 14:37:40

I am 5ft6 and my weight in the last 12 years (and 2 kids) has gone from 10st to 17st. I am utterly ashamed of how unfit I am - I actually don't care too much about how I look probably because I haven't felt like myself in so long that I have stopped looking.
Since being obese I found that its not just you who stops looking, other people don't seem to see me, if I speak in a group I have to speak up and even then I am not necessarily paid attention to. I think that people really do see those of a certain weight as almost a second class citizen.

I found out recently that I am expecting a baby so for me the game has been completely changed. I have started forcing myself to walk by either leaving the car at home or parking further away. I have downsized my plate and am now eating little and often (this is not just about my weight but also the sickness!) in a bid to make myself a little healthier. I don't have a plan to diet while pregnant but I want to make sure that I am doing all I can for my baby. I might not feel like I am worth the effort but its not about me now.

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