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Why am I fat?

(68 Posts)
Witch25 Tue 13-Feb-18 15:14:56

Well the simply answer is that I need to eat less and move more. Right, easy as that. Yet if it's that simple then why is there a million pound industry around weight loss?

Most people who have a significant amount of weight to lose and who have no medical conditions that cause them to gain weight have probably tried endless "diets" in the past. Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Low Carb, 5:2, etc, chances are they have tried them all. And they have probably lost weight on them. And as stats show, a high percentage gain all the weight and more back again within a year.

I think overeating is a mindset. It is a condition that affects certain people and it is something that has never even had an affect on others who have never had weight issues. People who are overweight eat to excess of "bad" foods. It is an addiction like drink or drugs. Overindulging must cause people to feel good/get a high at the time or else they wouldn't do it. Overweight people eat because they are sad, happy, bored, lonely, having a good time out with friends, eating a meal with a partner etc.

Through following posts on MN I have seen how fat people are hated on here. Let's not dress it up, most posts end up being taken down because it turns nasty and abusive. The attitude is "don't come whinging to me fatty, just stop shoving cake in your pie-hole". Society as a whole dislike people who are overweight and studies have shown that they are passed over for promotions at work, ignored in a group etc. And yet even though there is a palpable dislike for people who are overweight, we see obesity levels increasing in the UK.

TL:DR
So I was wondering if we could have a discussion around the mindset that causes people to be overweight and what can society do about this? Should GPs be offering CBT rather than Slimming World vouchers?

Pythoness Tue 13-Feb-18 15:22:46

Eat fewer carbohydrates

Atalune Tue 13-Feb-18 15:51:28

I think that’s a great question.

If you overeat or are an emotional eater, do you think those habits are formed in childhood?

I’m vain and I’m disciplined about what I eat. I had home cooked meals at home and a mum who was very body positive and never ever made a negative remark about how I looked or what I ate. I think that has give me a solid foundation on healthy eating.

Witch25 Tue 13-Feb-18 16:15:09

Good point about habits being formed in childhood. Again most people who struggle with their weight find that this is something that has affected them since their teens. You are generally (again bar medical conditions) not slim all your life to suddenly be 6 stone overweight in your 30s or 40s. It does happen obviously but it is usually the exception. So it is lifelong habits that have been formed that need addressing rather than a quick fix solution.

Witch25 Tue 13-Feb-18 16:19:12

I do think the successful dieting plans work because the person who is addicted to food becomes addicted to the plan. And those who keep the weight off stay addicted to the plan. But I think it is fair to say that these people who maintain the weight loss still battle with it and if they slip they do find themselves back in those bad habits.

But I think that none of these plans actually address the emotional side of overeating. Maybe we should sit in a circle and say Hello My name is Witch and I'm a fatso grin

Mookatron Tue 13-Feb-18 16:21:19

I feel like it's the same as any other self destructive behaviour, it's just not cool like cigarettes or drugs, sociable like drinking, and is currently seen as the least attractive thing possible (it's no unhealthier than any of the others).

It starts from self hatred so people telling you how shit and horrible you are doesn't help.

I also find the 'before' and 'after' culture of weight loss stuff really upsetting - like the person before was a terrible, disgusting person but the new one is acceptable/wonderful.

FinallyHere Tue 13-Feb-18 16:22:39

One approach which might help is eating less

Mookatron Tue 13-Feb-18 16:23:06

So, yes, GPS should be sending people to CBT. And if I could have someone round my house to tell me how to do food with kids - not WHAT they ought to be eating (that's easy to find out), but how to foster a healthy relationship with food - I would pay them ££££.

TheHolidayArmadillo Tue 13-Feb-18 16:37:31

It's all well and good coming along with helpful replies like "eat less carbs" etc, but it doesn't get to the root of the problem. I think that long term weight-loss requires a serious change in mindset. I'm doing the 5:2 approach (started this week) because I know that I need something that doesn't require long term "sacrifice". I have to undo a lifetime of programming around sugar consumption/"treat" vs "healthy" foods etc.

Interesting question, OP!

DottyDotts Tue 13-Feb-18 21:53:32

For me it stems from childhood. My Mother was a dieter who also had disordered eating. She controlled my food intake and I wasnt allowed anything other than what she gave me so I never learnt to eat when I was hungry but had to eat when she allowed me to. I grew up with my own disordered eating patterns which have caused much self hatred most of my life for not being the size I feel I should be to appease her.
Alot of women I have spoken to have been serial dieters who feel that it was their first diet that started them on this binge/diet merry go round.
What helped me was learning about mindful eating/eating like a slim person that led me to understand my own eating pattern.
I now eat what I want, when Im hungry, eat whatever I want, (which is usually lots of veg, fruit, meat etc with treats when i want it) and stop when I am feeling satisfied.

AwayAndStuffYourself Tue 13-Feb-18 22:01:16

I'm fat. Have been for many years. When I have eaten less and moved more I have lost weight slowly but steadily and kept it off. When I have switched to eating more and moving less I have slowly but steadily gained. It's tiresome, but it is unfortunately true. I'm not denying the psychological component, it's very real, and for me too, but the physical component that I've described above is just as real, but we don't seen to believe that any more and I think we suffer for it. By the way, you don't have to overeat bad food to gain weight. You just have to overeat. Makes no difference in that sense what you are actually eating.Nutritionally it does, of course, make a difference.

thisgirlrides Tue 13-Feb-18 22:25:06

I had home-cooked food as a child and don't ever remember my parents commenting on my size as a child. I was never fat as a child but much bigger than my naturally very slim/small mum & sister. I don't have any emotional issues, no MH problems, a very happy and stable home life but overeat. The only reason I'm not massively overweight is because I exercise. I eat mainly through habit or boredom or because I like the food. I honestly don't think there's any big underlying issue other than greed & lack of willpower.

Singingtherapy Thu 15-Feb-18 15:05:43

I actually believe that dieting is one of the main causes of obesity. There's lots of research on the psychology of deprivation - how depriving yourself of something makes you want it way more. I often think that if morbid obesity suddenly became fashionable and I needed to put on 3 stone in order to feel good about myself, I'd lose all interest in overeating! I agree that weight problems are far less understood and receive far less sympathy than any other addictions or compulsions. To me telling a fat person to eat less cake is like telling a smoker to stop putting cigarettes in their mouth and lighting them.

Bluntness100 Thu 15-Feb-18 15:18:48

I think it's just very complex Because each person is different in terms of what causes them to overeat. There is no one answer. The only universal truths are, it's easy to do, it's easy to eat whatever you fancy whenever you fancy. It's much harder not to.

ppeatfruit Thu 15-Feb-18 15:27:15

Yes Bluntness There is no one answer I don't agree that most posters are unpleasant on here about being OW . Most of us are. even a bit OW and there are very supportive threads.

ppeatfruit Thu 15-Feb-18 15:29:06

Also it is an obesogenic society , just go and look in any supermarket or food shop and the amount of fattening rubbish the sell is incredible!!!

ppeatfruit Thu 15-Feb-18 15:29:35

Sorry "they' sell grin

DarkDarkNight Thu 15-Feb-18 15:31:15

I used to use food as an emotional crutch, I am trying to break that habit. I used to go to the shop on my way home from school and buy a bag of crisps and a bar of chocolate. It was my reward for getting through a day when my 'friends' constantly went off without me and I felt isolated and alone. On weekends when everyone at school was out socialising and I never got invited anywhere I had takeaway pizza and cake. Alongside this I had periods of severely restricting my food intake, that was an emotional response to my loneliness too, just in another form.

I wish I didn't have this emotional relationship with food, I wish I didn't view it as a way to make myself feel better.

I think if you don't struggle with your weight you will find it hard to understand the issue. People who overeat are seen as greedy, it is not always that simple. A lot of people don't understand that you can use food in the way other people use alcohol or drugs, and that it can be just as destructive and damaging and hard to control.

Bluntness100 Thu 15-Feb-18 15:32:32

Ehrm, ok, what is the one answer that causes everyone who over eats to over eat then?

KateGrey Thu 15-Feb-18 15:34:08

I have a love hate relationship with food. I love it. It hates me. I’m about four stone overweight and not proud. I know eating better would help but it’s an emotional thing. I have a lot of stressors in my life that I can’t remove. My parents are both overweight and I think some of my habits are ingrained from them. I’ve always battled with my weight and it has had a huge impact on my life. For some like my dh it’s fuel plain and simple for me it’s more than that.

ppeatfruit Thu 15-Feb-18 15:35:30

I do find that eating very sweet food seems to create a need\ or craving for salty food too, the manufacturers know it!

Bluntness100 Thu 15-Feb-18 15:36:31

Sorry ppeat I misread you.

DarkDarkNight Thu 15-Feb-18 15:38:03

What thisgirlrides says rings true as well. I love all the stuff that is bad for me, and sometimes get a little bit sick of denying myself all the time.

ItsAllABitStrangeReally Thu 15-Feb-18 15:40:51

My son has put on a large amount of weight due to the anti psychotic meds he takes.

The annoying thing is he pretty much lives off veggie bean chilli (( with salad )) has a good and varied diet. He only drinks water or black coffee at home but will have coke if we go out. He makes good choices and.likes real food, he doesn't lie inn The sofa all day mainlining pizzas.

He struggles doing high tempo exercise, we have to make sure his adrenaline doesn't surge too high as this can lead to a violent outburst. But we get him out daily and he walks at least 12000 steps daily. It's bloody annoying, and meds aside I think metabolism / genetics must play some part.

ppeatfruit Thu 15-Feb-18 15:42:10

There is no one answer but the way I lost 3 stone (which gradually crept on even with the healthy food I usually ate!) and am maintaining is with Paul Mackenna ,He really does address the emotional aspect clearly and effectively.

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