Saturday, March 27, 2010

I Want To Be Fat

I had a little exercise I was doing with myself last month. I typed it in a file on my computer and thought I'd blog about it sometime. I have a lot of files like that...

Anyway, my thought process in the file was to finish the sentence:

"I want to be fat because..."
"I like being fat because..."

Can you do it? Can you finish the sentences? Because often we have conscious or subconscious reasons for NOT losing weight. Maybe it's fear. Yeah, actually, it's almost always fear. Fear of the unknown (thinness, a different "life" once the weight is gone), fear of attention from men, fear of becoming a different person. Some of the thoughts I had were:

I want to be fat because then no one expects much of me.
I want to be fat because men don't bother me and I don't have to worry about controlling myself or getting hurt by the wrong guy.
I like being fat because then I have an excuse to sit and do nothing, since it hurts to move and takes too much effort.
I want to be fat because no one can pick me up and kidnap me or hold me against my will.
I like being fat because I don't have to worry about fashion. I just wear stretch pants and t-shirts.
I want to be fat because I like eating whatever I want.
I want to be fat because it makes it easy to withdraw into myself.
I like being fat because I don't have to set any goals for myself.
I want to be fat because I don't really know how to be anything else and I am scared to find out.

Well, it's been awhile since I had those thoughts. I remember feeling a mild sense of uneasiness or even anxiety when I thought about getting under 200 pounds and starting to be a more "average" weight. I don't mean skinny, I mean just getting to the point where I don't stand out in every crowd as a fat chick. I even wondered if maybe I really didn't *want* to lose much more weight, but I had to keep trying because my health was suffering. My joints were almost destroyed to the point of needing a cane to walk, and then soon after I would need total knee replacements (said the orthopedic surgeon). So I kept trying to lose weight even though part of me was hesitant and afraid.

But you know what? When I sat down just now to write this and tried to reach deep down for my answers to "I want to be fat because...", well, I just couldn't find any. I don't have any reasons I want to be fat anymore. I don't know WHAT has changed in me so much over the last month, but I finally *do* feel ready to drop the weight. I am not afraid. I am ready!


Megan said...

I am so proud of you and really admire your diligence and insight. I'm so excited for you that you are at this amazing point. Congrats.

Kyle Gershman said...

Even before getting to the bottom of your post, I couldn't think of any reasons either.

I used to have my rationales (not reasons) I used to have my little pick-me-ups about being good at other things besides being healthy.

I know that it was all a smoke-screen...that I wanted something I didn't think I could have...and now I am getting it.

We are ready!

Niki said...

Wow! That's a great exercise, and can be very healing. You're doing GREAT! As I read yours I thought, "My reasons are really the same". Fear is a very powerful thing. When I first lost the 100 pounds I was scared to death. I think I cried more about the weight I had lost than being fat. No one could really understand. People would tell me how great I was looking and I would just cringe inside. They would ask me how it felt and I would always say "Bitter sweet". Now 30 of it has crept back on. I'm still healing. Losing weight is so much more (IMHO) about stuff on the inside rather than food. I think once we heal that part on the inside everything else, including the food more easily falls into place. Congrats on all your success sweetie!!! Much peace to you!

Margie M. said...

Awesome post. Delving into the "why's" of these things can help bring us around to our goals. "why" would we want to be fat? Good question. I like this exercise you've given your readers.

Have a good weekend!

Margie M. writes at:

Project 55 said...

I have 171 blogs in my google reader (and very rarely comment!) Up until about a month ago I had my favourites that I would read first when I have less time during the week and then a whole slew of others that I would catch up on the weekends.

That same fire that has recently sparked in you and made you realise that you're ready to lose the weight is SO evident in your posts - so much so that you're now one of the first blogs I look at.

It's amazing to watch and what's even more amazing is that I seem to be overcoming some of the same hurdles with feelings and cravings alongside. I still can't tell if it's as a result of reading your blog or if it's coincidence and that's what's drawing me to your posts but either way, thank you and I look forward to seeing the rest of the journey.


Autumnforest said...

That's a good exercise. Not being fat is kinda like having your first baby... You don't know what "skinny" life is like, but you see people seeming to be happy in it just like when you don't have a kid yet, you notice your friends seem to love having kids. You wonder if maybe you don't have that "thing" inside you that would make you a good parent and when you're fat you don't know if you have that "thing" inside you that would make you a good skinny person. The truth is, until that baby is in your arms, you never imagined you'd suddenly become a mother. When you're skinny, you suddenly live up to it. It's an intuition lying dormant, just like being a mommy.

Anonymous said...

I want to be fat to prove fatness is not a horrible thing.

I want to be fat so I can say Screw You to cultural expectations about my female body.

I want to be fat because it shows I am alive.

I want to be fat because I am beautiful when I'm fat.

I want to be fat because people keep away from me.

I want to be fat because my fat helps me be invisible when I'm in public.

I want to be fat to be a nonconformist.

I like being fat because it fills out my skin.

I like being fat because I'm not cold all the time.

I like being fat because it gives me weight in the world.

I like being fat because I love myself the way I am...fat.

I like to be fat because I like being round and soft rather than angular and poky.

I want to be fat because I prefer society's disapproval rather than its approval.

I want to be fat because I enjoy life more when I'm not obsessing about food restriction and exercise.

I want to be fat because I don't want to spend my life on a diet or in the gym.

I want to be fat because then I never have to fear getting fat.

Kelly L said...

Good post - more than anything -it's important to be healthy.. Fat people (including myself,here) are more likely to die from diseases caused from obesity - diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc.
so here's to getting healthy..

Love to you

Seren_Sighs said...

I have the Gene Roth book about compulsive eating which has a similar exercise. I'm lucky that my compulsive eating is mild and normally comes from being too restrictive in calories or being too obsessive.

But I have thought about if there is a reason why I want to be overweight. Sometimes I feel like there might be but I can never quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it's just because it's what I know and being lazy and overweight is easy and a part of my identity (or it was anyways), and I'm just trying to come up with a better answer. I haven't been thin since I was a child and I've never really gotten past the point of being just slightly overweight. You know, no one would call me fat but no one would really call me thin either.

As I become healthier and more active I think I have less desire to be overweight. I think easing into being healthy and fit has really helped me get used to the idea.

I'm really happy for you. I am sure it was hard in a way to go onto medifast since it was technically different from what you were advocating. But this shows that you really know what's best for yourself and that you should definitely trust your instincts, no matter what anyone says or thinks. The break from thinking about food has obviously really helped you work through the emotions involved in weight loss even more than you had.

Jer said...

Congrats!! You're going to do this! You really are! I love this post.

Christine said...

Excellent post and so thought-provoking. Thank you for getting me started thinking.

Stacey K said...

awesome post and a great mental exercise! Congrats on getting to the point where you can't finish the sentence!

Fat Grump said...

Someone above mentioned in a list that being fat 'makes you invisible.' I have found the opposite.

I was a pretty woman..and in my youth a was slimmish..not thin, but certainly not overweight. Then I got lots and lots of attention, from women who'd look me up and down as well as men. I was shy though and quite self-conscious.

Now I am older I am even more self-conscious. The only looks I get...and I imagine/know I get lots when I walk into a room, when I am eating in a restaurant etc, are looks of contempt or of disgust. I am far from being invisible, yet I wish I could be at times like that.

Being overweight I want to hide away. I am not sure if this happens to most fat people, but I find I am not taken so seriously. I am invisible in that respect. I do think some others see overweight people as slobs, with no self-control, complete coach potatoes not worthy of compassion.

That's a good exercise Lyn. There is no real reason I want to remain overweight, other than having the desire to stay in my comfort zone.

SarahRachel said...

Hmm...very thought provoking. Being overweight to me has been an issue of disagreeing with "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels." =) I just found lots of yummy things that tasted better than being thin. You're doing a WONDERFUL job! =)

rmslil said...

Have to try that exercise very soon.

Julie, The Accidental Fat Chick said...

Wow! I love this post. This is an exercise we should all do! Its very eye-opening to think about it.

I gave you an award on my blog today! You totally deserve it!! :)

jules said...

great post. I was having the very same thoughts recently - found a couple of good reasons not to lose weight.
And they do make sense. in a way. I was struggling a lot with my feelings after a big loss in one week, expecting to be delighted by the loss but it just left me totally scared and feeling so vulnerable. I tried to find something about that on the internet and found this article:

''shedding the extra weight is like removing your protective armor. The fat suit you wear is a good blocker between you and the world around you.''

It all makes perfect sense, and the article gave me a deeper understanding of why I was fat in the first place.

BUT - once I got through this feeling of vulnerability and feeling exposed I just enjoy my lighter body these days. The PRO-reasons for losing weight just *weigh a lot more* than those not to.

This excercise you did helps a great deal to understand oneself in order to proceed!

let me say this again: great post!

Semiramis said...

I did this excersise a few years ago and revisit it now and again, the most difficult thing for me was facing up to the fact that a number of people used to like me more when I was fat and easygoing. Now that I have stopped drinking alcohol and started working out 6 days a week I am not so much fun and I make some people uncomfortable. It is a lifestye I really enjoy but it was hard to come to terms with the fact that I am not considered to be good company in the same way. This only applies to the working place, not to good friends and family but it is surpricingly hurtful.

moonduster said...

Woohoo! I can't wait to be congratulating you on reaching the healthy weight you are trying for! I know you will do it, and I am so pleased to see you on the road there already! :)

Anonymous said...

i have lost oh around 70 pounds in the last 9 months, and i have found one or two days lately i crave to be fat again, as i was invisible.

now ppl notice me, ppl talk to me more instead of directing talk to someone beside me, ppl listen for my view which scares the hell out of me... is my view or opinion worth telling...

oh its so hard lately to be skinnier (still have about 25 pounds to go) and i am finding it emotionally painful to learn to live again as a different person

i wish we could put on and take off fat like a dinner jacket, just for those days when we feel like hiding in the corner and avoiding life.


PhluffyPrincess said...

No ma'am, I cannot think of a single thing that I like about being fat! But I understand the exercise and am glad you no longer have those thoughts.

Anonymous said...

i like being fat because it means i am a failure anyway so don't have any expectations to live up to

i like being fat because it means i have given up on myself, so you should too

Anonymous said...

^should have read.

i like being fat because it means i have given up on myself, so you should give up on me too

Larkspur said...

Oh, totally.

I'd get to keep my pretty clothes.

Getting hit by volleyballs doesn't hurt :)

I am not physically afraid of other people or big dogs.

Eating and exercise is easier.

I don't get scrutinized in a bathing suit & become aware of all my flaws.

If it weren't for prediabetes, I don't think I would have lost weight. But I have to admit I'm sure happy I did.

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

I never did that exercise when I was 300 pounds, but your list is very similar to mine, if I'd have done one, and even now - 5 years later - I remember how it felt as if I still were 300 pounds. Great post, Lyn.

Three said...

I could have written that same list. Very thoughtful and insightful. I always cringe when I hear a thin person say that they cannot understand who anyone could let themselves get to the point of obesity, but there are more reasons than we ever admit out loud, let alone to ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I am an incest and abuse survivor. It was bad enough to never feel safe at home as a child. Then, as soon as I hit puberty, the sexual harassment in the rest of the world (my former *safe haven*) began relentlessly. I remember wanting to just disappear. I never got used to the intrusions into my privacy whether I was at home or in public. When I became an adult and left home, the harassment didn't stop. Maybe if I had been taught to be assertive and strong as a woman then I could have endured the unwanted attention with less discomfort or I could have been braver about telling men to F-off.

The attention to my body continued when I became pregnant with my first child, but it was a different kind of attention, of course, and it didn't leave me feeling icky and ashamed. I lost the pregnancy weight after that baby's birth and the other sexual crap started all over again.

After the second child, I kept the weight on...not really on purpose, but I realize now that I didn't get the unwanted attention as much. Later, when I eventually became obese, I found I could accept and deal with our culture's criticism of my fat body much easier than I could deal with our culture's obsession with my female sexual form. Being obese makes it easier to be in public. I feel safer.

Tamzin said...

I want to be fat so I never have to worry about getting fat, I already am.

That is the biggest fear - all the attention and great feelings that come with losing and feeling better...and then feeling that all slip away under the crushing weight of fat...again. :(

Thank you for making me think abouth this today. It was a good exercise for the brain that I've never done.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Lyn -- you need to write a book!

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

Love this post so much as I have been struggling lately. I binged, and binged, and than my friend said to me that she talks through her cravings with being positive, she deserves to eat well, she worked too hard to take the weight off, etc, I never took it from that standpoint. I'd binge and beat myself up - rinse and repeat. This post and my friends way of thinking really hit home for me.

Anonymous said...

I'm struggling with this sentence because while I have an answer, it doesn't really fit.

I want to be fat so I don't have to weigh and measure my food and can just eat what appeals to me.

But I do NOT want to be fat. I do want food freedom, but not at the expense of being fat.

happyfunpants said...

This was one of the most powerful posts I've read in a long time.

I have a lot of thinking to do about what you wrote...because to be totally honest, I'm not sure that I have as hard of a time completing that sentence as you do...


TheLosingAmerican said...

I'm late to respond to this post...but gosh darnit, I, unfortunately, CAN find a TON of things things to fit into those sentences at the moment....

I still find myself becoming nervous and anxious whenever I lose weight...always wanting to 'run backwards.'

Obviously becoming more aware of this is helping me, but still....very frustrating !!! Wish I knew what the magical secret was to getting over this. Everything else in my life is going so well at the moment, just can't figure this tiny bit out!!