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Struggling to Change
August 1, 2001
10:25 am
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juliet1
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I am a woman in my late 30's who has been grossly obese since I was about 8 years old. About 8 years ago I began therapy, and learned that my obesity was a way of coping with molestation I suffered as a child. I now carry so much excess weight on my body that it's as if I am two people. I came to learn that this soft, warm layer of fat was a barrier between me and those I perceived might try to harm me. Then, in my adult life, it became a barrier that suitors had to navigate in order to prove that they truly loved me. I hope this makes sense. . .

Anyway, I have come to realize, very recently, that this extra person is no longer necessary. I don't need protection from child molesters, and I am at a point in my life where I don't want any barriers between me and those with whom I seek intimacy (and I don't mean sexual intimacy). I have secretly begun an exercise program, and am feeling really good about moving forward to make this change.

Yet, there is a big part of me that is grieving. Almost like I'm going through a divorce or something. And in a way I feel guilty because I have come to believe that if I am to ever fully achieve self-love, that I must love this other person, this protective layer of fat, that is so much a part of me.

How do I reconcile my self-love with the knowledge that it's time to make this big change for my self-esteem, and for my health?

August 1, 2001
1:36 pm
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eve
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try it gently šŸ™‚

Congrats to the exercise program!
When I quit smoking (I did it whith a book), I painted a bright and clear picture of *eve the nonsmoker* in my mind, before I even started to believe that I really could stop smoking. So when I finally somked the last cigarette the external *eve* just followed the picture of myself in my mind. I had tried before to stop smoking by telling myself how bad it was for my health, how stupid .... it didn't work, just made me feel bad about myself.

I think you're doing the right thing: change your mind - your life will follow šŸ™‚

August 1, 2001
1:50 pm
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westin
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I once saw a quote and it went something like this: "Do as you have always done and you will have what you have always had." How does that make you feel inside? When I read it, it really sparked something inside of me. I thought "Hey! That's right!" And I began to dream of the possiblities.

Maybe it would help to make a list of everything you've ever wanted to do, but were unable to, because your physical size held you back. Maybe you've always secretly wanted to be a runner. Maybe there's a new roller coaster ride at a local amusement park you've been dying to ride, but you haven't been able to because of the restraints. A whole world of opportunity awaits, and there are so many things you can open yourself to if you will only allow yourself to let go of the past. That includes the way you look, too!

Change is very difficult, and we tend to resist it as much as possible. But once you've stepped out of your comfort zone, you'll discover so many beautiful things you've never even known about yourself! I wish you the best of luck...and a healthy life, too!

August 3, 2001
2:11 am
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damaged
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I think what you are doing is great!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just remember one day at a time. Don't rush it and by all means get you a support group, friends,family etc... Please keep us updated on your progress. Change is very difficult!!!!!! I know I am going through big changes in my life also and It is very hard.

August 3, 2001
3:27 pm
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cool
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i just found this sight by scanning the net. I see all of the problems everyone has had and that the reality of change is there but one must make the effort to due so. My wife had an affair about 7 years ago. I found her sleeping with the neighbor. Since that time theres not a day that goes by that i don't hurt or doesn't enter my mind and i am really sick. I love her and forgive her but it is so hard. I look at her and see his face and my emotions of anger and hatered get the best ot me. I no longer feel the same about her as before something tremndously has died in my heart for her. I guess through all these years i was filling sorry for myself and was afraid to let go. Ater doing alot of soul serching and realizing that we are humans prone to error, i must look within my heart and see my own faults. I am not the first nor the last that will have serious trama be it emotional or physical in this life. It is how we handle it. I realize that I have to let go of something I thought would last forever if i am going to be free from this anger and hatred that overcomes. I must react in a positive way and make a determination that i can and will make it on my own. As for trusting women it will be hard but must continue to learn from life be it good or bad and know that I am not the first nor the last.

August 3, 2001
3:48 pm
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Cici
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juliet -

I feel for you, from the bottom of my heart. Recently, I was in therapy for anxiety and depression. After about four months the therapist tried to probe into my past history of molestation, as well as the rapes I had suffered as a teenager. I immediately left therapy, and sunk into a deep and dark depression. I began experiencing flashbacks, the worst ever in my life, and it was as if I had just been raped.

I went the other route in reaction to the assaults on my sexuality. I became extremely hyper-sexual, as a way to avoid intimacy. I used sexual liasons as a way to feel in control. It was only after I married, which coincided with me ending therapy, that I began to actually deal with my issues.

Understand that when you begin the healing process, you can sometimes re-experience the trauma that you endured as a child. Mixed in with that is fear and anger and sometimes a little self-hatred. We bury these feelings deep, deep, deep within us. So deep, that we can take that emotional energy adn convince ourselves that it is due to something else.

Losing the weight is not only a move for better self-esteem and lowering the barriers to intimacy, it's also about letting go of the walls that have for so long protected you from the unnameable fear that you felt as a child.

I'm currently reading a great book on Survivor therapy. Just look it up on the web and you'll find a host of info. You are a Survivor, and the journey will be painful, but always try to keep things in perspective.

August 5, 2001
11:54 am
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juliet1
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Thank you all very much for your kind responses to my post. I would like to let you all know what I have been doing with the hope that there might be someone else out there who can benefit. Some of it might sound looney, but it's working for me so far. . .

Every night when I go to bed I make it a point to touch the fattest parts of my body and thank the part of me that worked so hard to protect me from hurt. Rather than have an attitude that I want to "lose" this part of myself, I'm focusing more on the idea that I want to absorb or integrate this part of me into who I am. When I shower, or before I dress, I make it a point to be aware of my body and thank it for all the wonderful things it's done for me. After all, though I'm very obese, I have always been able to get around and have remained in remarkably good health despite the physical punishment of carrying around so much weight.

I'm trying to focus on being thankful for all the things I learned by being fat. It taught me a lot about people and relationships both romantic and platonic. My fat also taught me a lot about intimacy, and my own fears and insecurities.

Thank you all again for caring enough to share your insights and encouragements. I appreciate you very much!

August 6, 2001
12:20 pm
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janes
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How very wise you are....I am impressed and amazed.....
Juliet...you are super and superb..heavy or not...

Keep it up and I am sure since you have internet access you can also access health/exercise sites.

You Go!!!

August 6, 2001
9:19 pm
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Anonymous
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hiya juliet1

just wanted to let you know I'm pulling for you too! I'm sure anyone who has ever tried to make any kind of change knows how hard it is - and is cheering you on as well. Keep us posted on how things are going and what you are doing to make this change! I admire you for what you are doing.

is this what they call phase 2?

=)

August 7, 2001
2:41 pm
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juliet1
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Hi everyone! Westin, I was wanting to tell you before how you hit home with me. I remember how much I loved to run before I got heavy. And my weight has been the only reason I haven't taken my two children to amusement parks like Disneyland! You reminded me of more reasons to do this valuable piece of self-actualization!

Everyone here has had so much insight and encouragement for me. It feels so good! I appreciate that everyone can offer so much support so freely. It makes me feel loved and special, which I guess is something that I need right now.

I'm still exercising everyday, and I can feel my body changing in ways I never expected. And most remarkably, not just my body is changing but my mind as well. I feel like I love myself more and more each and every day. Even though I don't feel I'm losing weight, I'm not concerned about it. I'm just glad to be doing something new and different.

Thanks again, to everyone, for supporting me in Phase 2 of my process. I appreciate you all so very much!

August 7, 2001
6:40 pm
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janes
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THANK YOU!!!!!

So wonderful to hear you be so positive!!!

August 22, 2001
5:49 pm
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juliet1
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Hello everyone!

I just came from a little vacation and I feel so great! I'm sticking with my exercise program, and have been working hard with my journal and mental exercises.

I have been taking some time to focus on my creative side and that has been helpful to me. Also, I am evaluating relationships I have with people and trying to make decisions in my best interest, I think for the first time ever.

That's it for the update. I hope everyone who responded to me also is doing well. Thanks everyone!

August 22, 2001
6:05 pm
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retard
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Keep going Dont stop until fully happy with yourself and life!

August 22, 2001
6:24 pm
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222
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August 22, 2001
6:53 pm
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222
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Hey Everyone,

I went through a similar awakining a fews years ago. I was about 385 lbs and 28 yrs old. i was miserable. I went the extreme way when I decided I did't want to be in hiding anymore. I had my stomach stapled. I now weigh 130 lbs and look and feel great!! All I can say is do whatever you can to make yourself happy. Don't let anything get you down and pursue all your options. Good Luck!!

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