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Feeling a bit bummed-pondering what WL means



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I shouldn't just say today-in general I dislike this train of thought:

I'd be lying if I said that years and years, the better part of a lifetime, of social constructs has affected both how I feel about myself and the way people have treated me.

I sometimes have the train of thought, that I shouldn't lose weight because I'd just be giving in to "societal pressures". That if I lose the weight, I'm not going to be able to tell who my real friends are, what someone's inner soul is like, or if men are really interested in me, or would have been if I was heavier.

The last time I was involved with someone, I weighed 150 lbs. (I got REALLY sick for about 6 months, this is not a normal weight for me). I looked darn good, despite being horribly unhappy in all ever venues, which would eventually lead to a 100lb weight gain. I wore a size 8 and wasn't skinny by any means, but fairly normal, not "fat" and nice curves. The guy I was involved with seemed to be really into super skinny women. and would add all these anime convention "models" or super tiny skinny chicks dressed up for comicon conventions. He also showed me his "favorite p**n star"-an incredibly skinny, rib showing bleach blonde woman. (The mere fact that he had this weird idealizations about fantasies and stereotypes should have been a red flag but I was dealing with other issues.) I finally asked him if he would find someone else more attractive simply because they were thinner. His response: "Not necessarily. I mean, maybe if you could lose 10lbs."

For frame of reference, here's a photo from me from that time period (in fact, was about 160 in this photo). I think I look fine (well, despite the goofy face), and I guess I just don't get why that's not enough? Or not considered thin enough or even fat.

Thank god-he's gone. But words like that haunt me because it reaffirms the concept that men will only want anorexic, fake looking women...and I will never be that. I don't want to. And I also don't want to lose weight because of comments like that. I want to be sure I'm doing this for myself, and I want to know I'll be able to cherry pick the true people from the bad when/if I start getting more attention.

*Sigh*

Screen Shot 2020-08-29 at 4.54.46 PM.png

Edited by Guest

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I spent a long time as a Health At Any Size (HAES) advocate, and still am. I questioned whether getting WLS was something a feminist should do. This article by Roxane Gay really helped me decide that if I wanted to intentionally lose weight, getting WLS was a valid choice, and probably the only thing that would work long term in my case. I wrote her a thank you email after my surgery and got a really nice response. Maybe the article will help you with your decision too.

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I won't get into the political side of weight loss or HAES, but I did want to say that he was one person, you seem to be judging all men on the attitude of one. Not all men want a skinny person, not all women want a lean and super fit person. I would think that there are many who just want a real person with a wonderful attitude in all things regardless of how that person looks or weighs.

It isn't hard to see who people are, those who choose others based solely on how they look....its in their words, their actions, how they treat others, and not making light of this but I can't tell you how many people I have unfriended on Facebook based on their posts/memes but its quite a few...it is to demonstrate that people can't help but show who they are. Sociopaths and narcissists may be an exception to that.

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I actually think you look great at that weight. I got really self-conscious when I got lower than that. I loved my collar bones showing, but when my ribs started showing, too, I was pretty embarrassed about it. I wouldn't wear low necklines then because you could see my ribs (can't anymore, though - I probably look similar to what you do in that picture)

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3 hours ago, JessLess said:

I spent a long time as a Health At Any Size (HAES) advocate, and still am. I questioned whether getting WLS was something a feminist should do. This article by Roxane Gay really helped me decide that if I wanted to intentionally lose weight, getting WLS was a valid choice, and probably the only thing that would work long term in my case. I wrote her a thank you email after my surgery and got a really nice response. Maybe the article will help you with your decision too.

This is perfect-thank you. Going to read it right now. I think you cued in on feminism, which is sort of what I was getting at.

Edited by Guest

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3 hours ago, Hop_Scotch said:

I won't get into the political side of weight loss or HAES, but I did want to say that he was one person, you seem to be judging all men on the attitude of one. Not all men want a skinny person, not all women want a lean and super fit person. I would think that there are many who just want a real person with a wonderful attitude in all things regardless of how that person looks or weighs.

It isn't hard to see who people are, those who choose others based solely on how they look....its in their words, their actions, how they treat others, and not making light of this but I can't tell you how many people I have unfriended on Facebook based on their posts/memes but its quite a few...it is to demonstrate that people can't help but show who they are. Sociopaths and narcissists may be an exception to that.

I'm actually of the belief this guy may have been a sociopath based on his actions. He didn't seem to have any real emotions, or be able to empathize or connect to anyone. (Except his core group of friends who all drank, did drugs and slept with each other.) I sadly think my self-esteem issues with my weight, at the time, made me believe I couldn't do better. It makes me sick now.

I feel like there has to be people with real expectations and attraction, but I have met far and few between. Maybe I've seriously been around some horrible/shallow/crappy/immature people-I'm trying to change that.

Thanks for the insight.

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42 minutes ago, catwoman7 said:

I actually think you look great at that weight. I got really self-conscious when I got lower than that. I loved my collar bones showing, but when my ribs started showing, too, I was pretty embarrassed about it. I wouldn't wear low necklines then because you could see my ribs (can't anymore, though - I probably look similar to what you do in that picture)

I do love a good collar bone-but I'm glad you found a healthy weight you felt comfortable in. I think as I get closer to my goal weight (fingers crossed) I'm going to really start working on my muscle groups so I look more toned than just skinny. I'm already physically feeling better, I can't imagine what strengthening would do to help.

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I know what you mean -- I hate the idea that the fat-haters of the world have shamed me into losing weight. I did it for my health, but now that I've gone through the surgery, I find myself anxious for a time that I will fit into society and not be "the fat lady." I'm so tired of being treated like a second-class citizen because of my weight and I can't help but think how nice it would be to look and be treated like a "normal" person for once in my life.

Being fat has sort of a built-in a-hole detector, and, well, there are a lot of a-holes. If a man is being nice to me, I know for sure it's not because he wants to get in my pants. And when I have a professional accomplishment, nobody thinks I used my feminine wiles to get an advantage. If I lose enough weight to look "normal," I will probably wonder about everyone I meet how they would have treated me at 300+ pounds. I've never had a boyfriend or even been asked out on a date (I guess the cool kids call it "talking" instead of "dating" now, but it doesn't make a difference to me), so I don't even know what I'll do if men start hitting on me once I lose enough weight.

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6 minutes ago, BigSue said:

so I don't even know what I'll do if men start hitting on me once I lose enough weight.

I was really worried about that because I HATED unwanted male attention when I was in my teens and 20s. But then I figured that since I'm now in my 60s, I probably won't get a lot of it. Whew. I don't (or not much, anyway - I got on Bumble once (the "BFF" mode because I'm married and thus, unavailable). I went over to the "Date" mode a couple of times out of curiosity and had a bunch of "likes". WTH??? I was pretty clear that I was married and not looking. Do these guys not read or...????)

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I used to date a man similar to your ex in my late teens-early 20s while I was at college. Over the course of that relationship I gained around 50 lbs, and ultimately he cheated on me and ghosted me shortly afterwards. I was a source of cash for him to buy weed and allegedly he only stuck it out for so long because he enjoyed leering at my roommates. This was similar to other relationships of mine at the time- I had no self-esteem, 'dated' people I met online, and eventually they got sick of me one way or another and simply stopped talking to me. All of this played into my lack of self-worth and lack of any effort in taking care of myself. I ended up dropping out of school and shutting myself off to the world for over a year.

That was over a decade ago, I've been in therapy to address this only recently and I wish I'd done it sooner. Therapy, having an accomplished career, and being in a relationship with one of the few truly good people I've met has helped me regain some confidence in myself. I see having the surgery as a sign that I'm ready to care about myself so I can be a better example and caretaker of my future children.

However I can already see the differences in how I'm treated, especially by my parents. They've historically blamed my obesity exclusively on my own laziness and lack of self-control... but I grew up with untreated depression and ADHD in a home without a real advocate for me, and I harbor a little resentment because of that. They never bothered to get to know me as an individual as my poor physical condition seemed to be their entire concern. Now, I receive calls weekly, they are interested in my life, inquisitive, telling me about their days... this is very foreign to me, and has been the toughest aspect to get used to so far.

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3 hours ago, Double_Me said:

I used to date a man similar to your ex in my late teens-early 20s while I was at college. Over the course of that relationship I gained around 50 lbs, and ultimately he cheated on me and ghosted me shortly afterwards. I was a source of cash for him to buy weed and allegedly he only stuck it out for so long because he enjoyed leering at my roommates. This was similar to other relationships of mine at the time- I had no self-esteem, 'dated' people I met online, and eventually they got sick of me one way or another and simply stopped talking to me. All of this played into my lack of self-worth and lack of any effort in taking care of myself. I ended up dropping out of school and shutting myself off to the world for over a year.

That was over a decade ago, I've been in therapy to address this only recently and I wish I'd done it sooner. Therapy, having an accomplished career, and being in a relationship with one of the few truly good people I've met has helped me regain some confidence in myself. I see having the surgery as a sign that I'm ready to care about myself so I can be a better example and caretaker of my future children.

However I can already see the differences in how I'm treated, especially by my parents. They've historically blamed my obesity exclusively on my own laziness and lack of self-control... but I grew up with untreated depression and ADHD in a home without a real advocate for me, and I harbor a little resentment because of that. They never bothered to get to know me as an individual as my poor physical condition seemed to be their entire concern. Now, I receive calls weekly, they are interested in my life, inquisitive, telling me about their days... this is very foreign to me, and has been the toughest aspect to get used to so far.

I think this is highly relatable, to a lot of us, but the end part really made me sad. It sounds like you're a quality human being and to have your folks treat you differently...I hope a some point you can express to them that you're quality as a human doesn't and never has lied in your weight.

I'm glad you've taken control of your own life. You're introspection is the kind I believe leads to success. Thanks for sharing your insight on all of this.

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I did the WLS for me. No one else just me. I wanted to kayak again, I wanted to get my a... up the ladder on our dock and boat. I wanted to be able to keep up with my grandkids. I don't give a rats ass what others think. I wanted to be able to have fun again, life is short. I'm jumping off the boat, swimming, walking, and best of all my pieces and parts don't hurt. I'm happy. I also went on a 3-hour kayak trip last weekend. Not bad for someone that is 74.

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This is such an interesting convo. I actually waited to get WLS BECAUSE I got so much attention for my figure that it seemed like I should stay at my weight. Although I weighed 250, I am hourglass-shaped with a smaller waist, very large breasts, and I carried my weight extremely well; most people would underestimate my weight by 50-60 lbs and in my community, curves are praised and prized. I was so used to compliments about my body (and in fact I have even been vain about my looks for years) that it felt like WLS would take something away from me that I am happy with. However, I decided that health is more important this than compliments and so I decided to get the surgery. I’d be lying if I said I am not worried about losing my curves because I definitely am, but I also want to live to be old and healthy and this was the right decision.

I appreciate this convo- I read threads like the “what I won’t miss about being fat” threads and I don’t relate to them at all- my weight was part of what made me feel beautiful and now I’m afraid I will lose some of my beauty without it, which I guess is unusual. This thread I can relate to, because I, too, didn’t want to lose weight because of societal pressures; it’s just that we have been influenced by different pressures. Loys of hugs- this is a journey that many of us will have to work through as our lives change.

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