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Why are YOU Fat?



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Donali inspired me to start this new thread. She has been providing information to us regarding Morbid Obesity being a disease, which is a very powerful topic for all of us.

Lately I've been discovering that there are many different categories that we fit in, so I was wondering what category you are in. I don't have labels for the categories, but let me start by telling you why I am obese.

First, my family history includes severe mental illness (Mom, aunt, etc.) I inherited a branch of mental illness - Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which had me extremely ill in my youth. My panic attacks have been under control for years, but I still have many anxiety-related problems, one being that I never stop thinking, and at night, the thoughts are consumed by food. Part of the reason I'm obese is becaseu I can't fight the mental struggle to eat for long periods of time. That part of my brain is stronger than the sensible part.

But my biggest problem is Portion Control. I'm obsessed by enormous quantities of food. I simply don't understand how anyone could order just one taco, or have a small serving of anything. With me, it's all or nothing. I would rather fast all day than to eat one chicken thigh. It's torture. A half gallon of ice cream is two servings. A family dinner is two servings.

And mine is all a night time disorder. Someone baked us fresh Cookies, all warm and steamy, and I didn't even look at them. I don't give a damn about food during the day. I feel like a monster.

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Ok, I have always had a problem with leaving food on my plate. It comes from being told to finish everything no matter what. Also, comes from later in life I had a fear of never having enough food. I had a really hard time after my divorce of making ends meet with four children to feed. I would try and try so hard to make sure they had food but there were times we had nothing but bologna or Peanut Butter in the house. So my mind keeps telling me to eat now cause you might not have anything to eat later. Isn't that sick? LOL!!

Anyone else relate?

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When I was younger I had knee surgery on both knees. Twice on my right and once on my left which left me unable to have alot of vigorus movement. This happend from the time I was about 11 to 13yrs old in the time frame I ate to compensate for not being able to run around like the other kids my age. Anyway around 13 guess what popped out (.(. then no one really wanted to play with me or if they did it was not the right way. So again I ate to compensate for having no friends. Also being big boned as they use to call me runs on my dads side of the family

Not to mention Asthma had alot to do also with not running around.

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Let's look at my pre-band daily menu and see why I am fat!

Breakfast:

Chickfil a chicken biscuit with hashbrown and ketchup and a large coke.

Lunch:

McDonald's Big Mac meal supersized with a coke and apple pie

Dinner:

Mexican restaurant with chips and hot sauce, then huge plate of beef nachos and about 4 cokes then sophapillas for dessert!

Never one minute of exercise and I sit at a desk all day in front of a computer.

I have eaten this way my entire life. I am from the south so my mother only cooked deep fried southern meals as I grew up and I loved every bit of them.

I do have an obsession with food. I think about it constantly. I love to watch cooking shows and our friends make fun of me and my husband because we will get in a conversation about the best chicken fried steak meal in our area or which restaraunt has the best fried pickles. When I am stressed I want to eat, when I am excited I want to eat, when I am sad I want to eat, When I am alone I want to eat and so on and so on. If I am going out to lunch with a friend at work now I have to find out where we are going and sit down at that place's website and figure up a meal in my calorie range. I do this for hours at a time planning just one meal. If I were to go in and not planned I will order my usual bre-banded meals still! Obsession with food is something I am seriously thinking of going to a shrink for. I don't know what started it, but I know it is nothing I can kick on my own.

The reason my band works for me is not because of the little bit of restriction I feel on occasion, but because I told everyone I was having this surgery and now that I have had it I will be the biggest loser ever if I don't lose the weight. All of my friends feel it is so drastic so I feel I would let them down if it didn't work, so see even with the band I am still losing weight for other people and not myself. I don't have excuses anymore for my portions when I have a band. That right there is why I love my band...It no longer lets me make excuses to myself and when you constantly have people asking how you are doing it makes all the differece in the world to not want to look like a loser to them and keep the weight on. Obsession is a biatch!

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I think most morbidly obese people would agree, on the surface, with the statement "I'm miserable because I'm fat". I also think most morbidly obese people would agree, after reflection, that the truth is, "I'm fat because I'm miserable".

Or, optimistically, "I'm fat because I *was* miserable, and I developed eating and lifestyle habits that led me to where I am now."

It feels kind of "cheap" telling my "story" in a post on a forum, because it took me over 3 years of therapy and a LOT of soul searching to understand why I am the way I am. And I'm not sure knowing has helped much. (In fact, in OA/AA programs they say, "Self knowledge avails us nothing." But that's a discussion for another post.)

My mother abandoned me when I was 11 months old. I was adopted by WONDERFUL parents who gave me a far, far better life than I would have had. But I've come to realize that I developed a severe fear of abandonment, and for some reason, the emotional/physical "high" I got from eating abated that fear.

Although I am at an age where fear of abandoment is irrational, I have not been able to overcome the eating habits I learned over the course of my life. Nor have I, as of yet (though I suspect I'm on my way, thanks to the band), been able to break my addiction to whatever physiological response my body goes through when I eat foods in large quantities.

As far as your post, DeLarla, I'm with you in every way. My biological father is a non-functional alcoholic and my brother is bi-polar. I can only assume some mental disorder from the woman who left her 2 1/2 year old and 11 month old child and never looked back. And I do my food damage (even now) after 7 PM. I'm great during the day -- controlled, responsible. When night comes, all I want to do from dinner until the time I go to bed is eat.

Jonathan

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My problem is Portion Control. The bigger the better. The more the merrier. And I love every bite of it. I am not MO, but severly obese (SO?), I have a band because I know that my problem would make me MO if I waited one minute longer.

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Penni, my husband has the same problem He grew up real poor, and always worried when his next meal would come. He always ate fast, and rushed to get seconds as if there weren't going to be any. (Rarely was there enough for seconds).

I have the problem of not being able to leave a plate with something on it. Of course that comes from scoldings as a child.

The second problem I have, is always thinking I can have a dessert if I eat my food.

My husband says I eat like a kid. Never learning how to eat grown up foods (vegetables, fruits etc.) I eat/ate foods high in sugar and preservatives. I never realized that until recently.

Usually I eat when I am extremely stressed. Even when I am not hungry

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Lisa, how great to start this thread. You are always thinking! Except for the family mental illness part our stories are quite similar. But then, mental illness didn't get diagnosed as much when I was a kid, so maybe............

I, too, don't care much about food until the night time. This is a habit that started when I was a child. I loved to have a little picnic all by myself, in the night. Maybe it's because I have always been a loner, maybe it's because I felt ashamed of my food thing and wanted to do it under the cover of darkness. Somehow I think it's a combination of things, the two I mentioned, plus physical tiredness, hunger from not eating all day, and I tend to replay all the events of the day in my head. I replay my stress tapes in my head and then I eat.

While I'm eating I feel nothing. Sometimes, feeling nothing can be bliss. I, too, think in large terms for food. Before banding I could eat a large pizza. Sure I'd feel full, but after a quart of ice cream it'd go away.

My real issue is Twofold: 1. I find it almost impossible to eat slowly. It takes an enormous effort of will and concentration to eat slowly. You'd think it'd be the other way around, but if I don't concentrate on my eating the food is gone in milliseconds.

2. I am compelled (liiterally compelled) to do everything in my power to finish it all. It doesn't matter how much there is, I can't even entertain the notion of putting away leftovers. I've saved a fortune in Saran Wrap over the years.

Now I think these two bugaboos stem from childhood physical, mental, and sexual abuse that involved food, and these two practices. I could explain in more detail, and if someone really wants to know I'll PM the whole story to them, but it wold be fairly offensive to post it here. TMI for some folks, I imagine. It certainly is that for me.

Is that why I'm fat? No. I'm fat because I chose this particular addiction (for whatever reason, it's my addiction, my problem) to deal with my issues. There. Now I'm doing my best to own my problem. I am why I'm fat. My choices, colored by compulsions.

"Hi, I'm Food, and what's eating me is Ryan."

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I am fat because I LOVE FOOD!!! I had a wonderful childhood. I was a very small kid they called me toothpick. Then I discovered food and how wonderful it was. I was a very active child, horseback riding (barrel racing), softball team, swimming everyday. but the weight started packing on in Jr. high. I lost a lot of weight in high school but then I started this thing called dating, I love mexican food and we went a lot. Up, up and away I went. lose some gain more. married then divorced I would eat when happy and then when sad. I am still having problems with portins. I want to eat eat eat, but the band wont let me get carried away ( Thank God!)

Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

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I most closely relate to the reason Jack said hewas fat. It is about control for me. I first started gaining weight consistently since 1997 when I moved in with my now husband. It is the first time I was away from home, and away from a controlling and abusive family. When I moved into my new place I had ULTIMATE control. I could eat when I want, what I wanted, and as much as I wanted. That is exactly what I did.

Also, my husband is a huge eater. I would sit with him and think that he would eat everything if I didn't take it first. So, I ended up eating more than I wanted or needed.

All that plus little exercise=weight gain.

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This is a very valuable thread indeed. We are all fighting the same battle, but it’s clear we’ve been enlisted in the fight from very different places.

Eating has not really been a comfort for me. When asked to identify mood triggers for overeating I always come up with boredom or celebration. Either of these moods is enough to make me want a big meal or just to munch on something. Of course I have my comfort foods, but more often than not it’s a good mood that sends me to them.

My condition stems from both nature and nurture. Which came first? Who knows? From a very early age I was always hungry—an observation my mother made repeatedly in her baby journal. When it was clear I was an overweight child my parents tried to get a handle on it basically by just saying no. My memories of childhood are all about being told not to eat. Meals were small portions on a single plate and NEVER were there any seconds or any more of anything. No dessert, of course, but my (skinny) brother was permitted free rein on the Ding-Dongs and Yodels.

When I was finally old enough to control my own diet I never seemed, to me or to others, to eat any more than anyone else. Many times my friends would remark that clearly my excess size must be caused by something other than excess food. So my metabolism has been my enemy since childhood too.

But I did eat more than my body needed, that’s for sure. And then, a lot of the time, just a little bit more than that. Seconds are like a holy grail to me, for some reason: Getting a little bit more of whatever is on offer is somehow a necessary part of any meal, even now. Maybe I’m getting back at my mother for all those years of tiny, unsatisfying meals. (Of course now I can’t do it anymore and have regretted that one last bite oh, so many times. It’s a very hard lesson to learn.) I KNOW that there will always be more if I want it later, but I still WANT that little bit more right now.

Add to all of this the years with an alcoholic MO husband who taught me to put away a case of beer in one evening, and eat enough Chinese food in one meal for a whole family. Then add a misadventure with Optifast that added 30 lbs in bounce-back weight. Add the inactivity of a desk job and moving to the suburbs where no one walks. There is a list of conventional reasons as long as my arm why I am fat, but all that matters to me is knowing that I finally have a tool that is helping me conquer them.

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Whippledaddy,

I can so relate to your story. I didn't suffer abuse, but, the part where you talk about eating at night, secret eating has always been a huge problem for me, and the night time. I too always enjoyed a party by myself. I guess the only person I was hiding or fooling was me. How can you hide the fact you are over eating when you gain 100 pounds in 5 years. Delarla, I so identify with you in many posts. I am definitely a closet snacker though. It's an addiction. Sometimes I just miss that numbness you feel after eating in excess. I rarely ever drank, but, I noticed when I was tighter I use to drink White Russians just about every night, it gave me that numbness I felt that I missed. (1 or 2 drinks) When I realized that, it started to worry me. I definitely didn't want to replace one addiction for another. Plus, I was gaining weight. I haven't had one in about 3 months. I don't miss them though, so, I guess that is a good sign.

When I try to think of one time when I didn't worry about my weight........I can't even think of a time. It is hard to believe I have spent 35 years dwelling on it.

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I love this thread! All of you who have posted have great courage. I am taking a deep breath and trying to follow your example, although I'm really a big coward.

Why am I fat? I guess the easy answer is that I ate too much. I was a fat kid. When I look at old pictures of myself, I see that I was really just pudgy, but my relatives made me feel like a hippo. I weighed 165 lbs. when I was 13 and was considered a fat freak; now I can't wait to weigh 165 again.

I love food, especially sweets and other carbs. Once I reached adulthood I almost always felt hungry, no matter how much I ate, and like DeLarla I agree that a half-gallon of ice cream equals two servings (if you can't get it all down in one sitting, that is). I was self-conscious about how much and how fast I ate, and like Ryan I was aware that I wasn't thinking or feeling anything while I was shoveling away the food.< /p>

I am a lifelong depressive, medicated for years now. I reached my lowest adult weight (170) while in the depths of a paralyzing funk; compulsive exercising was the only thing that kept me from going over the edge. When I finally sought help for that last depressive episode, I was put on drugs, and sure enough my appetite, or perhaps simply lack of control, returned, and with it all the pounds I had lost. I decided -- correctly, I still think -- that it was better to be fat and sane than fit and crazy, so I just gave into my compulsive overeating. The pills really did bring back my appetite, but I also used them as an excuse for giving up control to food. Before banding, I could eat a whole cheesecake in one go -- and I make a great cheesecake, believe me. I would stand there disgusted with myself having devoured half the plate, thinking I was a hopeless loser, but I still felt hungry and figured what the hell, what's the difference between half a cheesecake and a whole one?

The band has messed with my mind. Six months after my surgery I haven't come to terms with all the changes, the biggest one being that for once in my life I don't feel hungry. I throw food away. I leave leftovers on the plate. I don't go back for seconds, not because I'm imposing discipline on my appetite but because I just don't want any more. Who is this person? Yes, I still eat Desserts, but maybe once or twice a week and only if I'm really craving something and haven't had much to eat that day. (I used to think dessert was part of every meal, every day -- including Breakfast.) Actually I wonder if I've turned some of my food obsession over to this board; I have to look at posts every day, this from someone who used to check her home e-mail about twice a month.

I used to be sure I knew what made me fat, but the band is making me rethink all my prior beliefs about my own mind and body.

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"I weighed 165 lbs. when I was 13 and was considered a fat freak; now I can't wait to weigh 165 again."

That hit home. Really really hard too. I was actually 11 at the time, but that number haunts me. I was a pudgy kid and my parents put me on my first diet when I was 7 or 8. I remember sneaking candy in bed when the lights were out. I think that first pudgyness when I was a kid was a genetic metabolism issue, but it became a control issue after that. I would sneak candy in bed, I would buy Snacks in school with my allowance, whatever. When I was 11 and in Jr. High my dad put me on slimfast and weighed me EVERY STINKING MORNING. I was at 165 at that time and that's why that number haunts me. I would get up to 170ish, and lie about my daily weigh in because he would hound me about what I was eating, and I didn't want to hear it. My friends weren't on diets and I didn't want to be either! This was also shortly after my parent's divorce, which didn't help matters much.

I went to live with my mom when I was 13, and she tried to cook good meals and not keep junk in the house, but I was already "conditioned". I'd buy things at the school cafeteria, or at the market that was on the way home from school.

I gained steadily throughout high school. I wasn't paying enough attention to notice, but my mom tells me that when I bought my first car and moved out I gained a good 40 lbs quickly. She hit the nail on the head when she said it was about control. My apartment, my car, I can do what ever I want, and what I want to do is eat a can of frosting with a spoon! At the time I had a friend who was a bit bigger than me, and I kind of always justified myself by saying that as long as I didn't get bigger than her, I was ok. So we got bigger together >.<

So I guess that's why I'm fat. There's probably something that started from before I was 7, but I can't remember...

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Did any of you come from a fat family? My Grandmother was morbidly obese, my father is morbidly obese and both my brother and I have been obese all of our lives..we both weighed over 9lbs at birth and were both born at 7 months. My mother however was a toothpick, maybe 100 lbs ( wet)

Can some of it be genetics coupled with the fact we like food?

My husband was so suprised to hear I wanted this surgery he has told me for years I eat like a bird..so how come Im obese? Could it be I just ate the wrong foods, not large quantities of food? Who knows..maybe a little of both..all I know is I feel like Iam finally getting this ( fat) monkey off my back. Thank God for my band!!!

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