Thoughts On Obesity And Fatphobia

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by MariaMaria2, May 17, 2020.

  1. MariaMaria2

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    I have recently began exploring my thoughts and feelings about being obese and the vast impact it has had in my life. While I would like to lose weight to feel more physically comfortable, it's been shocking to begin to realize the damaging psychological effects of living in this fatphobic world. For me specifically, it's been about trying to reconcile the fact that I like my body, but that can't possibly be true according to the messages we receive about obesity.
    The more I look around, the more I see how ingrained and far-fetching this hatred is: from the innocent jokes about how fat everyone is getting during the quarantine to the BBW porn category...I know these read as random and opposite things, but they seem to illustrate the prevailing message: being fat is either something to be afraid of or something worth fetishizing. There's no in-between and they both stem from a negative perception, even if the latter is usually presented as a positive thing. It's not. Why should I feel flattered by you being sexually aroused by my rolls of fat?
    On another note, it seems acceptable for everyone to have an opinion about a fat body simply because it's fat (and if you're a woman, you have twice the luck!) and, even worse, fatness defines who you are. And what pisses me off even more is that I have internalized those ideas myself. So, I'm trying to become more aware of them. I'm trying to understand where all of this is really coming from. I'm starting to question. And I'm angry that I spend all this energy on this. I'm aware of the irony...
    I don't really have a question. I'm interested in hearing other people's thoughts and maybe share resources to help explore these topics more in depth :emoji_v:
     
  2. AG08

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    I know with me, my fatphobia comes from my previous experiences of being overweight and obese. I know it sounds odd, but it caused a lot of problems for me from being bullied, rejected, ridiculed, humiliated etc when I was younger. I'm not cruel towards other people that have weight issues, but I have also sworn that I won't allow it to happen to me again. It's something I have to be constantly vigilant about because experience has taught me that if I'm not, it will happen again. I let my guard down once in my 40s, and the weight came back with a vengeance. I have since lost it and feel better for it.
     
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  3. wallyj84

    wallyj84 Well-Known Member

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    I am also morbidly obese. I am also very fatphobic.

    I don't know. The people who want to make fun of fat people and justify it by saying that it gives fat people the motivation to lose weight are full of shit. They're not trying to help people, they just want to bully someone. However, being fat isn't healthy. It is one of the least healthy things you can be and shouldn't be encouraged. Is it possible to encourage healthy eating and an active lifestyle, while not being fatphobic? I'm not sure if it is.

    Food is so tricky. Let's be honest, the vast majority of obese people eat too much and exercise too little. There are some people who have a glandular problem, but for most it is just calories in and calories out. But food is tricky. It's everywhere, cheap and you have to eat. If you don't, you're going to die. What's more, eating is very enjoyable. The only thing equal to tasting something really good is an orgasm. So I totally get why people overeat.

    I'm rambling. So I'll stop here.
     
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  4. halcyondays

    halcyondays Well-Known Member

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    ^This is what matters: loving and accepting yourself as you are. To hell with what others say or think.
     
  5. TallBigGuy

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    2nd this, as long as it is not affecting your heath.
     
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  6. lurker23

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    While I'm not attracted to obesity, I'm not fat phobic. I dated an AWESOME man for a couple years who was obese. To this day, he's still the best boyfriend I've had but we had a couple fundamental differences that wouldn't ever be resolved, so we parted. I didn't have any issue with his size, but I heard lots of snarky comments about my dating a fatty. People who didn't know him questioned why I was interested in a man like him, made rude comments about him, etc. Even family members who had gotten to know him still made inaccurate assumptions because of his weight. It pissed me off!

    That said- he had some health issues associated with his weight and DEFINITELY had more self-esteem issues than I wanted to deal with. I've found myself less inclined to date someone who's obese as a result. Just being honest. Not saying I wouldn't, but if I got a whiff of insecurity, I'd bolt. To be fair, I've also dated thin/fit guys who had insecurity issues, too.

    I'd offer that there are people who are willing to see who you are on the inside.
     
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  7. RamblingCock

    RamblingCock Well-Known Member

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    Ironic to discover this thread just now. This morning I posted a blog entry dealing with my losing weight and rediscovering my self-confidence.

    My job recently changed because of the coronavirus, and I'm having to work a lot harder physically in this role than the one I was actually hired to do. The result of which has been a marked decrease in weight and an increase in muscle tone.

    This is not to brag or pretend that there's an easy solution. I've been as high as 265 pounds in the last decade. With all the wonderful heath problems associated with it - and I'm still fighting diabetes and high blood pressure. I've been fighting the same fight for decades. As has my wife.

    A few years ago I tried injections, and over the years just about every fad and food program there is. My problem is that I go right back to drinking wine and booze, and eating things like pizza. And watching tv.

    And something I noted in the blog is the significant impact losing the weight has had on my psyche. My self-esteem is definitely much better than it was just a few months ago. If you've never been fat you cannot know the drain it has on your self-respect and confidence. Whether you're a fit person saying it's just a matter of eating right and working out, or a fat person saying "accept yourself" you're missing the main point: I want to look and feel better and I'm embarrassed that I don't. It's just not a switch you can turn off and on.

    In my case circumstances have led to things which improved my health, but not by design. I didn't set out to lose more fat - I was unhappily cruising around 230-235 for the last year. Without the work change I'd still be around that same weight. I know it sounds weird to say that, but if it were simply a matter of self-control I wouldn't be a 59 year old with three decades of health issues and weight problems behind me.

    I was a former athlete. I know how to be fit. That's not the issue. The psychology that goes along with being fat is the issue.

    And that's something few people who haven't fought the fight get.

    I've got a long way to go and may not make it. I've had too many times when I made great progress only to fall back. But boy do I get the damage that does to my state of mind. More power to you Maria. Thanks for starting this thread.
     
  8. Cum_is_Great

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    This is a very personal issue for me as I am also morbidly obese. There are so many sides of this but many people refuse to even try to understand. I have run into and seen SO MANY horrible instances of fat shaming under the guise of "help" it's sickening. Like I literally want to cry how mean people are online. For some people, bullying and shaming works for them to stop whatever bad habit they are actively doing. However it does not work for everyone. In fact, there is research/studies that shows shaming obese people actually causes them to gain more weight or stay obese. It increases their underlying issues such as depression or anxiety and causes more harm.

    So some people tried to start a movement to have obese people love themselves and the body they are in. Because otherwise why should I take care of myself if I hate myself? Unfortunately as happens with lots of things, initial movements change or a vocal minority becomes the center of attention and warps the perception. This has happened with the so called "fat acceptance". Others, horrified by this, push back with even more shame and ridicule which indirectly harms what was the original goal: having obese people learn to love themselves and the body they are in so they can care for and help themselves.

    One other thing that many people don't realize is that morbidly obese people are suffering from an addiction. No seriously. Every meal is releasing dopamine that causes us to crave more. Yes, it is usually unhealthy foods but not always. Its simply a calorie surplus that causes weight gain. Most people who have an addiction to something can fight it by total avoidance. For example: a smoker can eventually never smoke again. A heavy alcoholic learns they just cannot have even one sip of beer or they roll ride down that hill again. But if addicted to food, you cannot totally avoid your addiction trigger. We have to eat everyday. It is essential to life.

    Imagine how alcoholics would fare if everyone HAD to have at least 3 beers a day to live. Imagine if heavy chain smokers MUST have at least a 3 cigarettes a day to survive. Most people feel "I was obese and I was able to get back to healthy weight, why can't you? You need more willpower". But perhaps you actually have a lot more willpower than most people. Or perhaps you weren't as addicted as most people. Also imagine how much more unsuccessful quitting of smoking, alcohol or whatever would be if the above scenario were true where whatever you are trying to rid your addiction of is forced to be used/done everyday of your life forever.

    Personally, I have been obese for my whole life. Literally since I was a child. I now realize my family overfed me and instilled a very strict "clean your plate OR ELSE." into me which probably taught my body to ignore any sign of normal satiety and eat much more than actually needed. Mixed into that, I became very depressed as a teen when realizing I was gay. Homophobia was prevalent, especially in the black community back then (Still is now to a lesser extent) and to top it off, I am also of Jamaican descent which well, is probably one of the most homophobic countries/cultures. I had to closet myself and hold that door TIGHT. I was so depressed, anxious of ever being outed and absolutely HATED myself. I literally wanted to die but couldn't bring myself to commit suicide. I didn't want to leave my family with that. My fucked up state of mind had thoughts like: "well at least with being so fat, maybe I'll just die of a heart attack or something. Like an indirect gradual suicide."

    Eventually I slowly came out of such a deep self hatred of myself and accepted my homosexuality. Sticking a toe into the water, I tried to talk to other gay men online and on Grindr to be greeted with TONS of "No Fats!" and when posting a pic of myself on my profile, actually getting hate messages about how disgusting I was. Mind you, I never was the initiator in conversations, it was just hateful people! I also had a feeling I was already too fat for most and was only looking for friendship and conversation but I couldn't even get that. If you are fat, you are invisible in the mainstream gay community.

    I learned that what people call a dad bod nowadays or even just "normal healthy bodyfat" was considered gross and disgusting by the gay community. Even cartoons like American Dad referenced this. "I'm 'gay fat.' I'm 'straight thin' but considered 'gay fat'." (This has shifted some more recently but still pretty bad) So of course if that was "fat", seeing my body was like a shit and vomit filled sac trying to pass as a person. So now unaccepted by my community/family and unwanted by my secret community I was just devastated. Fuck the world, I'll just game and eat. Which is what I did. My only joy in life was video games and food. I ballooned up to 400lbs.

    One day I learned there was a small subsection of people in the gay community that liked fat guys. Some like bears, some like chubby guys and some liked "chubs and superchubs" Which I found out is what I am labeled. "Chasers" like the chubs and superchubs. I downloaded chasabl and growlr and actually got some nice conversations with people. Sure it was them acting on a kink/fetish but it was literally the only time I ever ever ever felt even remotely desirable in any way. My first compliments and seen as someone "sexy" it was so much. I eventually made a friend on there and he made me feel like I deserve to be loved. I should love my body and myself. Only then after being exposed to a loving community who saw me as a whole person did I feel like I should take care of myself. I recently was losing weight and going to the gym. But covid put a stop to the gym. Being cooped up in my room is instilling old habits with nothing to distract me from my food addiction. But the love and kindness I received truly helped change my core and I feel as soon as its open again or even some other arrangements will be made for me to get right back into a more healthy lifestyle. Its so tough though and a little understanding and empathy goes a long way to help.

    But all the years of shaming and depression and anxiety is still there. There is no way someone was or is obese and doesn't have self esteem issues. It's impossible. And some formerly obese people take those issues out on others out of fear of regressing themselves. To feel superior they bully and shame others. It doesn't work. To subject someone else to such torment because you can't handle your own self esteem issues is abhorrent. But that's what you get in today's society with a lack of empathy. People cannot understand unless they have it actively happen to themselves and the few that shaming worked on themselves incorrectly apply it to everyone else. AKA not true empathy.

    Okay I rambled on way too long. I just felt the need to just spill. I hope this is coherent and not just a mess of words spilled on a page.
     
    #8 Cum_is_Great, May 17, 2020
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  9. andigazed

    andigazed Well-Known Member

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    There seems to be alot to sort out, and you probably will get referrels to qualified sources who can assist you. I hope you do.
     
  10. HorseHung40's

    HorseHung40's Well-Known Member

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    I would like to commend all, who have courageously written to share very painful experiences. Thank you! My concerns for the morbidly obese are ones of health and overall life comfort.

    A professional colleague expressed many of the same sentiments that I have read here. He gained the weight, but, found ti very difficult to lose. Eventually, by way of a gastric bypass, he lost 100 lbs, and, has kept it off for 4 years now.

    As for any shaming, I stop it dead in its tracks. It is up to all of us to stop any sort of bullying.
     
  11. doc_jmart

    doc_jmart Well-Known Member

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    This.

    fat shaming and bullying should never be condoned. But if you really love yourself, you wouldn’t want to remain obese. Obesity is associated with so many comorbidities such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes etc. If you are not afflicted with hormonal conditions that would predispose you to obesity, then there’s simply no excuse. If you love yourself you would strive to be healthy.
     
  12. neutrno

    neutrno Active Member

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    @Cum_is_Great, I'm humbled by your post and feeling privileged for being allowed into a snipped of your experience. Thank you very much for sharing.

    ________

    Months ago, I've listened to a podcast that could be of interest to you, @MariaMaria2: the podcast is 'You're Wrong About' and the episode is 'The obesity epidemic'. I think it's powerful stuff.

    Thank you for this thread.:heart:
     
  13. Cum_is_Great

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    Read my post for a small somewhat explanation on why we as obese people don't love ourselves
     
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  14. Milkdudd

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    Haha kinda like being black
     
  15. wallyj84

    wallyj84 Well-Known Member

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    [Deleted quoted post that was deleted]

    Shaming doesn't work. Fat people should not be shamed for their body type. You're totally wrong.
     
    #15 wallyj84, May 17, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2020
  16. Oz1717

    Oz1717 Banned

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    Have you ever been publicly fat shamed or shamed by a group of people?
     
  17. Oz1717

    Oz1717 Banned

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    They definitely shouldn't be celebrated for being disgustingly fat either.
     
  18. jtm011

    jtm011 Well-Known Member

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    Huh?? You can diet and exercise and lose weight. You can't change the color of your skin. Unless you're Michael Jackson. :rolleyes:
     
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  19. Oz1717

    Oz1717 Banned

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    lol, MJ had a skin condition called vitiligo, the initial change in his skin was out of his control.
     
  20. wallyj84

    wallyj84 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. It hurts


    They shouldn't be celebrated, but they shouldn't be made to feel bad about their bodies.


    [Deleted link to deleted post]

    You're horrible. I hope no one government follows your advise.
     
    #20 wallyj84, May 17, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2020
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