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Calorie Count Blog

The Hidden Meaning of Fat and Thin

By Mary_RD on May 28, 2009 12:00 PM in Dieting & You
Edited By +Rachel Berman

Sometimes weight loss doesn’t stick because we don't compensate for not being fat.  We are so busy cursing our fat that we fail to recognize its benefits.  Our “fat” speaks for us with symbolic meaning, saying things we are afraid to say.  But when we learn to translate our experiences into the language of “fat”, we open the door to say for ourselves what our fat has been trying to say.

The thoughts here are inspired by the classic books on emotional eating from authors such as Suzie Orbach, Geneen Roth, Jane Hirschmann and Carol Munter, Mary Pipher, and others, who have gotten to the heart of emotional eating problems in novel ways for the past 30 years.

If my fat could talk

We understand that emotional eating fills a void or numbs a pain, but few of us appreciate our hidden desire to be fat.  Experts maintain that overeating is an intentional act done for the purpose of being fat itself.  Our “fat” says to the world, “I am safe” or “I am powerful“.  But beneath it all, being fat is simply a way to cope.  

Ask yourself the $64,000 question:  If my fat could talk, what would it say?  Take out your journal and do not censor yourself.  Here are some things fat has been known to say:

  • I am protected.
  • I will not compete.
  • I don’t have needs.
  • I will not conform.
  • I am asexual.
  • I am angry.
  • I need a mother.
  • I can carry us both.
  • Don’t talk to me.
  • Notice me.

Thin is…   

You might remember from previous experiences of losing weight that thinness has its drawbacks too. If you lost weight really fast, you might have felt like somebody else - someone who was not even you!  Being thin can say to the world,

  • I am vulnerable.
  • I am a sex object.
  • I am competitive.
  • I am selfish.
  • I am miserly.
  • I conform.

Own it to lose it

Once you see how being overweight serves you, you may be able to appreciate your fat.  Fat is a protective coat, a security screen, and when it’s gone, we must find a new way to stay safe.  When you see how your fat has served you, you can then ask, “How is my fat serving me now?”  You can serve yourself directly through your words and deeds instead of through the symbolic language of fat.
A classic exercise

This fantasy exercise can help you see how your weight and size, whether fat or thin, expresses the way you feel.   Take out your pen and journal again, get comfortable, close your eyes, and start to fantasize.... 

  • Image that you are walking into a party.  You are fat.
    What are you wearing?  What are you doing?   What do you feel?
  • Now imagine walking into the party, but you are thin. 
    What are you wearing?  What are you doing?   What do you feel?   

Do you see any benefits in being fat?  Did being thin present a burden?


This makes sense to me, but at the same time, there should arrise the issue of how you feel, good AND bad, either way.

I can identify with the sexual object, not knowing who I am part. I lived it. It took feeling horrified of myself to change, because I didn't like me. It wasn't being thin I didn't like, I felt on top of the world, but it made me shallow and when people finally noticed me, I took a dramatic step towards the wrong reasons.

Also, I notice being, or what you consider fat, or unhealthy, or not exactly in your right body frame as you would like...I get bigger during winter. I think it is a protective thing, but scientifically protective. I think you want to eat and hibernate in winter months to stay's a survival instinct your body seems to go into. At least, that is my theory from experience. You lose the weight in the summer because it's hot and your just more active. I am trying to change this programming so I can be happy year round and not going through another summer of killing myself for bikini weather...and I don't really swim much, I just want the option to where what I want.

I like this article. I think people should be happy with themselves, be positive and you can get where you want but be happy about who you are on the way...and if you need to just accept the fact you are the size you are for medical reasons, or what have you, I think that's a big deal. Are you healthy and happy? Are you a size for the wrong reasons or the right ones?

I am hoping I will be able to keep off my weight this time, but not become obsessed. Although when I'm into something, I'm obsessed. I want to keep it going. I'm trying this time to cut myself more slack though and not be a nazi about it.

Great blog.  I have noticed that I start to feel uncomfortable when I start tot loose a noticeable amount of weight.  However, being overweight is even worse.  I am going to journal about this. thanks.

I realize that as my weight goes up my self confidence goes down and vice versa...when I exercise and lose weight I feel better about myself and confidence spikes.  The funny thing though is that I don't look bad with the weight on because I am tall and black so the weight goes in all the right areas...but something about my mental state is affected if I start going too close to 200.  Since I came on this site I've lost over 20 pounds and I feel great. I don't want to be thin. I never did. But there is no need for me to be fat either and try to use that fat as a shield. 

I think for me being overweight is comfortable because it means that I am imperfect and thats somehow comforting. When I imagine myself as thin, and see myself in pretty dresses looking fantastic, there is also a fear of expectations: my own and others- to remain perfect always.

I am a little overweight, not hugely so. I can see how the fear of raising expectations and standards to unrealistic levels- and thereby letting people (including myself) down- prevents me from attaining my goal weight.

This was so TRUE. I have been told numerous times before in my weight loss journey, that until I could accept the "fat me" I would never accept a "thin me" and I couldn't fathom that having any truth.  A lot of times, people equate being thin as being happy or having a great life---when it's rarely a result of them being thin but of them being happy with who they are and confident. I have seen "big people" who outwardly LOVE their life and their body, while I've seen thin people who look miserable. So I know this has truth to it. When I did the above exercise with the party---the fat me--was self-conscious that everyone was staring at my weight and I was anxious. Whereas, when I was thin---I was confident, spunky and enjoying the guys staring at me from across the room. Also, I think it's important to note whether you've expereinced a "thin life"---personally I have. At my smallest I weighted, 113lbs. but that was back in high school when I wasn't as consumed with my weight and was much more active. Now, when at my heaviest I weighed 182 on a 5'4 frame, and I was a MISERBALE. Now, I think I weight around 150 and still have 20 pounds to go to my goal. But I understand that, alot of my weight issues have been "not wanting to let go of my security fat" so I guess I need to find other ways to feel protected and safe. Because I do notice even now--that whistles, and stares from men that make me uncomfortable and kinda wish I could revert back to being unnoticed. But the benefits of being thin for ME, far outweigh being secure in being fat.

This is an eye-opener Surprised.  I've had thoughts similar to the ones on the "what does being fat/skinny say" lists.  I never made the connection, though, that I was actually keeping myself fat.

I'm printing this off - I have to spend some time on it. 


I can definitely relate to this article. I was a very thin person in my younger life. I am a very not thin person now. I have had many emotional traumas in my life. I used to try to control my abandonment issues with being thin and promiscuous, and using substances. Now that I am in my 40's, I am still controlling my issues, but on the other side of the coin. Now I eat for control. I do not think I have ever had a healthy relationship with food. Now that I weigh over 200 lbs., I kknow that I have to get my relationship under control, but how? Therapy has helped me overcome many issues, now it's food's turn! Having the support of this group online will help as well. Here I go! Wish me luck!!!

Wow.  They really should keep children off this site.  Responsible adults don't find sport in tearing other people down to make themselves feel better. 

Anyway...back to the intent of the post.  No one else give this loser any attention as that's what he so obviously craves. 

This was really great info. It really spoke to the heart of why we are fat and why I only go so far and then stop. I have in the past had that fear of losing weight and becoming to attractive, and I know that sounds silly but, when I'm in shape people start to notice me and sometimes that makes me uncomfortable. I have told myself this time regardless of how uncomfortable I get I still have to reach my goal and deal with the rest from there. This will help me and I will start my journal to get past my fear so I don't regain the weight.

Thanks for the ideas to discover more about myself, whether I am heavier or thinner than I am now!


I am new to this website....a week or so in....and this is the first post that has really caught my eye.  You know I hate the fact that I have gained 100 pounds.  I have wanted to loose the weight for eight years.  Why do I keep this weight?  If I am so unhappy (and believe me I hate my current weight/body) why am I not able to do this, even if it takes 2 years to get it off?   I think of myself as strong, maybe I am not as strong as I think.  This is good stuff to think about...maybe I will even look for some of the books by the authors listed above. 

Thank you for this article.  I yo-yo up and down by a 20 lb difference over the years.  When I am fit and at my lower weight I feel great and healthy and then I sabotage myself.  Hopefully this article will help me figure out why so I don't do it again, this time!

Interesting the title is "The Hidden Meaning of Fat and Thin".  Hidden is the key.  We all have areas of our lives we are working on that are to us, hidden - to others, it might be very obvious what the key is. Some of us are, as one prior blogger so eloquently pointed out, are struggling with being kind to others, which is most likely an outworking of some lack of control (usually in a family setting), so blogging seems the only way of striking back at the pain.  Meanness is the same issue as overeating, just handled by attacking others and not yourself.  Different result, but the same root cause. 

For all of us, understanding ourselves and why we do what we do, is the first step in overcoming whatever the issue is.  Overeating as this article pointed out, being aggressive to others, cigarettes, speeding, gambling, alcoholism, drugs, over exercising, overworking - all can be addictive behaviors (either psychological or physical) which tended to give us momentary relief of our issues and some form of fun, pain free existence - usually to bring regret later on. 

Even though some of these addictive behaviors are due to genetics and some of it is learned, our issue combinations are unique to each of us and yet, are so common to mankind if we take the time to really look.  But there is hope!  A family physician, clergy/minister, counselor, or support group like this one can help a person to identify their frustrations and insecurities more constructively than struggling alone.  And over time, in a healthy, non-obsessed manner, there can be real freedom from the pain and peace with yourself.  Smile

Wow, funny how different subject ring true with different people. I find most of these articles interesint, but I read this article three times and I still have absolutely no idea what this writer is talking about.  Glad it makes sense to some here.

Very elegantly put boni_jean. 

I really like this post because I have realized (prior to this) that I tend to start sabotaging my efforts--I still haven't pinned down the why though.  I have come so far since having my babies, but am still not where I want to be.  I love this site because I have friends on here that struggle with the same issues as I do and we each hold each other accountable.  Talking about it with others of like mind is basically like free therapy!  LOL!  Where I can deal with my food issues in a healthy manner and keep myself on the right path to getting to my healthiest me!  :)

I can see how being overweight can be a security blanket for some.  It reminds me of when I stopped wearing glasses after I got contacts - I felt naked and exposed, like I couldn't hide anymore. 

For me, being fat is not a source of comfort, because I really feel terribly uncomfortable in my clothes when I gain even 5 lbs. and I don't ever buy larger sized clothes.  It's the food - the food is unconditional love.  That apple pie tastes so darn good and it's a slippery slope, one bite, leads to two, and so on.  It must be in my brain - those pleasure sensors get all fired up and excited. 

I have struggled with my weight for my entire life - I was the fattest kid in the class through elementary school.  What 5 year old weighs 72 pounds? My 5 year old son weighs 48 lbs. - he's tall and thin - obviously Dad's genes.  They couldn't lift me to get on the pony ride, I was the slowest kid in gym class, just about every day there was a humiliating experience just waiting to happen.  In contrast, my younger sister, who couldn't eat enough yodels and spaghetti, was thin as a rail. 

When I finally got thin at summer camp at 13 (from 160 to 113), my best friend bought me Hostess apple pies every day until I gained back 30 lbs.  I don't blame anyone but myself.  Bad eating habits (mostly starvation - coffee and cigarettes) in high school and college brought my weight back down, but obviously that was bad. 

Now as a middle aged Mom, it takes all the willpower I have to keep on track.  I am having such a hard time staying at my goal weight, which at 140 is not that low for a 5'5" woman.  I should be thinner than that - closer to 130.  I am trying to get to 140 before our trip to visit my inlaws in 2 weeks and I have 7 lbs to go.  I do 45 - 55 minutes of cardio a day x 5 - 6 days a week and strength training 3 days a week. 

Sorry if I am whining, but it's all relative.  I really respect all of you for all the hard work that you do in your journey to improve your health.  SmileThanks for listening. 

The very fact that thefattymcfatfat is posting on this website tells me that he or she is overweight and very miserable.  Not only does he or she have weight issues, but mental issues as well.  How sad!

Anyway, about the blog.  As for me, I don't feel that way.  My fat is not a security blanket.  I love to eat and I always have liked good food.  I am miserable being overweight and would love to be thin, and I will be someday.  However, I can see how some people would agree with the blog ( and that is okay).  I just don't think it relates to me. 

I like this website because I can talk to people who know what I am going through.

This subject is definitely something I need to delve into.  Thanks for presenting it.

Let's all forgive fattymcfatfat and pray for his / her well being.  Sounds like his / her head is in a pretty scary place.   That's a tough way to live.


Original Post by: alwaysinmyroom

Thanks for the ideas to discover more about myself, whether I am heavier or thinner than I am now!


I had the same realisation doing the visualisation exercise!

The thin version of myself attracted too much attention from guys, and that actually made me cringe.

The fat me could relax and have no-one looking and expecting anything, the fat me was free to focus on the other people at the party.

This is a helpful truth, I need  to get to the bottom of this.  Even though I think I like attention, it actually makes me uncomfortable.

This is a really interesting concept. I have never been overweight, but since highschool I have been made to feel ashamed and uneasy with the attention I get from having an attractive figure. I never knew if guys liked me or my body, and I could never trust my girlfriends because I was paranoid that they were secretly jealouse. I even got beat up at parties for being a slut (and at that time i was a virgin!). I've always had a porn star body, and people have treated me like one since my early teens. The only thing I could do to protect myself was wear modest clothes and baggy sweaters. But even that didnt always work.

I often wished that I had more curves like most of the other girls. That way, I wouldn't stand out. I'd just be one of the girls. I felt that I was less of a woman because I lacked the womanly hips and theighs of the stronger, more confident girls who beat me up. I felt that I was just a skinny little skanky twirp with boobs, an object.

It wasn't until I became confident with myself as a person that I discovered the secret to warding off the evil eye. If you are your own pillar of strength and you believe that you deserve to be happy and healthy, nothing can shake you. Don't rely on your body for security because bodies are always changing. Now I stand up straight and walk proudly. I'm not ashamed to be beautiful and healthy and sexy. I still get a lot of attention, good and bad. But i don't let it define me. I'm happy with me. And I attract many people into my life now who love me for who I am. It's wonderful. Every woman deserves to make peace with her physicality and embrace a healthy lifestyle, the body will inevitably hop aboard with you.

I too have felt that once I begin to look thinner, I self-sabotage and start reaching back to my comfort zone of being fat. I have always been on the "thick" side of life, and its really all I know. I got thin a couple of times, but always gained it back.

One fundamental problem was the method. I did it too fast. Too fast is unhealthy in many ways. Its tough on your system and your psyche. That's a pretty big adjustment in just a few short months.

This time around, I took a look at all this. I am finding true success! Not only is losing is slowly a better way to make it "stick", it allows time for adjusting your mind as well as your wardrobe. Previously, I'd have to go do an entire wardrobe shop to accomodate a new size (in either direction, because I always committed to "this is it" and gave all my clothes away!), this time, I am finding that I fit into things I've had, and am able to add new things a little at a time as the transition takes place over months and seasons.

I have been at it about 8 months now, and am down considerably, but only about half of my goal has been reached. I intend to take at least another 8 months to get there.

The key to weight loss, in my opinion? Consistency over time. A long time.

Healthgain to all!

Thank you for this article. After losing 65 pounds, it takes a while to feel comfortable in your own skin. I was overweight all my adult life and now that I am in a decent weight body, it takes a while to make the psychological adjustments. In other words, feel good about myself. 

I always look for articles about Body Image. I know there are other people who have done what I have done and kept off the weight, but still struggle with the mind and body as a whole.

The last part of the above article questioning about going to a party made me smile. I definitely feel better now that I am thinner! I am healthy and look great!

Not to be negative, but ah, but the reason why some people want to lose weight is because fat can also say:

- I do not take good care of myself.
- I am lazy.
- I cannot keep up with everyone else.
- I cannot control myself.

And of course the biggie:

- I am not attractive.



I like a lot about this article -- particularly because I am one of those who kind of likes the fat me better... but for maybe a different reason!

I disagree that my fat says "I am asexual" but thin says "I am a sex object."

When I was a size 8, I was awkward and uncomfortable. I didn't feel pretty, and it was obvious. When I was a size 16-18, however, men could not stop staring, complimenting me, flirting and batting their eyes when I walked in a room. I loved being bigger.

I have had to lose weight for health reasons, and am now a size 12-14, which is still pretty big. I DO like having a smaller stomach, and I WILL continue to lose weight... but it is harder because I'm just not as motivated about it.

I agree with the statements in this post.  I was humiliated and teased as a 13 year old for having 38DDD breasts and a thin hourglass figure.  I also was attacked and victimized.  I believe I gained weight to keep myself from being attacked again.  As I continue to maintain my weight, I'm also afraid to lose weight ... I want desperately to have more energy for my son and husband, and to get out of plus sized clothes but I feel weak and unprotected without my fat. 

Thank you so much to whoever sent this article my way. This is completely what I've been struggling with for the past year. I've been depressed and hating my life, thinking things would just get better if I started looking better but it just isn't the answer! Haha so thank you I realy need to spend time finding m Myself, loving myself more completely before I can acheive my healthy makes sense.

Thanks for all the great contributions on this thread everyone. I had been thinking about this too prior to reading this post, appreciating the benefits of fat me, the protective layer, the protection of being bigger. Like one of the responders to Fattymcfat said that they would sit on him/her. It's almost a super power having the ability to control someone by sitting on them! How does one replace this ability when one slims down?

As I am losing weight, I am trying to appreciate the new me at the different weight levels and trying to avoid that single-minded, obsessive rush back to the ideal, which once I get there is not always as fun or ideal as I thought it would be. despinamb's post above and her quest to get to a certain weight before visiting the in-laws reminded me of how often in regards to my ideal perception of my weight I am guided by how I think others see me and lose track of my own values in relation to my weight.

I can't beat myself up for (secretly) valueing being fat but once I admit to it I believe the knowledge I obtain from that self-understanding should help me to adjust my values (needs) to healthier, fitter, slimmer ones.

Now what would be a good super power retaliation for a slim person in the face of such bullying tactics as Fattymcfat's? How about the ability to quickly, deftly sneak into Fattymcfat's personal space and tickle him/her in his/her most sensitive tickle spots?

This is all so interesting.  Just last night as I was at my spin class (it allows me to reflect) I was wondering why I've been teetering within the same 2 lbs for the past several months.  Ah!  So frustrating.  THEN I thought to myself...why won't you let yourself get past this benchmark?? I will get to 163 lbs and immediately go back to gaining weight.  It's like a magnet. 

My goal is to get back to 158 (I am 165 now)...that weight is healthy for me and it doesn't make me too 'skinny' at the same time.  Although last summer when I was 158 I went through a difficult time with depression and anxiety and I didn't recognize myself at 158...and although I didn't recognize myself I was eating very healthy and felt good physically.  I think the association of 158 is depression and anxiety and I think it scares me to go 'back' to that.  With this new realization from last night, I know now where I need to focus...and that is dealing with detaching that association of the number 158 with depression and anxiety and replace it with feelings of accomplishment and happiness. 

Good timing on this. 

wow.  I just returned from a walk where I had been reflecting on these very same issues.  By divine design I opened my email and here was all the affirmation that I needed to support what was already an issue for me...why I am fat and what my inner self does to protect that image and the fears that go along with being thin.  Very complicated issues to be sure.

I wrote out my thoughts on this post's exercises on my online weight-loss journal.  I don't think anyone reads it, and I don't really care either.  It's for me more than anything else.

My auntie was telling me something similar a couple of years ago, that I should think about how my weight serves me.  That maybe subconciously I am holding onto it with a purpose.  Trust, i have thought about this a lot.  After many many years (since I was a young kid, around 5), i have been told I was fat, as well as the negatives of being fat, by my father who claims he told me that to "keep me" from getting fat.  I see no positives to it, socially or healthwise.  The idea that it protects me from something is absolutely ludicrous to me.  I only see how it leaves me vulnerable and how it makes people sorry for me, and having people be sorry for me is one of the worst things in life for me.  I do however see how my weight is the ultimate "**** off" to all those things my dad said to me, even though other than his commentary, my dad was always the greatest in my eyes.  i see his faults now, but I still think he's wonderful.  mom says to "put my grown-up panties on" and forget all that.  This enfuriates me.  She's always been skinny, so how weould she ever understand where I come from?  i try to explain and I think the more we talk about it, the more she understands.  i always let her initiate the conversation though, so I keep a lot to myself.  We don't have these conversations often.

To me, it is simple.  i like the taste of things that are not good for me.  I like to eat it.  I like a lot of tasty foods and if given the opportunity, i will eat.  But for a while now, I have been watching it, making smarter choices, and exercising.  I still binge, but much less often and there is less food.  I'm getting there.  But I feel like it's never been enough to make me as overweight as I am.  i can understand even 20 pounds overwieght.  but 40????  I've also been diagnosed with PCOS and insulin resistance, and that most likely has a lot to do with some of the weight.  i still acknowledge that some of the fault is mine.

AAaaaaannnnd thanks for letting me rant!

This article reminded me of an experience I had a few years ago.  In college I rowed on the women's crew team, so needless to say I was healthy but a large, muscular girl.  Once I stopped rowing I also stopped my heavy regime weight lifting and running for a while, after a few months of no exercise (and shrinking) I saw a picture of myself at Halloween, where I somehow managed to fit into a size 8 skirt (Im 5'11" and about175lbs now, I dont think I could ever weigh below 160)!  When I saw the picture though, I didnt recognize myself.  I was so... skinny.  Furthermore, I didn't like the person I recognized.

Now, this is where I take some issue with what this article says.  I dont think it's wrong with regard to how fat can make us feel (uncompetetive, non-conformist, asexual, needless, etc.), but even in its attempt to say that fat can have benefits to us psychologically, that list sounds pretty negative to me.  "I need a mother"  "I am asexual"  "Notice me"?  This all sounds like "security blanket" strength.  It also sounds very culturally specific; when I have a few extra pounds where it counts I think of myself as anything but "asexual."  When I saw that picture of myself, I didnt think 'OMG, object...etc'  I thought 'The old me could kick my ass!  I look weak.'  ...So I went out to buy a burger and get back on track.

I guess what Im saying is not that I dont agree with what this article has to say about the symbolism of fat and thin, but rather I would challenge us to engage in a different thought experiment:  don't imagine what you'd look like at a party if you're fat/thin, but how would you attend a party if you were sporting your neglected body vs how you would look if you had a strong body that you cared for - one that you used to play, compete, dine on delicious food, love others, a body that enabled you to live the life you want to live.  What does a strong and well-cared for body look like to you?  What type of body enables you to do the things you want to do and appear as the type of man or woman you want to be? 


Original Post by: xfleur

Not to be negative, but ah, but the reason why some people want to lose weight is because fat can also say:

- I do not take good care of myself.
- I am lazy.
- I cannot keep up with everyone else.
- I cannot control myself.

And of course the biggie:

- I am not attractive.



That's exactly what I was thinking when I read this. I guess I am one of the few people that doesn't understand why being fat would be a security blanket since when I think back to the the period of time that I was overweight I have never felt worse or more ugly or more exposed in my whole life. I have lost at least 12 pounds since I started calorie count and I am no longer overweight. I still see the same fat ugly girl that I saw before when I look in the mirror.  I still have about 15 more pounds to lose till my goal.

When I was thin a few years ago I loved the way I looked and I felt great all the time. I liked that I made other people Jealous because to be honest I am selfish and vain. Oh well I guess everyone loses weight for different reasons mine are simply because I want to look good. And I don't care how vain I sound I'm not gonna lie to myself and tell myself I'm beautiful being fat when I really think I'm ugly.

Wow is right,,,this absolutely makes sense to me.  I remember I was told I was fat at the age of 14 when I weighed 140 lbs,,,at 5'6" probably not a great weight, but nothing devastating.  I have gotten fatter since and now am 226 lbs at 5'7".  If I look back and say what is that fat doing for me, it was a protective shell in high school, university and beyond.  This article made me do some thinking and it is great.  I lost 40 lbs in University and looked great.  I got hit on, i got asked out, it was great, but overwhelming.  I didnt know how to handle the attention.  I look at that situation now and think, maybe if i would have gotten the help (psychological) back then, would I be in the overweight  position that Im in now. 

Fat has now just become a " habit" for me now.  Fat says to me Im strong, I will not conform,,,when I read that, I thought oh my god thats me!  I have to be strong, Im on my own, I will not conform, as that's what other's want of me.  The fat is no longer the protector, that it used to be, it has now become a burden.  For the longest time I think I stayed fat just to "get back at my parents". When I was younger the number of times I heard, from my mother, "oh you have such a pretty face, but..."  That "but" has always stayed with me.  this article has made me realize that is exactly what I need to get away from. I need to "own" what I have been doing to myself over the years. 

Thank you so much for printing this article, it is fabulous and REALLY made me think and ponder.  I have already started my journal and it is making sense......Thank you again so very much...

I don't really understand how someone could feel uncomfortable after losing weight or how fat can be used as a security blanket... But I suppose if you are used to being overweight, the sudden change is a big, confusing challenge. I never used weight as a security blanket, though. I hated my fat; I just enjoyed the taste of food too much. :)

All I know is that I feel so much better at this weight (142 lbs). I am so much happier because I am not so self-conscious and I actually have some confidence!

I totally agree with bigfatarmsbegone! I try to lose weight simply to look attractive. (Obviously, I want to be healthy at the same time.) All I know is that I enjoy being thin and don't miss any of that nasty fat I've lost! :)

A very reflective piece! I am literally sitting here thinking about how I use those statements as a defense, a defense to the world, a defense to people, a defense to my habits and decisions. I have blocked the world off with my attitude and sealed the passage with my weight. I didn't notice just how tightly I am sealed in until I started to make an effort to lose the weight and become more out-going. It's almost impossible! I get so afraid and I always have my "shield of fat" to protect me from that fear. I am strong but only because of my fat, I'm so afraid to let the person underneath out. He's weak, no one ever liked him, he conformed...I ask what do you do once you've realized you are trapped in your prison of fat and by extenstion a social prison? Is there even a way out of this? This was a powerful reading for me personally. Much gratitude to the writer of this blog. Thank you dearly



I am an emotional eater and I can tell you that when I am in controll of food rather the other way around I feel good.  Plain and simple.  Fat says to me

I don't care (which is a lie)

I am too tired to socialize (because I have eaten too much un-healthy food)

I am uncomfortable in my clothing and have nothing to wear

I am envious of those folks that put in the effort and time to eat healthy

I don't want to go for a walk, or a bike ride, or a jog

I could go on and on.....for me thin says

I care enough about myself to try really hard because I am worth it

I love clothing and wearing fun and different styles of clothing

I embrace other people instead of envying them

I feel good and have energy to do things outside....that always makes me feel good.....

yes we can learn from our over-eating behaviors but to embrace it's outcome????

 I don't get it. 

Original Post by: bigfatarmsbegone

Original Post by: xfleur

Not to be negative, but ah, but the reason why some people want to lose weight is because fat can also say:

- I do not take good care of myself.
- I am lazy.
- I cannot keep up with everyone else.
- I cannot control myself.

And of course the biggie:

- I am not attractive.



That's exactly what I was thinking when I read this. I guess I am one of the few people that doesn't understand why being fat would be a security blanket since when I think back to the the period of time that I was overweight I have never felt worse or more ugly or more exposed in my whole life. I have lost at least 12 pounds since I started calorie count and I am no longer overweight. I still see the same fat ugly girl that I saw before when I look in the mirror.  I still have about 15 more pounds to lose till my goal.

When I was thin a few years ago I loved the way I looked and I felt great all the time. I liked that I made other people Jealous because to be honest I am selfish and vain. Oh well I guess everyone loses weight for different reasons mine are simply because I want to look good. And I don't care how vain I sound I'm not gonna lie to myself and tell myself I'm beautiful being fat when I really think I'm ugly.

I think different people do things for different reasons.  I never feel worse than when I am up in weight--and yet, there's another part of me that is thinking, well if I don't even try then I won't have to fail...

Or if I'm fat, then I can blame all my problems on that.  Once you strip that away, you have to start taking responsibility for more.

Yes, being fat can say those things that you mentioned--but primarily because we have a bad self image and we in essence don't think we are good enough to be thin and happy.

You can tell me I don't have self control, but I'm an accountant and I can be so ridiculously anal about every morsel I eat and every calorie I burn.  When I stop being diligent, it's not because I'm lazy--it's because that evil 8th grader in my head is telling me again that I'm not good enough...and sometimes, I believe him.

Original Post by: xfleur

Not to be negative, but ah, but the reason why some people want to lose weight is because fat can also say:

- I do not take good care of myself.
- I am lazy.
- I cannot keep up with everyone else.
- I cannot control myself.

And of course the biggie:

- I am not attractive.



Yup, agree!...

Fat definately doesnt mean security to me. Being thin/healthy/athletic/quick...I feel alot safer than if I was fat/out-of-shape/slow. I also feel more confident.

I can agree with thin=sex object. Some times I have secretly wished I was fat and ugly so men wouldnt give me so much negative sexual attention.

Comment Removed

I have a unique situation in my household, my husband is very overweight, I am very petite and underweight. I have always held firm at 100 pounds no matter what I do or what I eat. I am very active physically. I frequently receive  rude,mean comments like "doesn't she ever eat to "oh your're too skinny"  I struggle with my skinnyness just as my husband struggles with all the "Fat jokes.Either way  you wish people would  keep their hurtful comments to themselves! I would never tell someone they look fat. I do try hard to be sympathetic to those who are overweight because they are unfairly judged by being overweight.

I have always been  skinny and it has always made me feel unattractive. Guess we wish we all looked different.So no matter our size, it is hard to be content with our body image.

Fit12 says:

"When I was thin a few years ago I loved the way I looked and I felt great all the time. I liked that I made other people Jealous because to be honest I am selfish and vain. Oh well I guess everyone loses weight for different reasons mine are simply because I want to look good. And I don't care how vain I sound I'm not gonna lie to myself and tell myself I'm beautiful being fat when I really think I'm ugly."

I think I love you!  Equinox gyms has a personlaized section of their website where users can enter their goal.  Mine says "to have more energy and look hot naked."

But one thing: I don't think i am ugly.  NEVER.  The day I think I'm ugly is the day I barricade myself in my house and become a female Howard Hughes.  I look in the mirror and see hotness.  But there could be more hotness staring back at me.  And that's why I go to the gym.


I'm not sure how this rings true with me.  I don't feel protected in my fat, I actually feel very uncomfortable because I can't afford to buy new clothes so I have to stick with the clothes I wore when I was thinner.  Just recently I had jaw surgery, and afterwards I lost a lot of weight, well ten pounds, because I couldn't eat solid food for a few months, I loved that I had lost the weight, when I am depresses and stressed I gain weight no matter how much I exercise or eat well, my body just over produces the stress hormone and I gain a ton of weight, but when I get happier, even if I sat on the couch and only ate McDonalds for month, if I wasn't stressed I would stay thin, that's just how my body always has been, so I am trying to figure out a way to decrease my stress so I don't gain so much weight.  I also have some health issues I am trying to figure out as well.


So my fat isn't a shield for me, its a barrier to my happier healthier self

I recently lost about 35 lbs, actually I don't even know the exact weight, because my weight got beyond the point of bearing to get on the scale.  I am up and down 5 lbs all the time, especially after a weekend of partying...too much booze and too much good food!  I realize that when I get to a certain weight, for me, that's 150 and I'm 5'6", people, especially men do start to notice me and it can be quite uncomfortable.  I've even been called a model.  It feels great especially after having worked at losing the weight for quite some time.  So, I'm at a healthy weight now, but would like to lose 18 lbs more just to challenge myself.  Nothing ever seems to be good enough and sometimes, I think I intentionally gain the weight back so I have a project to work on.  Yes, I sabotage myself.  If I could only find other projects besides myself to focus on and just be happy with my body.  I guess all in all, yes, fat can be a shield from whatever life throws at you, be it some hot guy's stare or just more attention, uncomfortable or not.  It's scary getting used to a new body and everything that comes along with the territory.  It also shows that people do really look at outward appearances first.  Yes, we're all guilty of it.  Well, especially in LA...

I this exercise in my journal and I was amazed by my own replies.  I use it as an excuse to not leave my comfort zone, and as a way to shield myself from rejection, to require a lot less of myself. 

The two party situations were so different.  I was bright and happy when thin.  I was cold and lonely when fat.  It's how I hide, even though it's still uncomfortable.

Great article. I don't think it immediately cures me of all of my self-destructive thoughts, but it's a start, and it's nice to see that others identify with it too. For me, it's kind of opposite in a way, because I tend not to hold onto extra weight anyway, and that seems cruel to say here, but it's not like that means I think I'm perfect just because my weight is usually just fine. Sometimes I eat when I'm not hungry because I don't want to be too skinny, which is the wrong reason to eat, and I don't feel great about it. Skinny means fragile, and lacks a certan va-va-voom that I always wished I had, and part of me wants to get far away from skinniness. But in a way, that's what I run to for safety, a body that doesn't make anyone associate me with sexuality, just a very practical stick figure with no baggage.


Food for thought, so to speak ;^)

The post by xfluer really pushed some buttons didn't it? Great job getting real about it. I just signed up about 1 week ago and find this site very useful. It helps me maintain awareness of everything I eat and how much of it I choose to put into my body. Today I discovered this blog. I love good food. Food that I make myself, not junk food. I love fruit and vegies and a nice glass of wine a few times a week.  I also like butter and olive oil and bread and cheese, homemade cakes, pies and ice cream! Unlike a lot of people I gain weight when I'm happy.  When I'm anxious or stressed I can't eat, I drop weight quickly and look sickly. Not good. I know that my problem is I consume more than I need to therefore I am about 30 lbs over my comfort zone.  I have every intention of enjoying all the foods listed above, I just need to eat less of them less often. It really is that simple when we get down to the nitty gritty of it, regardless of whatever the underlying emotional issue is. If we're overweight we need to eat less and move more. 

I have been up and down by about 15-20 lbs over the years and experienced some of the issues others mentioned, like being voluptous and bringing in the wrong kind of attention.  I was also quite buxom as a teen and suffered the attention that caused as well.  I know some of my weight gain was to detract from the boobs, which worked. Once I got a breast reduction that equation changed everything and people responded much differently.  I lost a lot of weight to match the smaller breast size and found  some people were condescending to me  in a dumb blonde type of way, although I'm a brown ethnic woman. That was very disconcerting to say the least, so I have found a certain power in being a little larger than my ideal that I did not experience in my smaller sizes (5'6 & 135lbs).  When I'm larger (175 lbs) My presence projects larger to others and hence I have more authority. I also feel taller and people think I'm taller when I'm heavier.  I have no intention of letting go of this discovery, now that I am perimenopausal and earned every ounce of my personal power! What I am working towards now is reaching the healthy weight/size for me and maintaining that for the later years (150-160). When I turned 48 I woke up one day and had a belly that I never had before so I want to tackle that before it becomes a permanent fixture and a health concern.  As we get older it's also not wise to get so thin that osteoporosis becomes an issue. I lift weights for strength training and firmness and most of the time feel firm, sexy and beautiful. It saddens me to hear women call themselves ugly. We are all beautiful in our individual way and once we own that we can project that beauty no matter what size we are. We have to stop finding fault with ourselves based upon unrealistic conceptions of beauty. That's the part about accepting where you are at now that takes you to the next level so you can actually get the weight off.  For those of you struggling with self-hatred, my suggestion is that you start practicing looking in the mirror and seeing the beauty that is you and thanking your body for all the good it has served you in your life. When you appreciate that your legs keep you mobile and your eyes allow you to see, you might be encouraged to stop hating on your body and start to nourish your body with foods that are good for you! Good luck everyone.

I have 15 -20 pounds left.  I workout 5 days a week.  I have been stuck at this weight for about two months.  I am realizing I tend to sabotogue myself.  There is a safety in not having men checking me out to much.  Blending in and not standing out to much is comfortable for me.  I hope I can get over this.

This was a great blog article - several of my CC friends have commented on it in their journals.  Very thought provoking indeed.

As I went through the process of losing a lot of weight, I came to realize that the majority of the work for me was mental and emotional, not physical.  It has been unbelievably rewarding in so many ways to finally come up with ways to cope emotionally without using food as a balm, although painful at times.

yeah, i can imagine journals will help, but ive always been affraid my mum would find it and question me - being ex-anorexic she'd watching me like a hawk.

"Not to be negative, but ah, but the reason why some people want to lose weight is because fat can also say:

- I do not take good care of myself.
- I am lazy.
- I cannot keep up with everyone else.
- I cannot control myself.

And of course the biggie:

- I am not attractive.



i can also tell you being thin isnt fun, you feel - cold, you are wearing - small clothes that are too big for you, you stand around being anti-social and simply observing the other happier people who are actually eating enjoy themselves. not to mention when you finally get attention its rather uncomfortable and you get more comments being thin than fat.

there is a difference between having sufficient fat and being excessive, if its excessive to the point its harming you - seek a doctors help - but dont focus on 'loosing weight' but 'being healthy'.

when i was thin i was lazy (to the person going on about laziness) i have more energy with my fat so im more bouncy and do more. obese people can be a little lazy, but doesnt mean they dont have an inner-will to do whats right. im healthy now, BMI 21, with fat, and i dont excercise, sheesh i skip sport at school. when i go on walks here and there i dont struggle so im 'fit' with no attempt to be an impressive gym-junkie.

keeping up with everyone else? what do you do!??! personally, as far as im concerned, fitness is a measurement of being able to do your daily chores with a little extra energy - its all you need . i couldnt care less if i could run a  mile or not. i have enough muscle to get me through my day and its all i care about.

control is seperate to being fat, what about the people who restrict for ages then binge, they can still be rather thin. no self-control needs to seek conselling, not dieting, diets worsen control, the control needs to go first.

un-attractive?? since when does that matter? i was like 5 foot 5 and 140+ pound at just 11 years old and since then (now 5 foot 5/6 and 125 - healthy, dont tell me otherwise) and through all that (including a low of 90-ish pound) my boyfriend has stuck with me, im 15 now. yeah its only high school, but seriously i he were into me for how attractive i was he would have left a long time ago. and i can tell you we love each other like siblings, never split up or anything, because its who the person is that matters, otherwise your just being a little shallow. i couldnt give a stuff what others think of me.

you can feel envious of people who put effort into being impressively healthy, whatever, but just remember anyone of us is capable of that, its not like their better, thet may live a few years longer, but how many years of their life to they spend stressing over what they eat or running on the treadmill. in my opinion those extra few years arent worth it, if im in a healthy range, even overweight, but its not effecting my daily life directly (i wont let it effect my socially) then i wont bother.

Original Post by: suzettezus

Original Post by: xfleur

Not to be negative, but ah, but the reason why some people want to lose weight is because fat can also say:

- I do not take good care of myself.
- I am lazy.
- I cannot keep up with everyone else.
- I cannot control myself.

And of course the biggie:

- I am not attractive.



Yup, agree!...

Fat definately doesnt mean security to me. Being thin/healthy/athletic/quick...I feel alot safer than if I was fat/out-of-shape/slow. I also feel more confident.

I can agree with thin=sex object. Some times I have secretly wished I was fat and ugly so men wouldnt give me so much negative sexual attention.

Suzettezus I dont think anyone feels truly safe in their fat, but I fat does become an extension of our internal (probably defense) mechanics. So if I naturally do not feel attractive, I emotionally push people away and my fat becomes an extenstion of that particular internal mechanic. Everything that being excessively fat, or thin for that matter, says about us correlates to something internal. One thing that I have not come across is fat as an internal extension of security.

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