Stubborn peasant body

No Snacks, no sweets, no seconds. Except on Days that start with S. Too simple for you? Simple is why it works. Look here for questions, introductions, support, success stories.

Moderators: Soprano, automatedeating

Post Reply
hexagon
Posts: 176
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:53 am

Stubborn peasant body

Post by hexagon » Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:56 am

Let me present my situation, and maybe some of you successful folks out there could offer some advice.

I have a stubborn peasant body. It's short and burly and puts on weight easily, both in the form of muscle and fat. As far as I know from the history of my family, my ancestors did go through some crazy rough times, and a body like mine makes sense for people who are starving and having to shovel a lot of manure.

Anyhoo, what I've found with my body is that I *can* lose weight but I have to be incredibly disciplined. If I exercise a lot and eat very carefully, I build all of this great muscle and the pounds drop off. Yay. The problem is that if I slip just a little bit in my eating, or even switch to doing moderate exercise (walking) as opposed to vigorous stuff (running, hiking on hills, heavy cardio machine work, weight lifting, swimming), the weight loss is totally stalled or even reversed. Boo.

Basically what happens to me is that I lose and gain the same freakin' five pounds. I'll lose, and then my life will go to hell for whatever reason with work or whatever, and then my whole eating and exercise schedule gets disrupted for only a few weeks, and hello, weight gain! There's a very, very fine balance between loss and gain for me. It is maddening.

Any advice for a person like me, especially from others who have struggled with a similar problem? Incidentally, I have 20 pounds to lose, to give you an idea of where I stand.

By the way, if ANYBODY gives me advice like "take a walk" or "eat more green veggies and not as many carbs" or "lift weights" or some other amazing jewels of knowledge like that, I'll scream. Really. I do all of those things as much as I possibly can--it isn't like I'm sitting on my couch 24-7 inhaling Twinkies. (Disclaimer: I am not accusing anybody who posts or reads here of doing this!)

Grazie.

--H

Space_mom
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:32 pm

Post by Space_mom » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:49 am

Hi
My problem is similar to yours. I tried the classic approach "eat less move more", a 1200 cal/day diet, OTC supplements, the shangri-la diet that at least helped me realign my eating habits, and now No-S. As of this morning, I'm officialy on a reverse No-S diet: I eat upside down, not literally of course, but I eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Still no sweets, snacks or seconds. Let's see if this makes any difference. I also easily get fluid retention for some two weeks in a month... on top of the fat, it's terrible.
Well, I'll tell you if my reverse No-S diets works. I don't know what else to do. And I absolutely refuse to starve myself!...

kccc
Posts: 3950
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:12 am

Post by kccc » Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:18 pm

Hexagon,

Like you, "my genes are against me." Overweight (and the associated ills) run rampant in my family. Add middle-age-metabolic-slowdown to that, and the result is that it is VERY hard to lose.

I noted that you posted this at the same time that you posted about struggling with No-S, and I'm wondering if these two posts are related?

I find that if I REALLY stick to No-S, plus my "plate division" (you know, 1/2 veggies/fruits, 1/4 lean protein, 1/4 whole carb - skip the heavy sauces, etc.), I will either lose or at least not gain (if I'm not exercising). Plus I feel better. And yes, that's a "amazing jewel" that's likely to make you scream... sorry. The short answer is that there are no short answers.

But if it helps, I sympathize. It is totally NOT FAIR that my dh can drop 15 pounds just by skipping desserts, while I struggle for 2-3. But that's my reality.

User avatar
gratefuldeb67
Posts: 6172
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:26 pm
Location: NY

Post by gratefuldeb67 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:21 pm

Hi Hexagon..
Well maybe you should adjust your thinking then.
Change your goal to losing inches and getting fit.
Seems like you are plenty active and do a lot of muscle building exercise, at least from what you wrote
Well I was shocked to find out about a year or so ago, that muscle is actually three times as dense as fat. So that might make it seem you are not losing weight, or even gaining..
In a year when I was doing quite a bit of exercise (at least for me a couch potato by nature) I lost about 12 or 15 lbs.. But people around me said I looked like I lost 25 or more, so I guess the actual pounds lost didn't really matter that much.
Up your intake of water perhaps, and really try not to eat late at night.
Good luck!
Peace and Love,
8) Debs
There is no Wisdom greater than Kindness

User avatar
reinhard
Site Admin
Posts: 5805
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA
Contact:

Post by reinhard » Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:25 pm

I think this is the problem:
then my life will go to hell for whatever reason with work or whatever, and then my whole eating and exercise schedule gets disrupted for only a few weeks, and hello, weight gain!
You want to get yourself into a routine that can weather inevitable stresses better. Be moderate, so you don't demand too much of yourself, but be hard core about doing at least that moderate amount. It doesn't take much. Moderate but firm No-s, a habit of daily walking, 14ish minutes of dumbbell, shovelglove, or body weight exercises during the week. But you do really have to do it, even when things get stressful. A day here and there that you messed up is to be expected, but not "a few weeks." That you have to really not permit yourself. I know it's hard, but it's necessary, and it's easier than miserable, ineffective yoyoing.

I would recommend buying three calendars: one for diet, one for walking or "locomotive" exercise, the other for weight exercise. Then use the habit traffic light to mark off each success in green, exempt day in yellow, failure in red. This will make you feel like you're in control, doesn't take much effort in terms of tracking, and discourages failure while accommodating the inevitable straggler. An isolated failure won't seem discouragingly bad in a sea of green. But you'll want to jump right back to keep them from being double or triple failures.

Reinhard

joasia
Posts: 1101
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:22 pm
Location: California

Post by joasia » Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:59 am

Please don't take this the wrong way. But I would give anything (well almost) to be struggling with 20 pounds. Thank the good lord it isn't 100. When I look at pictures at myself at 20 pounds too many, I can't believe I ever thought I was fat. That aside, I think people are different. I have seen interviews with celebrities with killer bodies who say "Oh I eat anything I want and don't exercise" and you want to kill them. And other people with killer bodies who go to the gym two hours a day and eat like vegans. So I think the path to the killer body is VERY different for everyone. I, on the other hand, am not trying to have a killer anything, I just want to be healthy. Are you healthy? Sounds like it. Especially if you can run and hike.
The destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they feed themselves. Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

wosnes
Posts: 4168
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Post by wosnes » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:57 am

I agree with Reinhard. Find something you can do nearly every day -- even the days when stresses from work, etc., make life less easy.

I don't know what you weigh or what you want to weigh, but if you've got 20 pounds to lose, it's possible that you're in the ideal weight range for your height. I don't know if your goal is reasonable or not.

It could be that with "only" 20 pounds to lose, your body is at the weight it wants to be at; your brain wants something lower, more ideal or perfect. Sometimes we have to come to peace with the fact that what we'd like isn't what we're going to get.

If you're not able to exercise vigorously everyday, if that's not a realistic goal given the rest of your life, then concentrate on what you can do everyday, or at least most days, in both eating and exercising -- even during the weeks that are rough.

If I remember correctly, you walk a lot. So keep doing that and bump it up on the days you can and just follow No-S. See what happens over the course of a few months.

Oh, and eat your green veggies! :wink:
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

zoolina
Posts: 252
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:48 pm
Location: In Transit

Post by zoolina » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:05 am

I do the same thing-- yoyoing 5 lbs. But when I think about it in the long run, my weight has been stable (plus or minus 3 lbs) for the last five years, since my last kid was born. Yes, I'm about 15 lbs over my ideal (and yes-- I do tend to let myself go at times like a snacking robot) but maybe that's just not so bad?

Oh lord, we women with our body image stuff. Oh man, this society that only gives us unnatural images of beauty. I'd love to look hot in a bikini, but I'm beginning to think that I'm just not willing to do what it takes to get back there. Extreme moderation--I like that. And if it means I'm this same weight at 70, well, that's not too bad, is it?

Enjoy your peasant body. Actually, you've been blessed with strength and vitality, or does that count as an "amazing jewel"? Anyway, hang in there. We support you no matter what.

Zoo

Too solid flesh
Posts: 638
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:22 pm
Location: England

Stubborn peasant body

Post by Too solid flesh » Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:00 pm

I also put on weight very easily, which can be frustrating.

However, I heard some scientific expert on the radio the other day explaining that to survive, all populations need to include people who can fight (thin) and people who can survive famines (inclined to be fat). Populations which have only one of these characteristics died out.

So maybe us famine-survivors would not be here if our ancestors had not had this useful characteristic. And I've got a feeling that famine survival may be an asset again before too long.

Kevin
Posts: 1269
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

hexagon

Post by Kevin » Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:48 am

I don't mean this the wrong way, but is it possible you, are just meant to be robust, strong, fit, and not ultra-lean?

I don't mean that in a cruel way, but some of us just carry more body fat. I'll never be chiseled, but I think I look okay for a 47 year old male. I have what my grandmother would have called a plough-boy body. It's okay with me. I can maintain at what I'm at with No-S. I don't really think it's worth killing myself to get 10 pound lighter anymore. I'm only maybe 10 pounds heavier than I was in college, and I'm maintaining nicely. I think I'm where I'm meant to be.
Kevin
1/13/2011-189# :: 4/21/2011-177# :: Goal-165#
"Respecting the 4th S: sometimes."

Space_mom
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:32 pm

Re: Stubborn peasant body

Post by Space_mom » Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:39 am

Too solid flesh wrote:I also put on weight very easily, which can be frustrating.

However, I heard some scientific expert on the radio the other day explaining that to survive, all populations need to include people who can fight (thin) and people who can survive famines (inclined to be fat). Populations which have only one of these characteristics died out.

So maybe us famine-survivors would not be here if our ancestors had not had this useful characteristic. And I've got a feeling that famine survival may be an asset again before too long.
This theory sounds very interesting, and makes sense evolutively speaking! I'd be very interested to know more details. Have you any idea of who could the scientist be, or anything that could serve as a keyword to google?

Too solid flesh
Posts: 638
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:22 pm
Location: England

Re: Stubborn peasant body

Post by Too solid flesh » Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:34 pm

Space_mom wrote:
Too solid flesh wrote: I heard some scientific expert on the radio the other day explaining that to survive, all populations need to include people who can fight (thin) and people who can survive famines (inclined to be fat). Populations which have only one of these characteristics died out.
This theory sounds very interesting, and makes sense evolutively speaking! I'd be very interested to know more details. Have you any idea of who could the scientist be, or anything that could serve as a keyword to google?
I've tracked it down to a short programme broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday called Extra Senses. The episode in question was episode 5/5. The webpage of the programme is here, and includes a link to a "listen again" facility for the episode:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/extrasenses.shtml

The expert in question was Professor Stephen Bloom, an expert in appetite regulation.

Space_mom
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:32 pm

Post by Space_mom » Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:29 pm

Thanks a million, TSF! I couldn't hear the audio, my computer wouldn't open it, but I'll try at home. Thanks for your trouble - have a great weekend or should I say S-days!! :D

hexagon
Posts: 176
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:53 am

Post by hexagon » Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:59 am

Hello there, and thanks for the input.

I don't think I've got the type of body that would be a skinny body. That's fine. I do think I'm overweight, though. I mean, is my body really at its ideal weight if I have a gut and chubby arms? Probably not. I'm 5'2", and I'd like to be 130 pounds. That's near the upper limits of a healthy BMI. I don't think I'm being unreasonable. What do you all think?

I guess I'm just a lot more anxious about this because I'm thinking of ending my LTR. My boyfriend has a lot of mental issues and I just can't tolerate them anymore, even though he is kind, intelligent, and attractive-looking.

I'm 30 years old, and terrified that I won't be able to find any other decent man again. Previous to being with my current boyfriend (I've been with him for 9 years) it seemed like a lot of the guys I ended up dating were jerks (yes, I had a strong enough will to end those relationships quickly, but it still sucked). Now it seems like all of the nice guys in the 30-40 y.o. age range are either married or in serious relationships.

It seems like so many men are horribly picky about a woman's weight. Yeah, yeah, I know, those men aren't worth being with anyway, yadda yadda yadda. Maybe that's true. Then again, a number of male friends of mine, who are decent people, seem to only go for trim girls, not for gut girls like me. I have decent hair, people have told me I have a cute face, and my skin is good--but it seems like I see my male friends only interested in the girls with slim bodies. In fact, I've seen men pick out a slim girl as the beautiful one, even if her hair is limp and her face is plain, as opposed to a slightly overweight girl with a prettier face and nicer hair.

Anyhow, a lot of my insecurities are coming to the forefront lately, and this includes worrying about my weight. I feel that if I am to enter the "market" again, I have to be in tip-top shape, since it is much harder now. I'm also not in the most highly-populated area and I didn't move here so long ago, so it's not as if I'll just meet tons of men easily.

Sorry about this being sort of off-topic, and sorry about maybe not sounding grateful for what I have. Thanks for reminding me that at least I'm healthy, and I know that is a great blessing. I guess I just can't help but feel frustrated and worried, especially at this point in my life. I guess I just worry that my chances of finding a stable, committed relationship with a good man are really shrinking now and that if I don't shape up fast, I'll be hosed.

It's been a long time since any man seemed to notice me. I mean, maybe it is just because I've been in a committed relationship for so long that I'm not tuning into such signals, or that my self-esteem is low enough that I don't interpret a man's attentions correctly. I can't help but think that losing some weight will help me in this department. It's not as if I think losing 20 pounds will turn me into Angelina Jolie, but it sure wouldn't hurt.

Okay, sorry for the ranting and raving. This has really been eating me up for a few days.

--H

kccc
Posts: 3950
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:12 am

Post by kccc » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:52 am

Hexagon,

Just a couple of memories sparked by your post...sharing in hopes that they resonate a little with you.

I first lost weight in my early 20's, and was astonished and angered by the amount of male attention I suddenly got. I felt like "well, I was the same person 30 pounds ago, but wasn't worth noticing then, eh?" So, I hear you on that. It's SO superficial, but it matters.

I also hear the desperation. I married (first marriage) right at 30, when it seemed like almost everyone was married and the pool was dwindling. I didn't think that desperation played a part... but it did. That marriage was toast within a year - a real mistake. However, I found that when I emerged on the other side that there were many more options than I'd thought. A lot of those early marriages were coming unglued, for various reasons. (As it turned out, my REAL marriage ended up being to a long-time friend... we'd never dated only because one of us was always in a committed relationship when the other was available. A good lifetime choice - we just celebrated 16 years.)

The only thing I can tell you is the trite-but-true observation that you can CHOOSE to look for, create, and build happiness in your life whatever the circumstances. When my first marriage went nova, I was devastated (not my choice to end it, though it turned out to be for the best). I had no clue that life would be better in the long run - I thought that I'd blown my one chance at being with someone, and would live alone the rest of my days. So, I determined that I would find ways to enjoy being alone... similar choice, later, when my husband and I thought we would be childless after the second miscarriage when I was 40. (After all, who has kids that late, especially after issues? Turned out we did, when I was 44. But I didn't know that, so worked through "I will build a happy life without biological children" before my son was born.)

Sorry to bore you with my autobiography - just wanted to tell you from my own experience that (1) you CAN make choices to "be happy anyway" and (2) you never know what life holds in store. And I firmly believe that 2 is better if you attend to 1.

Best wishes. You come across on this list as a bright and interesting person, full of potential, but assailed by such self-doubt. Be gentle with yourself. Take little babysteps that you can accomplish, and celebrate each one.

(My six-year-old just came by, noticed the emoticons, and really wants me to use a happy smiley in my email. So here is one for you both. :D )

London Mum
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:05 am

Post by London Mum » Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:57 pm

Hi Hexagon

Sorry you are feeling discouraged, and I felt I had to come out of lurkdom to reply. I am just the same as you - 5'2'' and would like to lose 20lbs. I'm a bit older (36) and have been battling up and down the same 5/10 lbs for nearly 20 years!

I hit an all time peak last November (not counting just before or after my kids!) of 152 lbs. Then I discovered No-S and have been following ever since. I've only slipped badly three times, although I did take a whole two weeks off over Christmas.

I think Reinhard is right in what he says. For us shorter women with not that much to lose (relatively speaking) it is just going to take the long haul. What I've been doing is plotting my weight on a graph but only once a month (although I do weigh more often). In Feb I only lost half a lb and halfway through the month felt very discouraged. But I kept going and it is starting to drop again. I've decided even half a pound a month is good!

I'm 143 lbs now and I'm determined this is my way of eating forever. I think if I get below 140 (magic 10 stone for us Brits) I will try to be content, but I hope it will get down a bit lower, as I know I feel really good at about, er, 130!

Good luck with your relationship decisions and you know there *are* men out there who will appreciate you for more than just your waistline, whatever happens.

lutherdog
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:03 am

Hexagon

Post by lutherdog » Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:04 pm

Hexagon-

I'll give you my opinion.

I think you may be making excuses for yourself to give up. This is, albeit, from afar, but let me give you my rational...perhaps that will help you determin the size of the grain of salt to take with this...

I used to be a programmer and as I got older I started to dread the job I used to love. As I started to inquire my employer about career options: management, sales, more responsibility, etc. I found that I kept hitting a "perception" wall. People saw me as a programmer, and that carried with it certain assumptions of what I would and would not be good at and what I could not ever do. These perceptions others had at me soft-of seaped into my brain. I suspected they were right. "He's just a programmer, he can't manage a team of people!"

Fast-forward, I ended up going to business school on the weekends and finishing top in my class. I was then promoted to a Director position, up 2 levels of management, and was managing the managers that used to tell me -- in very polite ways -- that I may not be pursuing the right thing. This was a bit of a fluke, and a bit of me pushing myself at just the right lucky moment. Regardless, I had to now deal with these people who would resent me or suspect I couldn't do the job.

I also hired people in to increase the staff. Oddly, I was very comfortable withthe new people, and a bit nervous around the old people, as I felt they still saw me as a programmer. It would affect my mannerisms and my confidence. One meeting I'd feel like a Director, one I'd feel like someone pretending to be a Director because these people were in the meeting.

I then went and found a new job. I noticed, since I had that Director title, everyone assumed I was a Director-type-person. All of the assumptions now, instead of holding me back, were propelling me forward.

After a while I noticed that what was limiting me was not my ability to perform, but perceptions about me -- my own and others. Self-imposed limits. Since then I've seen these -- in myself and people I've managed. They (we) come up with excuses why we are not good enough, or why we'll never aspire to some new lofty goal. The problem is that you can, and after you do, you'll meet people who feel the way you felt and it will stick in your craw.

I see this daily, people saying "That's just me", and "But I've never...", and "I'm just a X". These should be red flags. We have a way of summing up a bunch of assumptions and forming an identity statement that -- I feel - pigeon holes you into a self-imposed limitation. This should especially warn you when the X is something fairly lowly or derrogatory.

I suggest you only allow your mental limits to be informed by fact, and make sure you've covered every angle before you accept it. The whole peasant-body story really feels like a pigeon hole to me. I would be insulted if someone tried to communicate that I was limited by my DNA into a peasant category. If they said it about my wife or kids I'd probably be mad enough to (want to) punch them. It should offend you that someone is trying to limit you in that way -- even if that someone was your former self. I know you've tried to lose weight and found it tough -- that goes for everyone. It is tough.

Just how tough is it for you to have a body 20-30 lbs lighter? I don't think you know that. I think you need to figure that out by doing it. After you are done you will have learned something about yourself, and you should expect an apology from your former self. ;)

wosnes
Posts: 4168
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Post by wosnes » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:16 pm

I agree with KCCC -- build a life that pleases you. The more we do that makes our life good and makes up happy, the more likely we are to find the people who are supposed to be in our lives.

In regards to your goal: it's not unreasonable. But I think it's probably better to just relax and follow No-S, eat and exercise reasonably and moderately, and just see what happens over time than to struggle and have to be so strict.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

User avatar
navin
Posts: 414
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:23 pm
Location: Kentucky

Post by navin » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:06 pm

Hexagon,

Wow, in a lot of ways, you sound a lot like me. :) (Well, except that I'm a guy..) I'm 30, and have about 10-20 lbs to lose myself. I used to be a lot worse - I was about 20-25 lbs heavier before starting No-S. I used to think I was so unattractive that I'd never find anyone who'd be interested in me.

Eventually I came across a realization - it had a lot more to do with self-confidence than weight and attractiveness. In so many areas of life, I find if I find something I can do and get even a little success, it gives me some confidence to continue, then I do better, and that gives me even more confidence, etc.... an upward spiral. The reverse is true if I have little confidence... I dwell on failures, so that makes me even less confident, and so forth.

So what has helped me in regards to diet and exercise is to focus on the success more than the failures. And even with the failures, treat those as a positive in that I can learn from them and do better later, rather than getting discouraged.

For you, it seems you do No-S pretty well in normal cases. So you know you can do it, and have done a good job at maintaining your weight. That's a good thing. Probably all you have to do is find a better way of dealing with the times when things are difficult and stressful. Maybe just try different things to see what works... maybe it's some form of physical activity (exercise can be a great stress-reliever... even punching holes in walls probably burns *some* calories!) Maybe there's some sort of sport or activity you enjoy. Or maybe it's talking to good friends, or posting on this board, or anything else besides food.

By the way, there are plenty of guys out there, and probably a lot that would find you attractive as you are already. Believe me, I used to think that it was my weight that was turning women off, but I'm pretty sure it's my own lack of self-confidence doing me in more than anything else.

So, take my ramblings for what they're worth.. hopefully there's something halfway intelligible in there. Good luck.
Before criticizing someone, you should try walking a mile in their shoes. Then you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

hexagon
Posts: 176
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:53 am

Post by hexagon » Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:39 pm

Wow, thanks for the advice and commentary. I guess I get really scared about the man situation because of my older sister, who is in her mid-40's, never married, and is finding it harder and harder to find a man (who wants a committed relationship, that is...Seems like it's easier to find men who want a week-long relationship!) It isn't that I think a woman *must* have a man. I just know that I'd personally like to have a good one for a lasting relationship. My parents have a very healthy, loving relationship that has lasted for over 30 years and this has made them very happy. I think I could be the same way.

Lutherdog, thank you for the advice about our perceptions of ourselves. I guess a lot of this insecurity still stems from my early years. Whe, n I was 10-11 years old, I became fat. On top of being fat, I sucked at sports and got the best grades. I was the roly-poly ugly nerd girl that everybody dumped on. I envied the skinny girls who were already getting dates--no boy even looked at me. (Granted, the silver lining here is that I actually focused upon developing my mind, unlike many girls who give up any self-development to chase after boys.) When I was 13, a combination of a growth spurt and a concerted effort caused me to lose weight. Mind you, technically I was still overweight--actually I'm probably close to the same weight now as I was then. I entered high school and all of the sudden boys were treating me nicely. Suddenly, people didn't treat me like crap.

It's funny--through high school and college, I felt a lot more confident about myself. I went out. I dated guys (well, some totally sucked). I felt (gasp) pretty. Even after college, I worked for a while and still felt good about myself. The funny thing is that my weight wasn't different from what it is now--in fact, I probably weigh slightly less now.

All of my food and body issues really went out of control once I started graduate school. All of the sudden, I was surrounded by fiercely competitive, nasty, crazy people, and I felt cowed by their intellects and their confidence. All of them were pretty much type A people who in addition to being the best academically were really crazy about sports (I like hiking and walking and relaxed games of soccer, but these were the types of people who devoted every waking hour not at the lab to hardcore mountain-climbing or citywide soccer tournaments, etc.). Many of them tended to be uptight people who didn't share my offbeat sense of humor, my interests, etc. etc. Worse yet, I began doing research with a group of people who had already formed a clique and I was a total outsider.

All of the sudden I felt like I did when I was 13. Despite being staggeringly intelligent, these people were just as petty as my peers were when I was 13 years old. I was the unpopular one who was left out, who was scorned. (Honestly, I'm not the only one who noticed that this crap was happening...One of the few friendly people I first knew there commented on the bizarre situation.) And, guess what? I was the fattest one. (Stress eating made me reach my all-time high of 160 pounds, yucko!)

Okay, so correlation does not imply causation...Nevertheless, I saw how some of the male researchers were much kinder (and more helpful when it came to professional issues) to the flirty, skinny girls. Grrrr. Thankfully a new batch of researchers and students came in who were much nicer and I was finally accepted into the fold. I guess the whole situation left a lot of scars, though. I saw how not always being well-dressed or thin could make a significant difference in how people treated me. (Yes, yes, I know that's not all of it, but I swear it did have an effect!) All the long-buried fears and issues from when I was 11-13 years old were really dredged up!

I think that's good advice, though, to consider (and challenge) my perceptions of myself and those around me, as well as trying to develop a life that pleases me. I think that happy, confident people tend to radiate a positive attitude and that is very attractive.

Anyhoo, I've started to try and carve out a life for myself that I like. To increase my social mobility, I've purchased a car (well, I ordered one...not enough stickshift models to go around in the U.S. and I have to wait, arrgh), and I've already outlined a number of interesting volunteer and recreational activities to do once I have it (right now they're too difficult to access without wheels). I've always enjoyed charity work and I figure I might meet some interesting people that way. Given that I have some extra cash, I've also started a wardrobe overhaul (yikes) and got a haircut, and even bought some make-up (eeek!). It's feels good to actually look nice sometimes. I guess my strategy is to appreciate what I've got. I'm not perfect, but I want to stand up and present myself to the world in the best way possible.

I haven't decided whether I will end my relationship or not, but regardless, I'd like to just feel better about myself.

Okay, this is a really self-centered posting, and I probably sound horribly superficial (looks looks looks, blah blah blah), but I guess I do need a balance between mind, body, and soul. I've been ignoring the outside of my body for an awfully long time and I think it wants some attention.

Anyway, thank you all for reading my neurotic ramblings, and I apologize for pouring my heart out like this, but I don't really have that many outlets for these sorts of thoughts. Plus, these are the sorts of thoughts that are really linked to my issues with weight.

--H

kccc
Posts: 3950
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:12 am

Post by kccc » Sat Mar 24, 2007 2:45 am

Hexagon,

Just wondering how you were doing, and wishing you well.

:)

hexagon
Posts: 176
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:53 am

Post by hexagon » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:33 pm

Thanks for asking. So-so. It seems like my weight fluctuates with my mood. The better I feel, the less I eat and the weight starts to drop off immediately. Then I'll feel terrible and a lot of it comes back. Last week sucked because I had severe insomnia. I barely stuck to No-S and then cracked for about four days, during which I think I gained back what I lost in the previous week (then again, my weight fluctuates so much I have no clue what it really is).

*Sigh*. Well, I haven't gone *over* 150 lbs. If only 130 lbs. didn't seem like it were infinitely far away....

Yeah, yeah...I know. Whine whine whine. I'll stop now. :wink:

lutherdog
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:03 am

Post by lutherdog » Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:56 am

hexagon,

this might seem sacrelidge on this board, but perhaps trying another twist to the diet might help.

I once did a diet, much like no-s, where there were only 2 simple rules:
1. You cannot eat anything until you feel a hunger pain in your stomach.
2. you must stop eating when you get the first full feeling.

That's it. Eat anything you want. chocolate, pizza -- whatever.

More than the weight I lost, I learned a lot about myself. The first week I did this diet I found myself having to shut down some old habits -- I was eating when I wasn't hungry.

I would come home from work and look for a snack. I realized during the "snack hunt", why am I looking for food, I'm not hungry.

Why do we eat when we are not hungry?

I first tried to figure out what I was doing...I thought it was just out of boredom.

But, I realized it's a bit deeper. boredom can be a mask for lonliness -- atleast it was in my case.

I think -- now this could be sheer BS -- but psychologically we have this empty feeling: lonliness, dispair, depression. Could be mild, but there. Somehow our mind thinks we can fill this emptiness with food, as if it were a physical need, a physical emptinessin our stomach.

Now, I would have called all of this BS before I tried it. Then I found myself looking for food when I have zero hunger. In that moment you can learn alot about yourself.

Also, on insomnia - my wife struggles with this. If you are having trouble going to sleep it is often depression. If you goto sleep, wake up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep -- it's often stress.

Good luck.

pangelsue
Posts: 571
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 2:13 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Post by pangelsue » Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:25 pm

Hi Hexagon,
You started a good thread here and there have been a lot of good responses. I have enjoyed all of the perspectives.
Just a thought about the "superficial" looks, looks, looks thing. Have you ever watched a television show called "What not to wear"? The basis of the show is that someone nominates a friend or family member for a makeover. They are given $5000.00 and they go to New York with their entire existing wardrobe. They get their old stuff criticized and get a lot of information how they can best dress for their size and shape. They get help with colors, patterns, accessories etc. Then they go shopping and spend the $5000.00. They get an expensive hair redo and lessons in using make up. Most of these people start off saying, "I never cared about this stuff before" or "I stopped caring while I was too busy with job, school, kids etc." I started watching the show because I was fascinated by how much better everyone looked at the end of the show. The wow factor was through the roof. They interview them at the end of the experience and they always say they had no idea that how they looked could make such a large impression on how they felt about themselves. They interview them a month later and they say the experience changed their lives.

Finally they had a show that was about a person who had a body like mine. I watched and rewatched it several times. I did the same with a show that was about someone who facially looked somewhat like me. Slowly, for the first time in 60 years, I started wearing a little make up, then a little more until I felt comfortable with it. I started buying clothes that fit me. I had always bought large for comfort before. I found (just like they said on the show) that if the fit is perfect, clothes that fit are just as comfortable as baggy clothes.
Anyway, the best news was that I started feeling better about myself. After I turned 55, I started feeling like I was invisible. Men at work teased and talked to the younger gals but if I was noticed at all, I was treated with mom-like respect. All women, regardless of their age, want to feel attractive to the opposite sex. I was also being pidgeon-holed by the women. Not a struggling mom anymore, not a young married, not moving corporately ahead etc. They were 3 of us over 55ers who started hanging out together and although these people are nice, they seemed decades older than me mentally. I like current trends and parties and music. They were always talking about "remember when". Argh.
To make this story even longer, after I started using the make up and dressing differently, I took some flack from my 55+ friends but I survived that. Then at parties, I started getting the occasional compliment "you look nice tonight". Then things started to slowly change at work. I had started to believe in myself and others joined in. I'm visible again. I was dressing like no one could see me so they didn't.

I think you should go for it. Go to a large beauty salon and get the whole treatment. Ask for advice on make up, clothes and everything. The first thing people see is your outside. Then if they are worth the trouble, they give you a chance to show them your inside
A lot of growing up happens between "it fell" and "I dropped it."

hexagon
Posts: 176
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:53 am

Post by hexagon » Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:25 am

Hi there,

I really appreciate the support.

Oddly enough in the past few weeks I've probably dropped six pounds. I guess I've been in a better mood. Oh yeah, and I've been working like a nut, and only eating when I'm actually hungry, and I've been able to sleep (mostly). Sometimes I can handle stress and sometimes I can't. I'm not really sure what I'm doing differently when I can handle it. Intellectually I *know* when I'm reaching for food when I'm not hungry, I'm trying to cope (usually with loneliness or anxiety). I am totally aware of this. As I eat, I'll say to myself "hey, you're using this as a drug" but I still do it. Well, at least I'm doing it less than I did a few years ago...

Anyhow, my anti-overeating strategies seem to be working. They are:
(1) staying out of the house on weekends (right now I'm up against a deadline so I'm working like a nut)

and (2) keeping easily munchable food out of my home but at work so I can eat it in normal quantities and not feel deprived

Thanks, Pangelsue, for making me not feel like I'm totally shallow! Slowly I've been working on the wardrobe--thank goodness for my substantially increased income and on-line ordering.

Okay, this has been a very poorly-organized, rambling posting only very loosely linked to the peasant body theme. Sorry. Tired. Good night everybody.

--H

User avatar
MerryKat
Posts: 786
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:35 am
Location: Sunny South Africa

Post by MerryKat » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:37 am

Hexagon
I wear make-up every day - even if I am just pottering around at home. I don't do this for anyone else but me.

When I get up and get dressed (even in casual clothing) I put my make-up on before leaving my bedroom.

I find that when I am wearing even just a little make-up I feel more confident and I seem to like me better and as a consequence treat me better.

My friends all laugh at me and my hubby often teases me about my war paint, but it is my way of making me ready to face the day.

You don't have to wear layers and layers to feel good, just a little goes a long way.

Just my 2c
Hugs from Sunny South Africa
Vanilla No S with no Sugar due to Health issues - 11 yrs No S - September 2016 (some good, some bad (my own doing) but always the right thing for me!)

Sinnie
Posts: 1317
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:09 pm

Post by Sinnie » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:04 pm

Mo, you make a good point and I agree. Many times at home I never bother with myself, whether my hair, makeup etc. and I feel crappy. Maybe I should put more effort just for *me* because it does make a difference.

hexagon
Posts: 176
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:53 am

Post by hexagon » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:57 pm

It's interesting to hear people's attitudes about make-up, clothes, etc. I think all too often we are taught that the physical and the mental/emotional are completely separate, but I don't think they are.

I'm really not in the habit of using make-up, but I've been increasing some of my self-care, doing little things like taking better care of my cuticles. I don't know if anybody notices, but it somehow makes me feel better.

Post Reply