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weight as protection.


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#1 BarbaraB316

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 06:48 AM

I have hit an impass in my weight loss and I believe that it is a self protection issue. I use my weight as a way to keep men from being attracted to me and therefore not risk the chance of experiencing the pain that I have felt in past relationships. Does anyone else out there do this?.. Any advice on how to get over it?
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#2 LPC108

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:26 AM

BarbaraB-
I know exactly what you mean. I have also worn this weight as a means of protection. I don't know if I'm over it or how to get over it. But remember that you have taken a step by joining JC or even just joining the forum. Being self aware is such a huge part of making a change.

We are on this journey for ourselves not for someone else to validate or invalidate us.

You are inspiring for even starting this thread. I think that there are many people that do this, but not many realize it.

Keep going, girl!!! We are worth the effort and deserve the results. And you are definitely not alone!!!
-Leslie
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Week 1 (12/27/2010) -5.2
Week 2 (1/3/2011) -1.8
Week 3 (1/10/2011) -2.1
Week 4 (1/17/2011) -1.8
Week 5 (1/24/2011) -0.3 6.5 inches lost
Week 6 (1/31/2011) -1.1
Week 7 (2/7/2011) -1.5
Week 8 (2/15/2011) -2.4
Week 9 (2/21/2011) -1.2 another 6.5 inches lost
Week 10 (2/28/2011) -0.0 ( Huh???)
Week 11 (3/7/2011) -1.4
Week 12 (3/14/2011) -1.0
Week 13 (3/21/2011) +0.7 (so sad )
Week 14 (3/28/2011) -2.9
Week 16 (4/8/2011) +0.9 ( no excuses)
Week 17 (4/14/2011) -3.2
Week 18 (4/21/2011) -1.4
Week 19 (4/28/2011) -0.4
Week 20 (5/6/2011) -1.8
Week 21 (5/13/2011) -1.4
Week 22 (5/20/2011) -0.1 (no idea!!)

#3 FitIsFun

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:53 AM

QUOTE(BarbaraB316 @ Apr 10 2011, 06:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have hit an impass in my weight loss and I believe that it is a self protection issue. I use my weight as a way to keep men from being attracted to me and therefore not risk the chance of experiencing the pain that I have felt in past relationships. Does anyone else out there do this?.. Any advice on how to get over it?


Hi Barbara,

I'm no psychologist, but from my experiences with past clients who have struggled with the same challenges I have found that often times facing that pain that you experienced in the past can be therapeutic and help you move on. It might seem like a "movie" answer smile.gif, but many of my clients found that the weight is a coping mechanism put in place because they felt, at some level, something about who they were was to blame for the hurt they felt in the past. As such it became important for them to take another look at who they were and see the value in themselves and their healthy changes. Pile on those positive validations! You deserve to not only be at a healthy weight that makes you happy but if you desire to even find someone to be with that will make you happy in the future! I figure you making all these healthy changes to your lifestyle to help achieve health and happiness right? Why not take it a step further and take the time to challenge this old pain that is holding you back?

I know that I have no idea what your past relationships involved and what your particular situation was, but I do hope this this helps you gain some sort of positive perspective on your situation! smile.gif Just keep reminding yourself that you are worth it!

FitisFun
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#4 tbot

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 07:26 PM

Once upon a time, a therapist asked me if I had gained my weight in order to keep men away. I looked at her like she was crazy (she did word the question poorly) and promptly found a new therapist. Now, though, I'm in a place where I can strip away the denial and admit that, yes, I have used my weight to keep men from being interested. *sigh* You are not alone!
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#5 DebbieRP

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 02:32 AM

I would say in my case my weight kept the right men away. I was so needy for affection that I married the first person who asked. I did not love him, I was treated badly and ignored and I took it for years. When I fianlly lost the weight in 2007, I was able to see things clearer and realized I did not need to be treated this way. I feel as if I am better off alone and happy than with someone just to be with someone. I asked my then, husband to leave and was alone for a year. I fell in love, it did not work out, then alone for another year. I recently started dating someone who is my best friend. We were friends long before we moved it to the next level. I don't NEED him, he enhances my life. This is way different than how i was when I was heavier
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Starting weight in 2006 was 235 pounds





#6 Latin Dove

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 12:18 PM

QUOTE(BarbaraB316 @ Apr 10 2011, 06:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have hit an impass in my weight loss and I believe that it is a self protection issue. I use my weight as a way to keep men from being attracted to me and therefore not risk the chance of experiencing the pain that I have felt in past relationships. Does anyone else out there do this?.. Any advice on how to get over it?


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#7 Latin Dove

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 12:28 PM

No Barbara you are not alone. But does this keep men away, no some men like big women, just look at TV , Drop Dead Diva, Say yes to the dress bliss, some women are happy like this. I too have hit a impasse, but it feels great when someone says hey have u lost weight? You look slimmer, then I feel better. Not easy but we can & will do it. Hang in there.

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#8 BurninItUp

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:17 PM

I think it's not so much about keeping the men away as keeping yourself feeling like you don't deserve anyone. If a woman feels good about herself no matter what her size she is attractive to others. When we feel bad then we aren't as attractive and don't give off the same vibes. Happiness is the best cosmetic. So in terms of how you feel, maybe adding weight makes you less likely to be open to love. That is how I am, if I don't feel loveable then I don't make it easy for anyone else to love me. Instead of going out with friends I'll say "I look awful in everything, I'm not going" and it's easier to make excuses to not participate in life. Then I'll hide away with the food and watch TV all day. It's a vicious cycle. That isn't a very attractive quality in anyone. Clothes that are too tight and trying to hide from the world. It doesn't exactly say "I'm a catch". When I feel good about myself I'll wear nice jewelry or heels and paint my nails and definitely accept invitations to go out and do lots of activities. Weight is just part of the problem, the biggest problem is not the weight but how it makes us feel about ourselves. That is when the fat becomes a prison because we feel like we don't deserve love and happiness. Kind of like self-abuse. Never thought of it that way before. I wouldn't treat anyone as bad as I'm treating myself. And that makes it even harder to lose weight and find love. Sounds cliche but you have to love yourself first. Loving yourself is making healthy choices and being kind when it is a struggle and happy along the journey. Pretty tough one, huh? But the fight is worth it. From now on I'm going to try to treat myself how I would treat someone else. Now that's attractive!
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#9 Donna from Downey

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:48 AM

so interesting to read this...it has been my little secret for at least 10 years. i thought! but apparently i'm not the only one who has worn 50 pounds of protection around my heart. i did the BIG no no and fell in love with a man at work years ago and then it didn't work out he moved on and found happiness and i withdrew and found fat. i am retiring in a few months and apparently my thought process involved ---Retirement=not seeing him ever again=time to lose this protective layer and get on with my life!--so i joined Jenny. now the weird thing is i really don't understand how this all worked itself out in my brain, but this is my first 'serious' move to lose weight. and i never expected us to get back together...i just didn't/don't ever want anyone to be able to get close to my heart again. but now i don't feel the need for the layers of fat to protect me...weird, huh??
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#10 I Called Jenny

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:43 AM

The day that I met my husband, I was about 25+ pounds overweight. I didn't want to go out with a friend that night to a club but she forced me into it because I promised her in a moment of weakness, so I not only wore my fat, my hair was a wreck and I wore an ugly dress that had stains on it! Can you say that I was wearing "armor against being attractive"? Uh, yeah.

We got to the club and my friend knew the guy my DH was sitting with and she pulled up a chair to talk to him so I was "stuck" talking to his friend and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

He didn't seem to notice that I looked a wreck and since I wasn't in the "being picked up mood" I dropped my guard in a sense and talked to him - not as a potential boyfriend but just as a person - and soon we clicked.

When I got home that night and my mother (who was stunned at the way I looked when I left the house) asked me about my evening and I told her that I met someone and that he was...different. And he was and is.

By the time we had our first date about a week later, I'd dropped about 5 lbs. and due to a series of (now) funny circumstances (all unintentionally MY fault), we had a date that could have been a disaster but he took it with good humor and that made me like him even more.

I guess the bottom line is that when you do meet someone who is special and who sees "you" and not the facade of fat or any other physical attributes that we use to say "stay away," then you will have found a great guy.

Yes, we've all had heartaches and dated the wrong guys but if we learn from those experiences, then we can use the lessons we learned from "Mr. Right Now" (or Mr. Wrong) to help us know when we've found "Mr. Right." :)
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Phyllis

Height: 5'2
SW - 177.6
Goal! - 132
Returning Weight - 143
CW - GOAL AGAIN!!!




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#11 Free of Concern

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:04 AM

:) Hi Donna, welcome to the Jenny Craig Family and congratulations on your weight loss so far. You are doing great and I highly recommend that you participate in the JC boards. Its a great and safe way to connect to people in order to share our trials and victories.

I too have used weight as a form of protection. As a child I was obese and was bullied by boys concerning my weight and it drove me deep inside so I have been in hiding most of my life. Losing weight didn't "fix" me and I've been working on my inner self so that I can fully participate in the world. Its been a slow process and to some extent the Jenny Craig program has helped but I've branched out into other places to find more emotional and spiritual support.

When I lost my job in October 2001, I sought out the help of a job coach and she suggested the books of Susan Jeffers and specifically the book titled "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway". The book really helped me see life in a different perspective and it gave me the push to move out of my own self imposed limitations. Now I am not fearless by any means but I am no longer the terrified self lothing wimp I once was. Check out Susan Jeffers webstite www.susanjeffers.com for other titles and especially her take on affirmations.

Also another thing to consider is that losing weight takes energy and time. Perhaps when you were working you didn't have the time but now you do with the upcoming retirement. Please remember that you have many great years ahead of you and good for you that you are investing time and energy in your self. Who knows the man of your dreams could be right around the corner but don't wait for him to show up. Live each day as a gift and cherish all of the moments.

Take care and good luck with your weight loss journey! :D
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Formerly known as Patty Lynne
I can't control the outcome of the "game" but I can control how I work in preparation for the "game"
"It is not the mountains we conquer but ourselves"
I may be imperfect but I love and accept myself as I push towards my goal of good health!
Goal weight 125
wgt @ 07/21/12 132.8
Wgt @ 03/05/2013 127.8 Yea...New plan is working great!!!
Wgt @ 03/16/2013 125.4 Almost there!
Wgt @ 05/06/2013 126.8 Still getting back into groove from Easter
Wgt @ 06/07/2013 124.3 Yea...Now for Consistency!!

#12 PetZola73

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:29 AM

This is a topic that's a bit of a sensitive issue for me as well. I think there have been some really great, thoughtful, and insightful responses in the thread so far!
The only thing I would add is that sometimes the "armor" is the easy way to deflect unwanted attention, but it's not the best way or the only way. When we give up our armor it can mean that we need to learn a new skill, or skills, namely setting clear boundaries and maintaining them in an assertive way.
We cannot control other people and how they respond to us (i.e. attraction or attention), but we can control our responses. If the way someone responds to you makes you feel uncomfortable then they are probably crossing a personal boundary for you, whether you've consciously defined that boundary or not. That icky feeling is a sign that a person is crossing that line and the hard part is knowing what to do about it.
Sometimes our response is to simply ignore, and that might be enough to make it stop. But if that doesn't work then it might mean having a polite but awkward conversation where you say something like "I'm flattered but not interested, thank you." And if you've done them the kindness of being polite and assertive in a way that is clear but spares their feelings and they still don't respect your boundaries, then the person has earned an unequivocal and firm "No."
Those conversations are really hard to have! I don't like to hurt someone's feelings and I certainly don't want people to think of me as a "b*****." Which is why for years I chose to wear my armor and simply not have to deal with it. But, as someone earlier pointed out, often what we think makes us unattractive is actually not a deterrent for a lot of men. So it turns out that the strategy is not effective at achieving our goals anyway. All it does is make us feel unattractive on the inside.
With time and practice and a few embarrassing moments I've been getting better at setting my own boundaries and protecting them with assertiveness skills. This might not be something that everyone needs to learn... but you can decide for yourself if a lack of assertiveness is part of what makes you want to wear your armor.
Good luck!
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One step at a time...

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#13 limichelle31

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 12:10 PM

I was sexually abused by my ex-boyfriend years ago when I first started putting on the weight he became less attracted to me, and left me alone. Because of what he put me through and me putting up with it for so long, I got out and then just kept piling on the pounds so I would never be laid hands upon.

I met the man of my dreams whom I have been with for almost nine years, who treats me like a Queen for the past nine years as well. I wasn't used to a guy treating me so good, so I kind of just let myself go and get bigger if that makes sense. Now I am losing weight, forgiving the past, and realizing this was always about life choices.

Life choices to not stay in an abusive relationship, to walk away,
Life choices to love myself enough to accept that my current boyfriend whom I love dearly, see's beauty in me.
Life Choices to know nothing was ever my fault with my ex
Life Choices to let go of the past and move on and forgive and heal, to know fat doesn't keep me secure, it keeps me sheltered from a beautiful world outside!

Lisa
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August 09,2013: SW: 299

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#14 FaizaYagi

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 01:05 PM

Good for you Lisa! I'm glad you're here and so strong!
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Total Loss 85.2 Prior to pregnancy in 2013

 

My Weight Loss/Life Journey Blog: http://jessicafaiza.blogspot.com

 

Start weight Sept. 2012: 271.4 lbs

Weight prior to pregnancy 2014: 187.2


Jessica "Faiza" Yagi

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#15 eieipad

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:00 PM

You aren't alone. I haven't read the other responses, but here is mine.

Your reason for not wanting to lose it is why I gained it in the first place. I was raped. I didn't want to be attractive. I wanted to be the person that faded away in a room, the one that nobody looked twice at. Then every time I tried to lose it after, I entered self sabotage mode to prevent it from happening. It was my protection.

The only way I have been able to overcome most of it, because I still have moments of absolute terror, was to tackle it head on. This journey has been more than just weight loss for me. I finally decided I didn't want to continue being my rapists victim. I was his victim for only 8 minutes, at yet I let it continue for almost 20 years. I deserved better. So now I face all my fears head on, and that includes ditching that layer of protection.
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#16 I Called Jenny

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 07:43 PM

Lisa and Beth, I'm so proud and in awe of your strength. Blessings to you both!

>>>>>>>>HUGS!<<<<<<<<<<<<<
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Phyllis

Height: 5'2
SW - 177.6
Goal! - 132
Returning Weight - 143
CW - GOAL AGAIN!!!




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Before JC with hubby and nephews in 2006/After JC (2nd time) in 2011

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#17 mamachill

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 02:27 PM

The origin of this thread is over a year old, but the content is as relevant today as it was when it first was started.

For me the weight is not a protector to avoid relationships, but it is a protector of my heart. I gained weight during my first pregnancy, 96 pounds. Sadly a week before my due date I welcomed my silent stillborn son. The weight represents the depth of pain and grief for such an unimaginable loss. Losing weight often feels like a betrayal to my son, as if it will erase his existence. It has taken me nearly ten years, but I have worked through much of my grief. I am certainly not "over it". Grief and loss is a lifelong journey with twists and turns. Rather, I have accepted the loss, and learned to live simultaneously with joy and sorrow, love and longing, gratitude and wistfulness. Losing the weight no longer feels like a betrayal to my son, but the journey has just begun and I am sure many emotions will surface along the way.

Thanks for posting the topic. Keep the dialogue flowing.
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Lived outside the USA with no Jenny Craig center, all meals on my own along with personal strength training and walking daily for exercise.
January 30th, 2013: Starting Weight 208.8
June 4th, 2013: 183.6

Returned to USA, gained weight and went offtrack...but came back to JC.
August 19th, 2013: Starting Weight 197.2
Current Weight (September 9th, 2013): 191.6
Goal Weight: 135

#18 baerbl

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 04:28 PM

While it isn't the only reason for my weight, there's definitely an element of protection involved. I've always been considered fat (even when maybe, as a child, I was simply bigger), and when my bustline began to develop, the attention it got was just embarassing. Sexuality has always played some part in who I am physically.

Going back to BarbaraB's question regarding how to get past it, I found that sometimes it helps to look at the whole process differently. I used to get on the scale every day (which I have to do because I can change quickly) and say "Oh, gee, I didn't lose any weight today." or "I gained 2 lbs!". I FAILED.

Now, I put a figurative stick in the sand. Right now, I'm waffling between 262 & 270, so 270 is where the stick is. Every morning that I can get on the scale and be under 270 is a win! Instead of starting the day with negativespeak, I'm starting the day with something positive. I can go out into the world that day feeling good about myself.

If I lose more weight, then I increase the buffer between myself and the stick, making it less likely that I'm going to jump over the stick. The bigger the buffer, the more I win again! Depending on how the weight loss goes, I periodically lower the stick. I feel so strongly that positive feelings are necessary to my success, so I developed this way of trying to give myself that boost. Who can succeed at weight loss if you feel bad all the time. The positive attitude then can work its way into other parts of my day/life, and that starts to change everything.

My way may not work for everyone, but I encourage you to find a way to visualize yourself winning as often as possible. Believe you can win and success will find you.
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