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Old 05-28-2010, 02:32 AM   #1
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I was reading a thread over in the FA forums

http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/fo...ad.php?t=71596

It's about dating and the guy was asking about problems FA's have in approaching Fat women, and while dating them because of their low self-esteem.

How many of the problems we blame on our fat are really just us covering up our fears?

When I finally embraced my fat I had to face the fact that I avoided a lot of social situations and events out of fear, more than shame from being fat.

When men have approached me I had a huge flight response. I felt huge panic like I was in danger. The first time it happened was in 2nd grade I ran from the boy and put my head on my desk. I wasn't fat then, but I was afraid.

Why do we let fear rule us? I love to sing, but I can't sing in front of people my throat closes up and I again have a flight response.

I've always felt my fat kept the world at a distance. If it ignored me than I didn't have to engage it. Accepting myself has been easy compared to trying to erase my fear.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:14 AM   #2
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You are spot on, right here. SPOT ON. That's why you can have some fat people who do very well in certain social (or professional, or whatever) situations and some who do not. I've mentioned this already and it sounds really awful and I fully admit that, but I've hooked up with old classmates on FB and I'm looking at all of these people who were not conventionally attractive (in school or out), some of whom were fatter than I was. And it seems most are married, or have been, and they all have kids. I'm talking about the 200+ lbs. girl, with the nasal voice and the horse face who lived on the wrong side of the tracks. We were friends and I liked her, but if you were playing 'name the popular girls in school' she'd be at the bottom every.single.time. Looks to me like she's been married and having kids since she was about 20. AND yesterday, I saw a photo she'd posted of herself going to a homecoming dance. With a nice-looking guy in a suit! None of that should shock me, but c'mon, we all went to high school and we know what I'm talking about whether we want to admit it or not. More to the point--I didn't go to that dance in 1987. Or any dance at all in any year. No one asked me. No one was even close to asking me. And I was convinced, CONVINCED, that NO fat/unattractive girl in my class/school was going, either. And I never had real proof to the contrary, b/c I wasn't at the dance to take a look around! I assumed everyone in my 'situation' was experiencing the same thing. Like it was our lot in life, or something. Bullshit! I dont' want to be naive; things are harder for those who are less conventionally attractive. But harder doesn't mean impossible. I was a pussy to think it did! I think that one of the things that happens to those of us who are fat (or any other category) is that when things happen to us, we assume they are different b/c we're fat. We can't know that it happens to thin people too, b/c we're too in our heads and b/c we have no way of experiencing that. Everyone has a turn in the barrel but we only know what OUR turn feels like so we think that we're the only ones taking a turn.

If I could, I would LOVE to go back, as a ghost, and watch how some of that HS stuff played out. How'd my FB friend get that date? Did people stare at her at the dance (I'll bet they did. They stared at me once when I wore my dad's class ring for a day, badgering me as to whose it was, with pissy looks on their faces, with the 'who would date YOU' thing happening)? And when they stared, what did she do? What did her date do? I'd like to ask people how they had different experiences than I did, when I was sure, just so sure, we were all lumped in together in our shitty situation.

So yes, a lot of that was me. I still suffer from it and it's one of the things I struggle with most.

oh I want to add something: a few years ago, a therapist of mine said to me, very frankly: do you really think you're so special that x, y or z will never happen to you? you're the ONLY person who has a, b or c happen to her? Of all the people in the universe?

There really is something to that. Her saying so opened my eyes. In some ways, thinking this way is a pity party that allows us to see ourselves as exceptional, and gives us carte blanche to stay at home and be the girl who helps our best friend get ready for the dance. Nobody is THAT special; we're not all unique snowflakes.

Last edited by Jes; 05-28-2010 at 07:36 AM. Reason: last point
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:55 AM   #3
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Awesome thread. I have no energy right now but I'm coming back!!!! And Jes and Lamia - both of you - so, so true!
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:00 AM   #4
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Someone PLEASE rep Jes for me, will ya'?

I do think fear can paralyze a person and keep you from reaching your potential (whatever that potential is). My dad always says it's False Evidence Appearing Real. I tend to agree.

I think some of our security (and I'd go as far as saying happiness) comes from a delusion and a distorted way of seeing ourselves and what's around us. And don't get me wrong, I think fear can be useful to a certain degree. After all, it can protect us from harm of potential danger, etc. But it's problematic when it keeps you from participating in life.

The good thing though, is I look at fear as a state of mind and that means its entirely possible to change it and create the live we want to live. And maybe that also brings about a certain knowledge/wisdom and (personal)responsibility... When you are operating off fear, things that happen to you are because of someone else, not because you might have contributed to the problem. When your focus shifts internally, sure things still might happen that are out of your control, but you are still aware enough to take responsibility for things that are in your control/power.
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:41 PM   #5
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I think the answer to that depends on the situation. There may be times where sure, we just might use our size as an excuse or a like a "get out of jail free card" and sometimes our size does hold us back because fat haters are intentionally making life difficult for us or because our bodies aren't being accommodated so it either puts limits on what we can and can't do, or our bodies just aren't capable of doing certain things which means it just takes more effort to do some things that thin people don't have to think about and take for granted.

We just have to go out of our way sometimes, well most of the time probably. That's just the way it is sometimes. And it also means that sometimes other people have to go out of their way to be patient and accepting. It just is what it is.
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:13 PM   #6
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Hm, I do that to. It's most apparent when flirting.

I am a terrible flirt when I've been having a drink. Not shy. I lose all sense of what is appropriate to say or do. But when it comes down to the crunch I backtrack out of sudden fear of... I don't know, strange fatphobic penis fairies that are planning to ruin my night?

Example, a few years back I'm flirting with this guy, who I've been chatting with on and off for a few nights, he's a friend of a friend who joined the group a few times and he's clearly interested.

Lack of bounderies: We start having a conversation about whether my tits are proportional to my size, and to solve it I grab his head and shove it down my top. We are talking face buried in cleavage and mild spluttering. Now, I'm pretty sure that makes me come off as a little less than shy.

Fear: Later on we have one of those are-we-going-to-kiss-maybe-not-sure-I'll-wait-and-see-if-they-make-a-move moments and I cannot for the life of me lean in when he does and seal the deal as it were. Long story short, doesnt happen.

I feel bad for the guy, I must have been horribly confusing.

See, I run from men too but always at entirely the wrong moment. My fear kicks in just before something real might happen and makes me baulk- I need a guy to be fairly persistant to get me over the initial fear hurdle whilst before and after the first kiss I'm incredibly confident and not a little pushy.
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:34 PM   #7
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Confidence is more important than any other factor, looks, size, personality, intelligence, all of it. By the time I reached junior high school I wasn't the biggest kid in the school anymore, and I will always remember this one guy. His name was John Jenkins, he was probably 400 pounds in the eighth grade, 100 more than me, but his parents cared about him. He had nice clothes, a nice haircut, he just exuded confidence, and he had a girl on each arm, pretty, popular girls, girls who had other options. It was fascinating, I knew I was missing something but I didn't know what it was until then.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jes View Post
You are spot on, right here. SPOT ON. That's why you can have some fat people who do very well in certain social (or professional, or whatever) situations and some who do not. I've mentioned this already and it sounds really awful and I fully admit that, but I've hooked up with old classmates on FB and I'm looking at all of these people who were not conventionally attractive (in school or out), some of whom were fatter than I was. And it seems most are married, or have been, and they all have kids. I'm talking about the 200+ lbs. girl, with the nasal voice and the horse face who lived on the wrong side of the tracks. We were friends and I liked her, but if you were playing 'name the popular girls in school' she'd be at the bottom every.single.time. Looks to me like she's been married and having kids since she was about 20. AND yesterday, I saw a photo she'd posted of herself going to a homecoming dance. With a nice-looking guy in a suit! None of that should shock me, but c'mon, we all went to high school and we know what I'm talking about whether we want to admit it or not. More to the point--I didn't go to that dance in 1987. Or any dance at all in any year. No one asked me. No one was even close to asking me. And I was convinced, CONVINCED, that NO fat/unattractive girl in my class/school was going, either. And I never had real proof to the contrary, b/c I wasn't at the dance to take a look around! I assumed everyone in my 'situation' was experiencing the same thing. Like it was our lot in life, or something. Bullshit! I dont' want to be naive; things are harder for those who are less conventionally attractive. But harder doesn't mean impossible. I was a pussy to think it did! I think that one of the things that happens to those of us who are fat (or any other category) is that when things happen to us, we assume they are different b/c we're fat. We can't know that it happens to thin people too, b/c we're too in our heads and b/c we have no way of experiencing that. Everyone has a turn in the barrel but we only know what OUR turn feels like so we think that we're the only ones taking a turn.

If I could, I would LOVE to go back, as a ghost, and watch how some of that HS stuff played out. How'd my FB friend get that date? Did people stare at her at the dance (I'll bet they did. They stared at me once when I wore my dad's class ring for a day, badgering me as to whose it was, with pissy looks on their faces, with the 'who would date YOU' thing happening)? And when they stared, what did she do? What did her date do? I'd like to ask people how they had different experiences than I did, when I was sure, just so sure, we were all lumped in together in our shitty situation.

So yes, a lot of that was me. I still suffer from it and it's one of the things I struggle with most.

oh I want to add something: a few years ago, a therapist of mine said to me, very frankly: do you really think you're so special that x, y or z will never happen to you? you're the ONLY person who has a, b or c happen to her? Of all the people in the universe?

There really is something to that. Her saying so opened my eyes. In some ways, thinking this way is a pity party that allows us to see ourselves as exceptional, and gives us carte blanche to stay at home and be the girl who helps our best friend get ready for the dance. Nobody is THAT special; we're not all unique snowflakes.
I am glad you shared this. It's exactly what I was trying to say. We are the ones who limit ourselves by throwing up walls. I think it's great that your therapist had the stones to say that and that it actually helped you.

I did the same thing in 1987 I didn't go to any dance and I sat at home feeling sorry for myself. Afterwards this boy asked me why I didn't go I said no one asked. He said well I would have asked but I thought you were going.

I've reached further and done more in my life than I thought I would. It's nothing spectacular but for a chicken shit like myself I am amazed.

My goals are find things I am afraid of and do them.
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