26 m, nearly 400lbs, and things are complicated

040b0405 Posts: 3 Member
edited September 2020 in Introduce Yourself
I come here again for lack of anywhere else to turn to. Fat-positive communities would silence me for wanting to lose weight. In a mental health community I'd feel out of place for being fat. Only in a fitness community do I have any hope of speaking openly, without fear, about how lonely and isolating it is to hate yourself with every fiber of your being because of your weight.

When I was four years old, my father molested me. I turned to food to cope, and discovered overeating made me feel full in a similar way to how he had, but in a way I could control, not him. That was how I came to associate food with power, and how my toxic relationship with food started. I ate to take back agency.

Slowly I realized being overweight made me feel filthy. I came to associate my increase in weight with the mark he left inside me. That was when I started hating myself. It created a dilemma. If I lost my weight, I could be clean and innocent again; but, to do that, I'd have to give up my restored agency and power. From what I weigh now, I suppose it's plain to see what felt more important.

I'd like to clarify I don't hate anyone else for their weight but myself. In fact, I find larger folk more attractive, moreso if they have healthy self esteem, but that's not a discussion fit for this venue. Well, not that any of this really is, I suppose.

My highest weight was 400lbs. From there, I lost back down to 260lbs during university. Some of that loss was accomplished in healthy ways. Some was through water fasting for up to a week at a time. Some was through purging. Regardless, I shot back up after my mother died two and a half years ago. During this bereavement and regaining period, I've dropped out of university and moved to a studio apartment. I don't work; I live off the life insurance beneficiary payout for now, and I'm afraid to get a job because I'm afraid of how much it will hurt when I inevitably fail my responsibilities and get fired. I don't drive; I never learned; I was too busy with academics. I have no offline friends or points of contact except my uncle.

In theory, I enjoy hobbyist programming, drawing, creative writing, musical composition, singing, and martial arts. These are all things which, before my mother's death, I greatly relished, and fancied myself decent at. Now, it feels like I've "lost my voice" in respect to all of them. I'm suddenly terrible at all of them and none of them seem worthwhile. Avoiding food is all the more difficult now that it seems to be all that's left to me in this world.

I like going for walks, but almost every time I go for a walk, I compulsively buy groceries. It's not like I can't stop myself. It's more that once I get the idea in my head, I know that if I do stop myself, that little fat voice in my head will spend the rest of the day screaming, "Why didn't you binge," and the irrational feelings of deprivation thus created would leave me even more miserable than I would've been if I'd just given in.

I don't know what to do. I'm getting to the point where I want to just say *kitten* it all and start fasting again. I mean who even gives a *kitten*, it's not like I have actual responsibilities I'll be rendering myself unfit to take care of. I just wish I could start life over. But of course no one has that luxury.

I don't just hate my weight, I hate that I'm everything you'd expect someone of my weight to be. I hate that I'm lazy, greedy, stupid, without aspirations, without higher meaning or purpose to my life, without any sense of what it means to struggle or have difficult experiences or truly be "hungry," I hate that I just sit here eating while half the world starves, I hate that I'm a disgusting gasbag, I hate that I never think of anyone but myself -- yet I have no choice but to be selfish, because I'm too shy to let myself think of others -- I hate that I'm basically all-around worthless.

Sometimes I wish I were homeless or terminally ill just so I wouldn't have the means to sustain caloric excess. Given how I'm living, neither of those eventualities are necessarily far off.

I'm sorry for the downer rant. I had to get it out. I was in too much pain holding it in. Maybe if I were strong enough to keep my misery to myself and bottle it up, I'd be strong enough to resist food. Maybe that's skinny people's secret. They're all as miserable as me deep down, I'm just too weak to handle it.


  • MidlifeCrisisFitness
    MidlifeCrisisFitness Posts: 1,113 Member
    Work this out first. "without higher meaning or purpose to my life,"

    I would look to God for answers first.
    Romans 5:8 BBE — But God has made clear his love to us, in that, when we were still sinners, Christ gave his life for us.

    Life is full of sin, dissatisfaction, disappointment and doubt. One thing we can count on is that God loves us so much, just as you are the Jesus died for you. Starting at this faith in who we are and who Jesus is we can find spiritual healing and then begin to become a new person in Christ. Without God there is no higher meaning. When a person u der stands this higher meaning everything else is put in its proper place.
  • tushitatravellogue
    tushitatravellogue Posts: 68 Member
    edited September 2020
    Oh how I wish there was a reset button to life, well there isn't !!!

    Have you ever considered guided meditation, it won't work magic in a day , with daily practice it does get better.

    If you are interested, there is a meditation that is currently free on audible for a trial period of 3 months. it's called you are the palcebo by Dr..Joe Dispenza.

    If you prefer shorter ones you can check for Louise Hay ones on the internet.

    I hope it helps !
  • MaltedTea
    MaltedTea Posts: 6,287 Member
    You were clean and innocent to begin with and still are.

    The answer to feeling that authentically for yourself likely is never going to be found in how much or how little you eat nor how much or how little you exercise. That's emotional labour: a mental health counsellor can help you with that process.

    There are many resources to help you on a mental health process while you work on improving your nutrition. If you are in North America, there are services like BetterHelp. If you are still a bit flush with cash, consider getting a package (with them or any other mental health provider with expertise in teasing out conversations related to incest, bereavement and weight loss).

    If you're up to it, continue checking in with us here too. Regardless, stay strong: you have, in fact, struggled through difficult experiences and just need some help working through it all.

    Sidenote @040b0405: I also don't have expectations of anyone based on their weight or how they look. Please don't project onto me because I take you as you are, as you present yourself to me in your post. You seem kind, introspective, curious but ultimately burdened right now. My only expectation is that you're hopeful for change and on the cusp of positive action to start improving the quality of your life. Sending prayers up and across to whereever you are.
  • sarahjones9153
    sarahjones9153 Posts: 1 Member
    I truely do not know what to say, you've been through so much, <3 but I do want you to know this if nothing else!!

    You are worth so much more! You are worthy! and you are stronger than you think!

    Given all you listed, you're still here, still fighting and still trying, and you shared with us, that along takes courage x
  • tushitatravellogue
    tushitatravellogue Posts: 68 Member
    edited September 2020
    @040b0405 hope you are feeling better today..
  • Mithridites
    Mithridites Posts: 594 Member
    You have a clear and powerful voice in your writing. Did you know that about yourself? You also do have a responsibility, despite what you say, a responsibility to yourself. If you decide to take up the challenge to save your own life, it will not be easy. But, boy, could it be rewarding. It just has to be your decision. To live. I made that decision 4 months ago, and I’ve been showing up here, and on my yoga mat, and on calls with my counsellor. I don’t regret it. I’m in a better place mentally and 35 pounds down. I still have to work on my relationship with humanity, as I tend to, like you, hide away from any possibility of interaction. I haven’t been through what you’ve been through, but we all carry our own crosses. I listen to many books by Eckhart Tolle and the trick seems to be that we are not our story. We can choose to not let the story of what happened define us. We can choose to live in the now, because now is all that ever is. Your local library might have his books or recordings. Check him out, or find something else that speaks to your inner being. The good thing is you reached out. Now blow on that spark and let it flourish. Feel free to send me a friend request. Good luck on your journey.
  • 040b0405
    040b0405 Posts: 3 Member
    On my phone, I wrote out a long reply containing individual sub-replies to each person in this thread. It was very long. A single missed tap then brought me to my nutrition diary. I was unable to recover what I wrote. I tried to login on my computer so as not to make the same mistake again. Due to some natural disaster related connectivity problems my area is facing right now, logging in took a very long time, and I forgot most of what I had to say. I honestly couldn't be angrier. Even so, I'm going to try to put my anger aside, and try to return to the frame of mind I was in when I wrote the original post that was lost, to improve my chances of reproducing its overall sentiment.

    Let me open up by saying, thank you all so much for the warm welcome and for your kind and thoughtful replies. I'm doing much better now. In general, I've been starting to do better in my life. I'm working with county mental health services. I've been building a better relationship with myself and learning how to cooperate with myself and problem-solve, instead of just judging myself and expecting harsh judgement and self-hatred to make all my problems magically shape up.

    To tell the truth, Monday was a bit of an anomaly. I don't know what brought it on, but I became so upset and impatient with myself that I regressed into a desperate and judgemental mind frame. That will happen from time to time. Sometimes we take steps backward. But my inner self and I have talked it out, and we're ready to put it behind us and pick up our recovery where we left off.

    @rebeccahetrick : I've sent you an invite. It's very kind of you to want to help me. I don't know what I can do to help you, but if there is anything, I'd like to help you too. Perhaps we can help each other.

    @KHMcG : Thank you for your suggestion. I'll heed your advice, in a certain sense, and seek spiritual awakening. I believe in a benevolent higher power. Sometimes I can feel Its love. I would like to believe that most religions in the world are ways It made Itself known to different cultures, and wars resulted because those revelations seemed to contradict, but in reality, they didn't; it just seemed that way because their compatibility is simply beyond imperfect mortal comprehension. I don't know if that's true, but I'd like to believe it, because believing that is what will let me find the greatest amount of good in the greatest amount of people. I have faith in that benevolent higher power. My faith is not always unfaltering. On Monday, for instance, it faltered. But when it doesn't, it drives me to seek out the council of the higher power. I will continue to seek that council.

    @tushitatravellouge : I used to practice meditation as part of taekwondo. It's something I'd like to go back to. Thank you for the reminder. Guided meditation was a special treat we got to experience when our master instructor's master instructor visited the dojeong to prepare us for our blackbelt test. It did seem more relaxing than self-guided meditation. Maybe I will try it.

    @DannyB1065 : I'm sorry you had to go through this too, but I'm glad neither of us are alone here. I definitely hear what you're saying about victim mentality versus direct action. I used to think self-blame and self-pity were very different. I honestly no longer believe that. Both are painful in their own similar ways, and both are ways of avoiding the daunting task of proactive problem-solving. Beating yourself up is, perhaps, just pitying yourself for circumstances you've internalized and now consider a part of your being. Instead of "I can't because I was molested and poor me," it's "I can't because I'm weak and disgusting," but it's still "I can't."

    When my inner self and I made amends for the spat we had on Monday, we discovered something sort of interesting. See, I used to think logging calories worked for me because I was creating a plan, sticking to it, and seeing progress toward my goal. Thinking this way was toxic in subtle ways: I'd harshly berate myself for straying from the plan, and then I wouldn't be able to get back on the wagon after falling off. My inner self and I happened to notice lately that it really has quite little to do with that. The truth is so much more simple: when I log, I eat less. Plans and goals don't even enter into it. I could log with no intentions or direction in mind at all, or even log with the self-destructive intention to gain, and just because I'm logging, I'd still eat less and lose weight. It's Pavlovian or something. For now, I'm taking comfort in that, because it really does make everything so much easier to think about. If I stay on the wagon -- if I keep logging -- I'll lose weight. And sure, if there's a day where I don't log, I probably won't see the behavioral benefits of logging; I'll probably overeat. But I don't have to beat myself up about it. I can't tell myself I've failed if there wasn't even anything I was trying to accomplish. Can't tell myself I didn't stick to the plan if there was no plan. So there's no reason to be upset. I don't log for a day, I overeat, so what, it literally does not matter in the slightest. It has no effect whatsoever on the bizarre, inexplicable, immutable fact, that if I go back to logging the next day, I'll keep eating healthier. It's liberating to think about things this way.

    I don't know that I need medical supervision yet. In fact, I'm not sure it would benefit me. I've tried medically supervised plans in the past. My psychological issues led me to noncompliance, and the presiding doctors expressed to me that they felt I had deeper issues they didn't feel qualified to help me with, and I should seek a specialist. And then the specialists told me that as well, and that I should seek other specialists. In fact, that's what ultimate led me to seek help through county services. I feared that was the point where it was at; I feared my need for assistance was so dire that I had no choice but to get the local government involved. Of course, the truth is, all along, I couldn't accept the help I was seeking because I wasn't ready to be helped. The work I've done on myself lately has helped me understand that. Things are changing. Right now, maybe just using MyFitnessPal every day -- and not giving up when I fall off the wagon, because I have this new understanding that it really doesn't matter -- right now, maybe that's what I need, maybe that's what's going to move me forward.

    @MaltedTea : Thank you so much for your insight and your well wishes and kind words. I'm seeking help through county services right now, but will keep BetterHelp in mind; thank you for the reference. Also, I didn't mean to project onto you; I intended to convey an impersonal "you" that represented a projection of my own weight-centered self-loathing in the abstract. I apologize that it came off as it did.

    @sarahjones9153 : Thank you for your kind reminder. You're very right, of course; we are all, each of us, worthy of our own love, faith, support, and will to take action in our lives. The love and respect of others must be hard-earned, but our own love and respect is something we're all born entitled to, that no one should be able to take from us. But there is a loophole: sadly, we can be persuaded to take it away from ourselves. Too often, I slip back into that mindset. That happened on Monday. A matter of impatience, mostly. But no longer. From here on out, myself and I are going to love each other and cooperate.

    @Mithridites : You've expressed a lot of wisdom in relatively few words. You're right, of course, that choosing to survive my obesity is my responsibility to myself, and it is a choice I have to be the one to make. Congratulations, by the way, on making that choice for yourself. I've been better about putting that choice into action lately. Warming up to it, you could say, even if Monday was a colder sort of day. Eckhart Tolle sounds like an interesting lecturer.
  • Good to hear from you.. wishing you the very best..
  • Do you still practice taekwondo, in case you stopped you could also resume it, as you have enjoyed it I'm the past.
  • cppeace
    cppeace Posts: 764 Member
    Hi there. I'm glad you're here. I'm glad you're alive. I wish I could help with more than just words on this page. You are not stupid. You writing on here is clear and expressive. If you would like a friend on here I am here. Take it one day at a time.
  • 040b0405
    040b0405 Posts: 3 Member
    edited September 2020
    @febryanmarta1 : Thank you. I'll keep this in mind for when I'm physically prepared to do more intense exercise than long walks and housecleaning. That being said, past experience with losing (and, unfortunately, regaining) 140lbs has shown me that calorie intake reduction is the most important thing I can do toward getting the weight off. My struggle is not with the practical question of what can be done, but with the psychological aspect. That being said, I do certainly understand exercise is a huge help with psychological issues as well. If anything, I might turn to it more for that than for direct weight loss in principal.

    @tushitatravellogue : I don't do it anymore. I'd like to go back, but my master instructor closed her practice. She was really a very special instructor. I don't think I could find a comparable experience in another dojeong. Even so, maybe I'll try again someday, under someone new, when I'm lean enough.
  • Evamutt
    Evamutt Posts: 1,742 Member
    I believe the same as KHMcG, I was a hopeless alcoholic when Jesus came into my life & gave me hope & a new life and a different way of thinking so that no matter what, & I lived through some very disturbing & stressful circumstances, I always had hope at the tail end of despair. Life isn't easy but there's an underlying hope & joy and when you believe what God says about you more than that voice in your head or what others say, you can fight the voice in your head by applying truth. It's also important to get & give support to others
  • lyndseylee143
    lyndseylee143 Posts: 25 Member
    @040b0405, I’m sorry that you had to go through that. I’m here for you also. My mother used to abuse me mentally and physically. Feel free to reach out to me if you need something. You are just a strong person. Never doubt yourself. You are worth it, you are loved for, and you are cared for.❤️