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Being fat and out of control - fat shaming

(113 Posts)
seacliff Sun 15-Sep-19 17:06:35

I originally posted this as a response on the Gossip thread under Chat, which turned into quite an unpleasant thread. But then I thought it would be best to start a new thread and ask GNHQ to delete my other post. The James Corden Twitter message that janeainsworth linked to is here Sorry for any confusion. I cannot be the only person who feels this way, we just never usually say anything for obvious reasons

I am very overweight. I've been using food as a comfort since age of about 10. I managed to stay quite slim for several decades, but now due to unhappiness etc etc. I am out of control. I continually beat myself up mentally about it. Seems so easy doesn't it - just eat less, and eat healthy foods, and move more.

What you lucky slim people don’t understand. Food is actually like a drug to me. I look forward to it, it’s calling me, on my mind every day. I have a fix (last one was cheesey chips eaten alone) and really enjoyed it, then comes the down. I say worse things to myself than others ever do. We fat people are not happy underneath, we are desperate.

I rarely say anything about this on here as I know I will be crucified, and will probably end up having to leave. James Corden saying that made me cry. I want to be slim. I know you can’t understand why I won’t stop eating. I just can’t. I want to be locked up sometimes, so I couldn’t eat. I am just trying to say that yes it is all my fault I am so unhealthy and unhappy. I hate myself. I just cannot stop. I wish you could understand. You have some sympathy for drug users and alcoholics, but I feel in like I’m in a similar state. It is just not as simple as you might think.

I know there is an obesity crisis and things need to be done, to protect the NHS.

Maybe bring back healthy cooking lessons at school. Some will never have cooked at home. A regular exercise routine for all school and workers first thig, like in China, might be good if we all had to do it. But many like me, eat for emotional reasons and it is not simple to stop. I have tried everything. I just wanted to say please remember we fat people are humans too with feelings.

Marydoll Sun 15-Sep-19 17:14:52

seacliff 💐
Your post has saddens me. 😪
I used to be a size ten, many years ago. My weight has been steadily creeping up, due to a number of factors: my medication, lack of mobilty, pain and angina attacks when I push myself.
You are right, it is cruel to be so judgemental of people who are overweight, when you don't know their circumstances.

GagaJo Sun 15-Sep-19 17:22:09

My bloke, who is and has always been, as skinny as a rake, can be quite judgemental about fat people. He eats a LOT more than me, loves chocolate etc. He also happens to be a lifelong smoker.

Despite his built in prejudices, even HE admits that it is hard for fat people (like me). Smokers, alcoholics, drug addicts can STOP doing their addiction. The fat still have to eat. And sometimes, just stopping is easier.

I did the Cambridge diet for a while. Great! Take food out of the equation all together. MUCH easier.

I admit to not knowing what to do next. I've dieted my entire adult life. Have been a regular gym-er (twice daily at my peak - a lovely gym helps the motivation) in my time. None of which has ever helped.

Like you Seacliff, I managed to remain slim for years through very hard work, dieting and exercise. But since the menopause, NOTHING works.

I'd like help. But who? All these diet companies/gyms/coaches claim to have the answer. But if there was an answer, people would lose the weight and not regain it. IF I thought it was 1) safe and 2) really worked, I'd have bariatric surgery. But as a long term stress head who has previously had 2 ulcers, I've been warned off messing with my gastro-intestinal tract.

Sara65 Sun 15-Sep-19 17:26:29


Your story has made me feel really sad, perhaps we should all stop and think a bit before assuming all overweight people are lazy or greedy.

I’m definitely fatter than I should be, but I’m far from being obsessed with food, but I am a picker, I think for many of us, our relationships with food is very complicated.

Sara65 Sun 15-Sep-19 17:30:59


I think I was on some sort of diet for most of my adult life, but I’m fed up with it now, nothing really seems to work anymore, so I don’t diet at all, I haven’t weighed myself for years, I rely on my clothes to tell me if I’m getting fatter. I am definitely too fat, but at least I think I’ve been pretty static for the last few years.

KatyK Sun 15-Sep-19 17:31:05

It's not easy is it? I'm not very overweight maybe half a stone, but would love to get rid of this roll around my middle but it's not going. When my daughter was in her early 30s, she became very overweight and she was very unhappy. My DH used to say to me 'tell her'. It used to drive me mad. As if the poor girl didn't know! She eventually lost four and a half stone with sheer willpower - no slimming clubs or fads. She did remarkably well but it was hard. People shouldn't judge.

petra Sun 15-Sep-19 17:31:57

I think that's one of the saddest posts I've read on GN.
Is there nowhere that you could get help?
What about hypnosis?
I wish you well 💐💐💐

Barmeyoldbat Sun 15-Sep-19 17:40:01

Hi Seacliff, you are right eating can be an addiction just like smoking and extremely hard to stop. I tried all sorts of diets but found it extremely hard to keep to. Just love cakes and sweets things. I was overweight for years and years not any longer and its not due to my self control its due mainly to an ongoing illness that give me very little appetite, in fact I can now go with just one very small meal a day and a few snacks. But I do exercise, mostly cycling as its weight bearing and doesn't hurt my joints. You are right we need to bring back cooking and nutrition in schools and have children doing more exercise, not only in schools but at home. Walking to school and clubs instead of being transported around by parents.

I would never ever fat shame anyone having been there.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 15-Sep-19 17:41:31

seacliff I hope writing your post has helped in some way.
I wish you well 💐💐💐💐💐

Day6 Sun 15-Sep-19 17:49:18

I read you post on the other thread seacliffand felt very moved by it.

Your pain at being fat and out of control reminded me of a young addict who was a slave to heroin. It became her life, it became what she lived for.

Food does have the same addictive qualities. Fat people have the same mental triggers for food, the same addictive behaviour..

Who amongst us hasn't had that one too many alcoholic drink, because it makes us feel carefree and happy? Who knows the feeling a ciggy gives during a bad day? Used for stress relief? (I have never smoked btw)

I know for a fact a doughnut is likely to lure me towards it and is far more tempting than an apple sitting in a fruit bowl.

I am sure it is possible to stuff down all sorts of feelings with food. I have gained weight yet I have never been a glutton or lover of junk food. I liked myself a lot more when I was thin and able to climb, run, abseil, play tennis, etc. I cannot do those things now, because of illness and medication. It's not fair that the medication I have to take makes me feel tired. It's not fair that other tablets I take every single day can cause weight gain.

I am mobile and value my mobility but now I hate having my photo taken. I hide behind others. I hate being asked to walk up long hills because I know I'll feel very ill at the end of the walk. I can almost 'feel' people making assumptions about my size, and I am not hugely overweight! I fully understand how being bigger and different feels all of a sudden and I can understand how unhappy being overweight can lead to eating for happiness. It's madness, but when you don't love yourself you don't care that much, I suppose?

Diets don't work for me, but healthy eating, with the odd treat and indulgence is now my way of life, and I resent it, slightly. I have never been a glutton but I firmly believe there is such a thing as food addiction - no brakes on the appetite - and I feel for people caught in that trap. They do not need to be fat-shamed or made the object of abuse or ridicule, disgust or laughter. They are people, with the same feelings as everyone else.

Oh, and they all KNOW the theory, eat less and move more. So why don't they do that? Ask yourselves why? If it were only as simple as loving being slim more than loving food....

KatyK Sun 15-Sep-19 17:50:46

I followed the link. Good on James Corden.

cornergran Sun 15-Sep-19 17:54:19

Your post has triggered tears here seacliff, I hope with all my heart it will make people who are able to be slim understand even if just a little. It’s very cruel to judge people on their physical size, I’m not sure why anyone would think it’s an OK thing to do. Like many older women I am heavier than I would like to be but I know I’m neither addicted to food nor in obese spectrum so I so it’s unreasonable to compare my frustration with myself to yours. You say you know your food addiction is emotionally based. I have no wish to pry and simply offer a thought that a psychological therapist could help you move on from over eating and be comfortable with yourself again. You’re a brave woman, I wish you well and please talk here whenever it he,ps.

KatyK Sun 15-Sep-19 17:58:23

I agree that you are brave seacliff. There will be many people who feel as you do. I used to work with an 18 year old girl who was very overweight and very unhappy. She told me that she ate because she is miserable and was miserable because she ate but eating was a comfort to her for the short time she was enjoying her food.

Gaunt47 Sun 15-Sep-19 18:00:54

Oh Seacliff (lovely moniker BTW!) you are in a bad place aren't you? I'm so sorry for your situation. But reading your post again it seems to me this is not a food issue but a mental health issue. Do you really not like yourself at all? You don't need us to tell you that you're setting yourself up for all sorts of debilitating illnesses, to say nothing of joint pain. Please do get some help. Other posters I'm sure will have ideas of the different programmes available to people in your position. You need support and love. I do wish you the very best, and keep posting - there will be many others out there with the same problems and your experiences may help them and they in turn will help you.

Luckygirl Sun 15-Sep-19 18:06:40

I comfort eat and have a wee bit around my tum that annoys me as I was a skinny weed all my life. So I cannot imagine how hard it must be for people who are truly overweight - it is tempting to think - "well I can't see how I am going to get this lot off so I may as well eat what I want".

What a challenge it all is - I hope you can find someone to help you with this, be it GP, hypnotherapist, dietician, slimming group. But do not think that all thin people fail to understand how hard it can be. Lots of good luck from me!

wildswan16 Sun 15-Sep-19 18:15:40

flowers. When we read a post like yours all we can do is to say we want to support you, we feel sad that you are sad.

Any advice will end up sounding a bit "trite" as I am sure you have thought and tried all of them, probably many times. Emotions are strong and you have found a way of dealing with yours, but that way has it's downside. You know that finding a way to deal with the emotions is also the key to losing the weight.

I tentatively suggest one little thing - when your hand goes out for the cheesey chips, or the chocolate - make yourself wait for 10 minutes, put the kitchen timer on. It may be enough to sometimes stave off the craving.

Willow500 Sun 15-Sep-19 18:16:44

I watched the James Cordon item and thought how eloquently he spoke up against fat shaming. My husband has been overweight for the last 25 years - he's lost weight twice - once through what was probably a breakdown when he was living abroad on his own and then by a strict 1200 calorie diet for a year which no one can sustain. He is always conscious of what he is eating when out convinced people are looking at him and judging him by his size. People we know who have lost weight are forever telling us what we should be eating - we know - we don't need a lecture every time we see them or have slimming magazines thrust into our hands.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 15-Sep-19 18:27:43

I am about 2 stone over what is considered a healthy weight for my height.

Like a lot of others I have dieted constantly with no success, because to just eat an extra piece of bread is sufficient to scupper my diet.

I have therefore decided at 74to simply eat healthily and sod the diet. So that’s where I am at. So my aim is zero processed, as wide a variety of food as possible, minimum of 5 fruit/veg a day usually at least 10, everything from basic ingredients. No refined sugar. So this means no cakes, biscuits, cereals, except oats, muesli etc. No puddings . I don’t buy them so am not tempted to eat them. I do have a glass of wine.

I don’t lose weight, but console myself that my diet is as healthy as possible.

I refuse to beat myself up about it, and as a result have lost the feeling of guilt. A real freedom🙂

NanaandGrampy Sun 15-Sep-19 18:31:58

I feel your pain Seacliff - maybe if just one person thinks before they call out an obese person it will have done something good.

I think things like the Cambridge diet are all well and good but they don't tackle the root cause and as soon as you stop unless you're amazing , you'll go back to eating what you did and all your hard work will be undone.

I'm sending you a big hug xx

Sara65 Sun 15-Sep-19 18:32:35


You are right of course, none of us are going to come up with some amazing weight loss plan, that Seacliff hasn’t thought of.

But Seacliff, hope you are feeling a bit better knowing we are all caring for you

seacliff Sun 15-Sep-19 18:50:13

Sorry I don't normally ever open up and say how I truly feel to anyone. It just all came tumbling out today after reading that thread. Thanks for all the kindness, which is a nice surprise. I thought I would be judged.

I feel so stupid at my age being in this situation of my own making. In the past I have tried hypnosis. It did work for a while, but it's expensive and I had to stop. Come to think of it, she had me saying a little mantra in my head "I feel so good about myself". The idea being, I suppose, if you love yourself you will be kind to your body. I may investigate hypnosis again, just have a couple of sessions if I can find someone good.

I even went to Overeaters Anon, but it was not for me. I have been referred to Slimming World by GP, tried all sorts. I hope this post also helps others who feel like me.

patriciageegee Sun 15-Sep-19 18:56:11

Seacliff there's so much new thinking backed up by science out there that completely absolves you from blame in overeating. Sugar is massively addictive. It colonises the gut microbiome to devastating effect and sets up a vicious cycle of need that's almost impossible to stop. If it would help you get to the science of the addiction and how you may be able to start on the road to wellness, there's a fantastic series of podcasts by a Dr. Mark Hyman called the Broken Brain in which he explores, with the input of leading experts in the field, the causes of why we overeat and how to take steps towards breaking the cycle. I hope, if you decide to access the info, it helps you as much as it's helped me to get to grips with the guilt and negativity around this deep seated issue💐

notanan2 Sun 15-Sep-19 18:59:05

A lot of fat people around today are ex smokers.

Stopping smoking doesnt stop the addictive need. It just transfers it, usually to food.

When smoking was more common over eating was less common.

The addictive "need" is probably constant. How it manifests change depending on whats most available

Just a thought

M0nica Sun 15-Sep-19 19:01:02

seacliff what you describe sounds more like an eating disorder than an eating problem, in the same way, bulimia and anorexia are.

I would think that any solution to your eating lies in being referred to an eating disorder clinic and/or psychotherapy to find what lies behnd you eating patterns. Until you understand what drives you to eat, you cannot step back from it.

Lisagran Sun 15-Sep-19 19:01:37

Like others, Seacliff, I was so sad to read your post. Perhaps your posting is the first step to helping yourself find a way forward? Have you been to your doctor and asked for help? Do you have family / are they supportive? Friends? I hope you are not in an abusive relationship. Please continue to post here, on Gransnet - at its best, it can be a wonderfully comforting and supportive place. Many on here have, or are, experienced all sorts of difficulties and can be empathetic and may be able to help you? Lots of luck x