Why Would I Want To Stay Fat?

We all want to get thin. Right? Or, at least, we all want to get thinner? Right?

Sure we do, except…….

If we’re so sure we want to be thinner, why do we so often do things that are counterproductive to that? Why do we cheat? Why do we refuse further tweaking of our low carb way of eating when we suspect it would help us get thinner?

When I find myself eating in ways that do not contribute to my goal of losing weight, I have learned to ask myself if I have some conflicting motivations. Do I perhaps, on some level, want to stay fat?

Why on earth would anybody want to stay fat?

Well, let me offer up a Texas dozen of possible reasons why someone might want to stay fat:

  • To keep ourselves from being tempted sexually. Many of us have experienced increased libidos as a result of low carbing, even before noticeable weight has come off, and decreased libidos when eating the wrong foods. If for some reason we are uncomfortable with having an increased sex drive, we might rather stay fat.
  • To prevent others from being attracted to us sexually. If we don’t want the attention, we might prefer to hide behind a few layers of unattractive fat.
  • Because we might be in a symmetrical arrangement with someone in our life and refuse to get thin until he or she corrects their balancing offense. This might be a spoken, or more likely, unspoken agreement, something along the lines of “So what if I’m fat? He can’t hold a job [or smokes too much, or drinks too much, or, or, or).
  • Because the role of being a fat person was imprinted on us as children, and it is now an integral to our self-images. We literally do not know who we would be if we weren’t fat.
  • Because we are angry at not getting sexual attention or love, and want to force somebody to love us no matter what we look like, how we behave in relation to food, or how healthy we are. This seems especially common among yo-yo dieters, but it can be present in any of us.
  • Because we are physiologically addicted to the foods and we don’t want to have to face the feelings that might emerge when we try to break that addiction. Breaking addictions seems to bring a plethora of negative feelings and thought patterns into the light, and it can take a lot of uncomfortable work to deal effectively with them.
  • Because we carry some irrational belief about the benefits of being heavy, such as “People will think I’m powerful if I’m big,” or “I won’t be taken seriously at work if I look like a sexpot.” The truth is that people who are of a healthy weight are given more respect in our culture than those who are overweight. However, these irrational feelings generally stem from childhood, and are hard to overcome even when our rational minds know that in the long run power and respect are gained through attitude and behavior regardless of our size.
  • Because at some point in the past something bad happened to us at a smaller weight and we are trying to protect ourselves from a reoccurrence. If you are hovering just above the weight at which you were raped, or abandoned, or victimized in some way, this could be a factor.
  • Because we get in a power struggle with God or the world, trying to force the laws of nature and the realities of our own physiology to change to be fair. If you find yourself moaning that other people get to eat “that” instead of accepting that you cannot eat “that” and be thin, this may be what is going on.
  • Because we have someone to blame for our obesity and we don’t want to forgive, forget, and move on. “If my mother hadn’t made me cook for the family while she was out dating,” or “If the jerk would pay the child support, we wouldn’t have to eat macaroni and cheese,” are telltale types of responses if this our reason for derailing.
  • Because we need a handy excuse for why we might not have accomplished something in our lives. If we find ourselves believing that we didn’t finish school, or get a promotion, or find love because we are fat, then getting thin might mentally put us under pressure to finish school, get the promotion, and/or find love. Other people in our lives might also begin expecting more of us.
  • Because we don’t want to find out that our problems don’t stem from being fat. One woman put it very clearly: “As long as I’m fat I can believe that I have no man in my life because I’m fat. But what if I get thin and still no one loves me? What if the problem is me?”
  • Because we have built our social system around our weight and/or eating and drinking habits. If we changed, we might not fit in with our old crowd. We would become one of “them” instead of staying one of “us.”
  • Because deep down we may actually believe that we do not deserve to be thin. Some past real or imagined character trait or action may make us feel unworthy. We may even relish the role of martyr.
  • And, last but not least, let us go back to Sigmund Freud and his theory of Thanatos, or the death instinct, as a powerful life force. Clearly, certain eating patterns can lead to disease and death. So, the next time we catch ourselves saying “I would rather die than give up chocolate,” or “Life is not worth living without my glass of wine,” we might want to recognize that maybe, just maybe, we really do mean that. And for those of you who were counting, a Texas dozen is fifteen. I am sure there are many more.

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Sex And Food

There are certain instinctive drives that all human beings share. Hunger is one of them. Eating is necessary for our survival as individuals, so we eat. We can't live without eating, so the drive to eat is hardwired into our psyches. As individuals, we can live without sex, but as a species we cannot, so that drive is also hardwired into our psyche.

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