Being overweight and Medifast

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Anyone who has been overweight knows what a double edged sword it is to be told you have "such a pretty face." Because the "but...." is always understood. To me it always let like a consolation prize at best and at worst a down right lie (you look ugly all over but your face is the best thing...), But after spending a year on this board and looking at everyone's photos I have noticed that it really is truemany, many overweight people DO have pretty if not beautiful faces. In fact almost disproportionately so. I wonder if there is anything psychological about that e.g., do some attractive women overeat at an early age (e.g., in puberty) to hide their attractiveness because they don't know how to deal with attention? I know that I developed very early and at 11 I looked like a 16 year old which garnered me attention from older boys that I did not know how to handle and that embarrassed me terribly.

Just a thought.....

Comments (23)

I do think there is some truth to that. The unwanted or akward attention is a factor. I also think loseing wieght changes a person. I think it changes your thinking, your self confidence, your self image. Maybe some of the things/behavors you "settled" for from others as an overwieght person you wouldn't at your goal wieght.

To be honest it scares me to think of some major changes that I might have to make in my relationships with family and friends. I have probably sabotaged past diets because of this fear..

I believe you teach people how to treat you. For a long time I have not cared enough about myself to teach people the right way to treat me..

Hope this makes sense. I'm new to this medifast way of life. I just started this past week and am encouraged by my progress..

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts..

Comment #1

I was told last night at a business dinner that I am one of the most beautiful women my employee has ever seen. She then said it is such a shame you were hiding it with all that weight and I am starting to look like such a different person. I think there is a huge amount of truth in your statement. I have seen so many extrodinarily beautiful women that are overweight. All I can say is watch out supermodels of the world the women of medifast are coming!..

Comment #2

I do think there is truth in that, I remember when I was young folks telling me how pretty I was, prettier than my sister, etc. Then I developed fully curved over one summer and my chest received more attention than my face! I do think I hide behind weight, I have posted about that before. It lets me be anonymous, look like just a mom, and not worry about attention.

Well watch out, I am coming out!..

Comment #3

You might be onto something there, Stacy. I had the same problem as you... 11 years old and wearing a 38DD. Hello! I can track the beginning of my weight gain to an event that happened well before that, but I don't think that developing that early helped anything either. I'm very interested to see where this journey ultimately takes me... even though I've been heavy pretty much my whole life, there was a time when people told me that I was beautiful.

Very interesting discussion...

Comment #4

Well from what ive noticed is that most overweight women focus on hair and makeup because the clothing will never make their butts look like Beyonces. Accentuate the positive. ya know?..

Comment #5

Stacy, this is absolutely fascinating! As a member of the, "such a pretty face club" I, too deveoped early - at age 11 - 38D. You really are on to something here. It was certainly too early in my life to deal with any form of sexuality, and the attention my chest got, along with being taken for years older, was frightening and embarrasing..

Not to mention, among my girlfriends, I stuck out (literally!) like a sore thumb, and it's the kiss of death to be "different" in middle school and high school. If there are any people crueler than kids that age, I certainly don't want to know them..

Great topic - I'm glad you started it. It's given many of us cause to reflect. Thanks!..

Comment #6

I definately agree that there are many over-weight women with pretty faces out there. I have also seen some that have given up on being attractive whether it has to do with lack of self pride or money, but they have totally let themselves go (face & body).

How many times have we heard the phase "Fat & Ugly"? As if bogth words naturally go together, if you're fat you must also be ugly. Society seems to accept this prejudice. Someone can tell the other to their face that they need to loose a few pounds because they feel that they are doing that person a favor. My take on this is that it alot like telling someone with an acne problem "Hey, do you know that you have a big zit on your face?".

Here's to all of us (soon to be) fit & fabulous women on MF!.

BTW, Stacy you look your av!..

Comment #7

Wow I was reading your blog and thought I fully understand that one! I not only grew up fast emotionally with resonsibilty. I married my only real B/f right after graduation. I looked more mature at 13yrs , I had 20yr old guys wanting to date me? All though I have been thinner at times I was always curvy. No matter my weight but Inoticed more when I lose? I have had guys infatuated with me, follow me around in stores & Behind my car (scarey) they even ask me out at grocery stores? When I was married I just politely say I am NO I am married. When I got divorced it was scarey out there. I also worked places were some of the women hated me or talked about me? They assume because you look a certain way you must be doing all the guys! Right ! whatever That really use hurt my feelings. So it makes you wonder if some pretty women sometimes feel less pressured so they gain wieght to cut back on all this attention and pressure?..

Comment #8

Very thought provoking. I agree when we develop at a young age guys our age didn't seem to hit on me as much as older boys or even MEN! Made me feel out of place.

I still remember when the guy across the street asked me out when I was 13 - he was 17 and I asked my dad at the dinner table.... he got so angry he slammed his fist down on the table and it shattered 2 of the dinner plates. I think I started gaining more weight soon after that. It was a defensive sheild to hide behind..

Although never 'fat' just got pudgy... I let the FAT sneak up on me over the years 5 pounds at a time. Just never realized how much they were adding up & up. I know NOW that I will have to watch that scale and STOP the gains before I let them become permenant again!..

Comment #9

I am one of those early developers as well. I got my period at 10 and a pretty large chest soon after. Boys in puberty certainly don't know to deal with their classmates when they develop. I know I hid behind the weight to a certain extent. I was a chunky kid because I consoled myself with food after my parents' divorce.

When I hit puberty I thinned out quite a bit. I was never stick thin like a lot of my friends, but very curvy. I always battled the same 10-15 pounds all through high school and college. I was always uncomfortable with the attention I got from guys when I was on the thinner of my weight range. I always wondered if they like me for me or for my body. I guess I felt I knew where they stood when I was heavier.

Interesting to see a common thread running between a lot of us...

Comment #10

Journey - you are SO right on. Fat & Ugly IS something we've accepted in this culture. I, personally, feel that I've always been beautiful. And I've always been fat. I don't think that I've been hiding it under my weight (and if someone said that to me, I might punch them in the face... fyi...) I just think that some people have bought into our culture's idea of beauty SO MUCH that they can't see different kinds of beauty.

I hope that I continue to see beauty at all different sizes.

And, I think that all this pressure that our culture puts on people to be thin (even pressure to be unhealthily thin) is a factor in people overeating. Why not eat too much if you think you'll never be good enough? If you think you'll never look like the people on TV or in magazines. Food can be comforting. Food can be a lot of things for people...

Comment #11

I agree with this! Then couple in with the fact that a lot of us girls who developed early or were aesthically beautiful early on probably had to deal with some inappropriate sexual issues. Ranging from molestation, rape, verbal harassment from family and at school, physical harassment from family and at school. It could be something as simple as walking down the stairs and you are accused of trying to "tempt" your mom's new boyfriend. Or when it's 100 degrees outside and you wear a tank top, you are accused of being "fast"..

I too developed very early...I was in a DD by the time I was 12, and I was about 121lbs, 5'9'' with a 32DDD by the time I was 15. I was one of those girls who wore jeans over sweatpants, and two big hooded sweatshirts all the time. If anyone remembers those big "EXP JEANS" sweatshirts from Express in the 90's, that was totally me. I was insecure, I felt like if I wore regular clothes people would stare at me. When the "Got Milk" campaign came out, I felt like my life was over..

It's funny cuz when I was a toothpick, people used to tell me "You have such a pretty little face...too bad you can barely see it with that hood pulled up and your head hanging low". Now it's "You have such a pretty face..." as their eyes try to avert the rest of my body...

Comment #12

Wow-I posted this and forget to check it again over the weekendgreat to see all of these terrific responses. I do feel like this is a common theme for many of us. As an interesting anecdote, I was at a party yesterday and my friend's father-in-law spent a tremendous amount of time talking to me. I have known this man for over 10 years and see him maybe once or twice a year at various events. We have never really exchanged many words and I never think he really remembers who I am (even though I was maid of honor at his son's wedding!) Yesterday, on the other hand he went out of his way to talk to me multiple times. Why? My theory is because as the women at the party told me "you look stunningI can't believe how much weight you lost." I thought it was funny (of course I was at the party with my husband and two kids so how threatened could I feel), but at another time or place it might have made me incredibly uncomfortable...

Comment #13

This topic caught my eye as I was checking the boards. There is much truth in what you've said.

My father was extremely strict. My sisters and I couldn't date. Period. While I was in my teens I started gaining weight, thinking that if I were fat no guys would be attracted to me and I wouldn't have to worry about dating. It worked..

Glad I'm not a teen anymore...

Comment #14

I do think you've hit a nerve. I was a "pretty faced girl" too. It got me into a lot of trouble when I was only 8 years old and things have never been the same since. I developed very early, too. At barely 13 years old, in the 8th grade my measurements were 36-26-36, which I thought nothing of when discovering those numbers in my home-econ class (sewing). But the attention I was getting, combined with what happened as a child set me on a path of hiding.

Every time I've lost the weight, and even lost it on Medifast 18 years ago, I've always gained it back because I felt so exposed when my body was more apparent to people, especially men. The last time I got to a size 12 a man I knew, who wouldn't give me the time of day when I was a size 22, started making lewd suggestions. It made me so angry. Within 6 months I had gained it all back and went into therapy for why I apparently "wanted" to be fat. Still trying to figure that one out and deal with it.

Thanks for listening - I know it's the same story for a lot of you, too...

Comment #15

When I started reading this thread, my jaw dropped. I really identify with this idea of having a "pretty face". I also started developing early and remember boys making a bbig deal out of my chest in 6th grade. For whatever reason I've been a little frightened by male attention. A couple of years ago I lost a bunch of weight and got really toned. I walked in a store and was basically accosted (approached) by two different men.

Whew!!! Maybe I need to explore this issue a bit more. It is soooo interesting that so many overweight women have experienced this feeling and deal with it by covering up. BUT, that is my past, and I am taking off my "fat" coat. I am going to live my life for me and not anyone else!..

Comment #16

Wow! Very insightful!.

Growing up I was always told how beautiful I was and in turn, my older sister became jealous, even though she is gorgeous in my opinion. It turned into her hating me and trying to make my life as miserable as possible for over 10 years. I believe that I somehow sabatoged my beauty by putting on weight so that I could have a better relationship with my sister. Our relationship has bettered as I have gained. But now that it is strong, I am ready to lose this weight!!.

Again, I did not know that this is what I was doing to myself at the time, but looking back, it makes perfect sense...

Comment #17

This is such a great discussion. I think there may be some truth to this, but I have another possible take on the early developers and weight gain. I have noticed that my classmates who 'blossomed' early were more likely to become overweight as young women (10 year class reunion, etc.). I wonder if any research has been done to suggest that early develpment can lead to obesity? Maybe it is a sign that something in the whole estrogen, heredity, etc. thing can make you more more likely to continue developing to the point of becoming more at risk for obesity.

Who hasn't heard the story of the skinny girls in high school who blossom into super model types after high school. I know that there are a million reasons people gain weight (illness, overeating, emotional, physical, etc.), but I wonder if early maturity is somehow linked. Just a thought...

Comment #18

The theory makes sense, but I don't think it applies to me. I have always been told I have a pretty face or beautiful eyes, too, and I developed at an early age; however, I clearly remember being self-conscious about my weight when I was in 2nd grade when everyone in my class was weighed individually on a scale by the teacher. She whispered my weight to me and I knew then that I was too fat because told all the others their weight out loud. It's been a constant state of embarrassment for me since then...

Comment #19

Stacy, I know i've done this from an early age as self defense. i've always been very uncomfortable with compliments. I used to wear a bulkie sweater or sweatshirt in the summer to hide my breast. You've really touched on something here. As I meet people here I do see that most have beautiful faces...

Comment #20

I was always told I had a beautiful face. In the past couple years I've gotten more involved in acting and even some modeling and have always felt the pressure that comes with the two. My acting coach informed me that I "could be so beautiful if I dropped twenty pounds". Way to make a person feel good about herself. The "such a pretty face" remark has always been a consolation prize for me. As my friend put, I am beautiful but not the kind of beautiful guys notice.

After reading all your posts I am reminded of another subtle, yet invalidating comment many people make. I'm sure I'm not alone, but when you try on clothes or dresses does anyone ever make the comment "oh that outfit is so flattering on you". I especially noticed it last Saturday when I was prom dress shopping. The salesgirls all remarked how "flattering" my dress was-liked it covered all the "bad" spots or something. Whereas with another girl in the dressingrooms, they all commented how "beautiful" and "glowing" she looked in her size 4 dress...

Comment #21

I thought you might like the experience of some one that might be your mother or grandmother..

I was a child of a mother that was determined to 'live her life over again in me'. She was strong possive and manipulating. When I got older married and adopted my daughters, she begin 'living my life instead of me'. My psycologist (sp), Dr. Brown, said my mother didn't see me as a person but as an arm or leg.

She had an obsession with my older daughter and couldn't care less for the little one. I was 37 when she disowned me. With my oldest brother support I attempted to put her back in her role of grandmother and assume my role as mother. She had become my enemy and she was harming both of my children.

I went in to a depression, read books and had sessions with Dr. Brown however, it about 2 years and I guess I realized the door to my cage was open and I could fly.

I was 40 and my life was truly beginning..

I talked my husband into letting me come and work at his business since his bookeeper had passed away..

He finally relented. I needed the experience but when he didn't want to pay me, I went down to the Texas Employment and got a card for a bookkeeping job..

It was at a meat company and they hired me. This was where I became a 'person' and found 'selfesteem' for the first time in my life.

I thought no one could accept me for me. I was my parents daughter, my children' mother, my husband's wife or my brother's sister. (They were medical doctors.).

Here at this smelly old meat co. no one knew these people. I was given raises every month and every one became my friend..

When I started, I was wearing a size 14, the weight melted off until I was 120. I looked Great!! I was a perfect size 10..

I started buying new clothes and this was very disturbing to my husband. He said I should deposit my salary in the bank. (That was the old me.) I told him there would be no more handmades and handme downs for me, I was going first class all the way and I would pay for it myself..

He hauled me down to Dr. Brown and told her to tell me to guit that job and come home and be like I used to be.

She didn't of course. She did ask me if I loved my husband. I began to realize that I didn't. I never had. He was my mothers choice and I followed the 'pattern'. We had been married 20 years.

When you lose the weight, you will truely be a new person. You all are beautiful. Live it up!! Remember that beauty is in the heart. It is reflected in your face...

Comment #22

I think you hit the nail on the head. My sister was the Christie Brinkley type of beauty, I had freckles, glasses, and braces. She was skinny, and I was "curvy". In fact, I was curvy too early. I got my boobs in 6th grade, so I was very embarrased about that. I started gaining weight to camoflage my curviness..

Then in HS, the braces, weight & glasses came off. I started getting attention from boys, but I wasn't used to it. So I dressed in all black and hung around with just a couple of friends, doing photo and staying "hidden". In college, I felt better about myself, and shed my masks, weight and truly discovered me. Many years later, I've "let myself go" and need to get this weight off again. But all throughout, people always complimented my face.

But to tell you the truth, I'll take that compliment any day! We can change our weight, but not our face! Unless we have a lot of money, or live in Hollywood, that is!..

Comment #23

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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