Overweight and unhappy


Overweight and unhappy


your avatar   FatyGirl, 26-year-old woman

I have never been in love, never had sex (virgin), never had a boyfriend, and never heard a word of love. I feel so lonely and depressed - I feel like I'm in hell. I am overweight. I started dieting when I was 10 years old. I have tried everything, from herbs to acupuncture, to electric waves, and as a last resort, "lap band" surgery. Nothing worked. I am starting to gain weight instead of losing it. Each time I lose 10 kg I end up gaining 20 kg. I fail in everything. I can't find a partner, I can't find a job, and I can't live. I cry day and night wishing to die. I feel like my life has stopped at this point. I need help.

How do I accept myself and my size, and restart my life happily large?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

My dear (I refuse to call you "FatyGirl" - you are a young woman TRAPPED in a fat body),

I can feel your suffering. You feel terrible, worthless, without anything to live for. You hate yourself, and feel sorry for yourself, and you don't think you have deserved this fate.

You are not alone. Most of the people you see around you, the ones with the usual-shaped bodies, are also handicapped, one way or another. Many of them are also very unhappy, being the way they are. Many slim, attractive women get married and have children. Then they find that their husband treats them terribly, beats them, keeps money from them, cheats on them with other women. And the children may give them nothing but heartache and trouble, year after year.

This is not true for everyone of course, but it is common enough that I have had hundreds of clients with such problems.

I lost most of my hair by the time I was in my early 20-s. I used to think that this was why I had no girlfriend. But then I met a young man who was balder than me, and he had two or three girls at any one time. So, I knew my problem was not baldness, but that I felt bad about my baldness.

In the same way, your problem is not being fat, but hating yourself for being fat. I also know many fat women, and women who look unattractive to me, who are happy, with a loving husband, nice children and a meaningful life.

Your call for help requires THREE answers:

  • How can you achieve a body that is slim enough to make you feel good about yourself;

  • How can you have a contented life, regardless of how you look;

  • What you can make of your life, whether romance enters it or not.

I do not have space in a QueenDom answer for all three. It is a pity you didn't give an email address, for I'd like to send my answer directly to you as well as posting it. If you do read this answer, please email me directly, and you might find the few dollars to continue therapy with me.

The one question I'll address in detail is the first one: losing weight.

  • First, from what you write, you may have a HORMONE problem. Your thyroid gland may be working poorly, or you may have diabetes. Go for a thorough medical checkup, asking about these things. If this is the case, medications will fix your main problem. They will help you to lose a lot of weight, and gain energy.

  • Whether you have a hormone problem or not, you will also have acquired certain habits of behavior and thought. This is why DIETS NEVER WORK. A short-term boost in activity always fades away, and you go back to old habits. So, what you need to do is to learn new habits and unlearn old ones. This is the same for habits of eating as for any other habits.

Go to my web site, scroll down in the navigation bar on the left and click on "fighting a problem". Follow the advice on this page. In particular, keep a diary of your eating impulses. Each time you feel like eating, write down what led to the thought, what the thought was, and whether you in fact ate something or not. Like many fat people, you feel depressed about being fat. And almost certainly, food gives you comfort. So, you eat because you are depressed, and this makes you fatter, and this makes you more depressed, round and round. The diary will help you to identify such destructive cycles.

  • Your body may well have sugar intolerance. One of the signs of an allergy reaction is that you crave the thing that is harming your body. Test for this by not eating anything sweet FOR THREE WEEKS. Only three weeks. Nothing with sugar or artificial sweetener in it. You can manage to do this for just three weeks, can't you? If you have a sugar intolerance, you will be feeling TERRIFIC at the end of three weeks. Now, have some candy. If you start feeling terrible again, you know you must give sugar away. For the rest of your life. But you will feel so good that you will gladly do this.

  • Probably, you eat and nibble much of the time. Many people find it helps to make a rule: no eating at all between meals, under any circumstances. You eat when everyone else eats, and never in between.

A few tricks to help with this: work out how much money is spent on your "comfort food", the food you eat in between meals. It doesn't matter who pays for this food. Each day, set aside this amount of money. When you 'slip' and have a nibble, take away the value of what you have eaten, but do not punish yourself any other way. It is important to be kind to yourself. The rest of the money, what you have saved by not eating, can be accumulated for something wonderful that you really want, as a reward.

Also, make sure you eat lots of vegetables as part of your main meals, and have fruit handy. When you just NEED a nibble, have an apple or something.

The next thing is aerobic exercise. Almost certainly, you are physically inactive. Try to establish the habit of some vigorous exercise EVERY DAY. Walk AS FAST AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN until you are puffing for air. At first, this may be no more than ten steps. That is OK. Now have a rest until your breathing quiets down, then walk back the same distance, at the same pace. This time, force yourself to cover the distance, regardless of how you feel.

Gradually, the distance will get longer. At first, this activity will feel like torture, but after a month or two it will become enjoyable, and you will miss it if you don't do it. By then, you will probably walk very fast for a quarter of an hour, each way, but it doesn't matter how much you can do.

You also need exercise to build up muscle. Muscle burns more energy, and by becoming strong you increase your metabolic rate. Go to a physiotherapist and ask him/her to design a graded exercise program for you to increase your muscle. Again, you will find that in time this will make you feel good.

I hope you come back to QueenDom and read my answer. Please email me at bobrich@bobswriting.com if you do. Let me know if you are going to act on my suggestions, and later let me know if they have worked for you.

And regardless of whether you manage to change your body shape, you still need to work on the other two problems.

Good Luck,

Bob Rich

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com

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"Your body hears everything your mind says."
Naomi Judd
The root of almost all troubles is a lack of self-love.