Posted by: Judy | July 20, 2012

The Core Problem…

I’m posting this over at my other blog and realized it belongs here as well. It’s part of Stop Lying.

“I know what my core problem is: I hide behind my weight.”

That quote is from last Friday’s post. It is the perfect illustration of being unwilling to face core problems. It’s so much easier to simply stick to what is on the surface. Yes, this is a little deeper than “I’m fat.”

However, it isn’t really the core problem.

The core problem: I’m afraid.

I’m afraid of being noticed.

And there roars the past, ready to devour me.

I’m still avoiding the truth. Dig a little deeper.

I was noticed and abused.

That still isn’t the core issue.


The core issue:

I was abused by people I trusted, and I never want it to happen again.

There. The truth.

Now, taking it a step further: How in the world will being fat protect me?

The logic escapes me.


  1. Hello Judy
    It sounds logical to me; the extra weight is your barrier and shield against further hurt.
    I’m over weight and want to be slim and yet there is a part of me that wants to hang on to my extra, poundage! I’m pretty sure it’s because I’ve nursed several people through terminal illness and seen the weight fall off them; it’s scary. So I feel safe with my extra weight.
    It’s all down to our subconscious mind. Even though I know the reason, something is stopping me. So I fully understand your dilemma.
    Molly x

    • Good point. I remember how emaciated my NM’s mother was, and I swore I’d never be that skinny. I have to ask myself why I thought the extra poundage would be a shield…wait…it’s a physical boundary…and physical boundaries were constantly violated… Actually, all the boundaries were violated, but the physical one was something I could measurably do something about… This makes more sense.

      Thanks ((Molly)) That is so helpful.

      Now, how do I change my thinking?

  2. My perspective that all over weight people were avoided at our house. Mother acted like you could catch fat like you could a cold. She preached to everyone and anyone about dieting and keeping weight off. Greatest sin at our house was to be over weight. Might consider it a form of rebellion too.

    • Well, there is that, too. So, I need to decide to stop rebellion, which does not mean I’m rolling over or surrendering. It simply means: It’s time to stop giving anymore real estate in my head to the narcs than absolutely necessary. I’m not stupid. I can’t pretend like they’re not there, a sure way to find myself blindsided. I can do this.

  3. “How in the world will being fat protect me?”

    As someone who weighs over 300 lbs myself, I’m going to venture a guess as a possible answer to this question. How in the world will being fat protect me? Well, when you are fat, you become invisible. In fact, the fatter you get, the more invisible you become. If you become grossly overweight, you cease to exist as a human, and simply become that person who hides away at home, failing to ever come in contact with other people, except when absolutely necessary. If you don’t interact with other people, then you can’t get hurt, right? Wrong. But my fat insulates me against the rest of the world. It says, “Stay Away.” And most people are happy to oblige.

    The other thing my fat does is allow me to hate myself and reject everything about myself, before other people can reject or hurt me. How can they get close enough to hurt me, if I’m isolated and alone? They can’t. Being fat makes me feel safe, even though when I’m inside all those layers of pain, it still hurts. Someone once told me that my fat represents all my pain, and if I were to lose the fat, I would also have to lose the pain. Is being fat my way of clinging tightly to my pain?

    Now that’s a good question. Not sure I have an answer for that one.

    • More right answers. Yes, being invisible feels safer, but I’m learning it’s an illusion. Part of the Stop Lying, especially to myself is learning to acknowledge the pain is there, no matter what, and I’m not safe.

      I’ve also wondered if clinging to my fat was clinging to my pain or clinging to my need to feel safe or clinging to a way to ensure there’s always a good reason to punish myself.

      Being fat means I’m bad. That little gem doesn’t only come from NM and EF but from society. I am bad. I feel bad, so if I’m going to be punished for being bad, then let me make it worthwhile.

      When I feel safer I drop weight, without much difficulty. I feel better about how I look and how I feel. I start to feel worthwhile…

      And BAM! I sabotage myself.

      Food is the fastest, easiest way to put me in my place. I will eat despite the fact I’m not hungry and I really don’t want the food. I stuff to punish myself for feeling good or do I punish myself for feeling worthwhile? Or are they intertwined.

      Wow… what a labyrinth.

      • I can see you’re at least trying to untangle all the layers that can hide inside the question. There are so many reasons we do this to ourselves, and anyone who thinks that just losing the weight solves the problem, obviously doesn’t understand the question. Punishing ourselves, or hiding, or trying to manufacture the feeling of being safe, or emphasizing the notion we are unworthy or defective, or building another layer of shame around an already existing layer, or just plain old physical laziness and apathy … all reasons, and all connected, and all part of the equation that keeps it very complicated.

        During my younger years (late twenties and early thirties), for a while there, I stayed healthier because I was filled with confidence and was actively raising a family and wanted to be healthy for my kids. You can’t chase a two year old when you can barely move. But later, as my self-esteem started slipping away again, the pounds kept coming, and at some point, I reverted back to that way of thinking “I’m one my way to dying anyway, so what does it matter.”

        But as we both know, it DOES matter. Even sleeping and driving and walking and sitting are improved when we are at a healthier weight. I still waffle between believing it’s too late for me, and wondering if I shouldn’t focus more of my attention on this one area, and sit back and watch as all the other areas of my life improved exponentially.

        Still, even when I was at my healthiest weight, the one thing that was constant is that I did NOT desire male attention, but it came my way anyway. That also factors into the equation. Do I stay fat so they will look the other way? Or because I’m afraid to try to love someone again? Complicated stuff. Yep.

        • “…anyone who thinks that just losing the weight solves the problem, obviously doesn’t understand the question.”


          “I did NOT desire male attention, but it came my way anyway.”

          Oh. Yeah. There’s that, too. Do I stay fat so I don’t have to worry about defending my boundaries? Do I stay fat so I don’t have to test whether he’ll fall under the spell of my NM and EF? Yep, NM and EF fawn over whoever visits me…a competition, and they have to win. I’ve ended the competition before it’s begun.

          Wow…some of this is as nutty as what I started with, but at least I can laugh about it. 🙂 And I WILL figure it out.

          • I’m sure you ask yourself lots of the same questions, and in my case, now it’s come down to my weight negatively affecting my overall health, in that it makes the mobility problems that already exist (rheumatoid arthritis) much worse, so I have to either accept responsibility and accept my limitations, or I have to change my weight, and by doing so, embrace all those questions again.

            Obviously, I’m still on the fence on this one. In fact, one of these days, I’ll probably get around to blogging about this very subject (today isn’t that day) … but you’re younger and have more years in front of you, and in other ways, I see you getting stronger and stronger, so it seems to follow that the momentum will carry you forward in this area, too. Keeping my fingers crossed for you (and even for me, too) so that this part of the equation can be resolved, so we can move on to other things.

            Good for you for blogging about it. Talk about being willing to look in the mirror and take a closer look. Go you! Well done, Judy. Keep moving.

            • I think part of what’s pushed me is knowing I’m being pushed into the public eye whether I want it or not. It’s only a month away. I don’t expect to make the New York Best Seller List. LOL! But I will still be putting myself out there.

            • Nothing like a little heavy dose of extra eyes to get us delving into those unresolved weight issues, right? Between now and then, just keep building on your confidence. After all, it was your writing ability that put you in this position. Your writing ability is a reflection of ALL the parts of you, and it’s hard not to accept the fact that people like what they see. So there.

            • 😀

            • I can’t help adding one more comment … sorry, but in our exchange today, a thought crossed my mind, and I feel compelled to share.

              Have you ever realized that blogging, by nature of the give-and-take in a conversation, follows the principle of “keeping the door closed.” When we send comments to one another, it’s a bit like knocking on the door. The recipient has the choice to either answer the knock, or let it simmer and wait until a time that is more convenient to the blogger.

              I hadn’t thought about it that way before, but the truth is, blogging is an excellent platform for creating boundaries.

              I know you are probably working, or relaxing, and won’t be knocking on your door again today. But I couldn’t help adding that final thought. It made me smile to think that we (bloggers) have the choice. We can continue the conversation, or not. We can open the door, or not.


            • I’m in the middle of a break at the moment.

              You’re right. The internet is where I started learning boundaries. I love being able to decide if I post or not, answer an email or not, comment or not. I like your way of putting it: We knock, asking if we may come in, and wait for answer. Adding to it, I’ve tried to learn that just because someone says “no” nor doesn’t answer it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with me. Great point!

            • agreed … someone saying “no” may have nothing at all to do with us, but could mean dozens of other things, such as “they’re not checking their email today” or “they’re having a bummer day and don’t feel like talking” or “they’re not sure how to respond, so they feel more comfortable saying nothing” etc etc etc.

              Your blog has me thinking a lot more about boundaries, and how it’s probably wise that I start being more aware of creating boundaries, and enforcing them. In my case, I don’t have the NM or EF to deal with on a daily basis, but I do share a home with my sister, and I do have to interact with other family members on a regular basis. Your blog has helped me start thinking in terms of creating and enforcing those boundaries. Much appreciated.

            • You’re most welcome. We’re are learning to be healthy. As often as I believed I had to do it myself, I’m realizing that though I have to do the work, I’m not alone.

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