Negative Belief Systems about Weight and Body Part two

path to mental health recovery
there is no perfect path on this journey

WHY did I want someone else to be fat?  Where did a thought like that come from in the first place? And looking deeper into the answers to those questions was where the bigger secrets and hidden answers were found.

This post is continued from “Survival Methods and Eating Disorders ~ Part One and is part of a series of articles about eating disorders, weight and body issues here on Emerging from Broken.

As I started to think about those questions, I asked myself if I felt this way about everyone that I had not seen for awhile and I realized that I only felt this way about women who had hurt me, used me or discounted me. I thought about a few other women in my life, especially in the past, and the answer that I came up with for them was the same. Yes, I hoped that women who had hurt me had gotten fat. I thought about women in my past and present that had treated me fairly and with some equality and equal value and realized that I wished no such “fat fate” upon them.  That got me really thinking. So why do I hope that these other women had gotten fat? And furthermore I realized that I have thought this way for a very very long time. It is important to note here that my magic survival system could have stayed right there and decided that I was a nasty woman with nasty thoughts and nasty wishes for bad things to happen to others. But I know better than to stay there.

I asked myself ~ what does fat “mean” to me? What do I think about it, how do I feel about it? As I pondered these questions, I realized that I somehow think (and believe) that “fat” and weight gain are a fitting punishment for these women. They “deserve to be fat” because they had devalued me so much.

(** Remember that I am in direct contact with my belief system and this is NOT about the truth at all. I KNOW it is not true that people “deserve” to be fat! And I know that happiness IS possible when I am overweight! I am overweight! It’s just what my belief system thinks. These are good examples of those lies I always talk about that need to be corrected.)

Then I processed why I believed that weight gain was a punishment and not just a punishment, but a “fitting punishment”.   My mind didn’t hesitate to remind me that no one could ever be happy fat. In my minds eye I even saw my chin jut out like a defiant child might so when feeling justified about being mean, but deep down knowing that something was wrong with the whole picture; thinking this way was really not about them but about me. My mind jumped immediately to looking at how I feel about my own body.

If fat and weight gain is a punishment for them, then do I feel that way about my own body?

Do I believe that my own extra weight (about 40 pounds) is a deserved punishment? I know that I believe my extra weight is sometimes about protection.  I know that 2 years ago when I slowly started to gain it, was during and after a period of time where I felt discounted, betrayed and a little rejected by some important people in my life and my weight gain has always followed a time of abuse.  Prior to this tine I had only been overweight after very abusive situations such as when I was raped ~ but my eating disorders are not single faceted either. I have dealt with huge body issues over time that were related to many other belief systems, most of which have been sorted out. In some respects it has been very healthy for me to gain weight in that I lessened my obsession with control and learned acceptance of my body.

But thinking of someone deserving to be overweight and thinking of fat as a punishment and considering that I might deep down in my belief system think that I deserve that same punishment too……… I had not considered that idea in this way before now. This realization turns out to be one more piece in the puzzle of figuring out my belief system about food issues, compulsive overeating and body issues.

The answer is yes. Yes I do think that weight is a punishment, for others that have hurt me and that excess weight is a punishment for me. Deep down I was, and sometimes still am high on the list of people who I think have hurt me so that fits.  Fat and excess weight is all those things that we talk about ~ fat is protection; fat is rejection; fat is punishment; only perfection is good enough but at the same time anything close to perfection is dangerous. Somewhere in all of this, the keys to freedom from weight and body issues are hiding.

And since I always say that the truth will set you free, it is important to add these reminders;

~I am not one of the people that hurt me. That is an old belief, like a leftover from the old days that I still have to remind myself is a lie. It is important to examine the roots of that lie in order to make progress with most of the issues we talk about in here in EFB.

~When it comes to my body, I no longer trust myself. There are two parts to this one:

a)    I am very aware of trust issues with those people in my life that I know are not safe to trust.  I have the feelings about myself mixed in with them which is what happens in childhood if we have been abused or devalued in any way.

b)    I have let myself down in this particular area when I have promised myself that I will take better care of my physical health and then I don’t keep that promise. This is a huge area that I will address more in a future post.

And finally

~ Fat is not protection. Fat is not rejection. Food is NOT love.

~Looks do not equal acceptance nor in any way do they have anything to do with self acceptance. Remember that most of my life I have been a normal weight, but my self esteem was in the toilet anyway.

~ Fat is not a feeling and this whole thing is not about food OR perfection.  

To be continued…….

Please share your thoughts about this subject. I know it is huge and that this is just one tiny picture in an ocean of snapshots.

Darlene Ouimet

Emerging from Broken on FaceBook

50 response to "Negative Belief Systems about Weight and Body Part two"

  1. By: Marie Posted: 26th April

    Gosh this is another issue for me- I would think that being fat equals shame and rejection. All I have ever felt is shame and rejection as a child and in any intimate relationship I have ever had with someone. I always kept control over my weight but in the last 2 years I have developed a thyroid problem and gained almost 2.5 stone in weight. The shame, guilt, i hide indoors and when i have to go to the shop i feel people are looking at me and judging me. But every time i try to drop the weight i only succeed by 10lbs then eat it all back up again with stuffing down chocolate bars and high fat foods. I am stuck in that cycle of punishment. I had to call my wedding off 3 years ago because that was the final abuse for me- he was the last person that would hurt me- but look at what I am doing to myself by eating into oblivion- it feels like no food is enough- i am always hungry all the time- more more more- you are right Darlene food is not love- but somehow i have equated it with feeling good (temporarily) and then holding myself in deep shame for ‘failing again’. I read that thyroid is connected to throat and ‘speaking up’- this is something i have never done, always discounting myself as ‘lesser than’ in family-love-self care- putting myself ‘last’. This really is deep rooted stuff and yes when i see a fat person i wonder what they did to ‘deserve that’. That’s my conditioning from a parent who was obsessed with weight and passed it down to me and in turn i may have passed it on to my girls 🙁

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th April

      Hi Marie
      Yes, it is a coping method and coping methods never are enough. 🙂
      hang in there Marie. hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Kimberly Posted: 24th November

    I agree very much Darlene that most of our issues stem from childhood. I have met a few people who after hearing my share my stor tell me that oh they too suffer with a and b but it is because of a brain misfunction, I find that statement insulting and I do NOT believe its chemical, but after the abuse happened it became a chemical matter.

  3. By: Kimberly Posted: 24th November

    I think being overweight does affect you but you can be thin and feel like a outcast, I was thin and very pretty in high school but because of my hurts and other people I grew up with who assigned me as the scapegoat,I never stood a chance, abused at home and then abused at school. I never seen myself in a good light, today I am over 200 and I have more self esteem and a much better mind set but society is awful and has a long way to go in order to be a civilized society towards overweight people, esp women.

  4. By: Jyn Posted: 23rd April

    Hearing that makes my day! 🙂

  5. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd April

    Hi Jyn
    I agree with you on both subjects you are presenting here. Over the years I have come to believe that most mal functions and disorders have their roots in child hood trauma.
    About 6 months ago I decided to cut the processed foods and sugar out of my diet and go low carb. I cut out all wheat (and dairy other than greek yogurt) and most other grain carbs in favour of meats, veggies and fruits. I am having great results with being able to listen to my body and what I need in any given day. I feel clear and strong. I was a vegetarian for 7 or 8 years at one time and I have done all kinds of low protein/high carb plans over the years but I must say that with this high fat high protein plan I am feeling very well.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Jyn Posted: 23rd April

    Thanks for your bravery in the honest discussions on eating disorders (among other things)!

    I had been anorexic for all my life until recently and I know it was from the child abuse. One thing that was felt very relevent to me that wasn’t really brought up in a lot of material I read on eating disorders is the issue of trauma and the brain and organs. Author Peter Levine’s incredibly compassionate and intelligent books actually enabled me to use my other constructive interests, such as yoga and cultural anthropology, to basically cure myself of this life-long anorexia.

    The reason for this is that his understanding of manifested trauma is that it ALSO *originates* in the body as a visceral reaction. In the case of eating disorders, I learned that the digestive tract is like a second brain – in fact, he equates the entire digestive/brain neurology with that of a mature feline in mass and complexity. This is *in addition* to the other organs and neurology. And then there is the issue of the endocrine/digestive relationship, another one of the most powerful systems in the body; this is recognized in Eastern medicine.

    I think I knew all along that I couldn’t talk-therapy myself out of anorexia which is what led me to yoga and Dr. Levine’s books in the first place. The sensations of eating and digesting were too palpable, too primal, to rationalize. Healing has to take place in the physical body. I got better without “trying” mentally.

    Another thing that I want to mention, in case it helps anyone, is that (my assessment here) the modern diet in the United States is the result of the import of Eastern asceticism (which is very appealing to the shame-ridden) and the result of fairly recent agricultural market modulation by the government and has virtually nothing to do with nutrition. I have found that a diet rich – nay, loaded – with natural animal fats and low in carbohydrates (a basic primal diet of fat, meat, fruit, and vegetables, all minimally processed) has provided nerve healing, mood regulation, and satiation. I now feel hungry and am satisfied by proper food, something that never happened when I was eating a typical carbohydrate-based, fat-less diet – no matter how little or much I ate. I am suggesting that the near-vegetarian, fat-soluble-vitamin-deficient modern diet is in itself and cultural eating disorder. Especially sad (or telling?) is that women are the most needing of fats, yet society tells us that we must not have them and makes erroneous claims (such as fat makes you fat – not true – I lost weight and regained musculature as well).

    Best regards to all,

  7. By: Laura Posted: 16th January

    Man, this really DID stir up some memories for me, Darlene. I also remember how, when I’d go to my grandma’s to visit, my grandfather always commented about my weight. He would say “puttin on some pounds there, ey Laura? You need to get out and walk every day like I do. I walk 4 miles to church and back early in the morning.” Only after my gramp got cancer did he SHUT UP about my weight. Up till that time in my life, I was constantly struggling on one diet after the other for fear of being seen as FAT by grandpa!
    Meals were also a very painful part of my life as a child. From the time I was 10 years old, after my mother remarried my mentally ill step-dad, family meals became a source of my being mocked and my going without food. I didn’t always like the fat on meat my mom cooked so I was told to sit between the broom closet and the fridge while the family made fun of me saying “an nowwwwwwwwwwwww for the continuing saga of LAURA STARVES AGAIN!” I remember trying to laugh through tears because I was so hungry but I could not bring myself to eat whatever “glop” my mother had put in front of me, so I sat in that cubby till everyone was done and then made to sit at the table till I ate the cold glop, with step-father continuing to check on me till the wee hours of the night. Usually I’d fall asleep and he’d let me go to bed after I did the dishes.
    Gosh, no WONDER I have had weight issues and eating problems ever since!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th January

      Hi Laura
      Wow, yes I would say you are getting to the root of this issue. I am sorry that you had to go through the horror of the things you have shared about this!
      Thanks for sharing your story and your processing.
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Laura Posted: 16th January

    p.s. I want to clarify that I left my husband due to him cheating on me and giving me an STD. He also was diagnosed with NPD.

  9. By: Laura Posted: 16th January


    I am glad you chose this topic…fat as punishment, rejection, etc. Most of my life I had fantasies of either being fat or being with a fat guy. Oddly enough, I married the skinniest guy you could imagine. One day, I met a fat man that treated me kindly, like a human, like a woman, and I FELL IN INFATUATION! I left my husband, lived in shelters, and always longed for the love of that fat guy…which ultimately ended after several months and (I think) his wife finding out. The other guys I dated, most of them were not fat but a few were. The ones that were, were also insecure and clingy, and did not last long with me. Finally, I met my current fiancee and yes, he’s HUGE…300 + pounds, but the interesting thing is, once I finally figured out that fat guys were mostly that way due to insecurity –> overeating –>lack of energy –> lack of motivation –> low self-esteem…by the time I met “mr right” I had decided I no longer was looking for “mr fat” so I had to learn how to accept my guy at his current obese weight.
    My own past desires and fantasies about being fat stemmed from also being molested by a relative. I believe that children have a very hard time processing sexuality, so their thoughts about it come out in odd ways. I think “being fat” to me, was the same as the result of “being pregnant” and as a child, fat and pregnant sort of seemed like the same thing.
    When I was having marriage problems, I got involved in a “fat fetish” site because, for the first time in my life, I felt like I wasn’t crazy, like there was a term for my fat fantasies and actually people who got fat or made other people fat on purpose! When I got the chance to have someone “feed” me over the phone, the “high” about it was thrilling at first, however, when I told him I felt full and he kept urging me to eat more, something “clicked” in my head and I realized that what this “fat fetish” stuff was, WAS DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS AND VIOLATORY! I ended my “fat fetish” journey after a few months of gaining a lot of weight and becoming very close to dying from complications of obesity (heart problems, could barely breathe, could barely move).
    When I had a panic attack in the middle of a heart test, I went home that day and determined to lose weight. Over the next few months, I took off a lot of weight, was declared HEALTHY by my doctor, and have stayed pretty healthy since then.
    Fat, for me, was a fascination, a confusion, a processing of being molested and abused, and an addiction.
    I praise God I am FREE now and doing my best to help my fiancee to take better care of himself as well! Thanks for reading 🙂

  10. By: Pinky Posted: 7th July

    @Amira, This doctor is top of his field. I live in NYC and am fortunate to have the best doctors here. No other doctor has been able to find this.
    I do not want to post it because I am in litigation so I can get into more detail if you want to e-mail me I am on face book under the name of Pinksugarbaby Lew I am on Emerging from Broken’s page. I have to get more testing too but can get into what I know in a pm. But I do think you should look into it since you at your young age have had to have colonoscopies. I actually was only looking for damage from surgery to my digestive tract. So this is a huge break through for me! I am not sure where you live but I can refer you to this doctor. I only accept friend requests from people with real pictures. I think you will find what you are looking for with more and better testing. Even if you cant get to NYC I think my doctors office could provide a referral if you live in a major city. He has patients come to him from all over the country.

  11. By: Amira Posted: 7th July

    wow Pinky! Im so happy you are able to get help with the issues that were bothering you AND get some proof of the rape that no one believed! That’s fantastic!!!

    Not to be super nosey, but was it a GI related issue that he noticed was caused by rape? I have severe GI problems that I assumed were from food allergies (they are alleviated quite a bit by eliminating some foods) but I have had to have colonoscopies and all and the doctors found nothing wrong, and I am only in my early 30’s. I never even imagined there would be physical repercussions from rape outside of STD’s and vaginal damage that is an obvious occurrence after it….

    Thank you so much for sharing this and I am so glad you were able to get this information for your own well being 🙂

  12. By: Pinky Posted: 7th July

    @Darlene, I was trying to find an appropriate subject under which to share this. It is about the physical results of sexual abuse. It helped me and I think it might help others. Just sharing to help. I am also happy in a weird way about it.
    Many of us who were raped and or sexually abused were not believed. I have brought this up before but there seems to be much more information and interest on the body and mind connection that on actual provable damage our bodies have as a result of sexual abuse and or rape.
    I was told I was lying and so on in court.
    When I was 18 I actually went to a hopsital in NYC and got proof of my physical damage.
    But that hospital no longer exists it merged with another one and I doubt they have records from 1981.
    So to make a long story short, I had surgery for breast cancer from 2008-1010
    I started having digestive problems after surgery. I recently went to a doctor in NYC (a very high end doctor) and had a few stomach biopsy’s because of the digestive problems. I am also due to a get a colonoscopy and a few other tests next month.
    The result of the tests I had show some stomach damage from the surgery which is common after surgery and can be corrected easily with medication.
    But the doctor said very hesitantly that there was some other damage to my internal organs that can only be from rape and said I don’t want to offend you but have you been raped?
    I was so relieved that he asked! I am 48 years old the last time I was raped was probably when i was 14.
    Yet I still have damage from it and he said it can’t be from anything else.
    So I wanted to share that for anyone who may be facing court issues with their abusers. This may help me tremendously!
    He is just a gastroenrologist not even a GYN but obviously top of his field.No other doctor has caught this!
    He is sending me for more tests at the end of next month and he believes it will confirm what he suspected and then there may be some surgery or therapy to repair some parts of my female organs that I did not know were damaged!
    For those who have faced court issues with lawyers and abusers who call them liars something like this is invaluable! The only problem is there is no DNA at this late stage in my life to prove who did it but I can now prove it happened! I hope this helps someone else!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 7th July

      Hi Pinky
      This is great, I am happy for you.
      Thank you for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th May

    Hi Star,
    Yes, that aspect makes sense too!
    Thanks for your comments, I love your thoughts!
    Hugs, Darlene

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