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Fear of Success

By Rex Goode

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Cross-posted on Body Images Forum

For years, I have battled weight issues. I emerged into adulthood so skinny my dad thought I was going to die, but as the years went on, gained weight–a lot. I went from 6’1″ and 180 pounds to 416 pounds. 80 pounds sounds like a hefty kid to some, but I was pretty thin.

Since getting near 300, the least I’ve weight has been 215. I lost those 85 pounds by walking 1.5 miles to a carpool every morning for work. When I got a job I had to drive to alone, I put it all back on and more. When I broke my wrist and was unable to do much for several weeks, I shot up to 409.

So, there are some external reasons why I’ve gained and lost weight–exercise or lack thereof being the main factor. Yet, there are also internal reasons. The big one is sexual abuse and sexual addiction issues. It is commonly recognized that some overweight issues are caused by sexual abuse. The victim puts on weight as a kind of protection. Look less desirable and bad people may not desire you. I certainly fit that mold.

It is interesting that I remained fairly thin until I turned about 19. I think that is because up until 16, I was acting out sexually and that meant I needed to look desirable. As soon as I stopped acting out, the scales tipped.

The last time I was weighed at my doctor’s office, I was 416, my highest ever. It was higher than any set of scales I could find could weigh. The only way I could know my current weight was to go to the doctor. When my health insurance was cut off, I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor.

About a month ago, I was at a museum where they had this ultra-accurate scale that is used in the space program. I got on it and it said I weight 355.5 pounds. I thought, “They don’t keep up the maintenance on these kinds of public scales.”

The next time I went to the gym, I got on the scales. It said I weighed 367. I don’t know how to relate the discrepancies between my doctor’s scales, the museum scales, and the locker room scales. Yet, it is fairly clear that I have lost around 50 pounds.

My sexual addiction issue is related to same-sex attraction. I have noticed myself lately feeling very lonely and depressed. I am noticing good-looking men in public more and feeling the old tug of wanting one of them to pay attention to me in a positive way. It seems so counter to a simplistic view of sexual addiction. Since I am feeling better about myself, physically speaking, shouldn’t that make me less triggered?

My best friend Drew has helped me see that this depression and loneliness is related to my abuse, but after reading Art’s April 16, 2010 update about his lap band surgery in LDSR’s Body Image forum, I realized that losing weight makes me feel exposed and vulnerable. I feel the same deep need for reassurance and protection as I did when I was young and fit, so the child in me thinks I need a strong man to hold me and protect me. Being held and protected by a man is not a bad thing, but my track record is that it leads to more inappropriate contact.

My food addiction psychologically protects me from sex abuse but dealing with my food addiction exposes me to danger regarding my sex addiction. One or the other wants to be active and are both fighting to keep me addicted to something.

I need the Lord’s help to understand that I can lose weight and still be safe. My head knows it, but my heart needs convincing.

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One Response to “Fear of Success”

  1. Springs Of Water » RPaC said:

    […] Fear of Success on 4/23/2010 […]

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