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Body image changes?

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Old 08-20-2008, 10:47 AM   #1
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Default Body image changes?

For those who are at or near goal, when did you start thinking that you no longer looked fat?

Despite my loss, I'm still obese, so maybe it's natural that I still think I look fat. Objectively, I know I'm less fat, but my mental picture of myself isn't very different then it was 80 pounds ago. And when I stand in front of the mirror naked, I see still see a fat body.

When does that change? Does it happen gradually, or is it like a light-bulb moment? Did you have to work at it? Was it hard to believe?

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Old 08-20-2008, 10:54 AM   #2
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For me it was a lightbulb sorta moment. I didn't feel not-fat until .. oh, about 170 I guess. But then again, I didn't buy new clothes until I'd dropped from a size 22/24 to a size 16 - and then only because people in my office were telling me that my clothes no longer fit.

I rapidly went from a 16 to a 14 to a 12 after that (where I seem to be stalled for the time being, but that's another story).

And now I def tend to think of myself as not-fat. I don't necessarily think of myself as *thin* yet - I still have about 40 lbs to go and a lot of that is tummy, which affects the way I look and the way I wear my clothes. But I wouldn't call myself *fat* any more.

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Old 08-20-2008, 11:05 AM   #3
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I sort of have a split personality about this. I can look at myself and definitely see "not fat"! Certainly there's a lot less of me than there used to be! But at the same time, literally the same moment, I can see my poochy tummy and the fat I do still have and see myself as "still fat". Though not at all in the same way I used to be fat. It's weird. Sometimes it's like I'm looking at 2 people in the mirror...
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:18 AM   #4
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I have days where I see a thinner me, and those where I see all the loose skin and the fat left to go. I really do try to not form negative thoughts about my body. I am accepting the fact that I won't be a model (like someone 5'2" even has a chance LOL), and have been trying to take time to discover parts of my body that I never saw before.

Just last night I was looking at my thigh muscles and thinking - you know, those are kind of neat!

You need to stop viewing your body in a negative light. You can notice something and accept it. Note that acceptance doesn't mean you love it, but just understand that there are some things that you cannot change.
Being at goal will not magically give you a healthy body image, it is something you need to work on. I think it takes longer for the mind to change than the body.
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:41 AM   #5
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You need to stop viewing your body in a negative light. You can notice something and accept it. Note that acceptance doesn't mean you love it, but just understand that there are some things that you cannot change.
Lori, I completely understand what you're saying, but I wasn't using fat as a pejorative. I was just being descriptive. If it sounded that I was saying fat=bad (or ugly, etc), I certainly didn't mean to.

The thing is that I've always been heavy, my whole life. I was dieting as a pre-teen, so in my head I'm a fat person, and when I look in the mirror, I see a fat person. I've been wondering if other people are going to think of me as non-fat long before I start to do so. I'm finding it a little hard to imagine that I'm ever going to look in the mirror and genuinely recognize that the person staring back at me is not fat.

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Old 08-20-2008, 12:00 PM   #6
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It just happened all of a sudden last week. I realized, that although I want to be and will be less fat, that my weight and figure and health and strength had become something I could live with and feel good about, if for some reason I had to. It was an amazing feeling. Then it evaporated and I feel fat again. But I just keep doing what I need to do, and it will come back. But even when I feel still fat, I still feel just great about the way I'm eating now and the strength and endurance and flexibility I've developed.
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I've been wondering if other people are going to think of me as non-fat long before I start to do so.
Lisa

Lisa - yes, I can say definitely that people will see you as thinner than you feel. Those of us losing see ourselves every day, and the changes become incremental that way. To others, the differences are much more noticeable.

It really will help you to take pictures every 5 or 10 pounds in the same pose, then compare them. You will see those changes much more readily that way. Then it will kind of sink in.
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaF View Post
I've been wondering if other people are going to think of me as non-fat long before I start to do so.
Yes, if my experience means anything, yes, other people will think of you as thin before you do, and sometimes well before you do. And they may even start saying things like, "Oh, you're getting too thin."

Regarding your question, like Heather, I also sometimes look at myself and think I'm fat and other times I don't. Intellectually, I know that I'm no longer fat, but my head sometimes says that I am, although not as fat as I was 103 lbs. ago.
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:45 PM   #9
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I really think that just depends on where you started. There are so many women in so many different spots. Some want to lose 15 pounds and some want to lose 200 or more. And I definitely am not going to say that someone who loses 35 pounds as compared to someone losing 200 is the same thing; it's absolutely not. For me, seeing a size 8 again, after eight years, makes me want to cry. Once I hit my pre-baby weight though, that's when I began to feel more like me, 155.
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:46 PM   #10
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I am a few lbs away from goal and I see myself as somewhat "fat"...not as in, "Wow, I'm so huge," but rather "Wow, I'm a lot smaller now but I still feel soft/flabby." So I want to be truly fit, and more muscular than I am now. However, with clothes ON, I don't feel quite as fat! Yet I want to feel really good in a bathing suit.

For most of us, our friends and family see us as smaller than we personally feel we are. But it's different for everyone.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:30 PM   #11
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I've lost a lot of weight.. and I'm still obese right now so I can really relate to what you're saying lisa. Since I'm not done I'm just giving it time...
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:36 PM   #12
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Once I hit the 140's is when I started to feel.. not exactly thin but "average".
I still have a bunch to lose but image-wise, I don't really consider myself "fat", just a little chubby.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:41 PM   #13
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I have lost it and gained and lost it and gained weight. I have not thought of myself as thin but felt smaller when I knew I could go into the store and buy off the rack and knew it would fit.
right now on the gained side and dread getting dressed each morning knowing the clothes that use to fit are on the top shelf and I am staring a so few left hanging
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:00 PM   #14
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When I lost weight the first time and got to 155 I started feeling normal and thinner. I know I wasn't skinny, but I wasn't fat either! I guess it all depends where you started though... I hope in time you see how thin you are becoming! Congrats you really have done a great job, 80lbs is a lot!
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:06 PM   #15
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This is a great question and the answers were very informative. I lost 50lbs. in 2003 and at 200 lbs I was walking around like a supermodel. This time I've lost those same 50 pounds but 9 more and still don't feel much different. I am going out to a dance club on Saturday night and actually went out and bought a sexy trendy dress (that I love) but I am having anxiety because I don't want to look like the fat girl who is trying too hard.

I think for me the feeling will come when I feel like I have control over my eating and my body looks the way I want it to - I'm hoping that's about 185 on down !
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