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Old 07-24-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
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Changing what we see is a challenge. I've lost over 55 pounds and I see the same thing in the mirror when I started. Certain people have told me that I look that I have lost weight...I still see the former self.

What are the best suggestions or advice to accept the current form? Does it ever get easier?
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:21 PM   #2
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I am so new at this may not have the best advice. I have lost 34lbs, know I have to look better, but still some days feel the same. However I looked at the picture that motivated me to start, and I can see the difference. This did help me. I am sure all the other chickies will have some great advice, but so far, this has helped me. Congrats on you weight loss!
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:27 PM   #3
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I give this explanation a lot here, because I don't think many people are aware of it, but this is actually a brain function.

When you "see" something, it's really your eyes recording a signal, which is transmitted to your brain for processing. With things you see commonly (including yourself in a mirror), the brain takes a shortcut...it sees the basic outline of "you" and some basic key features, and to save on processing/recognition time, it fills in the rest of your details based on stored images of you. This helps the brain recognize common objects faster.

Unfortunately, the stored images it's using are of the OLD body you had, so you actually DO "see" yourself as bigger than you are. This effect does diminish with time, as the brain replaces old images of you with the new, smaller ones.

One way around this is with photos. Since they are in a different scale than you normally see yourself, this same effect doesn't apply...you see yourself at the size you actually are when you look at a photo. So break out the camera and look at some before and after shots! It can make a huge difference in self-perception, which can tide you over until your brain catches up.

I think I am just now starting to see the size I am, but not all of the time. It's a slow process!
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:28 PM   #4
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This is a common problem I hear from friends and people online who have lost weight. It's like you're identity is all wrapped up in being the 'fat girl' you just cant' see beyond that. I would honestly reccomend therapy, but then again, I think most people can benefit from some type of therapy or another in some way.

I have a trans sexual friend (post op) who has had lots of work done on her face to 'feminize' her....*I* see a difference, but she sees none at all. It's very sad, and I think it's a similar situation.
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:29 PM   #5
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Sometimes when I look in the mirror now I'll see myself at 286lbs....I have to shake my head, walk away and come back

It will seem a bit surreal to you since you are with yourself 24/7. Take pictures, put them side by side and you will see the difference! It just takes your mind a while to catch up in real time.
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
I give this explanation a lot here, because I don't think many people are aware of it, but this is actually a brain function.

When you "see" something, it's really your eyes recording a signal, which is transmitted to your brain for processing. With things you see commonly (including yourself in a mirror), the brain takes a shortcut...it sees the basic outline of "you" and some basic key features, and to save on processing/recognition time, it fills in the rest of your details based on stored images of you. This helps the brain recognize common objects faster.

Unfortunately, the stored images it's using are of the OLD body you had, so you actually DO "see" yourself as bigger than you are. This effect does diminish with time, as the brain replaces old images of you with the new, smaller ones.

One way around this is with photos. Since they are in a different scale than you normally see yourself, this same effect doesn't apply...you see yourself at the size you actually are when you look at a photo. So break out the camera and look at some before and after shots! It can make a huge difference in self-perception, which can tide you over until your brain catches up.

I think I am just now starting to see the size I am, but not all of the time. It's a slow process!
this is interesting, and so unfair! LOL
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:33 PM   #7
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I hear what you are saying! Ms Mandalinn has good info on why this happens.

I know that for me, to overcome it, yoga has helped. And not because it is yoga! It is because I have been FORCED to LOOK IN THE MIRROR every single day while in form fitting clothes.

You might try taking a stretching class or go to the gym every day and take a class where you have to look in the mirror every single day. I think this is super important, because if you look at yourself, and then at others around you, you'll get a sense of your current size.

You could do this at home, too, just by getting into FORM FITTING workout clothes and just taking a look every day to reprogram your brain from it's old image of you to your new shape.

OR, you could take photos of yourself today. And place them side by side with old photos when you were larger. What I WOULD do is just cover up your face, because without the head on, you don't "see" yourself, in that you'll make a better unbiased comparison, instead of having your brain ID the "old you"...this will help you see the differences, and pretty soon, your brain will be re-programmed!



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Old 07-24-2009, 02:24 PM   #8
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Thanks Mandalinn, what you said made sense. I guess I'll be breaking out the camera.

Maybe that is why it is such a shock when we see people we knew obese become smaller...it is like they lost a ton of weight--a shock to the old image. It is like, nooooooooo wayyyyyyyyyy!


Quote:
Sometimes when I look in the mirror now I'll see myself at 286lbs....I have to shake my head, walk away and come back
I have experienced this before in previous weight loss attempts. Each over 60lb lost. It was like I only saw the before in my head.

Out of the the whole weight loss process, this is the most challenging thing to conquer. Thanks for the input.

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Old 07-24-2009, 02:29 PM   #9
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I like the explanations here. Nothing seems to help me. I try to gauge, by I always think I am the fattest girl in the room.
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:03 PM   #10
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If I just look at my upper body and face I can see a difference, but when I look at my lower body I still see the fat chick. My butt and thighs have always been larger and when I look in the mirror without pants on I honestly don't see a difference. I have to fight myself over it, because I know I'm much smaller. I started out at a tight 22 jean and now wear an 8. I think it takes a long time to really believe that we've lost the weight. I think for me it's just what Amanda described, especially since I was in that fat body for almost 25 years.
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:11 PM   #11
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Yeah, I noticed this, when I saw some pix posted here and said to myself, "yup, that's about how I look..." only the pix were before of people who said that they weighed in the high three hundreds-- a hundred pounds more than I weigh.

I remember when I was in my early twenties, I lost about thirty pounds over the course of about three years, going from about 175, which was my "fat" weight, down to about 145. Sometimes, I used to catch sight of myself in a plate glass window and be surprised how thin I looked-- the rest of the time, I couldn't notice the difference. I still felt fat.

However, I often think that since I was SO CONVINCED that I was fat, even when I wasn't, it was sort of easier for me, in a way, to allow myself to become morbidly obese.

That's the flip side.

You feel enormous with a BMI of 23 and you still feel enormous with a BMI of 42 it's easier to let yourself get huge because what's the difference?

I wish I had appreciated my body more when I actually I was at a relatively healthy weight.
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubergirl View Post
Yeah, I noticed this, when I saw some pix posted here and said to myself, "yup, that's about how I look..." only the pix were before of people who said that they weighed in the high three hundreds-- a hundred pounds more than I weigh.

I remember when I was in my early twenties, I lost about thirty pounds over the course of about three years, going from about 175, which was my "fat" weight, down to about 145. Sometimes, I used to catch sight of myself in a plate glass window and be surprised how thin I looked-- the rest of the time, I couldn't notice the difference. I still felt fat.

However, I often think that since I was SO CONVINCED that I was fat, even when I wasn't, it was sort of easier for me, in a way, to allow myself to become morbidly obese.

That's the flip side.

You feel enormous with a BMI of 23 and you still feel enormous with a BMI of 42 it's easier to let yourself get huge because what's the difference?

I wish I had appreciated my body more when I actually I was at a relatively healthy weight.
This was my situation EXACTLY.

*sniffle*
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:05 PM   #13
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Mandalinn, I had no idea about that, I appreciate getting to read the information.

Better health, I have never been able to see differences in myself while losing weight. It can be disheartening. Like many have advised, I take pictures. I do it once a month and keep them in a folder so I can open them up from time to time and try to better see my progress. It can be very eye-opening, sometimes not in a good way, but it does help to stay motivated.
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:32 PM   #14
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I never liked looking at myself in the mirror. I've caught myself looking more and more (at the gym there is a mirror everywhere). Most the time I see the difference more times than not, I feel the difference in how my thigh feels when I rub it, or how my top belly roll no longer rolls onto my bottom belly roll - I can see my belly button now . I guess looking at smaller parts of myself it has been easier to see changes than when I look at the whole picture.
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:55 PM   #15
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Pictures are about the only way I can tell the difference, as well as benchmark clothing that begins fitting when it is previously ridiculously tight
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