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Envisioning the Future

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Old 08-27-2009, 07:16 PM   #1
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I've gotta say I don't know anything about how to be a thin person. I lost a good deal of weight about a decade ago, but the new attention and situations I found myself in were scary enough to help me pack the weight back on. Why? As much as I've always wanted to be thin, there's a strange comfort in being the fat one. It was a lot easier to fade into the background and not be noticed.

I'm not afraid of becoming thin this time around; I think I've made enough changes on the inside to embrace whatever this journey is going to bring me on the inside and out. I'm with someone who loves me for the way that I already am, I'm a lot more confident and comfortable in my skin, and I'm enjoying the changes currently going through my body now that I'm eating healthier.

But with that being said, I get curious . . .

How will I look, and more importantly, how will I feel as I approach my goal? I recently read The Body Fat Solution, and Venuto suggests putting together a photo (or collage) of how you envision yourself as a healthier, slimmer you, and keep the image in a prominent place as an inspiration to work toward.

I'm a whiz at photoshop, so I took a recent photo, slimmed myself down in it, and printed it out. It's rather strange to look at the photo . . . it's me, yet it's not, lol. But getting this little visual really has given me yet another thing to feel excited about and look forward to. And I guess we all need to be a little vain every once in a while.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:34 PM   #2
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This is such a great idea!!!

I was thinking the same thing today. About a year ago I was all geared up to do lap-band surgery when my insurance turned me down at the very last second.

At that time, I took a couple of walks through the normal sized clothing sections, wondering what it would be like to wear normal sized clothes.

Today, I found myself wondering again.

I started thinking that I should start imagining how I would dress if I wasn't just choosing the only things I could find that fit.

Wish I were a whiz at photo shop. I might try your idea.
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:17 PM   #3
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Cool idea. I guess I just look at old photos of myself. Usually I kick myself for thinking I was so fat back then, when in reality, I never was obese until the past 5 years.
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:28 PM   #4
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I am by no means at or near goal but I am finding I have no idea how to dress. I still only buy black pants - I still find myself looking at the only styles available in the largest size.

I was thin in my early 20s for about 2 hours - I have no idea how to do this. I'm doing a good job faking it each day (although far from thin) by being a confident, healthy role model.
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sirenity View Post
I've gotta say I don't know anything about how to be a thin person. I lost a good deal of weight about a decade ago, but the new attention and situations I found myself in were scary enough to help me pack the weight back on. Why? As much as I've always wanted to be thin, there's a strange comfort in being the fat one. It was a lot easier to fade into the background and not be noticed.
I just HAVE to ask this...do you really believe you gained the weight back because of the attention? Really and truly? Deep down inside you made a conscious decision to regain your weight because people paid attention to you? I'm sure it's a legitimate excuse, people must do it all the time. I ask because I once said that...but in my case it wasn't true. I gained the weight back plus 100 more because I started eating sugar fortified foods again and didn't want to stop. I simply didn't care anymore. It had nothing to do with the attention...matter of fact the new attention I received by gaining massive amounts of weight was way worse than the attention I received when I was thin. Somehow thinking and saying I couldn't handle the new found attention sounded better than "I just gave up". Anyway, my 'ol weight gain because I didn't like the attention excuse us just that...an excuse. Oh...I was the queen of them.

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Old 08-27-2009, 10:50 PM   #6
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I just HAVE to ask this...do you really believe you gained the weight back because of the attention? Really and truly? Deep down inside you made a conscious decision to regain your weight because people paid attention to you? I'm sure it's a legitimate excuse, people must do it all the time. I ask because I once said that...but in my case it wasn't true. I gained the weight back plus 100 more because I started eating sugar fortified foods again and didn't want to stop. I simply didn't care anymore. It had nothing to do with the attention...matter of fact the new attention I received by gaining massive amounts of weight was way worse than the attention I received when I was thin. Somehow thinking and saying I couldn't handle the new found attention sounded better than "I just gave up". Anyway, my 'ol weight gain because I didn't like the attention excuse us just that...an excuse. Oh...I was the queen of them.
Wow, you've really got me to thinking . . .

I honestly do think it was one of the many reasons behind me gaining that weight back, but I doubt it was conscious. And I must emphasize that there were many reasons (or excuses) behind all that had happened . . .

I had severe social issues as a child. I grew up with sexual abuse and was petrified of the opposite sex by the time I hit puberty, something I wasn't able to get over by any amount until I went into therapy in my mid-twenties. I was told there's often a connection between sexual abuse and obesity. I started gaining as a young teenager (I developed asthma and allergies all at once and blew up like a balloon) and never got myself below an obese point since then, not even once . . .

I used to blame the asthma for my weight, but I'm sure I didn't eat right as a kid. My mother was obese and we'd often diet together, and looking back neither of us really knew what we were doing. She meant well and tried hard but I think I picked up a lot of bad habits from her. Not that I blame her for that (bless her heart), not now or even back then.

I remember part of me wished I could go to the school dances, date the boys like the other girls my age were . . . but I felt fat and ugly and had absolutely no self-esteem. And worse, it was scary to even think about a boy looking at me. Even though I'd daydream about being "thin and pretty," I don't think it was something I was mentally prepared for. Even if I somehow got blessed with a healthy body, I still would have felt rotten on the inside and probably would have continued to turn to food for comfort.

But looking back to when I was in my early 20's . . . I was unhappy with my weight (I was at about the same weight back then as I am right now) and decided to do something about it. I educated myself with many books on nutrition and went lap swimming at the YMCA five times a week. I was working at a mall shop at the time, and as I dropped the weight off (about 50 pounds) people noticed big time. I liked the attention I got from my friends and co-workers, but when the male customers started hitting on me? I'd never dated, wasn't even friends with any guys, and I'd never been hit on before. I don't know how many times I went home scared and crying, still feeling as rotten as ever inside and not knowing how to handle what was happening to me.

I'm not really sure what the breaking point was, but around the time I got a bad case of food poisoning, I stopped caring about what I was eating and let my YMCA membership expire. Then I got laid off from the mall job I'd loved so much, and immediately started working at a Pizza Hut. Um, yeah . . . all the free pizza I could eat.

You could definitely say there's been a long line of excuses after that. For example, my first boyfriend and I argued a lot about food, and I gained nearly 100 pounds when I lived with him. I could blame him for that, but really, I'm the one that controls what I put in my mouth, and I have to be the one accountable (I have since lost the weight I'd gained while living with him, at least). And maybe that's the thing. Maybe I wasn't ready to be held accountable until recently? I think it was easy to give up myself because I didn't feel I was worth it.

Anyway, I feel like I'm finally the one in control ever since I've made this new commitment and I hope I've cleared all possible excuses out of the way. And I'm feeling good about it all as well. Whatever's in the past can now remain there . . . I'm finally ready to step up and take care of myself; I used to hate thinking about the future but I truly feel now that I have a lot to look forward to.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:14 AM   #7
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I started gaining as a young teenager (I developed asthma and allergies all at once and blew up like a balloon) and never got myself below an obese point since then, not even once . . .
I try not to use it as an excuse either, but something very similar to me happened as well. I had really bad problems with my asthma starting between the ages of 6 and 7 (I was hospitalized several times, and lived under oxygen tents for weeks at a time) and then was always on inhalers and oral steroids for at least a good 5 years after that... meanwhile the doctors were constantly telling me not to overdo my exercising, blah blah blah... and were DEFINITELY not telling me to watch what I was eating..... which is NOT a good thing when you live in a Mexican household full of rice, greasy beef, tortillas, and huge portions!!

Oh yeah, DEFINITELY ballooned up.

The funny thing is that a few years ago when I finally got ticked off enough about being fat that I didn't care if I passed out from an asthma attack at the gym... I figured out that the more I worked out... the bigger and better my lungs got!! Now the only time I need to use an inhaler now is if I am having allergy issues, have a chest cold, or if I laugh really hard, for a really long time!!

But yeah... that whole childhood asthma thing is no joke.... ESPECIALLY back when we were kids, because they REALLY didn't know SQUAT about it to be honest!!!
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:56 AM   #8
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It's so interesting to me that you say that losing weight will make you stand out. I feel like I stand out as an obese person (maybe because of the negative stigma) and part of why I want to lose weight is so I can just blend in and look normal.

The other day, I was actually looking in the mirror, wondering what the reflection would look like a year from now. Will I have lost all or most of the 100 lbs that I need to take off? Or will I still be fat? Somewhere in the middle? If I have success, what will it look like? It seems so weird and scary, and there is some comfort in being the fat one. I don't know why, but there is.
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:17 AM   #9
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I've seen this topic pop up, about fading into the background and being noticed, and it always interests me. I feel like sexual attention has played a part in my gaining weight and being fat (I wasn't abused). Now that I'm older, and that stuff doesn't get to me the way it used to, I'm finding those issues have dropped away to a major extent. I remember reading a thread here by a woman who said when she was thin everyone felt like they had the right to make comments about her weight and body (and how much that bugged her. I don't remember it being necessarily sexual). Weird how those boundaries get so blurred, and how weight blurs them.

It is a strange thing about being heavy, I do feel like in a lot of ways it has made me feel invisible; though at my heaviest weights I got more negative attention. At this weight, I feel like I'm in a middle zone. I get some attention from men. And I don't feel like I super stand out as being heavy. then I'm sure a percentage of it has to be that I'm feeling more comfortable in my body and more secure.

I did the virtual model and made 4 versions of me at 50 lb intervals. I'm not sure how much that sinks into my brain as me. I like the idea of going through the smaller clothes section and envisioning myself wearing those, funny to think I've never done that! I think I have a mental thing going on: I don't belong there....or something. Gotta get rid of that.
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:54 AM   #10
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How do you slim a photo down on photoshop?
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:41 PM   #11
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I think there is definitely a link between sexual abuse and obesity. It's like putting on a fat suit of armor to keep yourself safe. A lot of people eat to soothe themselves or bury the feelings. When I lost down under 200 pounds a lot of emotional stuff started surfacing. I went into a convenience store one day and there were a few men that checked me out and it scared me. My reaction was over the top, but that hadn't happened to me in many years. I understand the feelings of not feeling safe at a lower weight. I try to recognize when my reaction is out of line with the situation. I think it just takes time to adjust to your new thin body as well. Don't panic when it feels uncomfortable, hang in there and give yourself time to adjust. Staying overweight is punishing yourself, not the abuser, it sounds like you have that figured out. It's not keeping you safe, it's ruining your health. I'm glad you did the therapy, they probably helped you realize all of that. It amazes me how much mental/emotional work goes along with the physical weight loss. I think it's so important though, if you want to maintain the loss. I wish you much success!
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:05 AM   #12
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How do you slim a photo down on photoshop?
In the photoshop program, there's a filter called "liquify." It allows you to "warp" any photo by clicking and dragging the mouse over the areas you want to move. I use this tool to sort of push the areas around that I want. Here's an example . . .



The photo on the left is the original of course, taken at 285. The one on the right is the one I doctored and printed out for inspiration (I also had to do a slight edit to the background so it wouldn't look weird, lol).
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:23 AM   #13
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Oh wow Can you do that with one of mine? :P
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:29 AM   #14
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Oh wow Can you do that with one of mine? :P
LOL! I figured people would be asking . . . if you'd like me to mess with a photo you can send me one through a PM. Choose one with a neutral background if you can (not a requirement but makes things a little easier), and the larger the photo, the better.

I just can't guarantee how soon I can get any done, as I'll have to do them between projects for work.
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