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How do you see yourself?

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Old 12-18-2009, 02:13 PM   #1
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Post How do you see yourself?

A few days ago I read a post in another part of the forum asking whether you perceive yourself as bigger than your real size (link). This was a no brainer for me, I immediately responded yes, because I still see myself as a 300+ lbs. I read through some other responses and was a bit surprised to read that some people actually saw themselves as thinner than reality. It was an interesting post and I figured that was the end of that subject. Hah. That darn post has been on my mind since I read it.

The more I've thought about it, the more I realized my answer in the post wasn't entirely truthful. I've always thought of myself as ridiculously huge (even as a small child), and I admittedly have no clue what I really look like. But a part of me sees myself as me, not fat, not skinny, just me. That part of me was always shocked to see myself in pictures because I had no idea I was so freakin' fat. I'm not sure if this is making any sense, but it comes down to part of me thinking I was fat, and the other part not seeing that I was overweight.

I was just wondering how others perceive themselves. Does anyone else have this issue or am I just a little extra crazy?
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:16 PM   #2
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When I was thin in college, I saw myself as fat and actually got mad when I slipped into a size 3 at the store because surely they were marked wrong. I felt like the clothes were mocking me.

Now my inner eye thinks I'm thin! Go figure! And then I just get disgusted when I look in the mirror or at a picture. I know the reality of it, but I feel like a basically thin person.

Weird.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:34 PM   #3
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I DEFINITELY see myself as a lot bigger than I am...

I noticed that when looking at weight loss sites on line. When I saw people's before pictures that I thought looked like me, I consistently picked people who weighed in the high 300s even though my very highest ever was 295 and my usual highest was about 275.

Now, I have the opposite impression when I see recent pictures. I still have a BMI of 34 and am classified as Class I obesity, but in my pictures I'm weirded out that I look thinner than I expect.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:38 PM   #4
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I have lost around 60 lbs and still see myself as very fat. I look at other women and ask my husband if I am bigger or smaller, and I am always smaller. And those women look so thin to me. It drives him nuts but after I explained that I rarely see a thinner me, he is more tolerant.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:24 PM   #5
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I saw that thread too and thought it was interesting.

Can I answer both? I am shocked when I see a reflection of myself when I'm not expecting it. I expect to see a huge gal staring back and am usually pleasantly surprised that I'm smaller than my brain thinks I am.

But then there are pictures. UGH. I look so much bigger in pictures, especially my face. And that bums me out. When I started losing weight I thought one of the ways I would measure my progress was to take pictures at big milestones. Every time, I was so disappointed as I looked so much bigger in the pictures than I did in the mirror. It ended up being more of a demotivator than a motivator. I'm incredibly unphotogenic particularly in my face. In photos I grow chins I don't think I have and get a moonpie face I also don't think I possess. Drives me nuts. And it's why I generally run when I see a camera.

So depending on the situation, I either think I'm bigger or smaller than my brain expects.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLCSC145 View Post
Every time, I was so disappointed as I looked so much bigger in the pictures than I did in the mirror.
I have this problem as well. I can look in the mirror now and see a 'normal'-sized person, but whenever I think I look great and get someone to take a picture for posterity, I always look terrible in it. All I can see is the weight I still need to lose, and it's really frustrating. My sister says I'm crazy, but I know what I see.

When I was at my heaviest I was in denial that I looked as big as I did. I hid from the camera a lot too, so it wasn't until I saw a picture that I couldn't deny that I really had to face reality.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:26 PM   #7
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For me I do see myself as being bigger when I look in the mirror. And even when the scale goes down, I dont' necessarily 'see' it when I look in the mirror. My boyfriend gets mad because I can't see that I have lost weight (and I get frustrated) and yet he tells me I look good and its noticible, but I just can't get myself to believe him and actually see whats there instead of what I feel.

I think along this same topic is also the fact, for me, when I am watching the biggest looser or some other weight loss program, there are people that have lost weight and weigh what I do now, or maybe more and I think they are gorgeous and look great and they are happy with the weight they are at and how they look... but why cant' I be? Why can I lose weight and never be happy with where I am at at the current time. I have made progress, why is that not good enough for me and why CAN'T I SEE IT???

I don't know if all that made sense to anyone else... but it is something I struggle with literally everyday. It frustrates me to no end.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:31 PM   #8
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I guess my answer would be both too.... Sometimes I feel like a thinner person than I am. I think all the effort I put into eating right and exercising makes me feel like I should look fabulous... BUT, then someone takes a photo of me and I see the same exact person that I started as. Oddly enough if I focus on parts of me I can sometimes see a small difference... but if I look at me as a whole (like in the mirror or photos) then I still see myself at my heaviest. I dunno... I'm nuts! LOL.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:31 PM   #9
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Club, I'm the same way. I keep telling myself that 35 lbs is just "water weight" not real fat.

I think its because we see ourselves every day that those gradual changes just don't make an impact. Have you tried trying on clothes that you wore at your heaviest. When I feel bad, I put on the largest pants I own and realize how much smaller I am. There is no denying anything when your jeans won't stay on your hips.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thistoo View Post
I have this problem as well. I can look in the mirror now and see a 'normal'-sized person, but whenever I think I look great and get someone to take a picture for posterity, I always look terrible in it. All I can see is the weight I still need to lose, and it's really frustrating. My sister says I'm crazy, but I know what I see.

When I was at my heaviest I was in denial that I looked as big as I did. I hid from the camera a lot too, so it wasn't until I saw a picture that I couldn't deny that I really had to face reality.
This describes me as well. I know many people take pictures of their progress. Not me. If I see a picture of myself I know I'll get totally discouraged.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by caryesings View Post
This describes me as well. I know many people take pictures of their progress. Not me. If I see a picture of myself I know I'll get totally discouraged.
I don't find this so much with the camera-- but the dressing room mirror does this to me every time.

I've been WAITING to fit into a size 16 pants, and today, I tried on a pair of 16 jeans (I have the 18s and they're getting too big) and they fit. In fact, I KNOW they were not even as tight as the 18s were when I bought them.

I tried them on with a size XL shirt-- not 1 two or 3X...

But, I thought I looked AWFUL.

It's as though I've reset my mental image maker.

I used to measure myself as fat, fatter, fattest... and I'd be happy when a 24 looked good.

Now, I see every flaw that separates me in a 16 from a "normal sized person."

In fact, I can still look at an old picture of myself from when I weighed 165 and think I look fat-- it's as though I still remember how I felt looking at those pictures way back when.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:04 PM   #12
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It's funny but I never see myself as a fat person unless I see a photograph. In the mirror I look and think I look pretty normal then see a picture and it is like "NO WAY! Is that really me?" My DH and I took a trip to Disney World last June and looking at those pics with my family at Thanksgiving was my wake up call. I saw one where I didn't know he was taking a pic of me and I didn't even recognize who I had become. (Looking forward to being a lot slimmer during our return trip this May. )

Actually, I think the reason I have not been able to lose weight in the past is because I typically like what I see in the mirror. I would put the pics away (out of sight out of mind). Now I keep a couple of heavier ones around as a reminder. Seems weird since I know I am very overweight but I just don't feel that way very often.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:31 PM   #13
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interesting thread. I looked at my progress pics again, to think about this q.

I've been heavy since I was a kid, lowest weight as an adult about 200 lbs. I've been losing weight slowly, 15 to 20 lbs a year (except the disasterous 2008!!). I would imagine if I'd lost all or much more of this weight in a year, or similar time frame, the body imagine adjustment would be screwier for me.

I see myself sometimes as thinner than I am (and get shocked by pics), and sometimes heavier. it feels weird to me that I don't have a clearer and more consistent sense of my body size.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:00 AM   #14
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For me, I think it's a mix of both. Some days I'll be sitting around and I'll feel absolutely HUGE...and I look in the mirror and I look 10x smaller then how I feel....but some days I think I look really cute and I feel really good about myself and I'm wearing an outfit I love and I see pictures later or catch a glimpse in a mirror and realize that I look TERRIBLE and the outfit I'm wearing makes me look HUGE...I look so much bigger then I thought I was.

I think part of it is confidence. When I'm just lazying around and not dressed up in my favorite clothes and my hair looks like crap and what not, I generally think I'm bigger then I am. When I'm wearing clothes I love and did my hair and makeup or when I wear heels and a dress or what not, I'm more confident and think I'm smaller...when really I'm bigger then I thought.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:10 AM   #15
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Actually, even though I wear a very snug size 22 in jeans, for some reason, I perceive myself to be much smaller in size. I've gained weight exceedingly over the past ten years but it's like my mind hasn't caught up with it still. It still surprises me that a certain shirt I see at the mall doesn't fit me or the pants I chose to try on won't extend past my hips. It's really weird. But in my mind I'm still smaller than I actually am.
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