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Thinking with a Fat Mind - the Mental Diet

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Old 12-30-2002, 08:38 AM   #1
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Thinking with a Fat Mind - the Mental Diet

I saw a brief segement on Fergie the other day and she said something that made me think of that promise I made to you all to discuss the "mental diet". In an interview, she was asked if she now saw herself as thin and she said

"No, and I don't think I ever will. It's hard to see yourself as thin when you go around thinking with a fat mind."


A Fat Mind? Doesn't that just say it all? A few years ago and friend from highschool dug out a photo of me wearing a bikini. In the picture I'm running to hide. Why? Because I didn't want anyone to take my picture in a bikini because I was so "fat"


FAT?? I looked at the picture and my jaw dropped. There was not an ounce of fat on that body and in fact that body could have easily been mistaken for Britney Spears body just without the bellybutton ring. I was a ^%^$#@# Victoria Secret model for petes sake!! Fat?? How did I get the idea I was fat? But I clearly recall running from the camera because I was "fat"


The Dangers of a Fat Mind


Somehow I'd gotten a fat mind. How? Who knows. One too many Cosmopolitians? Christie Brinkley envy? WHO knows. The point is, in my mind I was already fat and therefore... it was no big deal when my body tried to catch up to my mind... and did.


I never realized I had a fat mind until about 8 years ago. I went to a diet and worked VERY hard. I lost all the way to 269 and being nearly 5'10" it made a huge difference on my body. Don't you think I was thrilled? If you said "yes" you're wrong. I wasn't thrilled, I wasn't sad, I was locked in indifference because I couldn't see the weight loss.


That's right... I COULD NOT SEE THE WEIGHT LOSS. Why? Because by that time, my fat mind had also given me fat eyes and when I looked in the mirror... I still saw the 300+ woman just as fat as ever. My mind couldn't accept that I'd lost weight. In fact, Did you know that I didn't even buy new clothes until my husband told me that I looked terrible wearing clothes that were so big? I'd dropped 2 whole clothing sizes and yet I couldn't see it.


Now we get to the real problem.


Because I couldn't see the weight loss, means I couldn't accept the weight loss which meant that I piled it back on (and then some) very quickly. ONLY after I gained it back, could I look back at pictures and say "THERE!! THERE IS THE weight loss!!" but why oh why couldn't I see that in my own mirror?


One can only imagine.


This is what I mean when I talk about our "mental diet". Somehow, we must replace our "fat minds" with our "healthy minds" or "thin minds" and allow ourselves to see ourselves with new bodies. We must embrace the steps we make toward losing weight and not belittle ourselves by saying "I *ONLY* lost half a pound this week" or beating ourselves up because we are a slow loser or whatever.


We must embrace our new selves and encourage ourselves to continue with our efforts. We must mentally reward our efforts with positive thoughts and positive feelings about our bodies.


No, I don't have the answer to all this and it frightens me that even Fergie didn't have some magic answer but I'm happy to say that I finally SEEEEEE the problem and that some of my weight problem lies in my perception and vision of myself.


: ) I'd love to hear how you all deal with the "mental diet" and your thoughts on this subject.
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Old 12-30-2002, 09:37 AM   #2
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Wow.

Makes alot of sense..This got me thinking.

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Old 12-30-2002, 09:44 AM   #3
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I agree...I believe our our minds are programmed to be "fat minds" when we are very young. I also had a "run from the camera" attitude, partially because my grandmother told me I was "chunky" (NOT~ just had breasts and hips at 10 years old!) and partially because my mom told me I would someday be pretty, but I would never be beautiful. (ouch )

I guess part of the problem IS thinking I'll always be fat. It makes me wonder...does this sort of thinking in the extreme lead to other issues, such as anorexia?
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Old 12-30-2002, 09:55 AM   #4
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Default This is so true . . .

I have pictures from when I was in junior high and high school, and I look thin in them. But I always thought I was fat, and now I am.

There's a web site I visit that has a photo diary of someone who's lost a lot of weight (she's currently at the weight I want to be, although she wants to lose more), and to me she looks very thin (she says she's wearing 4's and 6's). But she still thinks she looks fat. There's always captions beside her photos saying things like "when will I stop looking overweight" and "my arms and legs are so big". It's unreal.

But I can be the same way. I look at how much weight I still need to lose instead of how far I've come. I think it really affects my choices (it's harder to eat right and exercise when you think you're not seeing any (or enough) progress). So, I don't know the answer, but if you find it, let me know
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Old 12-30-2002, 12:31 PM   #5
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i totally see this! i've always been overweight -- but looking at pictures of me in high school, i'd love to be THAT overweight again. i don't know how much i weighed then, but i sure don't look bad. argh.

this time, when i lose down to goal weight, i am going to appreciate it and FLAUNT IT in those pictures, baby!!
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Old 12-30-2002, 01:28 PM   #6
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Yes, I agree on the "fat mind" theory. When people ask me how long I've been overweight, I say "since I was a child". But I recently found a box of old pictures and I was a skinny, boney kid. But my mom was on me all the time about what I ate, and that I needed to lose weight - this was about from age 9. So I began to "think" I was fat. Acutally I didn't get fat until I was pregnant with my 2nd kid and my husband walked out on us and we never saw him again. What I want to know is this: How do you "reduce" your mental image of yourself??
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Old 12-30-2002, 02:51 PM   #7
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Re: Reducing the Fat Image

I had such a skewed idea of my body so, I took some examples from anorexic therapy books. See, Anorexics think they are way bigger than they are (remind you of anybody?). Therapy includes a ton of very helpful exercises. Here are two:

1) Take a piece of ribbon. Now imagine how big your waist is. Cut the ribbon to the length you think your waist is. Now, actually measure your waist with the ribbon. How accurate were you?

2) Get some butcher paper (big lond rolls of white paper) or a sidewalk and some chalk. Draw an outline of what your body looks like life-size. Now, actually lay down and have someone draw the outline around you. How accurate were you?

Here are some things I do:

-Get in front of the camera. A lot! Post pictures of yourself around areas of low self esteem. The scale, the closet. I had this idea that I was so big that Geraldo was going to have to pry my walls off to get me out of the house. That is such a crock.

-Find some postive things to look at in the mirror. I had a huge problem getting out of the shower and not feeling bad about myself. Now, I wiggle and jiggle in front of the mirror, practicing my bedroom eyes and such. But also, look at those areas you hate to look at. Quit imagining how bad they are and LOOK. Yep, I'm fat but I got the nicest hourglass figure anyone could ask for.

-Finally, get out and do something you shouldn't do for a "woman of your size." I took Bellydance classes. Heck, I had a belly, shouldn't I use it? Gain some confidence for doing something you didn't think you'd enjoy doing. Then, do it again!

I'm lucky. I had a bad mental image of myself but lots of confidence. Now, I'm reconcilling the two.
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Old 12-31-2002, 02:17 AM   #8
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After I went off phentermine, I looked great for a time there, but I still FELT FAT. Don't get me wrong, I was still a big girl, but I had lost almost 70#!!! You'd think I'd notice? Nope!

The best example of this is looking through other people's pictures. I was looking through a photo book from my cousin Brian's graduation party & thought to myself, "Who's that? She's pretty..." Then I looked closer...the dress looked familiar. OMG, it was me!

I found this site on someone's journal. I had a lot of fun going back & changing the weights, hehehe. Seeing how I might look as I go through this journey really helped a lot.

http://www.myvirtualmodel.com
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:26 PM   #9
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i've played with that thing before! i really like how toned it makes fat girls look. heh. =)
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Old 01-04-2003, 12:11 PM   #10
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Thanks for your comments about this. I think I'm going to try and do more positive journaling this year as a start to begin "healing my fat mind" : )
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Old 01-04-2003, 09:10 PM   #11
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This is interesting and has me thinking. I always hid from photos as a teen, I never danced in public and hid as I was so fat and ugly. I was 5'6" and weighed 125. I can still remember how ashamed I felt. But most my friends weighed much less. Now I would love to weigh that.

Now when I lose, there is an emotional componant to it all. Sometimes I lose a few pounds and feel proud, then when I hit a 10 pound loss I almost feel afraid and edgy.
I dont know, is it a weird emotional cycle.

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Old 01-04-2003, 11:58 PM   #12
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I'm the same way. It is ingrained as a child. I WAS chunky ... not up to age 3 1/2 but then I got severely ill, with a stomach virus that lasted nearly 2 weeks and I needed to be hospitalized. When I got out, I was a sack of bones and every adult I knew acted all excited and happy when I ate ... so I did what pleased them ... and 6 months later I was STILL doing it and was downright chubby!

I slimmed down in 6th grade, went slowly up, and slimmed down again in college ... and have gone slowly up (with a few small downs) since.

BUT ... in my mind I'm always the same HUGE size, until I see photos.

I'll have to work on a positive self-image along with everybody else.
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Old 01-06-2003, 01:36 PM   #13
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Here's one of the things I notice... I lose weight and feel proud but I quickly slip back to that "fat" feeling and for instance now, don't "feel" like I've lost - yet, when I look at photos of me at 320 I can clearly see I've lost.

By the way.... I have a new photo but can't seem to load it into my profile. Let me see if I can post it in this thread:

This is August 2001

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Old 01-06-2003, 01:58 PM   #14
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Wendy.. that is such a difference. Depending on my mood I either feel fat.. or somethimes normal?! - that is when things get dangerous. When I "feel" normal I think I can eat like normal person - basicly anything I want.

Oh how our mind can play games!

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Old 01-06-2003, 03:03 PM   #15
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I know how a lot of you are feeling.... I can sometimes look in the mirror & feel like I haven't even lost a pound. It's hard for me to see myself as I am, & not what I *think* I am, you know.
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