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Uhh...what the heck do I look like??

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Old 02-25-2011, 04:29 PM   #1
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Default Uhh...what the heck do I look like??

I've been realizing lately that I have no concept of how big I am. I look in the mirror sometimes and think I look almost "fat but not offensively fat." And then sometimes I think, "oh my god, I cannot leave the house until I lose 100 pounds."

I've been obsessively browsing mybodygallery.com, and it's confusing the crap out of me. Just now, I looked at a woman who was 240 pounds and 5'7" and thought she looked kind of like my size, but I know intellectually that wouldn't actually look like that for another 40 pounds or so. And then I looked at a woman who was 457 pounds, and I felt like she looked like I looked at 300. And to reinforce my opinion, she only wears one size bigger than me!

I've been taking photos of myself every 10 pounds or so to document my loss, and I'll look at myself in the mirror and think I'm starting to look ok, and then I look at the picture the next second, and I look disgusting.

Ahhhh. It's driving me crazy. Does anyone else feel like this? Do we really just look like blobs once we pass a certain weight, or am I the only one who can't tell the difference between me and a 450-pound woman?
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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I have no idea what I look like. At almost 190 I thought I looked ok, til I saw pictures of myself and was horrified. Looking at that website, the people who are my height and weight look fat to me. (although I think I carry about 8 pounds of my weight in my boobs, so it's a little off)

The ones at my goal weight look "normal".

Bodies and our minds are weird things.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:49 PM   #3
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A lot of us have a hard time having an accurate idea of how we look. I have been shocked by my reflection.

And, many have just as hard a time with having an accurate idea after losing the weight!
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:51 PM   #4
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well i just looked up 5'7 and 240 lbs on the site you mentioned because that happens to be my size and height! and i think i look way bigger than those ladies. but when i was about 170lbs (which is now my goal weight) i still thought i was massive. seriously, at that weight, pulling on my size uk 12 trousers, i was as disgusted with myself as i am now. i think our mental images of our size is very disproportionate with our actual appearance.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:57 PM   #5
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Funny.. I was just thinking about this today. I truly cannot measure myself against other people. A woman might be 50 pounds more than me and I think I look like her.

Then sometimes I see myself in a mirror while walking by and I think "Hey, I don't look that bad." Then no more than an hour later I'll see myself and just want to cry.

I don't think losing weight will make this go away for me. Even as I've lost near 25 pounds, I can tell my love handles are smaller but in the mirror I'm just as big as ever.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:08 PM   #6
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Body weight doesnt look the same on everybody. You could find a dozen women your height and weight, and you might have a different body structure than all of them. Some may look larger, some may look smaller. Some will be top-heavy. Others will be bottom heavy. Some will have small waists and well-proportioned just larger hourglass figures. Some will have double chins. Some will have slim faces...

I did bristle at the term "offensively fat" as if there's a point at which a person is morally obligated to protect society from the very sight of them. I think as a society we do tend to believe it, and I believe it's incredibly damaging to our society and to individuals.

When I believed it, it made losing weight more difficult as I had a laundry list of "couldn'ts" that made weight loss more challenging. I couldn't be seen doing anything remotely active because of the fear that I might be seen sweating in public (ooh gross). I did allow myself to swim in public, because I adored the freedom of the water, and my ability to exercise and even compete with thinner friends. Still, the taboo against fat swimming did hold me back more than it should have. I allowed myself to be held back in so many ways because I didn't want anyone to be offended or grossed out. I did feel I owed it to people to protect them from the sight of me. It wasn't just fear of ridicule, it was worse, the fear that I was hurting people by allowing them to see me.

I've grown up since then, and I don't worry about "offending" anyone with my fat. If they don't like looking at me, they can look away. I may look silly, and even "gross" but I have just as much right to an active lifestyle as all the perfect-bodied people.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:09 PM   #7
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We all carry our weight differently so it's hard to compare. I know i look better now than i looked 99 pounds ago but I also know I don't look as thin (or as fat) as I sometimes think i do.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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I know EXACTLY how you all feel. Some days I feel like I almost look normal and on other days I feel awful. It's like the way we look can change not within a matter of 20, 50, 100 lbs or more but a minute to minute bases when we look in the mirror.
As for mybodygallery, I looked on there too and thought people who were shorter and heavier than me looked smaller...until I flipped past my own pictures and saw I was wrong.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
It made losing weight more difficult as I had a laundry list of "couldn'ts" that made weight loss more challenging. I couldn't be seen doing anything remotely active because of the fear that I might be seen sweating in public (ooh gross).
This really hits home. I'm terrified of doing, well, anything in public :/

*Sigh*, well at least I'm not alone! XLMuffnTop, you sound just like inside my head

to all of you!
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:15 PM   #10
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It's hard for me, with my body image issues. I know I don't look that bad but every mirror and picture breaks down any self confidence I've built. It's like a giant spotlight on every imperfection (and really... who is perfect?!?)

I just fear looking stupid, not just with being fat but in any aspect. This has held me back in SO many ways. This complete irrational fear made it hard to even go to class in college. I ended up dropping out and regret it.

Slowly but surely I'm trying to battle it one step at a time. Right now, I'm trying to start going to the gym. I haven't had my personal training session yet so am unsure about a lot of the equipment so I've been putting it off. I was going to go right after work (now) but just can't because now is the busy time. So I'm going to go one hour before they close and cross my fingers it's nice and slow.

After I get comfortable there, I'm going to push myself into some other difficult situation. I'm just trying to desensitize myself to that awkward feeling until my brain finally gets that the world isn't out to get me, make fun of me or squash me like an insignificant bug against a Mack truck's windshield.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:21 PM   #11
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Yea I been lookin at that website and I dunno lol some girls that are my height that way less than me where cloths sizes i am in. its crazy lol, sometimes I do not think I am that big and others (mainly when I see some pictures of me) I am like OMG
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:23 PM   #12
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I think it's pretty typical to look in a mirror and just see the person you know as "me," but have no real idea what size that "me" is. There was another poster here whose "before" picture looked very like what I think of myself looking like, but she was 325 pounds in that image. I can look at that Body Gallery site and plug in my closest weight and height and see a few women, one of whom looks considerably smaller than me and one of whom looks a good bit bigger, yet we're all technically 5'2" and 200-ish pounds.

There's so much variation that it's really hard to gauge weight just by looking at someone. Everyone carries their weight so differently; it might not just be perception that I look similar to both the woman who weighed 325 pounds and to the woman who weighed 200, I really might.

I've got to chime in on the "offensively fat" thing, too. Geez, offensive to whom, exactly!? Is it possible to be "offensively tall," "offensively short," or "offensively redheaded" too? Who gets to be the "fat police" and decide what's offensive?

I won't lie--some parts of me, I don't like and won't show. My upper arms make me go "ugh" and I may never go sleeveless in public, depending on how they look as I slim down. But that's for MY comfort, for MY self-esteem, not because I worry that someone's going to shriek and point like Donald Sutherland at the end of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" because of my doughy upper arms. And if they did, I'd use my meaty arm to smack 'em.

Learn to make the most of the "me" you see regardless of how much you think she looks like she weighs. You're always going to see someone thinner than you who weighs more and someone bigger than you who weighs less, so why sweat getting a "realistic" body image? Aim for a healthy body image instead--one that lets you look in the mirror and appreciate what you see instead of picking it apart.

Make it a habit that you cannot--absolutely CANNOT--look in the mirror and think something crappy about yourself without also complimenting yourself on something.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Nola Celeste View Post
I've got to chime in on the "offensively fat" thing, too. Geez, offensive to whom, exactly!? Is it possible to be "offensively tall," "offensively short," or "offensively redheaded" too? Who gets to be the "fat police" and decide what's offensive?
I mean that I can't squeeze through tight spaces, and my arm fat hangs over into the seat next to me in the lecture hall, and I'm an unattractive thing in pictures of otherwise attractive people. I mean that people don't just notice my size — they notice me because of my size. That's what I mean by offensive. You can't really be offensively tall because being tall isn't the result of the complete inability to control yourself. It's not a fault. The way I look is.

Quote:
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Make it a habit that you cannot--absolutely CANNOT--look in the mirror and think something crappy about yourself without also complimenting yourself on something.
Good idea. I'll try this
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:51 PM   #14
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...not because I worry that someone's going to shriek and point like Donald Sutherland at the end of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" because of my doughy upper arms.

I love this imagery! [squeal!]
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:08 PM   #15
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You can't really be offensively tall because being tall isn't the result of the complete inability to control yourself. It's not a fault. The way I look is.
What about offensively schizophrenic (if lack of control is such a "fault")?

I think "offensive obesity" is a myth, because obesity isn't so much a "complete inability to control yourself," as it is a matter of ineffective weight loss strategies being perpetuated because the myth of moral failing being the primary cause of obesity. Most of what passes for "common wisdom" about obesity and effective weight loss strategies is just plain wrong. We're so interested in "blame" that we don't even try to find out what works and why. That doesn't matter nearly as much as making the obese person feel bad for being obese.

I've studied obesity and weight loss nearly all of my life. I was put on my first diet at age 5, and have been on the dieat rollercoaster ever since. There were only three or four years in my entire life (after the first four) in which I didn't try to diet in some part of every year).

Dieting the way I was taught (the way everyone is taught) did more to make me fatter than it ever helped in getting the weight permanently off.

The more I've read, the more the myth is shattered of the "out-of-control obese person."

Obesity is hard to treat effectively because the strategies we've been taught just don't work. And when they don't work, we're told we're just not trying hard enough. We're weak, we're lazy, crazy, or stupid.

It's pure hogwash. Obesity is a growing problem in the USA - growing so fast that the obesity rates have more than doubled in the last 30 years. If it were just a matter of "control" you would expect the crime rate, the unemployment rate and the education rate to have plummeted. They haven't. We're not lazier, crazier, or more stupid. We're just getting very bad advice on how to eat and how to go about health and weight management.

An obese person is no more "out of control" than a skinny type II diabetic. Both are lifestyle mediated disorders. Yet we don't label the type II diabetic "offensive." Nor do we label the paraplegic who was injured driving drunk as an "offensive cripple."

The more you read on obesity research, the more you see the environmental and biochemical contributors of weight loss, and yet we still continue to label the fat person as out-of-control and "disgusting" even more so than alcoholics and drug-addicts. Out-of-control behaviors that involve illegal activity often don't carry the negative stigma of obesity. It's rather sad that obesity gets less compassion than other equally "out-of-control" behaviors.

Many people argue that even hinting at physiological contributors to obesity is a way for fatties to justify or make excuses or defer blame, because God-forbid a fattie not hate themselves. Personally, I wasn't able to gain any semblance of control over my obesity, until I started understanding some of these physiological factors.

You can't control what you don't understand, and we don't as a culture understand obesity very well. If you read these books (and the research they're built on), you'll have a hard time villifying anyone including yourself for "lack of control." (You'll also have better and more effective tools for weight loss and weight management).

The End of Overeating by David Kessler
Refuse to Regain by Barbara Berkely
Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata
Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes (and his other books too)
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