Weight Loss Support - How do you deal with body image?




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bethel
11-10-2007, 06:42 AM
When I started WW, I was a size 20, totally out of shape (fitness-wise) and had no energy. A year later, I've lost 60 lbs, wear a size 8/10, work out 6 days a week, and have lots of energy and enthusiasm. I'm in a much better place, both physically and emotionally.

Last week I saw some pictures of me while on vacation (wearing shorts, t-shirts, bathing suits) and all I saw was a chunky matronly woman with a saggy belly, thunder thighs and bat-wing arms.

I'm feeling very discouraged - I KNOW that I'm half the size I once was (and I have the pants to prove it) and I have only 25 more pounds to lose.

Why did seeing those pictures make me feel so fat and dissatisfied?

I'm struggling a bit with re-focusing and getting back on program.

What words of wisdom can you give me?


JayEll
11-10-2007, 07:06 AM
Hey bethel,

First, congratulations on the weight you've lost so far! :bravo:

It's a good question. I'm thinking part of it has to do with unrealistic expectations about what weight loss will do. Yes, we'll be healthier (especially if we've exercised while losing weight), we'll be able to find clothes and look good (or at least more "average") in them, and life will be more active and easier. Will we look like a model in a bikini? Most of us will not, unless we're still pretty young.

Also, it sometimes takes the mind awhile to catch up to the body's losses.

You are still technically overweight, and I think you'll see a big difference as you continue to lose. A pound is a lot more, percentage-wise, on a smaller person than on a bigger one. So don't give up! Don't forget that the main benefits are about health, not about appearance.

Toning exercises can also help with appearance issues, though--so if you're not doing that kind of exercise already, consider adding it.

Saggy skin may tighten up, but it can take a couple of years. Skin-reduction surgery is an option for some people if they have a lot of excess skin.

Good luck! Don't be discouraged! :cheer2:

Jay

Heather
11-10-2007, 07:46 AM
I think it's a pretty normal reaction for people like us. I've lost 120 pounds, and am still overweight. When I look in the mirror, I simultaneously see a woman who is thinner than she has ever been in her adult life looking better than ever AND an overweight middle-aged woman whose tummy will never be flat. It's bizarre!

I choose to focus on the positive. I used to barely be a size 28/30 and now I'm a size 12. I used to worry about fitting into booths at restaurants and now do so with ease. I used to huff and puff after walking up a flight of stairs and now I choose to walk up four flights regularly. My tummy used to go beyond my boobs and that's hardly the case anymore.

I guess I try to put it in perspective.


CountingDown
11-10-2007, 07:56 AM
I KNOW that feeling - I had it Thursday. I avoid mirrors like the plague, but caught a glimpse on the way into the shower. Major freak out! ARGH - I have SO FAR TO GO!!!!!
So I sat myself down and gave myself "the talk". Girl, you are doing GREAT - look at what you have accomplished. Look at the size you are now wearing. Look at how much better you feel not that you are more fit. Girl, I am so proud of you - now get out there and strut your stuff!

Then, I made sure I spent a few extra minutes on my hair, my makeup -chose an outfit that I KNOW makes me look great, and went on with my day feeling fabulous.

I think we can be our own worst enemies sometimes. I am still just a few lbs. under obese, but compared to the few lbs. under morbidly obese that I was 5 months ago - I'm gonna celebrate!

Find something that makes YOU feel good about yourself and pamper yourself a little today. You will be seeing yourself in a positive light in no time.

freethetoys
11-10-2007, 08:51 AM
i think the more we loose, the more we become aware of our personal health and fitness levels, also we notice all the imperections alot more, because we want to change them.
i think this is what causes the depression side to loosing weight. Just have to try and focuss on the good as much as possible and let the bad days not eat at your strength. To be honest loosing so much, you are a veteran at what you are doing, just have to realise how amazing you are, pick your self up and carry on carrying that tourch for the rest of us :-)

i have lost over 50lbs now, which yes does feel amazing, but i still dont feel any different really. I think my problem is seeing meself as someone im not, which is odd. I think changing my size after accepting my size for so long is odd, i feel a bit like im betraying who i am. But im deffinetly happier when im loosing, so hey, all is well that ends well.

Ready2ShedLBS
11-10-2007, 10:18 AM
You know something.. I have been the same weight for the last year.. between 160-165 with the occassional dip to 155. Of course I havent really been trying ( until recently) to lose the last 25, but I have stuck to working out and eatting right 80% of the time, and I went from a 9 to a 7 while pretty much staying the same weight.Ive also noticed in this year that my skin has gotten alot tighter. Say for instance when I used to do jumping jacks, I could just feel me jiggle all over.. NOW when I do jumping jacks I dont feel anything jiggle. Even though I havent lost weight in that year, just toned and firmed. NOW.. i am ready to get this last 25 off so am doing so, just cant change my ticker till monday :)

I do notice though in pictures that I am not as thin as I feel. Which is another reason I decided I would like to lose another couple of sizes. I dont want to be "just under chubby" I want to be WELL under chubby. People are the hardest though because if I happen to say that I want to lose 25 lbs people look at me like I am crazy and say WHAT? WHY?! You look GREAT at the size you are!!.. Nice little ego stroke, but Im still gonna lose some more :)

As for the skin issue I am very fortunate that majority of the skin that I have, has tightened back up.. it has taken a LONG time though. See I used to weigh 260lbs. My ticker only reflects my current goal, final goal :) Now the place that I am have a true issue with skin is my stomach, however, I do have 2 children, 1 csection, and 100lb weight loss, it could be SOOO much worse and it used to be worse. I know that I will have to have surgery to fix it, and thats ok.

bethel
11-11-2007, 06:37 PM
Thanks so muc for all of your insights - and for giving me a reality check. One thing I'm going to do this week is make a list of all the ways my life (physical, emotional and experiential) has changed for the better since I've lost this weight.

I think that we tend to have short memories of how truly miserable we were lock into our "prisons" - time dims the pain we were feeling.

Also, I need to remember that I'm running this race for ME - and not to compare myself with those around me.

jordan
11-11-2007, 09:13 PM
We are always so incredibly critical of ourselves. Like everyone else said, be proud of all you have done. Since you still want to lose more weight let the pictures be motivation, but don't let them become depressing as your progress to this point is fantastic. Even though it is so easy to see our imperfections, remember you are the only one who is analyzing the details in these pictures of you...everyone else just sees a lovely lady.

Samybear
11-12-2007, 11:03 AM
I think we all go through this at some point. Seeing the same person we were before we started losing weight, or feeling like we are bigger than we really are. Most of the time I feel pretty good about my weight loss, I came from a size 24 pants to a size 16, a size extra large shirt to a size large. Then there are times when Iím sitting next to someone who is at a normal weight and I feel like Iím huge! I have to remind myself that I am no longer obese, and Iím on my way to being a normal weight. So far I havenít had to deal with loose skin, but I think once I lose another 20 pounds that I will start to see loose skin. So Iíve started toning in hopes to minimize any loose skin I may get.

Remember that most people will see you as you truly are; healthier, happier, and hotter!

-Samantha

Beach Patrol
11-12-2007, 12:11 PM
...you know the fat people phrase? "Inside me is just a thin person, waiting to be set free." Well, I think it's like that. Even tho we lose the weight, we still have that "fat person" inside... taunting us, laughing, making us feel still fat even tho we're not. WE'RE AFRAID OF HER! (or him). Afraid that we'll gain the weight back, afraid we STILL somehow don't "measure up" to friends, family, strangers.

And to think, I've lost 30-40 lbs (& regained it) SIX TIMES in 15 years. Sometimes I fear I may never GET thin & STAY thin. And yet I keep trying. I may be a "sometimes loser" but dammit, I am not a quitter! :D