Weight Loss Support - How to heal a broken body image

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Optical Goddess
12-07-2007, 10:36 PM
Ok, I hope this works. I posted it awhile ago, but when I went to find it, it had disapeared. Not sure why...
anyway, as many of you may have read, the newsweek article pointed out that people who feel good about themselves/thier bodies are more healthful and take better care of themselves, while those who are disatisfied are more inclined to be sedentary and eat worse...

I'm a prime example of that. I am 5'7", I weigh a bout 160. I wear a size 8/10 in most clothes . I want to weigh 145 ( I went from 220 to 145 in 2002 )... I am doing weight watchers, because it has given me success in the past..

How do you love your body when it's a work in progress? My 'why bother' mentallity is keeping me from succeeding. I'm not binging like I used to, but instead of chalking it up to a lesson learned, any 'mistakes' I make with my plan plunge me into a downward spiral.

How do you take pride and love yourself at your current size?
I know I'm not that big, but I really feel like it. When someone compliments me, it elevates me, I do more healthful things.... but I can't go 'round asking people if they find me attractive. That's the equivalent of " do i look fat in this?' No one is going to give me an honest answer, and even if the answer is honest, I will doubt it, since I prompted it by asking... (sigh).

I don't know where I'm going with this, but I doubt I am the only person who has felt this way...but I feel like the only person who doesn't 'get it'....
thank you for letting me vent. I hope this post doesn't get deleted.

Any things that have worked for anyone, books they may have read, anything.

thank you

12-07-2007, 10:52 PM
In a word - perspective.

A few tricks that work for me.
Make a list of things you like about your current body
Include all the wonderful things your body does for you
Pamper yourself - bubble bath, manicure, new hairstyle, new outfit - things that make you feel good about your appearance
Practice looking in the mirror and smiling - tell yourself how far you have come and how great you are doing. Don't be shy - do this often!
Make another list of all the things you like about yourself (not body related) Celebrate the wonderful person that you are! (if you like YOU, liking your body is much easier)
Give of yourself to others - the more we do for others, the better we feel about ourselves.
Meditation, devotions, prayers - draw strength from a power outside of yourself.

12-07-2007, 11:11 PM
COUNTING ~ that is a wonderful answer! :D

Keeping in mind that you want to feel better, look better, and be healthier for the rest of your life (not just for a moment), will help you to FORGIVE YOURSELF for those little 'mistakes'. Becuz that is what they are ... PAST mistakes. Now, the next minute is a new moment ~ to do better; to get back on track, and to keep going becuz YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!

I really like the positive self-talk; I write down positive statements and read them to myself over and over. In college, they said that the more you see/hear/read something, the more you will believe it! So, be your own positive self-talk! Counter negative thoughts will those positive statements and eventually they will subside. Keep busy (living and doing), and follow COUNTINGS advice; and you will see a big change in your view of yourself in no time ... :hug:ROSEBUD :hug:

12-07-2007, 11:30 PM
OK, Goddess... Why bother? :chin:

Let me ask--do you see yourself as separate from your body?

Is "your body" something that you have to "work on," the way someone works on a car, or fixes up a house, or knits a sweater?

Why do you want to lose weight?

Is it to meet an arbitrary goal you've decided on? Is it to look attractive to other people? Is it because you think if you are the right weight, your life will suddenly work?

Do you think you have to be perfect on your program or you're a failure? Do you think that unless your body is perfect, it is a failure?

These are just questions to stimulate thought, and I know some of these things don't apply to your real reasons or thoughts. Only you know what they are.

Goddess, we are all "works in progress"--in every way--our bodies, our minds, our very being in the world. :yes: There is absolutely nothing about us that is not a work in progress. It's not about perfection, it's about persistence.

It's completely up to you to figure out why you should bother, or not!


12-07-2007, 11:32 PM
This is going to sound very silly... but I stare at my hands.

I notice the tiniest cuts and how my body is mending itself. I notice the folds of skin by my knuckles and the smallest hairs and how my body is protecting itself. I look at my (dirty) fingernails and realize that they're growing. By noticing these tiny little details I'm reminded that my body is a working, thriving organic machine. Suddenly I'm swallowed by the fascination and the miracle of it all. I go look in a mirror, and I see this body capable of so much. I don't even see "me". I see, and am amazed by this wonderful machine! I want to use it, to feel it move and work. I forget myself and whatever it was that I didn't like, because the only thing left in my mind is wonder. Whatever it was is no longer important. The only thing important is use this gift of a body to its full potential.

...I said it was silly. :p

12-08-2007, 03:58 AM
I LOATHE my body - truly. I can't look at it and when I do I cry and get physically ill. BUT - I love that it is 116 pounds smaller - I love that it fits in jeans and things I couldn't wear before - I love that my diabetes and sleep apnea are gone - I love that I can run upstairs - I love that I will be around for my child longer.

If you can't find something specifically about your body in terms of how it looks - look at how you feel or will feel. Look at the benefits of gaining control of your weight - heck THAT in itself is a positive thing - taking control.

12-08-2007, 10:51 AM
When I was 350 lbs, I forced it. I wouldn't let negative thoughts enter my mind about my body and I still don't.

Right now because of the loose skin, my inner thighs are killing me but my mental response really is "oh well".

Basically I believe it is kind of one of things where you "fake it until you make it". I've only recently started to think truly positive thoughts about my body because I think I am entering the range of where I am almost normal looking. I look at my face and don't even recognize myself any more which is an odd feeling.

Anyway, push out negative thoughts about yourself and tell yourself something positive. If something like "you are fat" enters your mind, then stop it immediately and replace it with something "you are beautiful and losing weight" Even if you don't believe it.

Hot Tamale
12-08-2007, 11:13 AM
Hello Goddess;

I can totally understand where you are and how you feel. It can be discouraging to look at yourself and not see the refelction that you know is your best self.

All of the ladies are so right! You have to remain positive in your spirit and let you spirit be the strongest thing within you. Tell yourself that you have done and are doing a wonderful thing for your body and for yourself everyday. Everyday that you commit to taking great care of yourself you are showing yourself that you love your body enough to take great care of it.

Thing of your progress on a Good/Better/Best scale. You were good when you started just because of who you are!! As you lost weight and made progress towards your goal you got better. When you reach your goal you will be at your best! Notice that there is not one negative thought in that.

Keep yourself encourage and that is what we are here for as well!

Janie Canuck
12-08-2007, 11:20 AM
I read an article about this the other day (in Oprah, perhaps?) This lady was very much like you - had lost a lot of weight, gained back a small portion of it, and is working on losing that again. Anyway, she swears that what made a difference for her was "lotion therapy". She, under her therapist's advice, bought some decadent lotions, and made a point of giving herself a luxurious full-body lotion treatment every day. She said that being that "intimate" and caring with her body, even though she was rather unhappy with its shape, mader her come to value it more, which led to her wanting to treat it better, and take care of it. Really, it's just a take on all the advice above - , ie. treat yourself like you're special, but someone has actually coined a "therapy name" for it.

12-08-2007, 02:05 PM
Mad, ain't it? You can see my height and weight...and I can

-be a naked life model
-be promisicuous and not givva damn about what people think of me naked
-wear more revealing clothes than perhaps I used to/other people do
-actually believe people find me attractive

Yet does this stop me being ED'd..no no it does not! I'm still not sure why this is. I suspect it has deeper roots than I suspect...case for you? I've tried therapy, and have the feeling I have to work through this myself. I think its to do, in my case, with gender issues and general insecurity, although I don't reckon many people IRL would believe me!

Healthy habits encourage healthy thoughts, I know that much. A wellkept secret is that its NOT thoughts changing that make you behave more healthily, its often having to make yourself treat yourself better to THEN produce better *I like me more* thoughts, and its an upward spiral. When it works. When you put some effort in and are willing to face looking at yourself and your attitudes closely.

Your life in general needs an overhaul if you want to overhaul your body image, because the two are so often interwoven. What is body hatred distracting you from, and why don't you feel worthy of happiness? Who told you to dislike your body? Why are they right?

12-11-2007, 08:55 AM
I hated my body for so long. I gained 50 pounds in 6 months then allowed my body to hang onto them for a year and a half because I felt like I was too far gone to do anything about it. I just obsessed over how much I hated my body, then cried, ate junk food, and said I was too depressed to exercise.

Here is what you need to remember:
While your body may not be where you want it to be right now, you are still getting one step closer to goal with each pound you lose. With every pound, you are making an accomplishment and getting further away from where you were. Even though losing weight can feel so tedious, the time can actually go by much more quickly than anticipated, and soon you will realize that it's only taken up one small portion of your life.

Hermit Girl
12-11-2007, 02:18 PM
Is it because you think if you are the right weight, your life will suddenly work?"

Wow, I think I am this way. It's as though it is common to think that given other circumstances our lives will suddenly work right (my best girlfriend and I talk about this often). It makes me realize there are *many* other factors of Life Working or NotWorking. So, I need to think about what otherthings I feel "out of control" about, which add to this feeling of my life not working right. Maybe we should all look at, and list, those things, and put less emphasis on our weight (looks).

Hermit Girl
12-11-2007, 02:42 PM
I read an article about this the other day ......This lady was very much like you ... Anyway, she swears that what made a difference for her was "lotion therapy".... She said that being that "intimate" and caring with her body, even though she was rather unhappy with its shape, mader her come to value it more, which led to her wanting to treat it better, and take care of it. . I think about how those times I've lost weight, what was going on other than the weightloss. Often times it's been a new love relationship, which usually involves LOTS of attention to one's body in a very pleasurable , sensual, and intimate way. I think about how the status of my 'intimate' relationship with both myself and DH is very stale in comparison to what it once was -- and, is that "the chicken or the egg" to my condition of being uncomfortably overweight? It's difficult to be motivated inside when there's no outside fire going on.

I think about crushes I have, totally fantasy based, just to get motivated, but then I realize they're only crushes, never to be acted on, and then I lose motivation. I hate the fact that I project my Self Love onto others that way, but it must be just human nature.

So, it's not always easy learning to be self loving and intimate with yourself , and actually Make A Fire from within, when it's not getting fueled in from the outside. Not easy at all. But necessary.

12-17-2007, 05:02 AM
Don't get me wrong, feeling good about yourself is important, but this article sounds like a clear confusion of correlation and causation - that is, because people who feel better about themselves tend to be healthier, they assume that the causation moves in that direction, whereas its just as likely that they feel better about themselves BECAUSE they are healthier, or worse about themselves because they are unhealthy. I'm confused as to why this is suprising. Again, I absolutely take better care of myself now that I did when I was overweight, mostly because I didn't want to have to acknowledge my body or think about it at all, but I still think this article sounds silly.

12-17-2007, 09:07 AM
Hey bekka! Yes, it does sound circular, doesn't it? And it's pretty clear that rubbing lotion on your body won't cause weight loss... ;) But I think it's one of those things where, if it works, it doesn't matter that it's circular. One of those "fake it til you make it" ideas.

If someone treats herself nicely, it helps her to break out of her negative self-criticism. And if she is putting herself down less, she is more apt to do other good things for herself--like making a food plan and sticking to it, being more physically active. :cheer2:

Maybe the idea isn't so much about healthy versus unhealthy--not all overweight people are unhealthy--but rather about countering the idea, "I'm fat [i.e. not perfect] and therefore I don't deserve nice things."


Janie Canuck
12-17-2007, 11:22 AM
The article wasn't at all saying that lotion causes weight loss - yes, that WOULD be silly, obviously. Jay hit it though, it's basically "fake it till you make it". If you hate your body and feel badly about it, it's more difficult to want to treat it well by eating healthy/losing weight, because on some level, I think a lot of people overeat to punish their imperfect bodies. The point of the "lotion therapy" was that it helps you to feel pretty and value your body. By treating it well (ie. caring for it, ie. lotion), it can help you come to care for it, thereby making it easier to WANT to continue to care for it by doing other things - eating well, exercising, etc.

12-18-2007, 01:45 PM
I didn't mean to sound harsh :) I absolutely know firsthand what its like to stop taking care of yourself because you don't feel like you deserve it. I'm just a statistics geek and was in a bad mood. Circular works for me.