Weight Loss Support - Always saw an obese person in the mirror




time2lose
06-16-2009, 09:41 AM
Ladyfyre’s “slap across the face” posting got me to thinking. My experience was so different from hers that I started wondering how many people had my type of experience.

As long as I can remember when I looked in the mirror I saw an obese person. In college many years ago I was very fit. I did not have a car and either rode my bicycle or walked everywhere I went. I weighed in the low 120’s the entire time I was in college but I always thought that I was fat. I remember eating in the college grill in the midafternoon when there were fewer people around. I thought that people were looking at me thinking that I should not be eating that hamburger and fries because I was so fat. I hid to eat because I was ashamed.

When I started gaining weight, I could not see it. My body started fitting my body image.

Did anyone else have this experience?


TamiL
06-16-2009, 11:56 AM
I have always had a bit of the opposite problem with image. I weighed in the 120's and 130's in high school. Not rail thin, I thought I was chubby because I had large boobs! As I got older and had kids and edged up to 200 pounds several times I would still see that person in the mirror and squeeze my butt in the smallest sizes I could. I was always in denial that I was still that "chubby" girl. The only thing that would bring me down to reality was when someone took a picture of me (that didn't happen often because I avoid cameras!) and I couldn't deny that my self image and the one everybody else saw was vastly different. Its amazing what our minds will let us believe.

gma22
06-16-2009, 12:31 PM
I have pretty much beat this to death on this website, but I am going to say it again.

To be able to lose weight and keep it off, we have to work on self image before we even fool around with dieting. All you have to do is look at celebrities like Kirstie Alley or even Carnie Wilson. Both gained either all, more or some of their weight back. Why, because they didn't fix their head first.

I am super morbidly obese but I have always been able to look in a mirror and find NOTHING wrong with me. Even now as I lose weight and am finally connecting with losing weight and what is inside my head, my main concern is health not what I do or do not look like. If this darn world would quit putting people into categories whether it is size, ethnicity, gender, whatever we would all be better off.

I know that you gals are talking about the fact that you denied how much you weighed and not the other, the reason why you were in denial is because you thought something was wrong with you at the size you were so you pretended you weren't that size at all. When we fatties can come to terms with liking us just the way we are at overweight, obese, morbidly obese or super morbidly obese, then we can finally fix what we want to fix and it will stay fixed.


chickiegirl
06-16-2009, 12:37 PM
I remember in high school I thought I was so fat. I must've been somewhere between 175 and 185. That's my goal now. That's reasonable on my 5'11" frame.

But I starved myself and thought I was huge. As I've gained, I've just gotten "fatter" not "fat." That's probably why it took so long for me to get off my butt and do something about it.

It wasn't until I hit 285 I noticed I had really gotten that big.

But isn't it funny how in our minds you can trek from 230 and 285 (or whatever the numbers are) and not see the huge differences, because you see yourself as fat anyway?

JayEll
06-16-2009, 12:43 PM
Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic's pages on body dysmorphic disorder:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/body-dysmorphic-disorder/DS00559

This disorder is not just about seeing oneself as fat--but also may be about seeing oneself as too thin, too ugly, too physically flawed in some other way.

Jay

munchievictim
06-16-2009, 01:19 PM
I struggle with this every day of my life. I've never been a terribly secure person, and always a chubby kid. But now that I've started this weight loss journey, I seem to think about it constantly. I used to play the game with myself, trying to figure out or measure how big I was compared to others/compared to the chair i was sitting in/etc. I would look at a chubby girl and think "god, am I as big as her?" or a slightly smaller chubby girl and think "even if I looked like that i'd be happy." I have a wonderful boyfriend who just absolutely cherishes me and finds me gorgeous and never even glances at other girls (as far as I can tell), but if he puts his hand on my stomach or thigh or (insert pretty much any other body part here), I feel uncomfortable and gross and brush him off. Of course, he's seen me in my total naked glory, so I don't know what I think I'm hiding, but for some reason I can't even be secure with myself when around someone I know accepts me without question, exactly as I am.
I'm afraid I have no real grasp whatsoever on what my actual size is. I know I wear size 14/16 pants, usually l/xl in girl shirts, I know I weigh 191, but depending on the day I might feel sexy or like a total COW. And god save me on the days I actually manage to capture a glowing sense of self-esteem, feel like I look 100 bucks, get all dolled up and then go out and see my reflection in a store window and don't even recognize myself or my bulging belly. Immediantly all self-confidence is flushed away.
I just want to be able to accept myself as I am, and get healthy for the benefit of getting healthy, rather than remaining stuck in this vicious, endless cycle of body-image delusions. I want to be able to look in the mirror honestly, examine myself head to toe, nod and say "okay, this is great." The fact that there are people in the world who can do that just baffles me.

Thinfor5Minutes
06-16-2009, 01:35 PM
I cringe realizing this, but I grew up thinking I was fat...now, I was 5'4" and weighed about 120 pounds. My mother was obsessed with thinness, and I took after my father's family and had quite an ample rear and thighs. My mean aunts used to call me "Buckets," which is pretty amusing since both of them were overweight. I used to think that when people looked at me, they only saw a great big huge rear end walking around. Seriously. Looking now at old pictures of myself, no way was I anywhere near fat and my butt and thighs were not nearly as huge as I imagined them to be. Eventually I became that fat person I imagined myself to be, and it took years to get a grip enough to get most of that excess weight off. Why, oh why, do we do this to our daughters????

judipurple
06-16-2009, 01:46 PM
I'm afraid I have no real grasp whatsoever on what my actual size is. I know I wear size 14/16 pants, usually l/xl in girl shirts, I know I weigh 191, but depending on the day I might feel sexy or like a total COW. And god save me on the days I actually manage to capture a glowing sense of self-esteem, feel like I look 100 bucks, get all dolled up and then go out and see my reflection in a store window and don't even recognize myself or my bulging belly. Immediantly all self-confidence is flushed away.

OMG - MV, that is so me!:eek: I've lost 30+ lbs, and have a couple pairs sz 12 jeans - here I am, thinking I'm all that - then I looked at a recent photo of myself...gulp:cry:...reality check! Still gotta looooong way to go!

willgethealthy
06-16-2009, 01:56 PM
I also have the problem where I see myself as "not fat" and "prettier that I actually am". I am actually addressing the issues these days. Some of this had to do with my mom. When I was in high school/college, I had a cute face, nothing like drop dead gorgeous or anything and I was overweight. But, I was indeed the best looking among all cousins. She would be so proud of me and said to that I am the prettiest in our street, in my class and I need to be careful with boys etc. etc. I started believing her.

I was overweight when I got married. My husband loves curves and has always praised my beauty & my body. I believed him too. Only these days, I realize that sometimes I am the heaviest women in a room. My facial features don't even come out in the pictures and all I see is a big fat face.

I want to correct my perspective. I know that of I reach my goal, I will look much better than what I do now. Even now my Mom says, please don't lose a lot of weight, you are very pretty the way you are now. I don't say anything back to her. But, I know better than to take her words and my hubby's words at face value. They feel I am beautiful because they love me. I have faced the reality that I need to lose atleast 20 pounds to be normal & feel normal.

munchievictim
06-16-2009, 01:59 PM
judipurple--isn't that the worst? Oh, I HATE pictures. the pictures from my birthday in may almost made me cry. but still, you've lost 30 pounds, which is an incredible accomplishment!
willgethealthy--Used to, whenever my granny would tell me I was beautiful, I'd retort that she was simply biased. One day she told me, very firmly, "You are beautiful. I may love you, but that doesn't make me biased. You are beautiful."
Now, to this day I don't fully put stock in her words. But I think that your hubby and mom probably see straight through whatever flaws you see, to the beautiful person that i'm sure you truly are. Unfortunately, we are our own worst critics, so in order for you to be happy with yourself you may feel that you need to make some changes. And that is totally in every way your perogative. But I don't think fat necessarily defines beauty, I believe that beauty is something we carry with us always, and even when it's not apparent to us, those who love us can see it clear as day.

JayEll
06-16-2009, 03:21 PM
To be able to lose weight and keep it off, we have to work on self image before we even fool around with dieting. All you have to do is look at celebrities like Kirstie Alley or even Carnie Wilson. Both gained either all, more or some of their weight back. Why, because they didn't fix their head first.

I do think that it helps to figure out issues about weight, IF you have issues to figure out. For example, internalized judgments about body size, using food as a drug, not taking care of yourself in other ways, being unhappy but stuffing feelings with food, etc. But not everyone who is overweight has these issues. So, I don't believe it's necessary for everyone to fix their heads first, before starting to change lifestyle and deciding to lose weight in a healthy way. One can do them both at once, if necessary. :)

Jay

Mikayla
06-16-2009, 03:31 PM
I have always thought of myself as a huge obese person. I was TOLD throughout childhood that I was fat and needed to lose weight or no one would like me. This has scarred me for life, I can't seem to shake the feeling that I'm always going to be fat therefore unlikable. Even if i get to my goal, I've been that weight before, I thought I was fat then, my family thought I was fat then, so what is going to change?

Now with all that said, I've always thought I was felt fat, but I've never felt I was ugly. I have always thought I looked pretty good, I have pretty features and I looked nicely put together, overall I'm happy with my face, my hair and my sense of style.

I'm hoping that in the process, I will gain some perspective and acknowledge all the hard work that I put in and that will make me happy to have reached my goal.

time2lose
06-16-2009, 09:12 PM
When I was about 12 my mother told me that I was too big to wear shorts or swim suit. She would never use the word "fat" but of course I felt that I was fat. It sounds like I am not the only one who grew up feeling fat.

Willgethealthy, I think that it is great that your mother was so proud of you!

I think it shows how much power we mothers have to influence how our daughters feel.

mizmizzy
06-16-2009, 10:57 PM
Yeah I used to take ballet until the 9th grade when I quit b/c of teenage rebellion and stupidity...and I always thought I was fat than and I was around 120 lbs and very healthy i had a slight belly but mostly all the dancing kept me toned I never thought that though I always thought I was fat...wish I could have had the experience of being like wow damn i look good......i only hope it is not TOO late!!