Weight Loss Support - Discrepancy between what we and others see




salsa chip
08-02-2009, 10:43 PM
Hi all,
I'd really appreciate your comments and hopefully support :)
I constantly put myself down (not just in front of others but also to myself) by saying that I'm fat and ugly. Well, my fat affects my physical health, and now I'm committed to changing that...but somehow I can't shake the notion that I'm nothing to look at.

This all seems so contrary to what my friends see, they tell me I'm pretty. But I never see this and it's so strange when they say I'm not ugly. What are they seeing that I don't when I look in the mirror?

I hope this made some sort of sense :shrug:


Jokan
08-02-2009, 11:03 PM
I don't believe any of us are ever totally happy with what we see in the mirror but u are very pretty and along with your weight loss will come more confidence!!;)

giselley
08-03-2009, 12:40 AM
give it some time. Stop defeatist thoughts. You are a blessed child of the universe whose very existance is a billion to one shot. Seriously. Simply being alive is a major triumph. Stop wasting your time on belly-button gazing. Don't allow you negitive self to become an obsticle to your happiness. Learn this now before it is too late.


Coffeechick
08-03-2009, 01:23 AM
I totally do this too!

I think because I feel so terrible about myself, I just assume everyone else see's me the same way. One of my biggest hang ups is tank tops! WON'T WEAR THEM!! It was 109 last week and still- nope, couldn't do it. My arms are just too gross. Then I go to the store and see women twice my size in tank tops and I don't think anything about it- I'm not grossed out by them- and secretly, admire them for not caring.

I'm also working on not being so hard on myself. Next weekend there is a mini 15 year high school reunion out at our local lake for our families. I'd LOVE to go- but feel too fat and out of place. I know there are many classmates far heavier than I am in a size 16, but I'm just so nervous about it. I'm trying to get up the courage to just go- but I still haven't decided...

Hang in there! You're not alone!

caliyah
08-03-2009, 01:38 AM
well you ARE pretty! believe it when your friends tell you. I think a lot of women suffer from low self-esteem whether they have a weight issue or not, I have had my struggles with low self esteem but I realized that I needed to love myself if I was going to expect to live my life the way that I wanted to.
What helped me:
Make a habit of having positive thoughts about yourself on a daily basis and doing something positive for yourself, always look your best everyday even if you are going out to run errands, go to the salon relax destress, go out and shop, if you have a hobby pursue it, if you have dreams pursue them, avoid people that will be negative and put you down, if you have faith rekindle it, find out something good that makes you happy. You need to understand you DESERVE the BEST!! And you have to believe in yourself! Everyone/anyone can believe in you but the most important thing is that you believe in and love yourself because you need to be able to get through thick and thin loving yourself even if others may or may not criticize you. I've known people that have been so immersed in their own self-hatred they don't realize or understand how bright their life is and how bright the future can be if only they just believed. But I think the most important thing is to try to stay positive ---negative thoughts/self criticism will only get you more down. I'm reading this book right now called "Retrain your brain, Reshape your body"..basically negative thoughts about yourself affect your brain chemistry and ultimately your health, emotions and eating habits.

you are not the only one! stay strong!

salsa chip
08-03-2009, 08:13 AM
caliyah, thanks so much for sharing what you wrote. Unfortunately I don't think tactics like positive thinking work (for me, at least - I'm so happy it does for you, though). I've taken the jump and made an appointment with my doctor about my "issues" - self-confidence and self-image. It's really hard for me to even consider the notion that I need therapy (I come from a background which kind of frowns on it), but I'm starting to see there's no other option.

There are a couple of people around me who understand, but I think the rest of my friends here don't quite grasp it (if they know at all...). Do people here have experience with therapy?

Jokan - you're very kind, thank you.

Coffeechick - I've got the the point where I can wear sleeveless tops when I go out running. And maybe at home too. But it takes an enourmous amount of nerve to just go shopping in one... :?:

dragonwoman64
08-03-2009, 10:52 AM
I wanted to tell you you're pretty too, such a cute pic (and the way your personality comes across in your posts). I know hearing it from someone else can feel like water off a duck's back if you don't believe it yourself.

therapy might be a great choice for you. talking about how you feel in a neutral environment with someone skilled to help you sort out your issues. it doesn't mean you're weak or mentally ill. I've worked on weight and eating issues with a therapist. doesn't hurt to explore it.

you might try not so much "positive thinking," as not constantly telling yourself how ugly you are. the messages we plant in our own brains can be powerful.



I totally do this too!

I think because I feel so terrible about myself, I just assume everyone else see's me the same way. One of my biggest hang ups is tank tops! WON'T WEAR THEM!! It was 109 last week and still- nope, couldn't do it. My arms are just too gross. Then I go to the store and see women twice my size in tank tops and I don't think anything about it- I'm not grossed out by them- and secretly, admire them for not caring.

I'm also working on not being so hard on myself. Next weekend there is a mini 15 year high school reunion out at our local lake for our families. I'd LOVE to go- but feel too fat and out of place. I know there are many classmates far heavier than I am in a size 16, but I'm just so nervous about it. I'm trying to get up the courage to just go- but I still haven't decided...

Hang in there! You're not alone!

I just wrote in my blog about short sleeves, that's funny. I have such a hang up about my upper arms, but I wore that short sleeved shirt out in public, heh heh. I totally agree with you that when I see other women, no matter how big their arms are, I don't have any problem with them wearing tank tops or short sleeves, but I feel so self conscious when it comes to myself.

I really hope you go to that reunion. Push, push, shove, shove, ha! Don't miss out because of how you feel about your size. Think of the people who'd love to see you, that you'd love to see, and just having fun. I've missed out on good experiences and regret it now.

ruby2sday
08-03-2009, 11:51 AM
I think so many of us can relate. For me, a lot of damage was done growing up with negativity, and never feeling worthwhile. I heard it so much that I started believing it, and repeating it in my own head. That only increased as more and more weight came on.

I have gotten better with the negative self talk, and try to remind myself instead of all the good and positive things.

On a show once, they were talking about how we talk badly to ourselves, and the woman said that we talk to ourselves in ways that we would never talk to a friend or someone we loved. We would never tell a friend that they are ugly and fat, or that they are stupid or worthless. So why should we do it to ourselves?!

If you feel therapy is something for you, then find out more from your doctor. I wish you luck with whatever you choose.

You're beautiful, and maybe that is something that will help you see that :)

JoJoP
08-03-2009, 01:07 PM
You might be surprised that your friends MEAN IT when they tell you you look pretty! *hug*

I have a friend who is overweight (though far from obese) and she still looks FANTASTIC. She dresses adorably, has lovely features, and has a face shape, bone structure, and body shape that show off a curvy figure. I've always been so envious of her!

It might help for you to look at images of beautiful "bigger" girls -- it might help you see yourself from your friends' (and others!) perspective =)

QuilterInVA
08-03-2009, 01:46 PM
Instead of looking in a mirror, look at a picture of yourself. We see ourselves differently that way.

BerkshireGrl
08-03-2009, 09:56 PM
It might help for you to look at images of beautiful "bigger" girls -- it might help you see yourself from your friends' (and others!) perspective =)

I agree :) Here are a couple sites I really like:

http://www.bodypositive.com/ - lots of wonderful stuff on this to help fight negative self-talk

http://www.casagordita.com/fatacc.htm - I like this not to "accept my fat" but to love my body. I have found that starting to love my body, fat as it is, is helping me take care of it better and punish it less.

I've also had therapy to deal with an eating disorder and other issues, and it can be very helpful. I hope you feel better soon :hug:

Onederchic
08-03-2009, 10:40 PM
I still am struggling with my own self esteem. No matter how many times others say how much of a difference they see in me, sometimes when I look in the mirror, I still see 330 pounds.

I also drive my boyfriend crazy cause I am always saying degrading things about my weight and my body :(

dragonwoman64
08-04-2009, 11:34 AM
I also drive my boyfriend crazy cause I am always saying degrading things about my weight and my body :(

:hug:

and

:drill: don't do it! ha

Onederchic
08-04-2009, 11:46 AM
:hug:

and

:drill: don't do it! ha


Haha! Yes Mistress :p :hug::hug:

Sunnigummi
08-04-2009, 11:51 AM
It was 109 last week

Holy crap, for real? I never thought Oregon could get that hot! I learn something new everyday!

My negative talk comes when I hit the 170 mark. Gosh, when I hit 173 or 175 back in '05, I was MISERABLE. At that time, I lived at home for a few weeks and my mom would never hear the end of my self-hate rants. She was really good about being supportive and helping me lose 5 lbs just by eating her food. :) That helped some. When I hit 165, I become positive. I'm hoping to hit 160 in a few weeks and I'm sure that will make me really happy and positive. So yeah, mine is totally weight-dependent. Sigh.

I do think therapy is a good idea. Nobody should be subjecting themselves to negative talk. It's the same as receiving verbal abuse from someone else. Would you stand for that? Of course not, so why take it from yourself?

caliyah
08-04-2009, 12:04 PM
I agree, i think its good to talk to someone and therapy as well. remember 2 post anytime u need support

Thinfor5Minutes
08-04-2009, 04:25 PM
I am going to be 54 next month and am still trying to undo the damage from when I was a kid and believed I was ugly and fat. My husband looks at pictures of me from back then and marvels that I ever thought that...especially the fat part. I was 5'4" and between 112 and 120 pounds. I was told I was ugly and fat and so believed it. My first husband made it worse when he walked out on me, telling me I was too fat to be desirable and wasn't the right woman for him. People can be so cruel...why don't you find something different that you like about yourself each day and write it down in a notebook. "I have pretty hair." "I have nice eyes." Positive self talk...that might help.

paperSkin
08-04-2009, 04:53 PM
We have a tendency to see only the bad things about ourselves and not the great things that others see. I can tell you that I have a lazy right eye, I have a severe skin disorder that gives me patches on my arms and legs and I am overweight. But I am doing the best I can to not let those things define me. And now, a few months into this, I feel a lot better.. no doubt I have my bad days, and plenty of issues, but I am doing better and I am starting to like what I see in the mirror.

And although I've made changes with respect to my weight, I really think that now that I try and dress up a little I feel better. I put my make up every day, i straighten my hair and I wear clothes that fit and look good. These things have contributed big time to making myself feel better.

If you don't believe that you are pretty, pretend that you do and treat yourself like you are pretty.. eventually you will begin to believe it yourself.

ajowens
08-04-2009, 05:01 PM
I appreciate your struggle. I have such poor self body image. Even though weight is coming off on the scale, I have to be measured to really believe my size is changing. I still see the same person.

I really hope you find your way through this and can see your self as the beautiful woman that you are!

http://www.3fatchicks.net/img/bar012/slide-toes/lb/175/135/164/.png (http://www.3fatchicks.com/)

salsa chip
08-04-2009, 07:04 PM
Thank you so much, everyone. I'm sorry I haven't replied before now...life has exploded here (the weight and self-image issues are part of the crisis). I should just sub to the thread!

A friend and I have become "buddies". We're egging each other on via facebook (secret groups!), and keeping track of our weight, measurements, but also photos of our faces and bodies. The plan (!) is to spur each other on and meet up frequently to talk about things (it's so easy for us to throw about excuses online), and once a month update our stats and photos.

I'm planning treats like a day at a posh spa when we've reached our next mini-goal. Does anyone else do that? Does it work?

Right now I'm kind of worried that I'll shoot myself in the foot before I've even begun. In terms of exercise, I've stayed on plan so far. But the crisis going on means that I've lost my appetite...so I'm having to almost force myself to eat (which is a unique experience) because I want to do it properly. But I'm scared that this will go the way of all the other times: I'll lose motivation and the weight will come back on.

Looking at the photos today confronted myself with what my body actually looks like. Don't get me wrong, I still find my hips repulsive (beginning to wonder whether my face might not in fact be something approaching pretty in an odd non-classical way). But another reaction I noticed was that I could focus on my horrible hips and that somehow spurs me on to really wanting to do something about it.

Ok, sorry, I'm rambling. Short post: THANK YOU, everyone, for chiming in. Especially with the comments on my pic...*blush*

p7eggyc
08-04-2009, 07:53 PM
I've taken the jump and made an appointment with my doctor about my "issues" - self-confidence and self-image. It's really hard for me to even consider the notion that I need therapy (I come from a background which kind of frowns on it), but I'm starting to see there's no other option.

I have used therapy in the past to deal with issues and I just can't recommend it highly enough. There is so much power in just taking the bull by the horns and doing something that is so "all about you" and taking the time to spend on your needs and thoughts. The safe place to talk things through and the various options/techniques can be so helpful. I really encourage you to follow through. Find someone you feel really good with and go for it. It's not weakness, it's strength to take care of yourself and not stick your head in the sand and wait for things to 'go away'. You look young (and lovely) in your picture and there's no reason to stay in a place where you aren't kind to yourself.

Good luck!

Peg

Duchesssammi
08-04-2009, 09:28 PM
Hi Salsa
I do the very same thing I see myself as being fat and ugly. I do hope as the weight comes off that I will not be so hard on myself.
From Your picture you are no where near ugly so hopefully you will stop being so hard on yourself also.

maryellenatl
08-05-2009, 10:50 AM
I am the same way, I always think I am so fat and ugly no one would be interested in me. Granted I am am a big girl, but people tell me that I am pretty. The problem is I dont believe it. Part of this weight loss process for us all is to reconcile who you are on the inside with you are or right now on the outside. I have been to therapy on and off through the years. It can be very helpful to have someone to explore this with. There are also lots of books about self-esteem and body image. I encourage you to explore the resources. Even on this website there are other forums that focus on body image. Just keep in mind that this is a process and take babysteps. We are all here with you. Take care and have a good day.

Mary Ellen

salsa chip
08-05-2009, 11:18 AM
Mary Ellen, wow. It's like you knew what was going on in my head....

CultSphere
08-05-2009, 03:41 PM
We live in this perfectionist society, were weight seems to be one of the biggest obsessions, especially for women. I know what it's like to look in the mirror and only see my weight. My mother was a model in the 70s and my older half sister currently models. We see and hear about the negative stereotypes for women with bigger sizes, i think the key is to try and stay on a positive track. One of the most challenging things about keeping our goals is changing our mind set ... Believe me, i'm just now realizing that. It's an everyday struggle. I think an the end if we stick with it, and lose the weight for us and nobody else.. it'll all be worth.. If anything we'll gain alot more self esteem back knowing we tackled something and triumphed over it .

cammieb
08-05-2009, 04:34 PM
Every woman I know has some kind of problem with self image, myself included. My b.f. always tells me how beautiful I am, but I just don't believe him. The wierd thing is, now that I weigh less, I'm actually more self concious. I think it's just something you have to work out for yourself. Like, try to figure out why exactly you think that about yourself. Therapy does help a lot if you get a good therapist so congrats on setting up an appointment. Oh, and if that avvie is a picture of you, you are indeed very pretty. =)

wanting to
08-05-2009, 08:35 PM
has anyone here been thin in the past and now is fat? I was very thin as a child and young adult, and remember how several times a day someone would make a comment about my body. "Oh, you're so thin!" "what size do you wear?" etc. etc... I HATED it and felt invaded every time it happened, but it happened daily, at least. Since I have gotten fat, I noticed that people don't comment on your weight if you are fat. stange, huh?
but what I am wondering right now is if anyone else has seriously thought about what you would do with yourself if you were not eating? I don't have any vices or hobbies except food. I can make a long list of things that I think I would "like" to be doing, but in truth, food is what is gratifying, affordable and available. Any comments?

jamiewyn
08-05-2009, 10:28 PM
"Wanting to"......... I can relate to your statement about food being available, gratifying etc. I'm a nighttime eater and I really think part of that is that my husband is in the military and is gone a LOT (and I mean a LOT), we have two kids and eating just became my evening, solitary activity. I can't leave the house because of the kids, so I ended up spending most of my time reading and eating. When hubby is home, this doesn't happen. Food was an "acceptable" vice in my mind and I honestly looked at it as a pleasurable activity that I had "earned" at the end of the day.

So, yes, I agree w/your statement. Hubby is gone now, but I'm trying to spend my evenings enjoying "my time" w/bubble baths, internet time, and writing. I'm still struggling w/the urge to start eating, but FINALLY I see it for what it really is.....dangerous to my health.

salsa chip
08-06-2009, 05:05 AM
My b.f. always tells me how beautiful I am, but I just don't believe him. The wierd thing is, now that I weigh less, I'm actually more self concious.

Oh my. I really hope that doesn't happen to me! So if I understand right, this is something in my head that needs to change, and the physical changes are something different, and they (at least for me) have to happen because of health issues. They're two connected but distinct things?

I think it's just something you have to work out for yourself. Like, try to figure out why exactly you think that about yourself. Therapy does help a lot if you get a good therapist so congrats on setting up an appointment. Oh, and if that avvie is a picture of you, you are indeed very pretty. =)

Thank you for the compliment :)

I went to see my doctor and am starting therapy. I'm very nervous about it. One the one hand I know that this is the time: I want to really get on and make the steps necessary to change myself. But on the other I suspect it means going into emotional baggage that I've been carrying for so, so long, and that sorting that out is going to be such a painful process.

But I hope I can emerge as a lovely butterfly afterwards :)

salsa chip
08-06-2009, 06:50 AM
but what I am wondering right now is if anyone else has seriously thought about what you would do with yourself if you were not eating? I don't have any vices or hobbies except food. I can make a long list of things that I think I would "like" to be doing, but in truth, food is what is gratifying, affordable and available. Any comments?

When I was a teenager I tried to ignore my being overweight (unsuccesfully I might add...but it just festered) by, amongst other things, completely FILLING up all my time with stuff - sports teams I dropped pretty quickly, but there was choir, orchestras, church, drama club, wardrobe, school council, music lessons, music practise...all on top of school and homework (I was also avoiding being at home).

So now, whilst I'm not going to go overboard, I've decided to pick up some old fun hobbies - things I know I enjoy and will take up time. So I've contacted a couple of choirs to enquire about joining up and am taking language courses. Alongside work I think I'm constructing a balanced but full programme which means that because my meals are scheduled properly...I won't have so much time to sit on the couch and pig out.

Does that make sense?

betty grrl
08-06-2009, 08:37 AM
Salsa and all the other negative self talkers:

I know how you feel! I was exactly in the same boat! Even on Tuesday I had a day like that, but moved on within a few hours!!!

Heres the trick (I saw it on a program called "X-Weighted":

Look in the mirror (as hard as it can be), write out EVERY negative emotion you may have (fat, ugly, big arms, thunder thighs etc). Now after your done that. Cut them into slips of paper. Now one by one burn them!!!! (got a fireplace? EVen a coffee can works well outside ofcourse)....THAT IS THE PAST AND IT WILL BE GONE FOREVER!!!!

Now, look in the mirror again! Write down ALL the positive things about yourself that you see!!! FOr example, I'm kind, funny, pretty eyes, nice hands etc!!! Then post that where you can see it everyday and make sure to read iy everyday!!!!

Its amazing how you feel when all you can see is positive things about yourself.

I hope this makes tons of sense

By the way...you are so beautiful!!!

dragonwoman64
08-06-2009, 11:49 AM
So now, whilst I'm not going to go overboard, I've decided to pick up some old fun hobbies - things I know I enjoy and will take up time. So I've contacted a couple of choirs to enquire about joining up and am taking language courses. Alongside work I think I'm constructing a balanced but full programme which means that because my meals are scheduled properly...I won't have so much time to sit on the couch and pig out.

I'm so impressed by you, with the gym, therapist, and activities, you are taking this bull by the horns.

I wanted to add one more thought that's been banging around my brain on this topic, when I was in my 20s, my body and looks had a much more central place in my thoughts. Maybe that's not so unusual. I've calmed down with that aspect of it as I've gotten older (I'm 45 now). Not that I don't care about my looks, I just have come to realize more that's one part of me. People don't love other people on looks alone (unless they're enormously shallow, ha). I certainly don't base who I dole out my affections to according to their body fat percentage and resemblance to movie stars :lol:

Not that I've conquered every one of my insecurities about my body, but wanted to throw that out there.

salsa chip
08-06-2009, 12:11 PM
Dragonwoman, you're not telling me you're 45! You so don't look it (or maybe my conceptions of how old $age looks like is off)!

A few weeks ago I had a realisation about myself. The scary details are scary and not for public internet fora, but finally I could look at myself and see that I was desperately unhappy. I have so many issues, and they're not just about my looks or body: self-confidence, not just in the 'big' things - work - but also in the tiniest things like paying off a utility bill!

I was visiting my aunt (treated my cousin to a Harry Potter afternoon, and my aunt and I were having a heart to heart) and made a joking comment about how "yea, one of these days I'm going to be beautifully slim like $actress". She turned to me, completely seriously, and said, "But salsa, you could. You have to want it."

People have said stuff like that to me before. But it was the first time that someone in my close family had done (I have a weird relationship with my parents, due to them having weird relationships with theirs....etc.). Before then I had been toying with the idea of a gym membership and personal training too (eek, serious money!), but for some reason her..belief?...in me flipped a switch.

A few weeks later I came back home and my world crumbled - a friend was killed last weekend and I think that just set it all off. It hit me, I really can't do this anymore, I really do need help. So then I let myself cry (and I've been doing LOTS of crying this week) and talk to some friends. And they've been helping me. And today I went out in a strappy top!

I'm still terrified that I'll crumble. On the other hand, what's happened to me recently has been such a turning point. I think if I fall off this wagon and don't get back on, I'll really be doing myself a disservice.

Anyway. About your looks not being everything: for years I've deliberately ignored my looks (and perhaps consequently assumed the worst about them). Everything was school, college, job, travel. It's only now I'm learning that I can't just shut off the part of me that is physical. In that aspect too, I have fulfil my potential.

Does any of that make sense? I have such a tendency to blather on, lol

dragonwoman64
08-06-2009, 04:52 PM
a death of a friend is a tough thing to go through, I'm sorry you had to experience that. I'm glad to hear you had family and friends around to support you. I do believe sometimes those types of events can be like a mental catalyst.

you know, I'd say on the one hand (and I'm talking to you the way I would to my younger self), yes it's scary to think about losing ground. on the other hand, each choice you're making here is actually literally changing you. you're learning and growing and experiencing, getting a little stronger and tougher, acquiring coping skills, figuring out what's important to you and who you are. Some of the choices you'll make will be right, some kind of right, some not for you. I know that may sound like stating the obvious, but as you go through everything, keep it in mind, it will make it easier for you to discard what isn't working.

I get the idea of opening up the whole issue of being connected to your body. I personally think mindless eating is a strong reflection of being very disconnected. Exercise for me has had an extremely positive impact for me in that area. It totally makes sense that you consider that as part of fulfilling your potential. I can say from someone who wasted too much time detached from and hating how my body looked, there are so many joys with embracing your physicality. The intimacy with another person through making love being one of them. If you have a fear of that, and your eating and body size gets affected by that fear (yes, I have suffered/suffer still to a degree from that), then imagine the other side, where it's a pleasure and thrill for you.

Believe me, women of all sizes and all levels of flaws struggle with accepting their bodies. the more you can get to that place where you just say, this is me. I'm happy, even excited to work to make it better, but I'm ok whether it changes or not (scary, that thought, I know!, it's a good one though), the better off you'll be. After a point, I've found it takes so much more energy and is so mentally exhausting to obsess with the negatives, it's way more energizing and life affirming to let myself see the positives and enjoy them.

this was long and a bit soap boxy, I've been thinking about all these things lately.

thanks for the comments re me not looking my age, I never get tired of hearing that, heh heh. It comes from healthy eating and exercise (doh!)