A few years ago, I went from my then high of 244 to 211. I didn't weigh myself though the whole thing, I just know those two numbers from doctor's visits. I was at 211 at the end of July that summer. At the beginning of that summer, I felt great. I mean emotionally, psychologically, etc fantastic. I felt confident, and I felt that I looked good. Men looked at me. I don't know for sure, but I image that at the point where I was starting to feel so confident, I was at about the weight I'm at now, 223.
But I don't feel as confident now. I don't feel like I look as good as I felt I looked back then. I'm only 12 lbs away from that all time low were I felt AMAZING, and I just don't see those 12 lbs making that much of a different at this point.
I mean, I do feel good. I bought some new clothes this past week, and it's great, but nothing like that summer a few years ago (I think it was 4 years ago to be exact)
Does this make sense? Does anyone have some insight, or went through something similar? I know that many of us here have gone through various attempts at weight loss, so I just wonder if your confidence altered in ways that weren't consistent in the way I'm describing.
05-26-2010, 02:10 PM
for me, it's not completely about self confidence, it's about knowing that based on age and pregnancy and having gotten up to my highest weight ever, even now that I'm well below my pre-pregnancy weight, my body does not look as good at that same weight.
I do have a point where I feel good about the way I look - what I used to call my fighting weight. I don't remember exactly what I weighed then, so I'm not comparing against a number, but I just know I'm not there yet. And I also know that for the first time in my life, I am committing to going much lower than that, and finally getting down to a fit and healthy weight and not just the smallest one I could get away with to feel ok about the way I looked. I think that also affects my perception of how I look - if I compare myself to almost 44 lbs ago, sure it's a big improvement. But I also compare myself to what I hope I'll look like 60+ lbs from now, and I've got a looooong way to go. So I'm expecting to slowly feel better and better about my body but I don't expect to feel amazing any time soon.
05-26-2010, 02:53 PM
I had a VERY similar experience in summer of 2007. I lost quite a bit of weight( got down to about a size 14) without calorie counting, just exercising everyday with my dad and watching what I ate. I felt very happy and optimistic and continued that until about November(whole other story). So yes, I completely understand not being able to recapture that confidence and optimism. :hug:
05-26-2010, 03:25 PM
hmmm i don't get it -- what does a magic number on a scale have to do with self confidence?
05-26-2010, 03:36 PM
When I first got down to about 145, I was so psyched! I was fitting into a lot of my old (REALLY old) clothes and I felt like I was rocking them. I managed to get down to about 130. During winter and vacations, I gained back about 10lbs. Boy, did I feel fat! Now that I lost about 5 of those lbs, a pound or two makes the difference between feeling fat and feeling a little of the same self-confidence when I first got under 150. But even on a "thin day" it doesn't feel as victorious as when I was breaking new ground.
05-26-2010, 03:46 PM
hmmm i don't get it -- what does a magic number on a scale have to do with self confidence?
Yeah, I totally get your question. It's more that in the past at this weight, I've felt really confident. But now at the same weight, I don't--so it's not the number exactly, but that's a way to measure something (progress?). I felt like I LOOKED really good in the past around this weight--so why not now? Does that make more sense?
05-26-2010, 04:39 PM
oh ok, i think i get it?? You feel you looked really good at XYZ weight before, and now that you're close to it again, you feel you don't look as good as the first time around??? ok i think i have my head wrapped around it now !
maybe since you've been there before you won't give yourself permission to be elated, kind of a "you were already here" thing??? the human mind is a marvel, the way we can twist ourselves up in knots!!
05-26-2010, 06:03 PM
Yeah Tracey, you may be right. I was thinking too that it may be age--although I didn't realize that 5 years could make a difference in how my body looks! Although, maybe the years between 24 and 28 make a big difference!
05-26-2010, 06:15 PM
Say the "Up" from the weight progress had an emotional price tag of $10.
Also what else was going on then? That can add to the "up" feeling you had.
You know... graduated ($10), got a job ($10), had a baby ($10)...whatever it might be. Those are all up things that could have added to that $10 from the weight progress and you were all like "Wow! I have $40 in good karma bucks!"
What is going on now? That could add to the down feeling. Breaking up (-10), moving (-10), loss of a pet (-10)... things like that could add to the down.
So even though there is the +10 from the weight progress, the additional -30 has you at -20 karma bucks.
The weight factor is the same and equally positive as before but the rest of your life stuff isn't.
Does that make sense?
05-26-2010, 07:39 PM
Perhaps you're done "settling". Perhaps you've raised your standards. Perhaps a weight that was once *good enough* is no longer *good enough* for you. You expect more. You want more!!! You're requiring more from yourself.....
05-26-2010, 07:48 PM
I will agree with Astrophe because I have lost weight before and felt good but lacked confidence because other areas of my life were chaotic. This time before I started I was happy with those important areas in my life. Now I have this confidence that keeps me motivated along with seeing great results. So to use Astrophe's analogy: my Karma Bucks are in a massive surplus.
So to check your Karma Bucks balance look around your life to see where your account is.
05-26-2010, 10:37 PM
Robin, I do think that maybe I'm expecting more, which is a good thing, I guess!
And apostrophe and jigglefree-SPOT ON! I can't believe I didn't think of that. That summer four years ago, I had just been admitted into grad school, and I was about to quit my horrid job and move to a different state to start school and a new life in August. I felt so great that I was about to start a new journey intellectually, and I totally affected my confidence. Now I'm in the middle of grad school and feel intellectually inferior because that's what grad school seems to do to everyone! :) Haha! I had so much hope for the future then, and now I'm just living my life normally with nothing exceptional going on outside of the weight loss.
You know, I do hold more value in my intellectual capability over what my body looks like--I deal MUCH better with bad feedback from the scale and the mirror than I do bad feedback from professors. So it makes sense that being accepted into grad school made such a difference for me.
Thank you! I feel sooo much better now!
05-26-2010, 11:19 PM
It's possible that you are actually now fatter at the same weight than you were previously. Even just a few pounds of difference in fat can feel significant. For example, at 220 pounds and 40% bodyfat, you'd have 88 pounds of fat and 132 pounds of everything else; but at 220 pounds and 45% bodyfat, you'd have 99 pounds of fat and 121 pounds of everything else. But fat is greater in volume for the same weight; so those extra 11 pounds of fat would make you, in actuality, bigger at the same weight.
05-27-2010, 10:52 AM
You have a point WarMadien. That would be sad. However, I do fit well into the exact same clothes I was wearing four years ago (they were sitting in storage all this time, I never gave up!) So I think if I were fatter, it would show in inches (which is what you're talkingn about, right?) and then the clothes wouldn't fit as well. Hmm....
05-27-2010, 11:15 AM
Paris-- I would really encourage you to really examine this feeling in depth....
You are saying that four years ago you felt confident at the weight you are at now, but now you don't.
Also, you are saying that 4 years ago you were elated about starting grad school, but now you are mired down in the middle of it, and feeling less confident.
You are also saying that you give more importance to intellectual achievements than to weight loss....
I'm going to agree with Trazey here. One of the things that us fatties do a lot is to project a lot of our feelings about ourselves onto our weight.
"Feeling thin" becomes synonymous with "feeling confident" and "feeling fat" is tied to "feeling unconfident." And while it's true that being morbidly obese does not add to a person's self-confidence, it does not DETERMINE it either....
That is an illusion. It is twisted thinking. It is akin to an anorexic who looks in the mirror and sees a fat person.
And perhaps most importantly, it does not help us to lose weight, because then every little up and down on the scale starts to feel like a reflection of our self-worth, and that is a pretty heavy burden to carry-- heavier even than the extra pounds.
It simply is not possible for most people to feel equally competent, happy, fulfilled and confident at every moment in life. Speaking for myself, I've had times when I felt TERRIFIC and like I OWNED THE WORLD and other times when I've felt pretty much like dog @#$% on the bottom of someone's old shoe.
I'm getting older, and maybe a little wiser, that I've started to realize that life's like that.
I've FINALLY gotten better about separating those ups and downs from my weight.
They are two separate issues.
It's important to work on developing a healthy life style and with that healthy lifestyle comes weight loss.
But as long as you tie your feelings about yourself to your feelings about your weight, it will be much harder for you.
My DH is a professor, and I watched him slog through 6 years of grad school and another 8 or so to get tenure. It's a STRESSFUL life style and I saw him get down on himself and his skills many times. It's hard to get through grad school without feeling blah sometimes, whether you struggle with your weight or not.
"Feeling fat" is just that. It's a feeling. Recognize it, own it, and then move on. Obviously you are succeeding with your weight loss. CARRY ON!
05-27-2010, 04:15 PM
Thanks for your comments ubergirl. I probably am conflating feelings and trying to see everything one way, and that's not how life works. When do just think of my weight loss, how I'm fitting into more clothes (I went shopping the other day and it was fantastic!), I feel really, really good.
It's when I think about school that I get down. It's good to hear about someone who went through it (your husband) and made it out alive...it's soooo stressful and there's no positive reinforcement at all. I've been dealing with this paper that my professor is having me redo for a second time, and it's a subject matter that I really care about, so I've been struggling with that since January. It's a total ego blow, and it's been hanging over my head.
I just need to seperate the two out, and be proud of my weight loss because I have done a great job sticking with it, even though it's slow and hard! I have many grad school friends who go to therapy and say that it really helps, so I was thinking I should do that too, it would help with grad school stuff and the weight loss as well. But I'm really scared, and I just can't make myself call. I will someday, I hope! I just need to push myself. :)