100 lb. Club - That inner head image

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08-05-2010, 08:20 AM
This is the first post I am posting while walking slowly on my treadmill. :D I rigged a plastic shelf over the treadmill and propped my laptop on it. I'm loving this! I've walked a 1/4 mile already just playing around on 3FC. :carrot:

But that's not what this post is about. :D

Do you have an image of yourself in your head that does not match reality? If so, can you pinpoint why, or when you actually were that person? When did reality start to match your inner you or when do you think it will?

I've always had an image of myself in my head that I carry around with me. It's who I present myself to the world as. But when I'd catch the real me in a picture, I was stunned. (I know many of us experience this phenomenon) Up until a couple weeks ago, this was still happening to me, but to a decreasing degree. I was starting to feel really good about myself in my head, but I'd catch a picture and think...ugh...still not there...really??? I thought I was thinner than that!

Finally just this week or so I've started to look at pictures and I exactly match! Even a bathing suit picture!! My thighs were exactly right! :dizzy: My calves were right, my waist was right! Only my shoulders and breasts are broader than I think they are in my head.

But I realized that inner image I've been carrying around in my head is of me when I became pregnant with our first son. It wasn't a super thin image of me, it wasn't my thinnest in college, or in high school or some unrealistic image of what I wanted to be. It was a very realistic image of me from the last time I was able to accept who I was.

Anyway...that was a profound revelation for me to make. I wonder how often any of us ever come to terms and find a match for that inner image vs. reality. I have finally found peace with mine and it's a little surreal.

Now I'm wondering if the opposite is going to happen as I keep losing and now I'm going to have fatter-than-reality image of myself and really shock myself in pictures! :D I can live with that!

..I've now walked .6 miles. :D

08-05-2010, 08:31 AM
I completely get this. I have often wondered if I had the reverse of what that condition is where they look in the mirror and only see a fat person when they are super thin, is that anorexia??? Anyways. I sometimes look in the mirror or think I look a certain way but when I see pictures I am mortified as the person in the pic is not the one in my head at all. I think this is part of the reason I ended up so heavy. I have pretty much refused for the last 10-12 years to have my picture taken. There are a few but they were the ones that always sent me into a tail spin and I made excuses to myself that it was just a bad pic or a bad angle. Reality is, I was obese and in picture denial. I still feel this way today. In my mind I am thinking I must be super svelte by now, but when I take pics I am still surprised as I don't feel like I have lost that much when I see the pics. Which is why I have never really posted more than a head shot. Please don't think I am that vain though. I still won't wear a sleeveless shirt in public because of my bat wings, I know deep down I don't have the bod of a super model it just catches me by surprise when I see pics of myself and I don't look as thin in pics as I do in my head.

Loving Me
08-05-2010, 09:05 AM
When I started this journey I think that I didn't feel quite as big in my head as I actually was. Of course, I did feel huge, but when I looked in the mirror (didn't if I could avoid it) or at pics (didn't have them taken unless I had to) I got an awful shock at just how big I really was.
However as the journey has gone on and the weight has come off, that has actually reversed. For about the first half of the journey I still didn't feel as big in my head as I looked in reality, but once I got to about a UK size 18 I suddenly couldn't grasp that the person in the mirror was thinner than the person in my head.
When I look at myself in the mirror now or in pics I see this slim person with curves who is starting to tone up nicely for the most part, but in my head still see the fat thighs and knees, batwing arms, sagging stomach apron and double chin. I also still find myself scanning a room I have to walk through to gauge how I will move through it to give myself the biggest gaps between tables and chairs. I did this only last week in a restaurant. Found a gap and thought, oh I should fit through that if I turn sideways. When I actually got to the gap I didn't even need to turn, I walked forwards straight through it and was so shocked, it was like someone had stolen my hips and replaced them with a slim person's for those couple of seconds.
I do know that seriously, undressed there is still room for improvement, but nothing like as much room as I feel in my head. I'm hoping that my head catches up with my body at some point, and the fact that the image in my head has changed already makes me think it should happen, but I wonder when..

08-05-2010, 09:25 AM
I still sometimes see my "old body" when I look in the mirror, only pictures and my pant size remind me that I'm not there anymore. At my biggest, I didn't want to believe I was that big, but like LovingMe said, the pictures is what made me realize "Holy Smokes I'm THAT size?"

08-05-2010, 11:09 AM
but like LovingMe said, the pictures is what made me realize "Holy Smokes I'm THAT size?"

Yes, Yes, Yes! Pictures are evil!!! :)

08-05-2010, 11:14 AM
I never thought I was as big as I was either, certainly never felt that big, but that was undeniably due to avoiding mirrors and pictures; I never gave reality a chance to hit me. Now however, I definitely feel bigger than I am but I attribute that to me focusing too much on my body these days; I am still quite overweight but I'm not the 200-240lb person that I've been over most of the last eight years, and that's what I see/imagine a lot of the time. One day I hope my mental picture and the reality will match.

08-05-2010, 11:43 AM
I think the pic in my head is finally starting to match who I am right now. My stomache is still larger, but I can accept that and I can even 'see it' in the mirror. I can recall seeing pics and thinking that my sister was not there that day, then realizing it was a pic of me.

Like you my picture in my head is not of me when I was not from high school, or even at my healthiest as an adult, I think it is from the time when my son was born to about 7 years ago...right before my husband and I started fertility treatment. I think I also hit that size shortly after my twin daughters were born a little of 5 years ago, before I started eating to compensate for not sleeping I knew that it would not help in the long term, but it made me feel good at that moment and I gained atleast 30 lbs. (1 of my daughters had severe reflux, but we thought she was colicky until she was 6 months. I was getting 1 hour a sleep every 3 hours around the clock for a few months then I had family come help during the day and I was getting 3 full hours of sleep during the day then up until midnight, then 1 hour of sleep every 3 hours until my next 3 hour sleep...I was exhausted.)

I wonder how long that picture of myself will stay...or if it will change as I lose weight.

08-05-2010, 11:47 AM
Envelope, I remember those days!! My son did not sleep more than four hours in a 24 hour period. He too had reflux. Of course he was happiest up and playing! He felt better! Today he's the most happy-go-lucky eight year old ever! And he sleeps!

08-05-2010, 12:10 PM
Eliana - my son (almost 11) has always slept well, he was considered an 'easy baby, my daughter w/o reflux was an 'average' baby' and her twin was a 'difficult baby'. While my duaghters (5 years old) woke up for a moment or two a few times last night with stuffy noses, they typically sleep pretty well...once they stop talking and giggling!

08-05-2010, 12:24 PM
This is such an interesting post and something I've been thinking about a lot as well.

I'm on vacation right now, and so just last night, I got a whole bunch of pictures taken....there are a bunch of pictures of me and my daughter, and I just don't look fat. I look "normal"... I kept thinking how I looked like "myself" even though, I have not weighed anywhere near this range since before I had my first baby. Honestly, I think I look thinner now than I did at this weight when I was younger, because I think more of my weight now is probably attributable to loose skin around my belly, so if I'm wearing a belly camouflaging outfit, I actually look the way I used to look around 160-165, which was the weight my body used to like to weigh before I developed a morbid obesity problem.

I think when I got morbidly obese, I was kind of schizophrenic about how I looked. Half of the time, I thought I was WAY BIGGER than I was. When I looked at before and after pictures on weight loss websites, I always thought I looked like the people who weighed in the high 3's not the high 2's.

On the other hand, I think I did carry around an image of myself that was "obese but presentable". That's why pictures were always so depressing and disappointing.

The other funny thing is that when I recently had my professional hair and make-up done for the wedding, I took some pictures where I looked really pretty, but actually not much like the real me-- the professional make-up is incredibly looks-changing, especially in photos.... I put one up on facebook and I got a million compliments. I keep looking at the photos thinking "do I really look like that?" I mean, the answer is no, I don't usually look like that, but on the other hand, I took the picture with my iphone so it's not like it was photoshopped to make my face look thinner.


08-05-2010, 12:29 PM
Im another that never thought I was as big as I really was, only now it's the opposite, I think I'm bigger than I actually am.

I Can And I Will
08-05-2010, 01:04 PM
Great thread - and great idea for the treadmill!

I am finding that depending on the mirror, I match what I think I look like right now. At work, they placed a giant floor to ceiling mirror in the ladies restroom. I don't have a choice but to look at myself day in and day out. I seem to look the way I feel there. But in stores, I seem to look much bigger. It's so bad, I purposefully look away when going by the ones at Walmart. It makes me wonder if the mirror in our bathroom is slightly tilted and is making me seem slimmer than I am.

08-05-2010, 02:39 PM
My problem is that I think I'm bigger than what I actually
am. I have to constantly remind myself that I look
good for my height and weight and that's why my
fiancÚ is a little skeptical about me going down to
120. But I've slowly started to realize I look good
which is why I've decided to maintain for now. :)

08-05-2010, 02:42 PM
My problem is that I think I'm bigger than what I actually
am. I have to constantly remind myself that I look
good for my height and weight and that's why my
fiancÚ is a little skeptical about me going down to
120. But I've slowly started to realize I look good
which is why I've decided to maintain for now. :)

A lot of us feel this way! At first I was in denial with how big i was, now I'm in denial with the size I actually am.

08-05-2010, 03:09 PM
I think part of it is how long you were obese before losing the weight.

I'm constantly surprised at pictures and my reflection in the mirror looking smaller than what I expected or how I feel.

But I also remember taking hard looks at myself in the mirror when I was at my highest, thinking that my eyes were playing tricks on me.