Weight Loss Support - "During" Dysmorphia?




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krampus
12-02-2010, 10:05 PM
Last night a friend sent me a video clip she took in July from our trip to Sasebo. I was about 15 lbs down from my high weight and I recall at that time I felt like a MILLION BUCKS - confidence was through the roof and I was wearing tight clothes and tying my hair back to show off my jawbone etc.

I watched the video clip and I was just horrified to see how incorrect my perception of myself at the time was. I had no jaw definition to speak of and was just much bigger than I felt at the time. I've always been expert at denying my size in still photos, but video cameras can't lie.

Has anyone else experienced something like this? It is a terrible feeling, to realize your confidence during a certain time period was misguided and overzealous.


elleohelle
12-02-2010, 10:15 PM
Yes. Remember when I posted photos of myself in that red dress on another forum. I looked awful. So I understand the feeling.

matt_H
12-02-2010, 10:15 PM
I was just looking back at some older photos recently. Last year at this time I ran my first 5k race (in December). I remember thinking how awesome I felt to be down to the 250s and how good I looked. Looking back at the photos now I'm very critical of how huge I am!


fivestone
12-02-2010, 10:29 PM
Yeah, actually, last week. I was out to lunch and then bowling with friends and actually feeling thin and pretty. Later I saw the photos that my friends had taken, and realised that I didn't look nearly as thin as I thought that I did. Guess I still have some progress to make...

krampus
12-02-2010, 10:33 PM
Candid photos are the worst. I have to accept that I may never be pleased with how they turn out. Just the other day a friend uploaded a candid from Thanksgiving. I was in the middle of making a face and wearing a fleece turtleneck (hardly a slimming clothing item) and it looked like I had 2 chins. I understand that unflattering photos exist, but it's tough.

Nola Celeste
12-02-2010, 11:28 PM
I've already felt a little bit of that and I'm not even down that many pounds yet (well, this time). I feel gorgeously thin, but let's face it, 220 pounds spread over a 5'2" frame is no one's definition of thin.

It doesn't negate the million-bucks feeling that you had then, though. Everything is relative--and you probably DID look way better in your "during" than in your "before," even if it was early in the process.

And video cameras do lie a little. Like still photos, they visually flatten things--that includes faces and bodies. They say the camera adds ten pounds, and it's true. If anything, it might be an understatement.

If you see someone you're used to seeing on TV or in movies in person, it's downright astonishing how small they really are in person. I was an extra in a crowd scene for "Runaway Jury" when it was being filmed here, and Julia Roberts--who looks slender and healthy to me in movies--was far thinner than she looked in the movie.

Don't think for a minute that you didn't look good then; you did. You just look even better now. :)

cherbear
12-02-2010, 11:42 PM
Well put, Nola. I think we all go through this at some point.

thesame7lbs
12-02-2010, 11:49 PM
DEFINITELY! I get this all the time looking at old pictures.

And it makes me doubt myself now. :(

Pint Sized Terror
12-02-2010, 11:50 PM
All the time! LOL

The WORST, I mean absolutely WORST one was my sister in law's wedding. I had given birth to my daughter about 4 months prior. I weighed 179 (I totally don't count that as my highest because of pregnancy weight, breast feeding and a lot of denial) but I felt SO thin since I wasn't pregnant any more. I purchased a really cute dress online, but couldn't even get it on my BODY, let alone zip it up. I had to rush out the day before the wedding and grab this cheap black halter top dress from Walmart. I thought I looked pretty good in it. When I saw the pictures I was absolutely horrified. I looked like a giant ostrich egg. I had none of the curves I thought I had. My boobs were massive and almost falling out of the top, I had dimples on my elbows, rolls from where my strapless bra was, and a double chin from every angle. I bawled and told my SIL I didn't want any pictures of me from the wedding put onto her facebook.

I'm actually very nervous about this Christmas party. The dress is totally 40's pinup, even with all the gaudy decorations, and I'm so scared I'll look like a sausage in a skirt!! Even worse, when I went to put the dress on this evening, so I could get a look at where some of the stuff should go (don't want any boob elves) it was fairly hard to get zipped! I'm praying it's just the bloating. Otherwise, it's going to be a very long party! Oh, and the dress I couldn't wear for the wedding? This is the dress. :carrot:

Arctic Mama
12-02-2010, 11:56 PM
Boob elves :lol:

krampus
12-03-2010, 01:10 AM
"Boob elves" made me laugh so hard my coworker gave me a funny look. ;)

Nola Celeste - Great point about how the million-bucks feeling at the time is still real. I was reading your other thread about measurements etc and it really does seem unfair sometimes.

As many people have mentioned, having people compliment your losses or say "you can really tell you've lost weight" is a double-edged sword. While I'm pleased my work is being recognized, it hurts to know that they could see the fat/excess that I couldn't see.

Nebuchadnezzar
12-03-2010, 01:55 AM
Argh had this happen to me recently. Was feeling confident about my little 27 pound loss and thinking I had picked up some definition about my jawline and maybe a little neck?

No. My head looked like a basketball on a snowman. 3:

Arctic Mama
12-03-2010, 02:24 AM
Oh yes, I got that just a week ago at Thanksgiving with my inlaws. I thought I looked pretty good, still fat but definitely less so than the month prior (immediately postpartum), but my husband's aunt got a picture of me cutting the pie I brought and it was candid and awful! I looked bloated, massive, rolly, even my makeup didn't look good (and I KNOW I do killer makeup, if nothing else). It was so unflattering. I asked if she could delete that and take another where I was smiling/presenting the pie and that one turned put much better, but I was still disappointed at how I looked. The lighting highlighted the little remaining blip of double chin I had and the frame just made me look very wide (part of that is flash, it definitely causes flattening and so the sides of my body didn't shadow and recede like they usually do, they just looked 'there', thus making me look much wider).

These things happen. I know I looked the best I could at the weight I was at, and that was a heck of a lot better than where I was before. I try really hard to not be critical of myself when I am working hard and doing my very best at improving my appearance and health. It's fruitless to be harsh to myself when there's not much more I can actively change. Losing just takes time.

Nola Celeste
12-03-2010, 02:48 AM
"Boob elves" made me laugh aloud, too. :D

Candid photos are evil. Almost no one looks good in them, not even people who are paid professional good-lookers (models, actors). Anyone who does take a good candid shot got it only by purest accident. Don't let a candid shot spoil anything; everyone thinks he or she looks gross in them.

I've decided not to care if I'm deluding myself about how good I look. I feel great, I know I look good relative to how I looked just six short weeks ago, and I'm going to wear heels and smile. Some people might look at me and think, "OMG, that fat chick is clearly high," but eh, so what? I've done a lot of things more cringeworthy in my life than feeling hotter than I might actually be (yet). ;)

katkitten
12-03-2010, 03:06 AM
I actually have this experience when I look at photos too. I had gone to Disney at the beginning of the summer and taken a lot of pics. My weight at the time was about 260. I knew I was still really fat but, when I saw the pictures, I thought "look how skinny my legs are getting!!!!" I thought I looked amazing!!! I put one of the pics with me and my friend up on my desktop. Now I look at that pic and can't believe I thought I looked skinny! My legs were huge!!! It is so wierd how our perceptions change.

bonnnie
12-03-2010, 04:39 AM
I love this thread!

There is this weird out of body experience that happens when you look at a photo or video of yourself - and you remember feeling sexy and cute and thin- but really, according to the current proof, you are a bit chubby and frumpy!

It is like, you don't even know who you are anymore. What you thought you were was a lie!

It is such a dramatic feeling over something that is so unimportant - but it can really ruin your day or your week.

But, in all fairness, I have some skinny friends that have taken pictures where they appear to have a chubby face or an extra stomach roll. And one of the reasons that actresses are SO skinny is that the camera adds weight.

runningfromfat
12-03-2010, 08:59 AM
You know what, I've been there. I've been there even when I WAS at a heathly BMI and I DID look good. It's so funny, though, because now if I look back at those photos I have to admit that I was crazy because I looked AMAZING! :p

Even my wedding photos where I was about 15lbs above a healthy BMI I looked greats because I was dressed up and having the best day of my life. Plus my arms can be cropped out of some of them. ;)


For me I am just trying to avoid photos like the plague at the moment. I do want to take photos when I reach 200 so then I can compare to my highest weight but beyond that I know that they'd be more discouraging than encouraging. Looking in the mirror is enough for me and seeing how loosely my clothes fits also helps!

fatmad
12-03-2010, 09:27 AM
Hey, lets not get down on ourselves. We really want to lose weight and get healthy for lots of reasons.BUT I find big women to be beautiful. Photos don't always reflect how people really look. In real life I don't find my friends who are large to be unattractive. And my DH still finds me attractive even at my highest weight, because attractive is so much more than how we look. Photos can only reflect how we look. I definitely have fat photos I don't like much.
I don't think you were "wrong" to feel good and confident with your weight loss. I bet people you love were happy to see you looking and feeling better. They surely thought you looked good.

I do think its true that there is some body dysmorphia, I "feel" skinny when I am hungry. It may be an adaptation to keep us from losing too much weight.

Eliana
12-03-2010, 09:33 AM
I've already felt a little bit of that and I'm not even down that many pounds yet (well, this time). I feel gorgeously thin, but let's face it, 220 pounds spread over a 5'2" frame is no one's definition of thin.

It doesn't negate the million-bucks feeling that you had then, though. Everything is relative--and you probably DID look way better in your "during" than in your "before," even if it was early in the process.

And video cameras do lie a little. Like still photos, they visually flatten things--that includes faces and bodies. They say the camera adds ten pounds, and it's true. If anything, it might be an understatement.

If you see someone you're used to seeing on TV or in movies in person, it's downright astonishing how small they really are in person. I was an extra in a crowd scene for "Runaway Jury" when it was being filmed here, and Julia Roberts--who looks slender and healthy to me in movies--was far thinner than she looked in the movie.

Don't think for a minute that you didn't look good then; you did. You just look even better now. :)

I really like this post. :D

I don't personally consider this body dysmorphia. I think body dysmorphia has more to do with how we see ourselves at the present time. I think all of us can look back at pictures and see how we look better or worse than we remember looking at the time. I look back at old college photos and think what a fool I was because dang, I looked good! And I look back at pictures of me from this july, 20 pounds heavier, and think...well actually I just think, wow, I've come a long way. ;) I felt really good then and thin too, but I also knew I wasn't quite where I wanted to be. So it isn't any surprise that I look back and see a much heavier me than I felt at the time.

I have been healthy for a long time now. Coming down from a very unhealthy place, both mentally and physically, really puts things in perspective I guess. I dare say my fitness level put me in a healthy place right around the onederland mark which is still obese for my height by about 25 pounds. So the last 45/50 pounds have just been gravy.

flippychick
12-03-2010, 09:47 AM
I have sort of the opposite issue - I see pictures of myself and can't believe that I don't look anywhere near as big as what I see in the mirror. Unfortunately, it doesn't do a darn thing for my self-confidence, so I'm in the same boat. It's just backwards.

WebWoman
12-03-2010, 10:55 AM
I've had the same experience. :( Was on a boat tour with my boyfriend and his tiny, tiny sister and her husband last summer. She had someone snap some pictures of us, and sent them to us later. I saw this unattractive, frumpy-looking woman standing next to my boyfriend and for a moment didn't even recognize myself. I looked so bad it made me sick - and to think that I thought I was looking good that day in a new outfit. I remember thinking that my BF was a really good egg to hang out with a frump like me.

justaloozer
12-03-2010, 11:18 AM
Yes! This always happens to me. I feel like I look pretty awesome for a fat chick then catch my reflection in a store window and feel like a pig with make up =(

I refuse to be in photos and as a result have MAYBE a handful of pics of me and my children in the last 5 yrs. I don't want them to remember me fat.

fivestone
12-03-2010, 09:24 PM
As many people have mentioned, having people compliment your losses or say "you can really tell you've lost weight" is a double-edged sword. While I'm pleased my work is being recognized, it hurts to know that they could see the fat/excess that I couldn't see.

I see it a little bit differently. My brother-in-law just lost 40 pounds he really couldn't afford to lose -- he was already pretty slender. It's extremely noticeable that he's lost weight. But was his weight an issue for me before? Did I sit around noticing fat and excess on him? No, it's just that he's lost an amount of weight that's very noticeable, and a certain amount of loss on anyone -- under, normal, or overweight -- is going to be noticeable -- that ratio just depends on how much weight that person can afford to lose.

Txalupa
12-05-2010, 08:41 PM
I completely understand this!! I was home for the holidays and looking through my mom's photos on her computer. As we all know, moms take awful pics without a care in the world. I was appalled at how huge I looked when I thought I was so hot... ugh.

It's ok. It gives motivation to never let yourself get up that high in weight again, and something to think about when you're trying to decide whether or not to eat a cookie. WE can't control the fat pictures from the past but we CAN control fat pictures in the future.

krampus
12-05-2010, 08:59 PM
I do think its true that there is some body dysmorphia, I "feel" skinny when I am hungry. It may be an adaptation to keep us from losing too much weight.

Haha! I feel skinny when I am hungry too. Too bad being hungry doesn't actually make you skinny, because I am ALWAYS hungry.