Weight Loss Support - Emotional Side Effects of Weight Loss
06-04-2011, 11:55 PM
I am down 33.2 lbs so far (doing WW, walking, yoga) and my ultimate goal is either 45 or 50 lbs, not sure yet.
I have been having such strong and mixed emotions lately. I am at a point where I (and everyone) can really see a major difference, I guess I am really starting to look good. I have been getting tons of compliments from hubby, family, friends,coworkers, etc.
However, I find that my self-esteem seems lower than it was when I started. I am so much MORE critical of my body now, and sometimes I think I can barely tell a difference in my appearance. My original goal was 40 lbs, but I just keep thinking a few more lbs, a few more lbs, and then it will be "good enough."
What's going on? Not that my weight is the only important thing about me, but I feel like I should be appreciating and celebrating my success, my healthier lifestyle which is a great example for my children, etc. But instead I find that I am more critical of myself than ever. I truly think I was more confident 33.2 lbs ago. Sometimes I just want to cry for no reason. I can't explain why, and there have been no other changes in my life than the weight loss/new fitness regimen.
Any insights, advice, etc would be appreciated.
06-05-2011, 12:25 AM
I've been on the other side of this, as my friend lost half his body weight in the past few years. He has some extra skin still that's yet to tighten up but other than that, he would look unhealthy losing more weight. He's still obsessed with 'the last few pounds' and will go on about how he needs to go to the gym more and start dieting again etc. He's fluctuated within 10 lbs ever since he hit 'maintenance' and this he finds unacceptable. Our friend group has noticed the same thing you have - that he was more confident when he was heavier and beyond that he has this goal that doesn't seem realistic or healthy for him to attain.
I think that it's common to have the attitude that for as far as you've come in weight loss, there's always more you could do. It's also the unhealthy image that the media pushes on us in part. I think that you might want to contemplate therapy as a possibility. A therapist might be able to help you work through and adjust your attitude to become more positive rather than focusing on what more could be done. You're not alone in how you feel and I hope that comforts you even just a little!
I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time. It's easy to look from the outside and say that you should be delighted with all you've accomplished (I know I would love to fast forward to that much weight lost) but these things aren't that simple. Perhaps your mind's not caught up with your weight loss yet? Did you lose rather quickly? Or maybe you're feeling uncomfortable with all the added attention?
I know that even in these past three weeks, my attempt to lose weight has caused me to focus more on my body than I ever have. I have had feelings of regret for letitng myself get to this size, and because I'm looking for changes in my body I am also noticing weird little "problem areas" I've never been bothered by. I'm trying not to zero-in on body/weight as much as I have been lately. Maybe you've just been a little too focused?
All the best to you.
06-05-2011, 01:49 AM
You are definitely NOT alone! As someone who has at a few times in life been on the very thin/fit side, I have not only the same issue you are having, but somehow seemed to compound it with comparing myself to what I USED to be....probably COMPLETELY unattainable due to having 3 children and this being 15 yrs ago, well the aging is kicking in.
I get what you are saying I think...you knew what you were before and it was familiar and you adapted.
We come up with these visuals in our preparation of weight loss, visions of how every certain body part is going to turn out because that's the way it looks on so and so in the pages of a magazine.
THEN, to top it off, sometimes the brain can't seem distinguish it all and what the scale says, what people are saying, just don't mesh with what you see in the mirror. This is very common for a lot of us here at 3FC, I've seen it discussed so much. Kind of like how sometimes it goes unnoticed just how much a parent or loved one has aged. The brain is just a very mysterious organ. It takes time but one day the switch will just turn on and you will no longer see the old you.
I think you are going to be just fine and congrats on your success so far!!!
06-05-2011, 12:13 PM
Gotta tell you that that is completely normal and don't be shocked if it lasts for a LONG time. I'm still struggling with when is it enough, when will I be "perfect"? and I'm almost a year since "goal". But I know that I'll never be "perfect" NO ONE is, no one. Everyone has flaws and things they are critical, the key is accepting it and knowing you are the best you you can be. I know I'll never have a bikini body, unless I want to invest in some surgery, and I'll probably never have yoga butt, although I'm trying, but I can still workout for the pure joy of it and all the benifits and rock most of my outfits most of the time. I know that I'm not always going to feel awesome or attractive everyday and sometimes I'll have "fat" days, that just goes with the territory of being a woman!
So know you've done an awesome job and at some point you just have to accept you, no one else, you.
06-05-2011, 01:04 PM
I'm still struggling with when is it enough, when will I be "perfect"?
Yup, I fell into this trap and I suspect you are too now. The upside is that it gave me the motivation to keep going as I wasn't at goal. Still not. But I was distraught over the fact that my inner thighs had saggy skin and my outer thighs were not "smooth". When I was heavier, I didn't have sags. I did become more critical and I was pissed off that I was not perfect after having worked so hard to lose weight!! But I got over it. I refuse to allow a little excess skin to make myself feel worse than I did when I was at my heighest and most unhealthy weight. Don't worry.....your self esteem will reappear and you will reconnect with it again. You are doing a fabulous job and you have made remarkable changes. Even if you don't see it yet!
Put on a pair of old pants. It'll make you feel better! :)
06-05-2011, 01:54 PM
Sounds familiar !!
06-07-2011, 01:16 AM
yup..I first wanted to lose, 20lbs, then 30lbs, then now I am going for 45 lbs. I am more critical of my body too, and I can relate to worse looking thighs. Fortunately, I am becoming more accepting as I have tried to force myself to realize that I will never be the small one, but I do look dang good nakid now than before. Chin up!. Stop a moment, try on old "fat" clothes and see how great your change.
06-07-2011, 02:56 PM
I could have wrote that post two weeks ago. I am not at goal yet, so I figure I need to get there, and then work on the self-esteem. It has been driving my husband nuts that I am more self-conscious now, and I don't understand my way of thinking. I think I am getting better as time goes by.
06-07-2011, 03:15 PM
I just wanted to add, somewhere in this forum, there's another thread with a similar title, but very different posts. Many of us found that losing weight makes us emotional. That might be part of what's going on with you. Maybe your emotions are running high, and your self-image is where they found a focus. Just a thought.
Here it is: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weight-loss-support/233683-becoming-emotional-weightloss.html