Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - How can I help my brain catch up to my body?




mj5
07-20-2011, 02:57 PM
Hi everyone! I finally found a combination that works for me...I have been eating well and working hard. I am losing weight and gaining muscle. I feel absolutely fantastic. I can look in the mirror and think to myself "yep, I look good".........but I can also look in that very same mirror and not see any (or at least not many of the changes that I am have made.

I have progress pictures that I look at often, ok obsessively, lol! I have wonderfully supportive family and friends and and amazing husband who often tell me how great I look. But still.....yea, well, I'm sure some of you know where I am going with this.

I am looking for some tips to help my brain connect with what is going on with the rest of my body. I know I will get there eventually, but if there is anything I can be doing to help it along, I would appreciate your suggestions.

Thanks!
MJ


yoyoma
07-20-2011, 06:58 PM
I'm sorry I don't have any tips, but if you figure it out, please clue me in!

I sometimes see myself as thin (which is bad when you need to be motivated to stay on plan) and sometimes see myself as fat (which is bad when you want to feel like you've made a lot of progress).

I am completely incapable of figuring out whether a pair of pants will fit me. I shop thrift stores, so the sizes (which have changed over time) aren't reliable and sometimes the tags are missing. So, sometimes the pants I try on are more suitable for one leg than two and sometimes they are swimming on me.

In fact, I was feeling especially thin this morning (without any evidence on the scale to back me up), so I took out a pair of pants that I know are tight on me. The resulting muffin top (which is more like a mountain than a mole hill) is bringing me back in line with reality.

mj5
07-20-2011, 09:24 PM
Thanks yoyomama! Oh my goodness...shopping..I LOVE shopping. I always have. I still do. BUT...these days, yea, I'm in the same boat...I have NO idea what looks good. I have even purchased things (after trying them on) only to get home and realize they are already too big. I have decided I need a "chaparone" for now when I shop, lol! Ok, maybe not really, but when I can, I take someone who will give me an honest opinion. My 13 y/o niece is exellent at this...lately she is my "fashion consultant". She loves it (and spending the time together is SO much fun!


fitmom
07-20-2011, 10:04 PM
I wish I had suggestions for you, lol. I'm still trying to figure that one out. I'm at my lowest weight I've ever been at but sometimes when I look in the mirror I still don't see it. I think it takes time (as with anything in life) to wrap your mind around the physical change in your body. As someone wise once told me: "The wrapper may have changed but the candy's still the same!"

mj5
07-21-2011, 08:25 AM
Thanks fitmom! I think it helps to know that some of us are experiencing the same thing. I am also at my lowest weight (so far, lol!) and I realize that it will take time...I mean if I think about the years and years I was overweight and unhealthy vs. the time I have actually REALLY been working towards being healthier and losing weight, then yes...I need to give it more time....

mercuryblue
07-22-2011, 10:12 PM
I look in the mirror and i see that nothing looks different. All the lumps, bumps and wobbly bits are right where i left them. People also tell me that the changes in my body are drastic even at losing only 34lbs. I just dont see it, and its been so hot this week... i feel so fat, fatter than 34lbs ago. I wish i also could just be happy with what i see, and even in 50 more lbs from now, i still think i will have issues with it.

Sibi
07-23-2011, 12:30 PM
Honestly, I think it is simply a matter of MAKING yourself see. So often we let ourselves be our worst critics without acknowledging how far we've pushed ourselves and how good we DO look.

I, personally, have fought depression and low self esteem many a time over the years and there just finally came a day not too long ago that I simply said ENOUGH. I was tired of looking in the mirror and thinking myself ugly and fat. That is completely unfair to myself. I have worked hard to lose 60+ pounds and I'm trudging on harder then ever and I'll be damned if I will let my low self image stand in my way.

So I stood there and I REALLY looked at myself and I really began to see the difference. I actually have shape to my body, there's more definition to my collarbone and hips and my belly doesn't hang disgustingly as it once did. I saw that and more and realized that I would see a lot more changes as time passed if I simply allowed myself.

All in all, we are our own worse enemies when it comes to self image. There is no tricks of making yourself see the changes but simply a matter of making yourself. I'm learning that as we lose weight and make ourselves stronger in body we also have to make ourselves stronger in mind and heart as well.

keekles
08-09-2011, 03:52 PM
omg I have this exact same problem!! Well, part of the problem (for me) is perpetuated by the fact that no one comments on my weight loss. I have lost 15 inches off my waist alone and when I look in the mirror I don't see any change. Obviously I have to wear new clothes now, but it still doesn't register. I figure my brain/perception should catch up within 6-12 months. I think for some reason our brains have a hard time perceiving change, especially when it's so slow over a few months.

smartgirl575
08-11-2011, 10:22 PM
I've lost 50 lbs in the last 6.5 months and struggle daily with this. I look at it this way....I have been struggling with my weight for 2-3 decades; I'm 36 now, joined my 1st weight loss group (for kids) when I was in 5th grade. So it's unreasonable for me to expect for my brain to catch up with my body in only 6 or 7 months. Hopefully it won't take another few decades though! For me, losing weight has been sooo easy compared to all of this emotional/mental stuff. So I have no advice :( but what you're going through is very normal; hopefully that will comfort you some.

puneri
08-12-2011, 10:36 AM
I dono why... Though as a child my parents thot i was oily and dark. Indians think dark was bad. But after my marriage, things changed.
I got seif esteem may be because of my job may be because of my husband.
He always thot i am beautiful. But i did not feel my body was ugly when i was 184my max weight. And now i feel better than many ladies of my age. May be because i was always exercising....or it may be because of my husband and my children who think i look good.
Beauty lies in eyes of beholder.