Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - Identity crisis




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LighterLeigh
01-26-2012, 03:29 PM
Hi everyone, I have just joined 3fc (my first post!) having lost 113lbs. :carrot: I reached goal 3 weeks ago and joined because the maintainers area looks really helpful, supportive and full of useful information.
One of my challenges is that I look in the mirror and I don't recognise myself. The small body, the small clothes and my eyes looking out of this strange person :dizzy: Any tips on how to get through this identity crisis asap will be gratefully received. I feel I need to accept this new me as the "real" me, if you know what I mean. The fat one definately wasn't the real me - I was hidden under the layers. Many Thanks Leigh


bargoo
01-26-2012, 04:30 PM
Welcome to 3Fc, but I wonder where you were when you were losing 113 pounds ? Please don't get me wrong, you are welcome here at any stage of the weight loss process. I would say, though that most people are here wanting to know how to lose, looks like you have been successful at that. We have quite an active Maintainers forum, Check out Living Maintenance.

EagleRiverDee
01-26-2012, 04:48 PM
Welcome! I have the opposite problem- I used to be thin and now when I see my eyes looking out of a heavier body, I don't really recognize myself.


Glory87
01-26-2012, 04:49 PM
I think it took at least a full year, if not more to come to terms with my smaller size. I would still occasionally surprise myself with stuff like laundry "how could this tiny tshirt possibly be mine?" for example.

It was a huge change to process.

Megan1982
01-26-2012, 05:25 PM
I think it took me a few years to process the physical change and get used to the face and body in the mirror. It came slowly over time, day after day of looking at my "new" face. I also realized that I am who I am on the inside, no matter what my physical appearance. Going through such a big physical transformation made me more grounded as a person, if you can understand that. Focusing on that helped me accept me, all of me, physically and psychologically.

But I still can't pick up a shirt and figure out if it will fit me properly. :dizzy: I also can't accurately judge a distance (e.g. that post is X feet away), maybe that's just how my brain works.

LighterLeigh
01-27-2012, 02:20 PM
Bargoo- hi and thank you for the response. Apologies if I have posted in the wrong place. I lost the weight in 15 months on a UK diet programme and was posting on a UK forum (really supportive and helpful - lovely people) Unfortunately the maintainance area was the opposite of active. I have joined this one because the Maintainance section is active and looks friendly and informative. I shall post in the area you recommend. Thanks
EagleRiverDee - In my humble opinion, the fact that you have difficulty accepting your somewhat larger body may help you. Looks like you are a work-in-progress, heading back down to the "real" you. I wish you every success with your journey back.
Glory and Megan - Yes, I suppose I may take as long to get used to the change in me as I did to lose the weight. Can't expect to do it in 3 weeks. I keep looking in mirrors when I walk past them (at home only!) and really looking at my new face and new body - eventually I suppose I must get used to it. My mind seems to be lagging behind my body. :dizzy: Leigh

bargoo
01-27-2012, 02:26 PM
Leigh. post wherever you feel comfortable. We would love to hear your experience losing 113 pounds is a tremendous feat. Congratulations.

Glory87
01-27-2012, 04:37 PM
I keep looking in mirrors when I walk past them (at home only!) and really looking at my new face and new body - eventually I suppose I must get used to it. My mind seems to be lagging behind my body. :dizzy: Leigh

Ha, I am working on SEVEN YEARS of maintenance and just spent 3 minutes in the bathroom at work turned sideways, admiring how tiny I looked.

Not to mention the 3-5 times a day, I pull up my shirt, suck in my stomach, turn sideways and admire the view. Seriously.

MARLA26
01-27-2012, 06:32 PM
That fat girl is still inside of you... still part of you... You strongly identify with her.
But never allow her to come back because she's not healthy. She played a very important role - she showed you what you never want to be again and what you will never do to yourself again.
She showed you a very dark side of life. She is haunting you still. But love her. She was you. :angel:

There is a new you now. You will see her clearly soon.
Good luck with your maintenance.
:hug:

traveling michele
01-27-2012, 06:47 PM
Ha, I am working on SEVEN YEARS of maintenance and just spent 3 minutes in the bathroom at work turned sideways, admiring how tiny I looked.

Not to mention the 3-5 times a day, I pull up my shirt, suck in my stomach, turn sideways and admire the view. Seriously.

Ditto!!

Congrats on your great loss.

Please do join us in the maintainer's forum. We don't bite.

LighterLeigh
01-28-2012, 12:00 PM
Thank you for all the kind responses. I shall just have to give my mind time to take in the dramatic change and keep admiring myself in the mirror. Honestly, at this moment in time I haven't a clue who the person I'm admiring is!!!!! Leigh

sontaikle
01-28-2012, 12:56 PM
I can relate to this so much.

I spent the majority of my life overweight. I was always the fat girl. That was my identity. I carved out a personality, a niche, because of it. Sure, I loved myself and I still do but who I was came from the fact that I had grown up overweight. Is it a bad thing? No, not necessarily, I like who I am...but that was who I was.

Now that I'm not overweight...who am I? Who is that person in the mirror? I can't help but stop and look at myself sometimes, wondering if I'm about to wake up from a cruel dream or something.

In many ways I am the same person, but in so many ways I am not. I feel like I have to figure out who I am again.

LighterLeigh
01-28-2012, 01:20 PM
This explains the challenge exactly! When I was large I always thought it would be a dream come true to wake up perfectly slim one morning. Whenever it happens it is pretty mind boggling. But wonderful, truly wonderful. Leigh