Weight Loss Support - I thought things would be different by now! (long)

08-08-2012, 03:29 AM
I am so eager for the next 20lbs like you all wouldn't know. I want my body to CHANGE. I want to stop looking fat. I just want to look like a normal person with a normal body; nothing fancy or special or anything. But, although I've lost almost 90lbs overall, I still feel fat, but on a smaller scale. Like, all I did was shrink, but I still look like crap. I feel like I'll look like this forever. I know I won't, but it's so hard.

The progress pictures help, but it bothers me that I don't see what the pictures show on a daily basis. It bothers me that I've lost almost 100lbs and I still don't find myself acceptable. It bothers me that I really haven't gained that much confidence since I lost weight -- I'm still the same shy, insecure, unsure of myself person. I thought losing weight would be the cure-all for my problems, and it wasn't. I thought losing weight would be the key to my happiness. But it's not, not 100% anyway. I mean I'm glad that I've lost weight and you couldn't PAY me to go back to the way I was before, but like I said... I just thought things would be different. I thought a whole new, brighter me would come out and conquer the world. But nope, nothing's changed on the inside, if anything it's more confused and awkward and insecure than it was before.

I've never been thin, or really anything less than obese. I don't know how to be a normal weight. I don't know how to accept people associating me as normal. I don't know how to accept myself. All of this is extremely new territory, and I'm terrified and the bottom line is I just don't know how to handle it.

And there's my thoughts. Feel free to share your thoughts about mine. I'm so overwhelmed by all this crap; I'd like to settle down and just be happy and not care. Bleh.

08-08-2012, 07:32 AM
The idea that you'll lose weight and everything will change for the better is a fallacy most people have, I'd wager, about losing a lot of weight. Weight loss is great for your health, but it doesn't necessarily solve all the other problems you might have...you just end up being the same you, with the same issues, only, well, thinner. This was a rough realization for me, which I faced probably at around the same point in my journey that you are now.

You adjust to the new body over time, but it isn't instantaneous, and it isn't without a little bit of awkwardness. Usually, that fades as time goes on.

So really, all I can say is "hang in there, it gets better", combined with a little reminder to work on the non-weight-related issues along side working on the weight issues, because they don't all magically disappear once you reach your goal.

08-08-2012, 07:44 AM
I'm not sure myself. I was never thin either (the last time I was a normal weight was when I was 8-9), but at the same time, I was also never really complexed about it. When I decided to lose weight, it was for health reasons, not because of what other people may think of me (frankly, I was much more concerned about my Tourette's than about my weight :rolleyes:), so I also never expected things to change as if by magic once I'd be "normal".

On the other hand, even years later, I still have a hard time considering myself a "normal" and not "pudgy". I'm not super toned, I still have cellulite on my thighs, that sort of things—so in my head, I'll probably never completely stop being 'fat'. But it gets better with time, as you get attuned to your new body. For instance, now I immediately feel if I've gained 3-4 pounds, whereas I wouldn't have paid attention to that at my highest weight. (And I also notice how much normal I am, because NOW, as soon as the sales period is on us in stores, I can't find anything in my size after the first two days, since every other woman is wearing and buying the same! lol:)

08-08-2012, 07:46 AM
Unfortunately I feel the same way. I feel no different than at my high weight, sometimes worse from the stress of trying. Unfortunately some of our issues are inside and just reflected in what we weigh on the outside. Until those issues are fixed, I might never be happy, even if I were to wake up at 145 tomorrow.

08-08-2012, 07:55 AM
i was thin most of my life, up until my 30s when a combination of actions and inactions caused me to put on about 45 pounds in 5 years. I always thought the worst thing that could happen would to be fat, that it would change my life and change me. When I finally realized what had happened, I was like "oh, this is what being fat is like? this is what I feared? it's not that bad." And I hung out there for a while, sort of discovering what life was like fat, even though my mind carried with it the memories of being thin. I still had the same happy, sad, etc. moods that I'd always had.

Our brains are slow. I thought of myself as "the tall thin girl" for a long time and would only be shaken back to reality by photos. It might be the same for you.

As far as building confidence and things - try taking a Toastmasters Class to get comfortable speaking in public, or martial arts or yoga to ground you in your new body, or learning a foreign language.

08-08-2012, 09:06 AM
Losing 90-100 lbs is not a joke. It's even unimaginable for most of to achieved. But you did it and for me you are great. It takes no ordinary self discipline and effort to achieve that that's why you should be very proud of yourself. Losing weight is living a healthy life. It's not always about becoming thin and sexy.

08-08-2012, 10:52 AM
Some people do tend to think that losing weight is going to fix all their problems. It's not, it's going to fix one thing - your health.

There's no magic button that will make someone self confident. I think it takes a series of events that occur that lead to self confidence. It takes familiarity with something.

What am I talking about? For example, take this board. Perhaps the first time you posted something you might have been a bit nervous. Over time it got easier - until now when it's no big deal. You have the self confidence to post anything.
It's the same with public speaking. It's terrifying at first, but as you do more, you gain the experience and enough familiarity to become confident.

That's how it is with life. You've hidden away for a long time due to your weight. Expose yourself to different things - going out, dressing up, talking to people. It won't be easy, but hopefully over time it will get better and become easier. Eventually you might find you're pretty outgoing.

Just some thoughts.....

08-08-2012, 10:57 AM
Hm yah I think it depends on what your idea of fat/average/thin is. If your idea of thin is thinner than your current size/weight, then you aren't going to feel thin at this weight - and sometimes we have no idea what we will look like at X weight, so when we get there we might not be our image of average or thin. Its def hard but the feeling of giving up is even worse when you know that you can do it as long as you keep going!

08-08-2012, 11:06 AM
I'm right there with you, mimsy! :hug:

The change is SO gradual in the mirror, it's practically impossible to see. I still look like ME, so in my mind I still look morbidly obese. Pictures help me a lot. Especially a recent picture of me with 2 friends that I consider "normal" weight - I'm the same size as them, now!

I do tend to "see" it more when it's accidental. Like I'll be driving, look down at the steering wheel, and notice how slim my wrists and forearms look. Or I walk by a reflective window and wonder who that normal sized girl is that I see out of the corner of my eye.

But most of the time, yeah, I still think I'm fat. It doesn't help that I'm shaped the same - my upper belly still sticks out over my waist, my thighs are still big & squishy.

I'm told it gets better, so let's both hang in there and keep working at it.

08-08-2012, 11:06 AM
Good morning from the pacific coast.
Okay, in 1985 I lost 92.5# and kept it off for TWENTY YEARS. It took me 10 of those to adapt to being thin, I kid you not. To the point I walked into a wall mirror once, not recognizing myself and not about to move over for what looked like a snotty skinny person walking towards me (which turned out to be me ;)).
It does not resolve life's issues. Many of us ( I am not saying all, I am saying many) use the fat as a shield to avoid facing life's realities.
That said, in 2005 I developed breast cancer, had to maintain wgt during radiation, but when set free I ate like there was no tomorrow. Starting the gaining again. Then dh was diagnosed with colon cancer. Boy, did I eat. Comforting myself? How? Haven't a clue, but at the time it seemed like a good idea.
Forward to '08, dh died. I, the very next day started losing again. I had a total of 101# to lose by this time. Arrgghhh. I am now down 45# (I am taking the long scenic route :)). But, I will get there.
How do I know this? I have done harder things in my life than lose weight. I eat right most days (paleo), exercise by walking my dog, and I keep a journal of my thoughts along with a food diary.
So, in a long winded way, I am telling you to hang in there, it takes time. It takes clarifying thoughts in your mind, etc.

08-08-2012, 11:19 AM
I'd read empowering books, I also second yoga or martial arts or SOMETHING where you have to feel your new body and explore it's limits, toastmasters is also a good idea...and basically fake it 'til you make it has always worked for me.

I'm similar to Seagirl, was thin and fit most of my life...crap happens and I found out what it's like to be invisible. It's safer that's for sure (coming from an abusive childhood I am sure played into this for me), but it's also APPALLING how rude some people treat you and/or ignore you.

I wouldn't forget the "fat" you as I have NO INTENTION of forgetting the "fat" me. I think all our experiences make us who we are and hopefully with some empathy for who others are. But I don't think weight changes our essense, if we are shy fat, thin, strong, weak--the only way to overcome that isn't by changing the physique--changing your mind. Fake it, you'll make it is again my motto.

Arctic Mama
08-08-2012, 01:39 PM
You mean when I shed some of my fat and fit into smaller, cuter clothes, I'm still me at the end of the day? Le gasp!

I say that jokingly, of course, but the ring of truth is still there. It isn't easy to get used to a smaller body or even to see it for what it is (some call it body dysmorphia, phantom fat syndrome, whatever). But losing weight only really changes one thing - our weight. If our confidence or self value adjusts it isn't because of the weight, directly, but because we chose to look at ourselves differently.

Now that can be disheartening, but it is actually excellent news - because weightloss or not, we can still work on the parts of ourselves that we don't like and become the people we desire to be. Isn't that exciting?! You CAN become outgoing or more self confident, even if you never lose another pound, because your intrinsic worth is not tied to your weight. Neither is your intellect, or even your beauty. If you feel deficits in these areas, change that! Work on your personality and your habits, be the woman you have always wanted. Weight doesn't matter one bit to those things. We don't gain them when we get smaller, and more importantly, we don't lose them if we get fatter.

Fat isn't moral, it doesn't determine our value or worth, or make us bad people, nor does thin really indicate anything about one's mind or values - it doesn't make them more self restrained, empathetic, lovely, useful, etc. Lose weight to change your body, but it would do you and many of us much good unlink our physical bodies from our intellectual and emotional worth.

08-08-2012, 02:03 PM
I think this is where I'm different. Everything I feel about myself negatively is because of the weight. I'm out of shape, I'm unhealthy, I'm FAT...but mostly I feel like I'm a pretty girl. I get told that I'm pretty. I only feel down on myself BECAUSE I'm overweight. I know I'll probably have problems when I'm smaller...the whole skin issue, and not realizing how small I get, and maybe still hating my body some days. But I have to remind myself that getting smaller is in EVERY shape and form better for me than the alternative. It's way too easy to remind yourself of the negatives and make yourself believe you're better off the way you are.

Keep up all of your good work. You're doing AMAZING. Give it time...you're growing into a different person, and give yourself a chance to love yourself NOW instead of waiting until you're at goal. Remind yourself of things you like about yourself NOW.

08-08-2012, 02:18 PM
I can only speak from my own perspective, but I think that realization (that being fat wasn't the biggest problem afterall) can be shocking. This isn't my 1st weight loss journey, and I believe the reason for that is because the last time I lost a significant amount of weight I was under the impression that fat, indeed, was the problem, the main problem, the only problem. The fact was, that the fat was a symptom of the problem that I had used as a mask for the actual problem(s), and when I fully came to that realization -- I gained it all back so that I could blame the fat again (of course I didn't think of it that way at the time).

I don't have any answers, just empathy! I'd be lying if I said that there isn't some part of me that thinks something magical will happen when I hit a certain number on the scale. Logically I know the truth, of course. Every time I hit a new 10 (like when I got to 199, or 189 or 179 or now 169) I think "Ok, after the next 10 I'll feel different", and I never do. And I really do KNOW that I won't feel different, but there's that part of me that still believes that if I were only skinny I would feel so different about myself. I have a long way to go in that respect. I'll reach my goal weight long before I accept myself for who I am, but I'm working on it! It's very hard.

08-08-2012, 03:00 PM
I'm not going to go over the mental feelings you're having because I'm not a women and frankly I can't relate to a lot of what a woman feels.

Having said that -

I want my body to CHANGE. I want to stop looking fat. I just want to look like a normal person with a normal body; nothing fancy or special or anything. But, although I've lost almost 90lbs overall, I still feel fat, but on a smaller scale. Like, all I did was shrink, but I still look like crap. I feel like I'll look like this forever.

This is exactly why you should lift weights.

Start lifting weights and keep doing what you're doing and I promise you in three months you will LOOK different. You'll probably feel different because you will be much stronger.

08-08-2012, 03:03 PM
I totally empathize. It's taken me my life up until now (29) to recognize that nothing in my life will magically change. (Unless I change it, of course.) That includes those pesky feelings of inadequacy and/or related emotions. It's good that you're acknowledging-- I recommend therapy if it's an option for you. It can be so so helpful.

I want to share something I stumbled across on Tumblr today, it might be helpful to you-- it's from a Caitlin Moran interview (someone posted something of hers in a different thread on "how I got fat"):

"...you mentioned that you used to think ďOnce Iím thinner and smooth and have perfect hair and perfect outfits, everything will fall into place!Ē and you said you thought that until you were twenty-eight or twenty-nine. Iím twenty-six, and I feel that way all. the time. And even if you know better, itís hard to stop thinking that way! So, how did you?"

The trick is, and thereís a little bit of heartbreak, you have to just give up on the idea of being a princess. You have to give up on the idea of being fabulous. My kind of base position on existence is that you just have to admit youíre a bit of a twat. Youíre a bit of a div, youíre a kind of sweaty, stumpy, well-meaning idiot and youíre trying your hardest, but itís just enough to be a sort of pleasant, polite person whoís working quite hard and tries to be nice to the people theyíre nice to. We donít need to have any more ambitions than that! This whole sassiness thing Ė everythingís got to be sarcastic, everythingís got to be knowing, everythingís got to be cynical. Youíve got to be on top of your **** twenty-four hours a day. THAT is exhausting. Itís just far better to go, you know what? Iím just basically a monkey in a dress, and the best I can hope for every day is just to be nice, to smile as much as possible, to be gentle, try and be a bit understanding, work really hard, go and smell some flowers, have a cup of tea, ring your mum if you get on with her, just kind of dial it down a bit. Thereís a more sustainable idea of being a woman rather than feeling like youíre in a ****ing movie twenty-four hours a day.

08-08-2012, 03:20 PM
Fat isn't moral, it doesn't determine our value or worth, or make us bad people, nor does thin really indicate anything about one's mind or values - it doesn't make them more self restrained, empathetic, lovely, useful, etc. Lose weight to change your body, but it would do you and many of us much good unlink our physical bodies from our intellectual and emotional worth.


It's all about reshaping your mindset. If I don't feel good and my emotions are not in check at 200+, chances are (and as I have found out recently) I will still not be satisfied with the person in the mirror at any weight. If we start to retrain and reshape our thinking, reminding ourselves daily that we ARE worth it, I do believe that slowly the feelings of inadequacy will start to go away.

08-08-2012, 09:26 PM
I agree with everything everyone has said. In a way, weightloss has changed my life in the sense that I'm a lot more confident with my appearance and the way I look and my fitness. HOWEVER, I am not suddenly magically a social butterfly, I'm still a little awkward around strangers and the opposite sex, I still have a smidge of social anxiety, I still like the same style of clothing, I will probably never be a night-lifing, clubber-type.

I kind of thought that once I lost weight, everything would fall into place: I'd be super-confident, flirty, the outgoing one in the bunch etc. So not true. The fundamental things that have always been part of my character and that make me "me" haven't changed. If I want to be any of those things, I'm going to have to exert some extra energy and take action to change those aspects of my character because it turns out they don't really have anything to do with weight. Or maybe they do and I've just gotten used to being socially lazy...

08-09-2012, 09:31 AM
This is exactly why you should lift weights.

Start lifting weights and keep doing what you're doing and I promise you in three months you will LOOK different. You'll probably feel different because you will be much stronger.

I didn't want to be the one to say it first (because I feel like I'm always 'that person') but it's the truth, and what I immediately thought.

Dieting and doing cardio (which is essentially just burning calories) just makes you a smaller version of your current self. If you want to change the shape of your body, you have to lift weights, AKA bodybuild!

Not only will you be able to shape yourself to the way you want to look, but you'll feel a sense of accomplishment. Added 5 more pounds to your benchpress? The feeling is fantastic! It's small victories, but they are measurable and attainable.

I highly suggest you start really picking up some weights and take control over your shape.

08-09-2012, 11:59 AM
Got to agree with the weightlifting recommendation here. It has made a real difference to me. My body is so much stronger and when I move around just doing everyday things I can feel what a change I have made.

08-10-2012, 12:02 AM
Hey Mimsy--I'll bet buying something new in size 14 would cheer you up! And 32" waist--that's something to be proud of!

08-10-2012, 08:54 PM
I will say that -- buying clothes in a 14 feels awesome, lol.