Weight Loss Support - Perceptions

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11-01-2012, 01:33 PM
I'm at an awkward spot in my weight loss where others' perceptions of me and my perceptions of myself are not syncing up. This bothers me sometimes, especially at work where I come in contact with strangers on a regular basis. People who don't know me say I'm skinny, small, tiny even. I'm not; I don't feel little or tiny or anything that indicates that I'm small by any means. I don't feel HUGE, but I know I'm not small and part of me wishes people would stop saying I am.

People who know me don't say I'm small, but they say I'm at a good spot and if anything I should just "tone up" and not lose anymore weight. I know for my own personal matters that losing more weight (i.e. body fat) and continuing to exercise would help me "tone up". I know that's not up to them and usually I take what people say with a grain of salt. But sometimes I actually think about it and I don't know, it just doesn't sit right.

I wish I could see myself the way other people see me. I'm starting to worry (and this is a bad habit of mine) that I'm never going to be satisfied with myself. Maybe it's just because I still have more weight to lose and I just need to let my body catch up with my weight loss, but everything below my shoulders just looks icky and flabby right now and I'm not happy with it. I do weight train, but I guess I haven't been doing it long enough to get the results I want.

I think I thought I would look a lot different at this point than I do, but ya know, I did -just- get out of the "obese" category so I guess I still have a ways to go before things start coming together. I'm just tired of all this bleugh on my body and when people tell me I'm tiny, I want it to actually be an accurate statement and be able to agree with them! I guess patience is key here, but it's just so dang hard sometimes.

Pooty on being obese for nearly your entire life. It seriously messes with you, doesn't it?

11-01-2012, 02:37 PM
I struggle with my perception of myself...no matter what weight I am at!

I have a mental image of myself at roughly the weight I am now. When I get heavier, I tend not to see it...until the dreaded camera comes out then I think Holy Moly what have I done. But the same is true when I get below where I am now...I just don't see it.

My doc has suggested now that I keep the camera handy and don't run from it. Be included in lots of pictures or have someone take some of me every coule weeks and compare them on a regular basis so I can get an accurate perception of where I am, and where I've come from.

I may as well give it a try!

11-01-2012, 03:33 PM
I relate to this SO MUCH! I don't have any answers or advice though. I struggle with this daily! Sometimes I feel totally fab, sometimes I feel totally fat. I just don't know.

11-01-2012, 03:51 PM
fake till you make it.

accept compliments.

honour yourself.

be kind.

do i see a giant loss? nope.

do i KNOW it's been a giant loss and that i'm tiny? yes.

you don't have to feel it, you just have to know it. that's where confidence comes from.

Arctic Mama
11-01-2012, 05:49 PM
And their comments may or may not be accurate, just like your self perception. For me, 170 and 5'3" looked fine, but I was NOT small. Way, way smaller than I'd been 90 pounds before, sure, but I was stil overweight and had a lot of body fat to lose, even with building muscle taken into account. Just accept where you are and take the compliments, but if you're not feeling done, you may not be! That's why I revised my goals downward. Initially this felt like a perfect stopping point, because I remembered looking good at this weight. And I do! But I also have a better perspective on my size now and see there's still healthy work to be done and another twenty or forty pounds off would look better and be even more health promoting, especially before the NEXT pregnancy ;)

So don't feel bad if your mind is changing on where you are, that's not unheard of, either.

11-01-2012, 05:58 PM
I don't think other people's perceptions and your own ever match up, for anything - whether that be weight, intelligence, or wealth.

I visualize myself at 200 lbs now, and I saw myself at 200 lbs when I was 281. I really have no idea how other people see me. I'd hope it would be smaller than that, but I have no control over it so I don't dwell on it.

I don't think it's really that important to change your perception of yourself, but to be comfortable with whatever it is.

Easier said than done I know.

11-01-2012, 08:07 PM
Just wanted to say that I very much relate to this, as well!
I really have a hard time trusting my own perceptions of my body. I have approximately the same good days and bad days now as I had lighter or heavier. /: I've learned that my self perception seems to be MUCH more related to my emotional state than my actual physical state!!

11-02-2012, 04:10 AM
I can relate as well. I havent been overweight my entire life. When I was 160 pounds (im 5'11) I looked good, but I still had issues with my self perception. A lot of it dealing with height, my broad shoulders, big feet, big hands.. need i go on?

Now, my goal is just to get back to the 160! Though, im sure that when i get there all those small insecurities will surface. I love myself anyway, and i think thats whats most important.

Back to the topic of perception, I was linked this site: http://www.mybodygallery.com/

You can put in your stats and images will surface of similar or the same stats. Its interesting to see. When i looked through it i thought "I am so much larger than these women that are the same height/weight/etc". So I kept playing with the stats until i found images that i thought looked similar to my body right now, and they were all 40 or more pounds heavier and at least 2-3 pant sizes larger than me. I see myself larger than I am, and playing around on that site just a few days ago was a huge eye opener for me.

11-03-2012, 05:55 PM
Perception is a huge issue for me too. I never realised how big I got, until I started to see pictures. Even then, it took not being able to sit comfortably in a stadium seat and not being able to keep up with my friends on vacation to motivate me. Now I'm 50lbs down, but I can't tell. I take pictures every month. I get compliments from people. I even sat in the same stadium seat comfortably. But I still find myself saying that the elastic must be going in loose pants, and crying when I look at myself naked because the weight loss has made everything droop and wrinkle.

But at the end of the day, I tell myself that the signs are there. One day a photo will tell the story of skinny, just as it did of fat.

11-03-2012, 06:14 PM
That website it very enlightening. I do think that the photos of the women close to my height and weight are pretty close to how I look right now. I enjoyed scrolling through the photos of women that are lower weights, too. It's good for motivation. I did notice that the women with muscles wore their weight much better than the less toned women...makes me think I really do need to focus on making exercise part of my plan.

11-03-2012, 06:32 PM
Wow, I really like that site.

11-03-2012, 07:32 PM
Yeah, My Body Gallery is great to help you with your body perspective. It is amazing too how body shapes carry weight differently. I try to match body shape with pant size and weight and I am thinking it is pretty accurate.

Misti in Seattle
11-03-2012, 11:51 PM
It seems strange that so many people comment on your size... especially people who don't know you. Why would they feel free to do this? LOL I cannot imagine going up to someone -- especially someone I don't know -- and commenting on their size!!

11-04-2012, 07:19 AM
When my weight loss started I lost the first 30 lbs very quickly. Everyone was saying how great I looked but I knew I was still a long way from being done. I think everyone who has ever had a significant amount of weight to lose has had to deal with this.

Smile and say thanks because you know what? You do look good and think how much better you'll look when it's done!

mountain walker
11-04-2012, 10:10 AM
In my early 20's I starved myself down to 140lbs. I still felt fat I mean really fat.
When I look at photos I actually look skinny.
I can relate to this problem of body image but not sure I have any words of wisdom...it's your own opinion that counts though.

11-04-2012, 11:46 AM
Perception is in the eye of the beholder, to hijack an old saying. Here are a few things I've learned about others and about myself:

I thought I looked OK at 250 pounds. No bad self image here! I KNEW I was heavy, but when I saw myself, I didn't look too bad. Now, when I look at photos, I think I was VERY FAT and that my head looks tiny in proportion to my body.

Other people are comparing you to your former self - not the self you think you are, not the self you want to be. Think of it this way. A regular order of fries at McDonalds is just the size it is. BUT - it is small compared to a super-size order of fries, and it's large compared to the fries in a kid's meal. I'm so sorry for comparing us and our weight loss to orders of fries! But I figured everyone could relate :)

We will always see our own imperfections and are critical of them. Learn to accept the shape of your body the same way we accept the color of our eyes or the shape of our ears and nose. Some things just are what they are.

I try to think of how I feel about these things by turning the tables and changing roles with the person who made the comment. You might not use the words "skinny" and "tiny" when complimenting someone else because you are more tuned in to the weight loss process. But others who have never done this might see this as a really sincere compliment.

This self image thing really is a process we have to learn to live with. I really think how we feel about ourselves is critical to our success. We want to look good. We want to be healthy. We want life's day to day tasks to be easier. I think age has a lot to do with this and I wish there was a way to put an older perspective on this for you younger members. Accept the fact that you look good now. And remember that you - personally - want to look even better and work toward that goal. Those same people will still make the "tiny" comments. they'll get used to the new look and it will again all be relative.

Keep up the great work. You're doing a great gob.


11-04-2012, 06:24 PM
I thank everyone for their comments, but Lin, yours really shed a lot of light. It really is one of those things I have to accept and I know I'm small compared to what I used to be, but I definitely don't feel tiny! Tiny is reserved for people, to me, who actually are tiny, as in petite and small sized in general. I feel like I'm about average in size, but no, not tiny by any means, lol.

But I do know I'm tiny compared to last year, and even 2 years ago when I was at my heaviest. I pull out size 12 and 13 pants and I think they're tiny and I still can't believe I fit into them. I pull out a women's medium and a junior's large and still think it's too small for me, but it fits and it's still really surreal to me. I never thought I'd be where I am now and it's crazy and I don't know how to feel about it, lol. If I had been this size before it might be different, but as I've never been this small EVER, it's hard to take in and it's definitely gonna take some getting used to. I'm getting there though, slowly but surely. :)