100 lb. Club - Body Image
10-25-2004, 08:03 PM
I read in the paper the other day that most people think that they are thinner than they really are. I started thinking about that and realized that when I was at my heaviest, I did think I was thinner than I was. Of course, I never let anyone take my photo so I didn't have the visual reference, and I avoided full length mirrors.
Now, however, I think it's just the opposite. I bought pajamas the other day at Target in a sz. XL. They hang on me. I just can't wrap my head around the idea that I wear a sz. L, not XL. And sometimes an M. I wonder if I will ever be able to look in the mirror and see a "normal-sized" person staring back at me?
I'm curious how others have viewed themselves, and currently view themselves.
Ivanna B. Skinny
10-25-2004, 09:22 PM
I have always been " the big one". Im 5'10", and have always been just *bigger* than everybody else. All of my friends are like 5'5" and shorter, and of course they are smaller around, too. I've *ALWAYS* felt like the Jolly Green Giant compared with my peers. My family are all all "big" like me, my mother is 5'10" and dad is 6"5"...so I get it honest I guess. When I started gaining weight, I guess I didn't really *feel* and bigger than I already did...until I hit my biggest point, and felt like a hot air balloon. Now that Im back into almost average territory, I feel better. Im still taller than most of the people I know, but I dont feel like a great big balloon.
Hmmmm....maybe this is all why I married a 6'4", 300 pound man. I feel small compared to him. :o
10-26-2004, 12:35 AM
Even though I have always been big, I have always believed that I was thinner than I was. Whenever I looked at a picture of me or saw myself in the mirror, I'd think "who is that? I am not that fat" but yes I was. Right now, I think I am larger than I am but that is because it has just been quite a change for me.
10-26-2004, 08:36 AM
I've always thought I looked better than I actually do.. until I see a picture :rolleyes:. The pictures from my daughter's bday party in August really kicked my butt.. it was an "OH MY GOD!" moment.
Then at the same time, when I am losing weight, I always think I look fatter than I did before.. go figure.
I remember just after I met DH and we went in walmart one day. I had lost quite a bit right before we met and it hadn't sunk in. I needed to buy a bathrobe and picked up a 3X.. he said, that's never going to fit you and handed me a 1X. I laughed "yeah, right!" and tried it on right there. I ended up breaking down into tears because it actually fit me. Talk about embarressed.. crazy lady crying in the aisle at Walmart :rofl:. I can't wait until that robe fits me again.
10-26-2004, 08:38 AM
even at my thinnest point (120ish-125ish) i thought i was the fattest thing on the face of the planet. i remember the guy i was dating at the time got me a pair of dallas cowboys boxers (i was a huge fan back then) in a size small (at the recommendation of his mother) and i thought no way would they fit me. they did.
when i look at myself in the mirror i can't believe i am as big as i am but i still think i'm pretty big. i look at the clothes that fit me and can't believe i'm this big. obviously i am. and it doesn't really help when people tell you "you don't look that big". or, my favorite that my mom says, "but you are proportionate". i think i'd rather have her tell me i'm a cow.
10-26-2004, 09:07 AM
I find myself looking at other large women and thinking to myself ~ I'm not that big ~ but I probably am. I hate to look in the mirror or have my picture taken. Then when I have lost some weight ~ I can feel that my clothes are looser, but I look in the mirror, and to me, I don't look any smaller ~ just the same fat old ~ huge old me.
10-26-2004, 09:22 AM
I think for me (and maybe for others) there was a fat "defense mechanism" that used to prevent me from really seeing myself so I wouldn't hate myself even more than I already did. I rarely would look at myself in a mirror below the shoulders, and I too broke down many, many times looking at pictures of myself. Right when I started losing weight (like maybe 5 or 10 pounds down), I had to get my portrait taken for work, and when I got the proofs back, I just lost it. I told my husband, "I just don't think of myself as being that fat."
But now I'm taking hard, long looks at myself more often. I think this might be why I paradoxically see myself as fatter when I start losing weight, because I actually *allow* myself to look at myself and appraise what I see. I know I didn't really do that when I was bigger. I know in my head that I'm thinner now, but opening myself up to an honest assessment makes me realize how bad it really had gotten.
10-26-2004, 09:45 AM
I'd honestly rather be in denial and think I am smaller than I am, when I start thinking that I'm fat.. I lose it, I get depressed and sit at home, refuse to eat, refuse to get out of bed.. so in the end its better for me to enjoy my denial. And it's all relative, I'm a size 18, and I work in a plus size clothing store, we go from 14 to 32, so when I am seeing women who are generally 18-28 everyday I just don't remember what skinny looks like! I just can't believe I used to wear XS or size 1-2 clothing and thinking I am just "too fat" because I wore a size 30 jean, and not a size 28.. it was such a depressing thing to me.. lol.. sick!
10-26-2004, 12:21 PM
I always knew how heavy I was but yes the pictures do show all and you think who is that. And when I was down to 310 I still felt 490 at times. I don't know if that will ever go away. I watched the austin powers movie and they had that character Fat ******* in it. I can remember the audience lauging at how big he was and the whole time thinking I'm just as big and they might as well be laughing at me.
10-26-2004, 01:13 PM
Howie - I hate that movie and that character.
I think I have always felt I was smaller than I was. When I put my makeup on, I lean into the mirror, so all the chins go away. When I see pictures, I could just die.
10-26-2004, 01:54 PM
I can relate! I have always had a smaller picture of me in my mind. I always pictured myself smaller than I was. I still do that and I avoid mirrors, reflections and the only pics of me that are recent that exist are the ones that I took of just my face to try to notice any weight loss. I have always hated my body and I am wondering if I lose more weight, if I will still hate it?
10-26-2004, 01:56 PM
I've always thought I was smaller than I am. Especially since I was always smaller than my mother. It is cruel but I always thought that as long as I was smaller than my mother I was okay. When I would look at pictures of myself I would tell myself that "the camera adds tens pounds (twenty pounds, thirty pounds...)" and basically live in denial that I was actually that heavy and getting heavier by the year.
But now I am within 20 pounds of being the same weight as my mother and starting to have some of the same medical problems as her. It was even more shocking to me to find out that I weigh more than my father who is 5'11" and 300 pounds. I'm 5'7" and 333. Time for the veil of denial to come off.
10-26-2004, 07:22 PM
I am still shocked when I look at before pictures because I always new I was big but I didn't see me as that big. Now I have the other end of the spectrum sometimes. I will look in the mirror and see a very overweight person even though I know I am not.
Before I lost weight I could never understand how someone who is anorexic could think they were fat but now when I look in the mirror and somedays I look still fat I know how they can feel. I thankfully have family that has promised to tell me if I start to look sickly thin.
10-27-2004, 03:01 AM
I've got "trick pants." Those are the pants that look fine on and when I look in the mirror I don't think I look particularly big. But when I change out of them and throw them on the bed, I see these E-N-O-R-M-O-U-S P-A-N-T-S that I think, no way are those MY pants! How can pants look normal on and look like a family of four could live in them when I'm not wearing them?? Sadly, all that fabric is covering something...
Who knows, maybe it's a defense mechanism?
10-27-2004, 04:44 AM
how many of you think you are fatter without clothes?
i know i think i do. LOL
10-27-2004, 07:27 AM
I Don't see myself as big I really am too.I wouldn't get on a scale for the last 4 years for fear that I weighed more than I thought I did.In Feb of this year I decided to get on the scale and when it said 318 I felt sick!
I never liked getting my picture taken,even at 180 pounds and 5'9 I wasn't happy at the way I looked.I still wont get my picture taken.
I started 1 1/2 months ago working out every day and 2 weeks ago people started telling me you are losing weight but I can't see it.At my 1 month weigh in I was down 5 pounds and 13 1/4 inches,but I cant see that neither.I wear loose clothes so I really cant tell them being any looser on me yet.I'm glad others can see my efforts but I still think I am the same.
10-27-2004, 09:12 AM
wow- I'm so surprised at all the answers here! I feel the same way - and have felt ashamed of it! I have said to my husband "I'm not that fat, am I?" and he just looks at me. Do you think that is what holds us back? that we don't face reality? My 2x stretch pants still fit - I'm not bigger, am I?
good thread. Sheila - did the article come up with any solutions if you feel this way? Should we take more pictures (and put them up on our fridge?) or worse.. buy a 3 way (gasp) mirror?
10-27-2004, 11:24 AM
I know I feel and look bigger to myself without clothes. Clothes hide a multitued of sins. I hate seeing all the fat rolls in the mirror when I get up in the morning. I can't wait to get them covered up.
10-27-2004, 12:02 PM
I do my best not to look at myself naked no matter my weight. When I was at my highest my stomach was such that I was often asked when the baby was due -after losing a lot of weight my stomach looked like a char pei dog (and believe me, I exercised). I'm not even going into the all around general sagging that comes with ageing, so its easier for me to put on a blindfold when I come out of the shower.
As for body image in general it depends on my state of mind. When I'm feeling happy and confident I think I look great, when I'm depressed and frustrated I think I look disgusting. I remember reaching a certain milestone in my weight-loss journey and feeling that I looked fabulous. l continued to lose and then had a set-back and got back up to that "milestone" weight again. THEN I thought I looked horrible. Oh, and how about when you look in the mirror with your tummy sucked in, chin up high and shoulders back and think, hmm....yep, I'm looking lean today and then someone takes a photo that night when you're on the couch relaxing with every chin in evidence and your boobs resting on your relaxed stomach - cringe time! :(
10-27-2004, 01:00 PM
I've always been told I carry my weight well. When I weighed 225 and people would ask me how much I weighed and told them they would all be like "No way. I would guess you to be about 175-190 (somewhere in there). Even when I ballooned up to 250, people still guessed 25-50 pounds lighter. It wasn't until about 280 and seeing pics of myself that I believed I was that fat.
Now I have good days and bad. Some days I think, "Wow I'm looking great" and the next "have I put on some weight?"
as for being naked when I'm lying down, I think I'm skinnier (all the fat kind of dissolves into the mattress ;)) but standing up and passing a mirror, I don't really think I'm fatter naked. I've learned to accept my body how it is. I would love for my baby belly to go back up and be somewhat flat again but I'm sure that's another 50 pounds away or more.