I got the lectures from my doctors, I read the information about negative health effects, I listen to testimonials from those who are obese. It was a frightening thing to hear, and when I was immediately post-partum, it jump started my diet and gave me the will to lose that first 15 pounds. I thought once I started, it would be smooth sailing.
I saw no change in my size from losing the 15 pounds. Not just that, though, I don't 'feel' fat. I am in excellent physical condition. I have stamina, endurance, low blood pressure, low cholesterol, good muscle tone...just alot of fat that won't go away. It's so hard to be dedicated to this when I don't actually feel obese. I see myself and it's depressing - the way I look doesn't match the way I feel - but the depression makes me turn to chocolate (like today!).
This isn't meant to say that everyone is fat but me. :dizzy: I AM fat, but I don't FEEL fat. How do I get over that and realize this is more than just a vanity issue? Telling myself that and knowing it are one thing, but I need to live it. I just can't get to that point.
02-08-2006, 02:24 AM
i get what you are saying and all.. but i cant say that i dont feel fat when i look in the mirror and see fat, but without looking in a mirror, i feel like a normal skinny white girl (the way that i should be and want to be).
02-08-2006, 02:40 AM
When I was morbidly obese, I never felt I was. But there were always constant reminders that people did see me as such. The fact that I'd go to the movies alone and did not fit in the seat told me I was and had to do something about it. I hardly fit inside a rollercoaster ride seat.What awakened me and motivated me to lose weight was the fact that I was at risk of diabetes since my mom suffers from it. I'm out of the danger zone you can say, but now I'm focusing on the physical aspect. How ironic that now that I get thinner by the month, I see myself as big as when I started and consider myself fat for the first time. I guess I have to work on that when I reach my goal so that I won't get too thin.
02-08-2006, 03:20 AM
I agree with the other two replies. I don't feel so, but there are always reminders.
02-08-2006, 07:09 AM
I think that denial is a powerful protective tool when we're obese. Count me in with those who never saw themselves as fat when they were. I could look in the mirror and tell myself that 'I carry my weight well' and that 'no one would ever guess I'm 257 pounds'. Actually, I was even in denial about what I weighed - on the rare occasions that I got on the scales, I'd simply tell myself that they were broken and that I couldn't possibly weigh as much as they said. :dizzy:
Only when I lost most of the weight were my eyes opened to reality and I could see - really see - just how huge I had let myself become. I can look at a photo of my obese self (one that I originally thought I looked pretty good in) and see that I was simply enormous. No long T-shirt or open shirt could have camoflauged the body underneath - who did I think I was kidding? Myself, apparently.
It's self-protection not to 'feel' or 'see' ourselves as we really are when we're heavy. Because then we'd be forced to face the reality of our obesity and that can be a very bitter pill to swallow. As you lose weight, don't be surprised if your perception of yourself *then* changes as much as your perception of your new self. I guess it's just another example of how so much of weight loss happens in our heads, not our bodies. :)
02-08-2006, 08:28 AM
I don't recognise my "then" self anymore! I have been showing people photos of myself from five years ago, and no one else recognises me either!!
When I was morbidly obese (I'm just plain obese now :D) I always thought I looked ok. No one really ever commented on my weight, not even doctors, in fact when I did reveal what I weighed, no one believed how fat I was!
Unconcious denial is not a good thing. It stops us from taking responsibility, like the alcoholic, who "only drinks socially" or the recreational drug user who "only drops e's at parties". Our lack of awareness of the state of our bodies and what our obesity is potentially doing to our life expectancy, future quality of life and hour health, is a potentially dangerous smokescreen.
Like Marvellous Meg said, it's only now when I look back, I can see just how big I was. It's funny now I have the opposite problem. I keep holding back from fitness classes, adventurous activities etc because I still see my self as a couch potato who is uncoordinated, weak and with poor endurance! That is my new challenge, getting used to the fit me!!!
02-08-2006, 09:11 AM
I can relate to this as well. I KNEW I was fat, but sometimes didn't see myself as fat. When I got well above 250 the denial didn't work as well, but you find ways to make it work. For example, when I saw the (rare) pictures of myself literally twice as big as everyone else, I would think how the camera really distorted things!
02-08-2006, 09:23 AM
I used to look in the mirror and never seen how fat I was. I still am, but when I was over 300 pounds I didnt see it.
Because I never really looked at myself in a full length mirror completly naked and not just a quick glance. Seeing what my husband sees when were intimate.
And another good driving point to me was I was scared I was going to die.
A couple times it felt like my heart was giving out. I felt like I had to faint and I just had to sit down. So I got scared and wanted to see my son grow up and be there for him , After looking into the mirror and seeing myself really for the first time with my own true eyes it was what I couldnt believe.
I couldn't understand how I couldnt see it. It was because I never really looked. :^:
02-08-2006, 09:31 AM
I can totally relate, and that Meg now theres a wise one, I was exactly like that, and it was just like her when I look back, I see clearly. Hindsight 20/20 kinda thing. You might want to think about the health side of this issue, not the vanity. You have good numbers now, but things change and they change quick. The reality is that being overweight is a strain on your body, so perhaps just look to add in foods that are healthy lots of vitamins, and nutrients minus all that processed stuff, get in some exercise, because there is nothing bad about taking a walk, and doing some weights, and see where that takes you. Good Luck!
02-08-2006, 10:54 AM
I can understand how you feel. I have lost 15 pounds and I can't really see it. Not in the pictures i take, not in the mirror i look in. and i keep thinking i'm thinner than i am until i see a photo of me. i used to be 100 pounds when i graduated high school. somehow, i keep thinking of myself as that. but more and more when i have to go buy clothes, i find i am not thin because i have to buy shirts that come down to my hips to hide the stomach that hangs out of the bottom of my pants. YUK!! but i know i need to lose weight for my health and my happiness. I simply want to look in the mirror and not have to hide behind my clothes. so, even though i have only lost 15 pounds, i will not give up. I will be a mother my children will be proud to introduce to their friends and teachers. I will be the healthy mother who is ready to run out the door to take them to cheerleading practice and football games and not be out of breath trying to keep up with them at the park.
This is the vow i make to myself. To be there for my children in good health!!
02-08-2006, 11:08 AM
Same here. I didn't see it either. I didn't 'feel' fat, even though I knew I was. All of those little things that I can now do that I couldn't do when I was heavy were changes that came on gradually as I gained weight and I guess I didn't notice them missing. Like crossing my legs or getting up from the floor. I couldn't cross my legs comfortably and when I got down on the floor I had to use nearby furniture as crutches to help me back up. I simply learned to live with those things. But now that I've lost the weight, the differences are amazing and I can't believe I 'settled' for not having those advantages. Now when I sit on the floor I just plop down and with one move can jump right back up. How sad it was that I wasn't able to do that before.
02-08-2006, 11:08 AM
Well, at my heaviest I knew that I was fat but I tried to keep from thinking about it and whenever I looked in the mirror I almost trained myself to see a me that wasn't there....... a Charlotte who was thin and pretty and confident. But I wasn't and in reality I felt pretty down about myself.
02-08-2006, 11:14 AM
Might I suggest that you put 'body image' in the search thing up there in the purple bar and read, read, read. Our minds can be our best friends through weight loss or they can be our gravest enemy.
Knowledge ... self knowledge is power.
02-08-2006, 12:56 PM
Great thread! I also never really saw myself as 'fat'. I always new I was overweight but though it wasn't that bad because I could walk fast, jog, run (if I had to) when there were other people my size that basically waddled and took for ever to get from point A to point B. I think that was the biggest part of not accepting my being over weight.
I am quite capable of moving, and under the layers of fat, I am actually really strong. I even remember a lady who was a body builder who ran a gym I used to go to freak out that I was heavy, yet could leg press 400+#. So, again.. that made me see myself more as strong with fat that covered it. I'm 31 and I know that over the years my body has changed and will never be like it was at 21. But i'm glad that I finally got past the denial of my actual size. It took a very long time to get there though...
02-08-2006, 03:27 PM
I, also have the same situation. I think my problem is when I think of myself I think of my body the way it used to be not the way it is. When I see pictures of myself, Im shocked. I have recently started purchasing a size smaller pants than what I fit in and every time I think of eating too much (like when Im thinking Im smaller than I am), I try them on. This is all the "feel fat" I need.
02-08-2006, 05:01 PM
I was definitely in denial for a long time. Fat was people who were fatter than me, and obese was people a lot fatter. I knew I was fairly heavy, and could do with losing a little, but I lost all sight of where I fit into the general scheme of things. I think the highest I'd have put myself is just around the border between overweight and obese, and even then only if you'd really pushed me. I just didn't use the word obese to describe myself.
Except my BMI was 38.1, so obese is one thing I definitely was.
And now it's 24.8 in some ways I feel fatter than I ever did. I know I'm not (I just need to put on my old jeans or suit to remind me of that, particularly when I do the both legs down one trick), but I'm more aware of it now, and more in touch with my body. Before I could go for days without looking at or considering my body in any detail (I once had a rash all over my face for a day before someone made me look in the mirror to see it. No-one mentioned it because they assumed I knew!) My body was something I lived in, maybe too familiar to me to notice all the little details. Now I examine it daily or weekly looking for new bones and I'm accutely aware of where the fat still likes to hang out. I'm not saying this to glorify my new hang ups, but to highlight all the stuff I didn't do when I was fat.
I encouraged my denial for a long time. I refused to go to the doctors because I knew they'd try to weigh me and I just didn't want to know. If I didn't know the numbers then I wouldn't be fat, if I was confronted with them I wouldn't be able to deny it any more. I persisted in the view that I had a healthy diet and exercised enough, and that I was fairly healthy, fit and not obese. If I could avoid anyone who would tell me differently then I could believe it was true.
I know that denial is in my nature, and that's the main reason I force myself to weigh almost every day. Once I stop doing it I could see me not getting round to starting again for a long time, particularly if I think the number is going to be nasty.
02-08-2006, 10:01 PM
can I just say big hug to you All? i have a daughter which I love with all my heart, she lost one time over 120 pounds , she looked so great and she was so happy with her weight loss, but still not that happy with her life, well she has gained back her weight, and reading the other post I can see her in some of your posting ,and the feeling that you had, maybe she will get back the need that she had to do it again, but right now , I think she has just given up, she is not happy with the way she looks, she said to me the other day when we where at her kids school that she did not what to be there because she felt so big, she always looks great and dressed up. and everyone likes her so much .thanks for letting me as they say sound off , I just wish that I could help her.
02-09-2006, 12:25 AM
Unlike some of you, I've never been obese in my life, but have always been overweight, and I think I always saw myself as overweight. I still see myself as such, and only hope it is a mindset I can improve upon faster than I can lose the weight. I think it's important to love yourself first, or you won't love yourself when you are skinny either.
On a side note, I was watching Superbowl commercials with my fiance on Google video and he was about to skip through the Dove ad. It is nothing major, but if you have not seen it you might check it out (Google uses flash player to play their videos): http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1731400614466797113
Anyways, he was about to skip through it and was asking what the point was of the commercial and I nearly broke out in tears within seconds of beginning to explain that I thought it was wonderful that there is at least ONE commercial trying to give little girls confidence in themselves and show that really everyone is beautiful no matter what they think they want to be.
02-09-2006, 05:52 AM
OMG that is such a beautiful advert (and I'm not one to gush!).
It really made me well up! I've recently writted an essay about female body image in the media and it's a subject close to my heart having never identified with stick models. I was flicking through a magazine yesterday and just noticing the photoshop airbrushing that was going on. It's surprising, only the face cream adverts don't airbrush! There were some L'oreal adverts with Julianne Moore in and she was there wrinkles and all! GREAT! Louis Vuitton however was a BLATANT photoshop file!
Back to the topic! I never felt fat - I was always curvy, I always had a "lovely figure". I made the most of what I loved (or thought men would love) - my big chest and played down the rest. I never saw myself as truly obese until the high school leaving ball pictures came back. Lets just say I will treasure that photo as my before picture! Standing on the end of all the skinny barbie doll girls with the wind blowing my dress back behind me exposing all my lumps and bumps!! I can't think that anyone else who has that group picture proudly displays it on their wall because I quite clearly ruin it! :lol:
And some days, even though I can squeeze into size 12 (US 8) trousers I feel fat. I notice where my fat clings. I know if I've been eating badly that I'll bloat up and I see what work is still to be done. Some days I can cry that I can't drop a pound even though I can run a 34 minute 5K and do the splits. It's surely :crazy:
02-09-2006, 07:39 AM
Since I was not fat longer than I was fat, I have a mental image of how big I am, left over from my skinny days. It is just when I look at photos that I see my mental body image does not match the actual body. I think that is why once I lost a certain amount of weight, I was so unmotivated to lose anymore. Sometimes I think I am not any bigger than i used to be, and I will grab clothes that are the wrong size.
My goal is to just get out of a size 12 at this point. My BMI is just under the overweight range, but I still have too much fat around the middle...*sigh*
02-09-2006, 10:20 PM
I'll add my name to the list of people that were in denial. Granted, I was 350 pounds, but honestly, the days that people didn't make fun of me, I didn't seem myself as "that fat". Until I saw pictures of myself, and just thought it was disgusting.
Now, I'm seeing myself as thinner, but it's not denial...it's cuz I'm working my butt off to get rid of this fat!
02-10-2006, 07:13 PM
Yup, I understand what you mean. I KNEW I weighed too much but still didn't think of myself as "fat." I'd look in the mirror and think, "Man, I look pretty good" but deep down, I knew there was something wrong. I never get hit on when I go out, my dress sizes kept going up and up, I felt deprived when I couldn't eat junk food, etc.
Now, I have come to the realization that I AM fat but also that I can and AM doing something about it. And it feels great!
02-10-2006, 08:30 PM
I never feel fat when I look in the mirror at my home. Or I look at the scale and it says 220.5 and I'm like YES! NOT 222! But I remember 4 months ago when I swore to myself that I wouldn't get higher than 210. As soon as I go out into public though and I see myself, I get really self concious. Or whenever I have to shop in the plus size section. Ehn.
02-10-2006, 11:51 PM
My boyfriend works at Hooters and is surrounded by thin, beautiful girls every day and it just makes me feel bigger and worse about myself. Even when I take the time to 'make myself up' I go to see them, and I feel like I want to crawl under a rock and hide. I'm hoping that the journey of self-improvement that I have just begun will help me to not feel this way anymore.
02-11-2006, 12:30 AM
I always felt like I was healthy - even at my highest weight. I was aware that I was fat - but I never felt unhealthy. I look at pictures now and am glad I came around before I got any older...I'll be 40 soon - I can only imagine what parts of me would be in pain if I still weighed 264. Isn't it funny the mind games we play on ourselves?
02-11-2006, 01:45 AM
Well, count me in as another who was in denial about her size. I knew I was overweight but thought I hid it fairly well by dressing with care. I avoided revealing, too tight, and too loose clothing and never looked at myself in a full-length mirror when undressed. Also, I was physically strong and had a lot of endurance. Finally, I always had great check-ups -- blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. So, I thought, how could I be so overweight if I was so strong and healthy?
Now, sometimes I feel fatter than ever. Other times, I look at the curves of my waist and hips and think I look pretty darn good. The mind is a funny thing.
02-12-2006, 02:02 AM
i remember seeing a picture of myself and i looked literally like a human cow. i asked my sister if i really looked like that and she said, "well yeah, that's the you i see every day." i didnt tell her what i meant when i asked her that question, but at that moment, i realized that that is what the world sees me as. gosh, that makes me wanna cry :cry: :cry: :cry:
02-14-2006, 02:41 PM
I am completely amazed that so many people feel this way. Reality is that I know that I'm fat. I will say that 90% of the time I feel very put together and polished, that is until I see a picture of myself. It's often enough to ruin my whole day.
02-14-2006, 03:12 PM
Amen sistas! I feel the same way. And I think because I am in fairly good shape, I have to work out much harder to make a difference. It sucks because you watch biggest loser and they lose 15 pounds at a time, and I have to remember that is because they are very heavy and not active. I have been stuck in a rut lately, and I just need something to push me...so I think I need to take a pic of me naked and hang it in my fridge...Is that wrong?
02-20-2006, 07:27 PM
infrogwetrust: omg what a brilliant idea!!! i think if i stuck a picture of me naked on my fridge, i would seriously avoid my kitchen!!! if you live on your own, go for it!!!!
02-21-2006, 12:20 AM
I have a very different perspective here. When I was at my highest weight I knew I was fat (and now, even though I'm smaller, I'm still overweight and I can feel that)-- but there was nothing in my head telling me that being fat meant being ugly. I think it's a great thing if you can be overweight and still feel pretty, put together and valuable, because feelings of self worth should not be based on a number. However, as beautiful and great as you feel when you're heavy, I know it'll feel 10x better when we're all at our lowest!
02-21-2006, 12:27 AM
this will sound really dumb but I went from a 115-179 without feeling I had gained any weight. I mean my clothes were shrinking and my body was retaining more water than normal but I never felt fat. Boy talk about queen of denial maybe I am still in denial I was never really fat just slightly larger than I am now