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Thoughts about body image and body feel as you lose weight

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Old 01-02-2015, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Thoughts about body image and body feel as you lose weight

So many are making such great progress. It's wonderful to read and share.

So I just finished 4 months on IP Phase 1 -- I have lost nearly 57 pounds and over 8" from my waistline (and nearly 20" from all three measurments) -- yet I have a hard time "registering" the change/improvement -- I STILL FEEL FAT! Well maybe that's because I still am fat (still technically morbidly obese) -- with a long way to go still.

But sometimes I wonder why I have such a hard time registering the change that I have accomplished. Shouldn't I feel a lot thinner? Maybe the change happens so slowly (or at least it seems slowly at a little less that 1/2 pound per day on average) -- that the day to day change is almost imperceptible. Maybe the slowness of the change prevents it from fully registering since we have so much (relative) time to get used to the change as we lose. And our new lower weight starts to feel somewhat "normal" or "typical".

I am curious how some others have felt about their body changes as you all have lost weight. Do you have a hard time losing that old image of yourself (or the feeling) of being "fat"? Maybe this dynamic only happens for us really heavy people that can lose a good amount of weight but still be nowhere close to goal.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:11 PM   #2
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I have lost 60 pounds. Went from a size 16/18 to a size 5/6, small and xsmall tops and I still see myself as my old heavier self. I think it is quite common to struggle at finding self acceptance after weight loss.

I often find myself more self conscious now that I have lost the weight than when I was heavier. For myself my fat provided comfort and anonymity which made me feel safe. I felt invisible when I was heavier. It takes a lot of mental work to be happy with ourselves.

I am seeking out a counselor. I usually self sabotage and gain all my weight back. I'm seeing a pattern and I feel that I gain the weight for the above reasons. I am getting older and have some bad genetics ahead of me if I don't keep the weight off.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Avalon1957 View Post
So many are making such great progress. It's wonderful to read and share.

So I just finished 4 months on IP Phase 1 -- I have lost nearly 57 pounds and over 8" from my waistline (and nearly 20" from all three measurments) -- yet I have a hard time "registering" the change/improvement -- I STILL FEEL FAT! Well maybe that's because I still am fat (still technically morbidly obese) -- with a long way to go still.

But sometimes I wonder why I have such a hard time registering the change that I have accomplished. Shouldn't I feel a lot thinner? Maybe the change happens so slowly (or at least it seems slowly at a little less that 1/2 pound per day on average) -- that the day to day change is almost imperceptible. Maybe the slowness of the change prevents it from fully registering since we have so much (relative) time to get used to the change as we lose.

I am curious how some others have felt about their body changes as you all have lost weight. Do you have a hard time losing that old image of yourself (or the feeling) of being "fat"? Maybe this dynamic only happens for us really heavy people that can lose a good amount of weight but still be nowhere close to goal.
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Originally Posted by Kristin135 View Post
I have lost 60 pounds. Went from a size 16/18 to a size 5/6, small and xsmall tops and I still see myself as my old heavier self. I think it is quite common to struggle at finding self acceptance after weight loss.

I often find myself more self conscious now that I have lost the weight than when I was heavier. For myself my fat provided comfort and anonymity which made me feel safe. I felt invisible when I was heavier. It takes a lot of mental work to be happy with ourselves.

I am seeking out a counselor. I usually self sabotage and gain all my weight back. I'm seeing a pattern and I feel that I gain the weight for the above reasons. I am getting older and have some bad genetics ahead of me if I don't keep the weight off.
I understand what both of you are going through. I myself have struggled with self esteem of being overweight and then losing weight. Sometimes it gets so frustrating however, I'm working with a counsellor to figure out why every time when I get close to my goal weight I always self sabotage. Hopefully by working through the emotional issues I have I will be able to accept myself. I think by us being on the forum it will help us realize that we are not alone. And we will all get through this. Good luck with your journeys.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:13 PM   #4
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Great question. I have lost 75lbs so far and I would say the first 60I couldn't see a difference. Even in pictures and I've been taking milestone photos.

I would say in the last 15lbs I can finally see a difference in the mirror. I've shrunk out of my second set of clothes and sometimes I don't recognize my legs or stomach.

One struggle for me is even after losing a great amount of weight, that I am struggling to accept my new body. I am 42 and after 2 pregnancies and 15+ years of being overweight, I will never have that 20yo bikini body. I am working on being kind to myself and focusing on the positive changes instead of the negative ones.

I starting seeing a therapist during this diet as I've never been successful in a diet long term (or short term really). She has helped me see how I stuffed my emotions down with food. I am not trying to find other ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CenTXChk View Post
Great question. I have lost 75lbs so far and I would say the first 60I couldn't see a difference. Even in pictures and I've been taking milestone photos.

I would say in the last 15lbs I can finally see a difference in the mirror. I've shrunk out of my second set of clothes and sometimes I don't recognize my legs or stomach.

One struggle for me is even after losing a great amount of weight, that I am struggling to accept my new body. I am 42 and after 2 pregnancies and 15+ years of being overweight, I will never have that 20yo bikini body. I am working on being kind to myself and focusing on the positive changes instead of the negative ones.

I starting seeing a therapist during this diet as I've never been successful in a diet long term (or short term really). She has helped me see how I stuffed my emotions down with food. I am not trying to find other ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
Thank you for sharing this information it gives me confidence that I'm doing the right thing
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Avalon1957 View Post
So many are making such great progress. It's wonderful to read and share.

So I just finished 4 months on IP Phase 1 -- I have lost nearly 57 pounds and over 8" from my waistline (and nearly 20" from all three measurments) -- yet I have a hard time "registering" the change/improvement -- I STILL FEEL FAT! Well maybe that's because I still am fat (still technically morbidly obese) -- with a long way to go still.

But sometimes I wonder why I have such a hard time registering the change that I have accomplished. Shouldn't I feel a lot thinner? Maybe the change happens so slowly (or at least it seems slowly at a little less that 1/2 pound per day on average) -- that the day to day change is almost imperceptible. Maybe the slowness of the change prevents it from fully registering since we have so much (relative) time to get used to the change as we lose.

I am curious how some others have felt about their body changes as you all have lost weight. Do you have a hard time losing that old image of yourself (or the feeling) of being "fat"? Maybe this dynamic only happens for us really heavy people that can lose a good amount of weight but still be nowhere close to goal.
Avalon- Congratulations on your weight loss and inches lost!! You're doing an awesome job and I'm very proud of you! You're not alone with having trouble registering and seeing yourself smaller, I see myself in the mirror and I still see a fat person, smaller yes, but STILL fat! Maybe we're losing weight quick and the brain hasn't caught up with it? I don't know how BIG I am anymore, well, I never really did, when I would go shopping for clothes, I had to grab many sizes because I didn't know my exact size! Now, I don't know still what size I am because if I buy something, it's going to fit me loose in the next couple of weeks...I don't even like how I look because I can't really wear fitted clothing because it will get loose quick, I'll just go crazy shopping once I reach maintenance. But you're not alone, and I don't know if I'll ever be "happy" with my weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristin135 View Post
I have lost 60 pounds. Went from a size 16/18 to a size 5/6, small and xsmall tops and I still see myself as my old heavier self. I think it is quite common to struggle at finding self acceptance after weight loss.

I often find myself more self conscious now that I have lost the weight than when I was heavier. For myself my fat provided comfort and anonymity which made me feel safe. I felt invisible when I was heavier. It takes a lot of mental work to be happy with ourselves.

Kristin- That is happening to me too!! When I was heavier, I felt invisible, I didn't feel people noticing me at all, and I had just gotten used to it, but now that I've lost weight, I can start seeing, feeling people paying attention to me, and I feel I need to always look my best because eyes are on me. My mom tells me I'm always so hard on myself, but I can't seem to help it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CenTXChk View Post
Great question. I have lost 75lbs so far and I would say the first 60I couldn't see a difference. Even in pictures and I've been taking milestone photos.

I would say in the last 15lbs I can finally see a difference in the mirror. I've shrunk out of my second set of clothes and sometimes I don't recognize my legs or stomach.

CenTXChk -I just barely started seeing a difference when taking pictures during the holidays, I was not as big as before, and I was comparing the pictures from last year and this year and I could really see how much I've changed. One thing I've noticed is my wrists and hands, when I drive and I see my hands, I have to take a double look because I don't recognize them! Oh yeah, I am driving my car, not someone else I like them so much that I started doing my own nails A friend of mine I saw last week, she used to always do my nails when I would go visit her, she even mentioned how smaller my hands/fingers have gotten! Another thing I just noticed was my arms!! I noticed them smaller, and I was so happy, I've always disliked my arms, and now I see them getting smaller, and I think there might still be hope for them I like that I can wear more things, but I still know that I have a long way to go, I'm more than half way there, but then again, I don't know WHEN I will reach a weight/ size where I will finally be "happy" with myself.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:52 PM   #7
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I've also struggled with reconciling how I look with how I think of myself. It has just been in the past few days that I have really started to see the change. I've lost 50 pounds, and gone from size 16 to size 6. I looked at my before photos yesterday, and took some current ones today and put together this montage. It speaks for itself. Soon, I will start talking with my counselor to continue processing everything. I hope sharing this helps.
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:55 AM   #8
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I've also struggled with reconciling how I look with how I think of myself. It has just been in the past few days that I have really started to see the change. I've lost 50 pounds, and gone from size 16 to size 6. I looked at my before photos yesterday, and took some current ones today and put together this montage. It speaks for itself. Soon, I will start talking with my counselor to continue processing everything. I hope sharing this helps.
WOW!! Very impressive, you've done an awesome job!!! Thanks very much for sharing these pictures with us, they're very inspiring
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Old 01-03-2015, 05:17 AM   #9
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Thanks for responding everyone! Very interesting posts.
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon1957 View Post
So many are making such great progress. It's wonderful to read and share.

So I just finished 4 months on IP Phase 1 -- I have lost nearly 57 pounds and over 8" from my waistline (and nearly 20" from all three measurments) -- yet I have a hard time "registering" the change/improvement -- I STILL FEEL FAT! Well maybe that's because I still am fat (still technically morbidly obese) -- with a long way to go still.

But sometimes I wonder why I have such a hard time registering the change that I have accomplished. Shouldn't I feel a lot thinner? Maybe the change happens so slowly (or at least it seems slowly at a little less that 1/2 pound per day on average) -- that the day to day change is almost imperceptible. Maybe the slowness of the change prevents it from fully registering since we have so much (relative) time to get used to the change as we lose.

I am curious how some others have felt about their body changes as you all have lost weight. Do you have a hard time losing that old image of yourself (or the feeling) of being "fat"? Maybe this dynamic only happens for us really heavy people that can lose a good amount of weight but still be nowhere close to goal.
I am right there with you....I am still shocked when I buy an XL shirt and it fits. I dont see it in the mirror, but my DH is fantastic about pointing it out. It is like the lightbulb has not gone off in my head yet to shed light on my new body. Of course all I see is the fat hang in the mirror and my massive chest (always big up top) I have lost 62 Lbs and I am still wearing the same bras because I can't believe they have gotten smaller even though the measuring tape tells me so. I have a huge gap up top where my bra doesnt even touch my skin, yet I don't believe they are any smaller.. Ugh mind games

Quote:
Originally Posted by CenTXChk View Post
Great question. I have lost 75lbs so far and I would say the first 60I couldn't see a difference. Even in pictures and I've been taking milestone photos.

I would say in the last 15lbs I can finally see a difference in the mirror. I've shrunk out of my second set of clothes and sometimes I don't recognize my legs or stomach.

One struggle for me is even after losing a great amount of weight, that I am struggling to accept my new body. I am 42 and after 2 pregnancies and 15+ years of being overweight, I will never have that 20yo bikini body. I am working on being kind to myself and focusing on the positive changes instead of the negative ones.

I starting seeing a therapist during this diet as I've never been successful in a diet long term (or short term really). She has helped me see how I stuffed my emotions down with food. I am not trying to find other ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
Good for you for seeking out the help you need. I think that at the end of my weight loss, I will need to do the same. Right now the structure of P1 keeps my on track....but maintenance scares the heck out of me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by murrcat View Post
I've also struggled with reconciling how I look with how I think of myself. It has just been in the past few days that I have really started to see the change. I've lost 50 pounds, and gone from size 16 to size 6. I looked at my before photos yesterday, and took some current ones today and put together this montage. It speaks for itself. Soon, I will start talking with my counselor to continue processing everything. I hope sharing this helps.
Thanks for sharing you photos....you look awsome
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:18 AM   #11
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I am truly in awe of the amazing people on this forum. So many success stories. We don't give ourselves enough credit. I hear what everyone is saying and couldn’t agree more. The numbers say I have a better body now at 61 than I ever had in high school. Why? Because it’s healthier! My BMI is finally in the normal range (barely) – that’s my win. I’ve had to let that twenty something body image go…it was never me anyway. As one IP’r has said many times “comparison is the thief of joy”…I finally listened. Took awhile. Just trying to be the best me possible.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:58 AM   #12
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I am so glad to hear from all of you, to not feel like I'm the only one! Yes I struggle with this at thanksgiving my sister posted a pic of us and I was like "I've lost 80 pounds and I still look huge!" But when I looked at pics from a year ago, six months ago, then I could see a difference. I know I'm smaller - I've bought jeans Twice and the few thing I have from when I started are huge, but it's hard to see in the day-to-day.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:29 AM   #13
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I think part of MY problem is that I have never had a realistic picture in my head of how heavy I truly looked to begin with. I have fooled myself by thinking the clothes hid all my extra weight and I didn't look all that big. As I lost the weight ( I went from 249 to 152), I was just getting closer to the picture I had in my head to begin with. So I never did see myself as getting smaller. The clothes size changed but, to me, I still looked the same. It didn't help any that the extra skin still caused bulges through my clothes just like when I was heavier.

Now that I have gained some of my weight back, even though the clothes size is bigger, I STILL don't see myself any differently. It is amazing how my mind is able to block out how I really look.

It seems the only way I ever see myself as I truly appear is when I see a picture of me next to someone else. Since I know what they truly look like, I am better able to see myself in comparison. No wonder I never take group photos, I can remain in my fantasy world where I look just fine! Maybe that is the key for me, start taking photos with me standing next to normal sized people. I think I will have to give that a try so I can shock myself back to reality!!!
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:41 AM   #14
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I think part of MY problem is that I didn't really have a realistic picture in my head of how heavy I truly looked to begin with. I fooled myself by thinking the clothes hid all my extra weight and I didn't look all that big. As I lost the weight, I was just getting closer to what I thought I looked like to begin with. So I never did see myself as getting smaller. The clothes size changed but, to me, I still looked the same. It didn't help any that the extra skin still caused bulges through my clothes just like when I was heavier.

Now that I have gained some of my weight back, even though the clothes size is bigger, I STILL don't see myself any differently. It is amazing how my mind is able to block out how I really look.

It seems the only way I ever see myself as I truly appear is when I see a picture of me next to someone else. Since I know what they truly look like, I am better able to see myself in comparison. No wonder I never take group photos, I can remain in my fantasy world where I look just fine! Maybe that is the key for me, start taking photos with me standing next to normal sized people. I think I will have to give that a try so I can shock myself back to reality!!!
This is brilliant. I can relate.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:49 AM   #15
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Avalon,

This is a great thread....thanks for starting it. I wish I remembered now who posted a really amazing article and link on body image and weight loss. Here is a blog based on some of the info in that article. A photography student documented her weight loss in changing room selfies...but then expanded upon that in body self-portraits (warning, there is artistic nudes in the article) picturing the reality of a great amount of weight-loss on the body.http://www.pinkisthenewblog.com/2012...transformation

My weight-loss journey was 45 pounds....which as a petite person is quite a bit....probably equivalent to 60-70 pounds on an average-height person. One of the things that I used to remind myself when I was at my heaviest, was that "skinny doesn't equal happy". I thought about times in my life where I weighed very little and thought about how horrifically unhappy I was.

But my unhappiness about my weight was taking up SO much space in my life, that it was really hard to keep any sense of realistic perspective with that.

Now at a healthy weight for myself....I can reaffirm that idea that "skinny doesn't equal happy". Of course, I am EXTREMELY grateful for the the things that my weight loss has given me: a feeling of control over my health, food peace, fitting into regular-sized clothes, buying clothes off the rack and knowing they will fit, etc.

But, if I am not careful, I can easily tear myself apart just as viciously as I did 45lbs ago. I can look at how my body has aged and stretched, and decide that it is 'gross'. I can hyperfocus on the cellulite that remains on my thighs and hips or memorize every spider vein that crawls along my legs.

But I fight that urge and work toward acceptance of imperfection. What helps me most is to look at pictures of myself RIGHT before my weight-loss and remember how desperate I felt. What also helps is to remember that I lost this weight not just for the outside changes but for the inside changes - both emotionally and physically.

But I still have to battle the urge to shove my feelings down in large gulps. If you give that up, you will indeed have to FEEL those feelings.

It is worth it....but there are times that it is hurts. Just as The Beck Diet Solution reminds that hunger is not an emergency, I assert that neither is sadness, guilt, or anger!

Hang in there everyone....this is not as easy as it may seem!
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