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Are you in denial about how you really look?

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Old 03-01-2008, 01:58 PM   #1
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Red face Are you in denial about how you really look?

When you see yourself in the mirror do you tell yourself "I don't look so bad" even when the fit of your clothes, your mirror, and all other evidence points to the opposite?

For too long I think I've been in this weird denial about how I really look: I am always telling myself "You don't look so bad!" Also, I would crop or just trash any pictures of me that were unflattering, and just pretend they had been taken from a bad angle or whatever. All this allowed me to continue with bad eating habits, and not getting any exersize.

Well, recently I saw some pictures of myself that forced me to admit that I've been lying to myself. I guess having to buy bigger clothes, getting mean comments, and having to wear baggy, unattractive clothes to hide my size all didn't register with me. I've gotten good at hearing and seeing only what I want. I knew I wasn't fit, but I figured I looked "okay" and I thought I was okay with it. I guess it's easier to lie to yourself than it is to face reality and actually do something about it.

I know there are people out there who convince themselves they are fat, no matter how thin they actually are.

I guess I'm wondering if there is anyone else out there who finds their "little voice" lying to them, and trying to convince them that they aren't as big as they really are?
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:26 PM   #2
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Oh, gosh, I did that for years. I am someone who wasn't overweight when younger, but became overweight slowly over my adult years. And it was easy not to see the differences over time. I still had an image of myself in my head that was "normal" sized.

Like you, photos pretty much proved it to me. That and having to buy size 20 clothes (which were starting not to fit so well...).

Also, I began looking in the mirror with reality in mind--and no clothes on--and seeing that yes, I am fat. I am really fat. By then I was in the obese range for my height.

I'm no longer obese, but I am still overweight, and I still make sure that I do reality checks on that.

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Old 03-01-2008, 02:35 PM   #3
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I also did that for years. I was definitely in denial.
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:02 PM   #4
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Oh, I definitely have that tendency.

Even at my heaviest (or rather, especially then) I didn't perceive myself as obese, even though my BMI certainly said so (yeah, sure, it was all muscles and heavy bones), and even though I *was* obsessing about my weight all the time.

One of the things that shock me the most are pictures that show me with other people and seeing how much larger I look in comparison, especially if I'd have thought that we were about the same weight.

The same is true in reverse, though - there were at least two instances in my life when I lost weight due to stress and didn't see it at all. Again, it's only when I see pictures of myself at maximum weight vs. minimum weight (which was never anywhere near skinny either, though) that I can tell the dramatic difference between them.

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Old 03-01-2008, 03:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffalump View Post

One of the things that shock me the most are pictures that show me with other people and seeing how much larger I look in comparison, especially if I'd have thought that we were about the same weight.
This is kind of what happened to me recently.

There are some pictures of me taken where I am standing with my brother. Now, if I just look only at myself, I can fool myself into thinking I look "okay." But when I compare myself to my brother standing next to me, who is about the same height as me, I have to admit I'm really not looking "okay." He looks like he's only about half as wide as me! Ugh.

I've printed out those pictures and they are now on my refridgerator, my computer, and in the room where I work out to remind me what I really look like, and to silence that little lying voice that tells me I'm not that fat!
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:24 PM   #6
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Definitely. I gained my weight pretty dramatically (100+ lb in 18 months, with no change in diet or exercise -- still keeps the doctors guessing), so I have only recently started seeing myself as fat -- though I absolutely am. I keep telling myself that when the doctors finally figure out what's going on, they can fix it, and then I'll just magically lose the weight. I'm starting to admit that this is a problem I need to handle on my own -- whether or not the medicos can figure it out.
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Cheeks View Post
Now, if I just look only at myself, I can fool myself into thinking I look "okay." But when I compare myself to my brother standing next to me, who is about the same height as me, I have to admit I'm really not looking "okay." He looks like he's only about half as wide as me!
Exactly! That's exactly how I feel - horribly enough, with me it's some older pictures of me with my husband that make me feel this way...

I love your avatar, by the way - the apple's expression of horror is priceless!
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:42 PM   #8
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I agree, there always seems to be this little voice in my head telling me its ok, my size is fine, which it most definately isnt. I was looking at a website last weekend that suggested to take photos of yourself with only underwear on to see what I really looked like, the only thing i can say about that is that i was horrified. I could see every little imperfection. Every lump and bump but instead of thinking something positive like wanting to change, i chose the simple option and just cried and ate until i felt better. I mulled it over all week and decided that weight loss is the only thing that will make me happy. I think i had a very bad case of denial! That little voice has been muted... hopefully!
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:56 PM   #9
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absolutley...i was totally in denial...and probably still am to some degree, however... it probably gets us through the day and sanity too with the culture we live in...its funny how our own self and or body image is not always congruent with our realistic body or person...even if we are told out loud or looking directly at ourselves...I think the real true reflection comes from inside...regardless of how one looks...i dont think its a problem to believe and feel good about yourself, no matter what you may look like, really...as long as your working on strengthening your inner self...then the outer self will reflect that...really, its our heads that gets us where we are and want to go...right?
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:21 PM   #10
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OMG I completely had/have this problem. I have the opposite of anorexia! I still see myself (in my minds eye) as looking like I did in my 20's. I just completely lost it when I saw a recent photo of myself. It made me feel sick really to see just how fat I was. Ihe person in the photo and the person who I see myself are - not even close to being the same. Like the size 20 jeans weren't a big clue! I guess it's a coping mechanism of some sort. I hope I have a better grip on reality now.
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:27 PM   #11
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Add me to the list -- I actually have been looking at "thin" pictures of myself lately, trying to get out of denial, but I just can't seem to make the comparison in my thick head!!

It's like I don't like how I look but once I get dressed and away from mirrors, I "forget" how big I actually am. I also notice when I walk the malls and pass those mirrors in front of stores sometimes .

So, this morning I spent a long, long time in front of the mirror and forced myself to take a good peek at what I really looked like. I was thoroughly disgusted but I think it really did me some good!!
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:34 PM   #12
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Sometimes I wish that I would wake up with a healthy body
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:40 PM   #13
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mariquita, keep going with your program, and you will!

Jay
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:06 PM   #14
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That's me. I've been big for as long as I can remember but I've always felt and acted (internally) like I was smaller than I am. Then I see pics, and just can't believe how awful I look.
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:16 PM   #15
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I was in semi-denial. My weight came on gradually over the years. At my physical 4-5 years ago, I was 180. By the end of 2006, I was 202. I knew that I was getting bigger. I didn't especially like it but I wasn't motivated enough to do anything about it, thinking, on some level, I was still okay, I could still hide it, at least a little....as long as you didn't look at my big butt, the rest of me ain't so big, I thought. I hated pictures because I always looked bigger in them than I thought. But at the end of 2006, it was a photograph, passing the 200-pound mark, and seeing a couple of co-workers successfully lose weight, that something finally clicked on in my head.

Now....as Heffalump mentioned, I am also experiencing the reverse. I've lost over 30 pounds and 90% of the time I look in the mirror and see that 202 pound body. If I didn't have the evidence of the scale, my clothes and people's comments and I had just my mind's eye to go by, I would tell you I look and weigh the same. Occasionally, I think I see a difference but nowhere to the extent others claim to. When they tell me I've lost "so much weight", I think was I really so big that I could lose "so much weight"?
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