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Shifting Body Perception

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Old 05-10-2010, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default Shifting Body Perception

Sometimes I think I am going loopy lately. (Well, loopier than usual. )
Sometimes I will look at myself in the mirror and see the weight I've lost and feel a lot skinnier. Other times I will look in the mirror and see how far I have to go and feel really overweight. This shift can happen in the course of minutes.

I don't know even know how I REALLY look anymore. It also makes me wonder how or why I can see myself so differently in a very short period of time.

How do you all get an accurate picture of how you look? Does this happen to anyone else?
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:33 AM   #2
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Glad to know it's not just me. I've been going through the exact same thing lately. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see the improvements, and then sometimes all I see is an obese woman.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:43 AM   #3
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The exact same thing happens to me. I don't get an accurate picture of myself. Pictures help. They more accurately reflect how I look but still............

My evidence of my weight loss is how I feel and the things that I can do that I could not do before.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:59 AM   #4
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I think 95% of the people on this forum have experienced this same feeling, so you are not alone

We look at ourselves every single day, likely multiple times a day, and it's difficult to see the small changes over the days. But those small changes each day add up over time. I bet if you woke up tomorrow at your highest weight, you'd notice the difference!

As you get closer to goal, each pound will make a bigger difference. Just in the last 10, even 5lbs, I have gone from feeling like an average-to-chubby person to an average-to-thin person. And I still do not have an accurate perception of myself. My friends say I'm TINY, but I still look in the mirror and see thin side of average. Which I'm happy with, don't get me wrong. My very skinny friend and I weighed on the same scale the other night. She was 135, I'm 138. She's maybe .5-1inch taller than me. She wears a size 2-4 sometimes 6, I wear a 4-6 sometimes 2. And seeing these numbers logically tells me that I am skinny, but I still don't see it, haha. I look at her and see very skinny girl. Her and I are practically the same weight/height/size, but I don't feel close to her skinny-ness.

Also, if you aren't already, I suggest weight/strength training. I lost 35lbs and had the exact same shape, just smaller. This displeased me. Now that I've been weight training, I am starting to get a much trimmer silhouette that I initially wanted. I can definitely see the difference now.
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mkendrick View Post

Also, if you aren't already, I suggest weight/strength training. I lost 35lbs and had the exact same shape, just smaller. This displeased me. Now that I've been weight training, I am starting to get a much trimmer silhouette that I initially wanted. I can definitely see the difference now.
I haven't started lifting weights again, but I have added some exercise. I've been playing DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) every day now. I'll likely be joining a gym somewhere down the line but I don't want to burn myself out like I have done in the past.
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:37 PM   #6
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I think there is a shift from being a thinner fat person - meaning you can see the difference from how you looked before, and it looks and feels great to becoming an overweight thinner person, meaning that you look at yourself from the perspective of where you want to be rather than where you were before. So instead of seeing the 30 lbs lost, you see the 50+ lbs you still have to go to get to goal.

For me, it can change between those two perspectives frequently. I think it's based on what my mood is on any given day, although it can be sort of backwards that on days when I'm feeling like I'm doing a great job sticking to plan and on a good losing streak, my mind starts expecting to see me closer to my goal image and I can see myself as heavy in the mirror. But then other days, when I'm feeling like it's all more of a struggle, I might realize I'm wearing clothing that didn't fit a month ago and it makes me feel great because now I'm comparing against where I was a month ago and I can feel the progress.

So for me, never quite knowing what to expect about how I'm going to feel when I look in the mirror is pretty much the norm now!
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:39 PM   #7
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My perspective switches based on how I am standing: looking straight into the mirror, I have curves and, provided my sagging stomach is covered, I look, I think, pretty good. Rapidly approaching "normal". From the side though, oy! I'm so THICK. I feel like I haven't lost weight at all.

I worry so much about how I look--am I like that woman, or that one, or that one--and I think it's because my inner child still equates fat with bad and thin with good. On some level, I want to know if I am a good person yet or not. This isn't a constant worry, but it astounds me that thoughts like that are still rattling around in my brain.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:59 PM   #8
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I have finally just started to see a *normal* person everytime I look in the mirror. Probably 20lbs ago one minute I'd feel thin the next I'd catch a glimpse in a different mirror and feel huge. Just give it time, it will come.
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:56 PM   #9
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I am struggling with this as well. I feel so lost when I go clothing shopping now because I honestly don't know what size I am . I used to go for the biggest thing I could find and decide if it would fit. Now, when I hold a shirt up, it could be huge or tiny but I will try it on anyway because I just don't have a gauge of my size. The tag sizes are all over the place too from a 10-14 pants and an medium-1x for shirts. It's all so confusing. I am just not sure what I look like sometimes. I always ask my poor husband if he sees anyone that is my size when we go out. It drives him nuts LOL
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sweetnlow28 View Post
I always ask my poor husband if he sees anyone that is my size when we go out. It drives him nuts LOL
I do this to my poor boyfriend as well if we are in some place where we are bound to see a lot of people! "Don't stare, but am is that lady over there in the purple jacket larger or smaller than me?" Thankfully he really understands.

It is so hard to really know how you look to other people in general and it gets even harder when you start losing weight! It is hard to celebrate the successes when you see them on the scale, but you don't see them on the body. I'm also worried about knowing when to start maintaining. I'm perfectly prepared to shift my goal weight depending on how I look and feel, but that is hard when your body perception can be out of whack!
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:41 PM   #11
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I have really been going back and forth with this the last few weeks. I think because I finally crossed the threshhold into Onederland for the first time in 15 years. A few weeks ago, when I was about 203 I saw my reflection in the freezer doors at the grocery store. I looked bigger than I thought I should, but then I reminded myself, "you ARE still over 200 pounds you know!" But now that I'm below that, I guess I should look sooo much different.

Then again, my husband and I went to celebrate our 15th anniversary this past weekend and as I saw my reflection in the shop windows or mirrors, I had to stop and think, "that's me!" And I couldn't stop looking at myself in the mirrors at the Bed and Breakfast! I looked so different there than I do in my home mirrors.

But then when we got home and I uploaded the pictures onto the computer, I was disappointed that I didn't look as thin as I felt in the pictures.

I agree, it's got a lot to do with our security or insecurity any given day. Or looking at it from an "I've lost 45 pounds perspective." as compared to an, "I've still got 30 pounds to lose." perspective.

But oh no, you are not alone!
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:44 AM   #12
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I noticed yesterday that at work, where I'm slim-to-average at my current weight/measurements (and literally every day have someone telling me how good I look/asking how much I've lost), I feel very thin, but when I go to the gym, I still feel really fat!
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