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Old 08-06-2007, 03:29 PM   #1  
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Default Sorta off Topic - Weight related to anxiety/confidence

Hi Everyone -

I post this on the maintainers forum, because I'm sorta interested in the perspective of those who have lost a lot of weigh, and how it changed their outlook. Especially those who had spent a lont time over-weight.

Now, I know losing weight isn't a cure all, trust me I understand that you still have the same issues when you lose weight, but my weight inparticular had a rather large and unfortunate role in shaping who I am today. At some point I became more introverted, quiet, self-doubting, depressed, and really got to the point where I have fairly bad social anxiety and avoidance issues.

I know that the times I was able to lower my weight to around 220 I really did start feeling better about myself. I know weight shouldn't have such a large impact on how I feel about myself, but it does. I doubt that it will change a huge amount who I am, but I am hoping it has a confidence booster effect and helps me to feel good about myself. Sometimes I feel really sad and wonder who I might have been otherwise you know?

How did your loss and ability to maintain that loss effect your confidence? Personality? Do you think the gain/weight effected it all in the first place? (I know it doesn't for everyone)

I think sadly a lot of people think life is rosey on the other side... trust me I don't have that impression, but I am hoping things will feel just a wee bit better. Does it get better?

-muse
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:49 PM   #2  
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My life has changed so very much due to my weightloss. No, my life is not perfect now, far from it in fact. But I had sooo many anxieties and issues DIRECTLY due to my being morbidly obese and now that I'm not - well those issues have disappeared. And it's a MARVELOUS feeling. I LOVE dealing with people now, friends, acquaintances and strangers.

Social events were an absolute horror for me in the past. I always felt that I was taking up more then my fair share of space. Then there was the horrible clothing that I was forced to wear and therefore always feeling so darn inadequate. The terror of not fitting properly into chairs and the fear of breaking them. The fact that I couldn't do anything that required activity or physical exertion. The conversations I could not particapate in with my friends, like working out, and "diets" and clothing. I could go on and on.

Sadly, I find that people relate to me better now as well. Like at the bank and grocery shopping. Perhaps I'm more approachable now as well, but I really don't think so.

My confidence level has absolutely soared. Soared. I knew it would be great, but I had no idea it would be this fantastic. Socializing is now something that I GREATLY look forward to instead of dread.

Everything is better now that I've lost the weight. EVERYTHING. I feel so much better OVERALL that even the every day menial tasks that must be done are so much better. Nothing seems quite so terrible now that I am feeling so much better. From the laundry, to doing the dishes, to paying the bills.
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:06 PM   #3  
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I have to agree with Robin that losing weight is (for me) a confidence builder. While I'm not a social butterfly by any means, I don't dread social events like I used to, and I don't have any fears about entering new social situations. It doesn't change the fact that I'm introverted, but losing weight has made social situations more comfortable because I'm not worried about people judging my appearance or being the largest person in the room.


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Originally Posted by rockinrobin View Post
Sadly, I find that people relate to me better now as well. Like at the bank and grocery shopping. Perhaps I'm more approachable now as well, but I really don't think so.
Same for me. Frankly, it can be kind of a nuisance, but one I'm willing to endure.
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:25 PM   #4  
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I wouldn't say that social events were a horror to me before. I liked who I was very much. And I accepted the fact that I was really fat. But I do think it held me back, and today I also feel a confidence I didn't have before in social situations. I am more willing to put myself out there and be more outgoing. It's not really natural to me, but I got rid of the voice in the back of my head that saw that I was usually the largest one in the room and, on some level, wondered how other people were judging me.

It's kinda sad when I type that out -- that on some level I worried about others' judgements of me. But I do think that's how I felt.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:15 PM   #5  
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Originally Posted by rockinrobin View Post
Sadly, I find that people relate to me better now as well. Like at the bank and grocery shopping. Perhaps I'm more approachable now as well, but I really don't think so.
I have been wondering about this too. I keep thinking. People are so much friendlier now. I have been trying to decide if its all in my head but I never even really thought about it much (my weight) before. Strange how people are.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:47 AM   #6  
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Muse, it's a thought-provoking topic and one I've spent considerable time pondering since I lost weight, so I'm really glad you brought it up. I don't think it's off-topic at all!

When I was 257 pounds, I wanted to be invisible. Seriously, I just didn't want anyone to see me. I would have been so happy if my body didn't exist because it was like a ball and chain that I had to drag along behind me. Don't get me wrong, I was proud of my achievements and liked who I was -- but I didn't like the package I had put myself in.

Just like the others, I always had my weight on my mind, wherever I went. Was I the biggest in the room? When someone met me, did they think "fat"? It was inhibiting and crippling and definitely affected my social interactions. I think your description of yourself as "introverted, quiet, and self-doubting" pretty much summed me up too.

When I lost the weight, I lost 122 pounds of fat and a million pounds of baggage. It was the most incredibly liberating experience and I had no idea how good it would feel! Just NOT to always be thinking about how I looked and how people perceived me! I felt like I was floating on air.

I think the weight loss made me free to be me. To express myself and be myself in public. I'm exactly the same person on the inside who I always was but now I'm much more willing to call attention to myself and be noticed. I don't want to be invisible any longer. I'm not worried about sucking my stomach in and how my butt looks. Instead, I can focus on interacting with others and having fun.

My confidence level has improved about a million percent. You're right that weight loss doesn't cure our underlying problems, but it takes such a burden off of us (both a physical and psychological burden). It frees us to be who we really are inside. In the end, what keeps me from regaining the weight is remembering how it felt to be obese and knowing that I never, ever want to go back to living my life (literally) smothered by fat. My weight was crushing my spirit. Little clothes are fun, for sure, but the feelings of freedom and joy are what keep me going, day after day, year after year.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:51 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg View Post
Muse, it's a thought-provoking topic and one I've spent considerable time pondering since I lost weight, so I'm really glad you brought it up. I don't think it's off-topic at all!

When I was 257 pounds, I wanted to be invisible. Seriously, I just didn't want anyone to see me. I would have been so happy if my body didn't exist because it was like a ball and chain that I had to drag along behind me. Don't get me wrong, I was proud of my achievements and liked who I was -- but I didn't like the package I had put myself in.

Just like the others, I always had my weight on my mind, wherever I went. Was I the biggest in the room? When someone met me, did they think "fat"? It was inhibiting and crippling and definitely affected my social interactions. I think your description of yourself as "introverted, quiet, and self-doubting" pretty much summed me up too.

When I lost the weight, I lost 122 pounds of fat and a million pounds of baggage. It was the most incredibly liberating experience and I had no idea how good it would feel! Just NOT to always be thinking about how I looked and how people perceived me! I felt like I was floating on air.

I think the weight loss made me free to be me. To express myself and be myself in public. I'm exactly the same person on the inside who I always was but now I'm much more willing to call attention to myself and be noticed. I don't want to be invisible any longer. I'm not worried about sucking my stomach in and how my butt looks. Instead, I can focus on interacting with others and having fun.

My confidence level has improved about a million percent. You're right that weight loss doesn't cure our underlying problems, but it takes such a burden off of us (both a physical and psychological burden). It frees us to be who we really are inside. In the end, what keeps me from regaining the weight is remembering how it felt to be obese and knowing that I never, ever want to go back to living my life (literally) smothered by fat. My weight was crushing my spirit. Little clothes are fun, for sure, but the feelings of freedom and joy are what keep me going, day after day, year after year.

Really, really, REALLY well said. In fact I wish I HAD said it. But having you said it is just as good. I completely echo everything you've written.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:51 AM   #8  
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I feel like this is kind of a roundabout answer, but . . . Losing weight built up my confidence, but if I hadn't developed self-confidence I would not have been able to lose the weight and keep it off. KWIM? I can't really explain it much better than that.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:47 PM   #9  
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Thanks Everyone -

I can't even tell you how inspirational everything you said was. You guys are living proof that anything is possible.
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:08 AM   #10  
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Hmm... Luckily for me, I didn't shun social gatherings (though you may say I hadn't it really bad with my weight, I suppose) and I've always had fairly high self-confidence; when it was threatened, it wasn't by my weight, but by other circumstances. However, I've noticed one thing since I've lost what I've lost now--maybe it's silly, but it's the way it is: I am way less self-conscious when it comes to clothing, hair style, etc., and as a result, I now have the feeling that I can 'be myself' even more, so to say. I don't have to refrain myself any more, because (almost) whatever I wear now, I look normal, no worries to have about getting reflexions in my back, for instance. It's a feeling of freedom that tends to help a lot in circumstances in which I hadn't suspected its importance at first.

Of course, life isn't rosy, and what I do, I have to fight for it whether I'm 130 or 165; I didn't expect that to miraculously change with the weight loss. But an added ego boost is probably a good thing.
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:35 AM   #11  
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Losing the wt. changed everything for me. My health , my self-esteem, and to a certain extent my personality. I'm now much more out-going. I don't dread leaving the house. I had became a hermit. I had been avoiding social situations. I used to turn down going to places just because I was FAT. I didn't want to ever stand out in a crowd. If I did go places, I'd hide in a corner and try not to be noticed. I absolutely wanted no attention drawn to me at all.

I had previously quit shopping for nice clothes for myself. I just thought "what's the use, I'll still look fat no matter what I wear". I hated trying to go anywhere and would try on a dozen different outfits and felt like I looked like crap in all of them. Then I'd often tell DH that I had a stomach ache and to go on without me. Many days I wouldn't even bother to get dressed, I'd just lay around in my pajamas. At least they were comfy.

Now I wake up and look forward to getting dressed. I fix my hair, put on make-up, do my nails, and keep myself looking "presentable" even if it's just to go grocery shopping. Before, I just didn't care. Previously I'd just head to the store in a sloppy t-shirt and sweats with unkempt hair and no make-up.

I feel like I had a great deal of social anxiety related to my weight. It is just the most liberating feeling in the world to finally feel "normal" again. I don't worry that people are looking down on me because of my wt. I'm no longer that Fat girl in the corner. I now go each week to Karaoke with my DH and DS. Yep, I'm up there singing (which I'd never have done before). I'm up there doing the little hula hoop and limbo contests right with everyone else. I'm up there dancing with DH instead of turning him down. I'm just simply out there, laughing and enjoying my life.

Now if anyone is going anywhere, they better move over, cause I'll beat them to the car. LOL.
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:51 PM   #12  
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I completely agree with everything everyone has already stated here. I definitely feel so much better, much more confident, about myself. In addition to a lot of the social and emotion issues already discussed, I just feel so much more confident and in touch with my body as an extension of my being. It was just sort of a blob somewhere below my brain before. When I started lifting weights, somewhere in there I started to be the go-to girl in the office to open jars. I climb around on boats all day for my job, and have to lift heavy equipment just about every day. It's become much easier for me. I've started scuba diving! I always wanted to, but I was just afraid that I would look stupid because I was so heavy (and I do have heavier friends who dive, it's not that you can't do it - I just didn't have the confidence to). I've discovered that I can still be quite clumsy at times, and where I used to blame it on being fat, well, now I know I'm just clumsy. But I can feel where my muscles are sore when I've used them. When I'm hungry and eat, I can feel that point where my body gets full and fueled up to go. I don't remember ever feeling hungry that much for the first 16 years of my life. I just ate a lot. So I have also come to appreciate my body, imperfect as it is (and believe me, I didn't drop a bunch of weight and come out of it with a model's body), and what it can do for me, as well.

I'm not sure if I expressed myself very well, but I hope you understand what I mean.
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:44 PM   #13  
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I'm not sure I feel better about myself now (110-120 lbs down) since I always had a pretty good level of self-confidence. I do find it a relief not to have to deal with other people's issues though. I used to worry about whether people would take me seriously and give me the credit I deserved, being a woman in an overwhelmingly male profession and a fat woman at that was difficult. I used to wear a lot of business attire to work to "prove" I was a competent professional; now I'm pretty comfortable in jeans most of the time and people assume (usually) that I know what I'm talking about regardless. My inner slob is getting her day! No make-up, minimal hair activity. Just me. I feel like the opposite of most of the maintainers around here in that regard. I could absolutely care less about clothes. I don't need the crutch anymore. I feel like I can be myself now, without having to work to disprove any fat stupid slob stereotypes.

I feel a lot better about physically fitting into normal life. I don't worry if I'll need the seat belt extender on the flight this time, or if the largest size will fit me, or if the antique chair will hold. I used to worry about those kind of things. Haven't given it a second thought in a while.

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Old 08-09-2007, 01:20 AM   #14  
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No make-up, minimal hair activity. Just me. I feel like the opposite of most of the maintainers around here in that regard. I could absolutely care less about clothes. I don't need the crutch anymore. I feel like I can be myself now, without having to work to disprove any fat stupid slob stereotypes.
Come to think of it, I've found this to be true as well! I love clothes, but sometimes I also don't bother--for instance if I'm meant to remain home and do housework, I don't put on my 'nice' clothes to do that. And then, if I happen to quickly go to the grocer's in sweatpants and a sports top, now I just look like a somewhat-toned woman in comfy clothes, not a slob who can't be bothered to take care of herself.

'Course it is extremely unfair, that when you're overweight, you can't get away with anything even remotely related. People will really judge you on every tiny little bit. :|
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:47 AM   #15  
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LOL Kery, if I'm planning on staying home and doing housework I won't even change out of my PJs or wash my hair. But then, I wear jeans and t-shirts to work, so I don't spend much time getting dressed regardless. I'd rather spend the extra time sleeping, not putting on makeup!
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