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Old 10-28-2014, 01:13 PM   #1  
Lifestyle Changes
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Default Loving yourself through it all?

So, I have lost 105lbs and I am so very grateful to be at the weight I am and to be feeling so much healthier. Today I squatted 95lbs. I can run up three flights of stairs without having to catch my breath. I eat food I like and I can shop in any stores. These are all things I fantasized about when I was 295lbs, hardly able to tie my shoes.

I have tried to love myself, even when I was that 295lb girl, getting out of breath tying her shoes. I loved myself when I was 260lbs and fitting into smaller pants. I loved myself when I was 230lbs and gunning for 199lbs.

And now I am 190lbs. I am happy to be here, but I am having a hard time loving myself. I feel like I am still so chubby.

I am certainly not doing all of it for vanity but I will be honest that some of it is completely for vanity. I am 23 years old. I have never felt good enough. I was overweight from age 12 to present.

I think I am just scared that I will see 150lbs on the scale but still look in the mirror and see something I don't like.
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:39 PM   #2  
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That's exactly what I'm going through right now. I almost wrote this myself this morning. I can notice a difference physically and sometimes I can see it in mirrors and pictures, but I'm almost not overweight and I don't feel different most of the time. I still feel really big and I'm worried I always will.
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:03 PM   #3  
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I don't think you're alone in your fear at all.. I think it's shared by most people at a lot of different sizes, including some that are underweight. While body image issues can have some stuff to do with size, they are mostly mental.

Loving yourself can be a hard concept to get use to, and it's great that you're making the effort. Definitely keep at it, cause you are worth it All of us are worth self-love.

I have a long ways to go yet, over 100lbs, and I don't think I'll look perfect when I get there. I'll probably nit pick, find new things about myself to dislike some of which may even be a product of weight loss (like sagging skin).. I do plan to fight those thoughts though, just like I fight the ones now that attach my worth to my weight. It's an ongoing process for me and I don't have a solid answer to win the battle. Mainly I try and focus on my positives whenever I find myself having a negative thought cycle... which is something I picked up in therapy. At first it does feel forced, and a bit silly, but after a while it does become uplifting. You really have to keep at it though.

Best of luck! You look great in your avatar/profile picture.
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:04 PM   #4  
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I'm getting close to goal and feel the same as you but I take as being more positive. That not being perfect is the drive that keeps me going. This drive is also not going to let me go back to mindless eating on the couch. I want to be better, stronger, faster and all that stuff. I guess it is an athlete mentality. However, that doesn't mean I stop loving myself. I'm loving what I've accomplished so far and I can't wait to see what else I can do.

I'm 44 years old and did box jumps for the first time in my life last week. It was awesome. I overcame a fear just trying it.

Congrats on doing a fantastic job so far.
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:10 PM   #5  
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I think a LOT of us here feel this way. It's just been in the last week that people have started to comment that they can tell I am losing weight... 2.5 months in and 35# gone. I still don't see it. I have been over 300# since my son was born. I started this journey Aug 18 at 346#. People comment that they can tell I'm losing, that I look awesome, etc but.. when I look in the mirror.. I still see a 350# girl with three chins and a belly that sticks out past my boobs and arms that could double as dragon's wings. I feel like a GIANT next to other people and feel like people don't want to sit near me in restaurants or on planes, etc.

BUT I am learning to deal with it. I celebrate LITERALLY every single pound I lose and every non scale victory. When I started 2.5 months ago, 20 mins of walking was SO hard and a mile took me FOREVER to walk. But you know what? Last night, I walked 3 miles in just under an hour and felt like I could have kept going no sweat. I am on day 28 of a 30 day squat challenge and will knock out 150 squats (correctly, so it does take me some time) without feeling like it is torture until after 75. I can do 60 glute bridges before I can't do anymore... when I started I couldn't finish 10.

I just have to celebrate me and the things I have done and the awesome things my body can do. Eventually, I will see what other people see but it is a LONG journey that will include examining the painful feelings and situations and issues that allowed me to get to 350# in the first place before I can love who I am at my goal weight and each step along the way.

Good luck! You're not alone in this!
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:13 PM   #6  
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This is such a great post! I may be wrong, but I think many of us have struggled with this concept. I know I have. My husband was my big cheerleader when I was at my heaviest (265 pounds), encouraging me to focus on the positive and appreciate myself. I have to admit that it's a lot easier for me to do now that I'm smaller, but I think in part it's because I appreciate all the hard work I've done mentally and the physical work my body has done to get me here, instead of beating myself up over being so overweight.

I read this book a while back. It's by Crystal Phillips and it's called The Me I Knew I Could Be. Silly title, but great book. She talked about how she started in right away, telling herself every day that she appreciated this or that about herself. It sounds ridiculous but I started doing it and I truly believed it's helped me on that long journey to self-love.

Also...COMPARISON PICS. I've taken every-angle pics of myself every 25 pounds. It helps to see the difference when I feel doubtful.

And clothes. I have a box of next-size-down clothes in my closet for every size (I'm a thrift store junkie and have a ton of clothes because of it!). I try the jeans on EVERY FIVE POUNDS DOWN. When I feel discouraged, like I have a long way to go and don't look "different enough", I try on those jeans. They always fit a little better than the last time. It helps.

And getting closer to your goal weight REALLY helps. It helped me, anyway. I'm 19 pounds away and I feel vastly different than when I was even 10 pounds heavier than I am now. I think it's a whole psychological thing. Walrus, I think you're going to feel AMAZING at 150. Seriously. I bet you're going to feel amazing even 10 more pounds down. You've already done so well. Don't be too hard on yourself...we're all works in progress! I truly think it will start feeling better for you as you get a little closer. I can't wait to read about your progress!
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:49 AM   #7  
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When I was in my 20s and 30s I weighed around 130 lbs. I thought I was fat and was always trying to get down to 120. The lowest I got was 122, and that lasted about 2 days. I still have a skirt and a pair of pants from those days. I get them out once in a while and look at them and I am in shock to think that I was ever that small.

Now that I am so much bigger, my self image is still distorted, but the other way. In my mind's eye I am not as big as I really am. When I get out of the shower and see myself in the full length mirror I am shocked at what I see. Also, when I'm shopping and I go into the dressing room with the size I think I should wear and I can't even begin to button it, I am shocked again. I look at the size I am supposed to be wearing and I leave the store empty handed. I refuse to buy that size!!!
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:37 AM   #8  
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Body image distortion was a big issue for me, it was all part of my eating disorder. The terrible things I said to myself in my head were so low that I couldn't even say them to an enemy. But I was saying them to myself. Things like "your thighs are disgusting!" and "look how my belly sticks out, I'm gross!" etc.

This is a great blog post from Geneen Roth that I think sums it up well. http://geneenroth.com/2014/10/24/fre...snt-want-that/
So my tip is something my nutritional therapist taught me. Everytime I said something negative about myself I had to immediately counter it with at least 3 positive things. For example, if I said to myself "my belly is huge!" I would turn around and say "it's very smooth and soft," "this is the part of my body that sacrificed itself to carry my baby for 9 months" and "my son still comes and buries his face in my tummy and he doesn't mind or care that it's big."

You go on with this for a while and suddenly the image you have of yourself starts to change. It took a lot of practice but now I can look in the mirror and find something I like immediately. And all the negative thoughts have died down.
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:17 AM   #9  
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def not alone its as much a 100% mental and emotional journey in addition to a physical one. Huge congrats on your achievement.

Last edited by TheSatinPumpkin; 10-29-2014 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 10-29-2014, 12:22 PM   #10  
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That was how i felt for most of my life. Now i've conquered this and i can truly say i love myself and feel good on my skin. I do have a few insecurities, but nothing that makes me lose my sleep or feel too anxious. I probably wouldn't wear a two piece, but that's it. I can't really explain how i came to be in this position, but it took many years of self examination and studying. Feminism helped a lot too, maybe it was what helped me get over the "i will only be beatiful if i get skinny" mentality. I saw my body as something decorative, now i see it as something useful and as a vehicle that allows me to interact with the world and enjoy it. It may sound corny, but thats how i truly feel.

Most of us have to deal with daily messages that tells us that we can never be good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, hot enough, young enough, cool enough, etc. Can we honestly say we know how a healthy body looks and feels? A lot of people can't, really. I have some close friends who are professional volley players and they were called fat by a group of teenage girls at the mall a few months ago. My friends are healthy, beatiful, have healthy weights, lots of lean tissue... and because they are not skinny, they were called fat. I work with a lot of women. Some are gorgeous and feel terrible. Some will say they are fat. I get that each person feels good at a specific weight, ok, but sometimes it's pretty clear people don't have a weight issue, they have a hard time dealing with their body image. Not sure if i'm helping here, i just think we focus a lot on eating and exercising and sometimes forget that our relationship withour body is also an important part of this journey.
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Old 10-29-2014, 12:40 PM   #11  
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Congratulations on losing the weight so far.

I think what you are describing is the hardest part of the weight loss journey and how that can be one of the reasons why many people can end up eating too much and gaining the weight again -- because their self esteem or their life or their perspective on their body didn't change.

People have said -- on this very site -- that weight loss is just weight loss. You will be a smaller/lighter version of yourself. It doesn't mean you'll wake up one day looking like Angelina Jolie or Megan Fox or Blake Lively or whoever is your dream body model/actress/person. If your nose is too large today, it'll still be too large tomorrow... there are things about our bodies that will not fundamentally change, and worse, there might be more wrinkles or extra skin because of the weight loss (some of which may pop back as the skin is elastic... over time).

I've had to learn to love my flaws (my cellulite, my big thighs) because even as I have lost weight, my cellulite hasn't gone away and my thighs -- although SMALLER -- are still large in proportion to my body (in my opinion!). I don't think I'll ever have a "gap" or lanky legs.

So, yes, I think it's hard as we get closer to our goal weight, because then, it's not about a number on a scale or even a habit that we changed -- it becomes about that elusive dream from the past actually becoming a REALITY... and all the dreams and hopes associated with that (perfect body, perfect life, perfect job, perfect relationship) starts to hit up reality (just because I lost weight doesn't mean I love my job more or my husband treats me better!)... that's when the hopes and dreams are dashed and sadly, can cause people to overeat again because there's no "reward" at the end! Life doesn't become perfect, so why diet and sacrifice so much?!

But I think that's where we have to remember that the dieting and sacrifice isn't about making our lives perfect or our bodies perfect. I won't be a Victoria's Secret Angel model. But I will be healthier, I will find clothes faster (maybe even cheaper), I will be able to keep up with friends and young family members, I may even live longer and find my mate appreciates me more when I am happier with my life (and since he is visually driven, by looking better too!).

So, that's when the self-love and the self-esteem has to come into play -- before you hit your goal weight. I have to continuously work on this too. I have to remember to love myself today, not when I am 10 pounds lighter.
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Old 10-29-2014, 01:59 PM   #12  
Lifestyle Changes
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You guys have all really inspired me today!

I was feeling really low yesterday. Honestly, I was watching too many music videos, seeing too many magazines and turning on too many tv shows that weren't representing real people.

I like entertainment just fine, but I won't lie and say I am impervious to the effects of seeing tons of movie stars and models. When I pay attention to the real people in my life, my family, my coworkers, my professors, just the people around me. Sure, a lot of us could benefit from some kind of health routine, but beauty is relative and so many of us are beautiful in our own way. Movie stars are usually there to be professionally good looking, and to take us out of reality for a while. But people can't be that way all the time, not even actors.

So I feel like maybe I was just letting the fact that I've been stuck in the 190's for awhile get to me, and also all the ads and stuff.

All of your words have been incredibly uplifting! Thank you all for taking the time to answer.
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