Poll: Does Your Body Image Change With Your Weight?

0SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/1/2009 6:24 AM   :  176 comments   :  16,777 Views

We all know itís very easy to develop a negative body image when we feel like our own bodies donít match up very well with media images of the ďperfectĒ body. Sometimes, even very minor imperfections can be the source of much dissatisfaction.

And I imagine that most of us who set out to lose weight and/or improve our fitness are hoping that our body image will improve as our body changes.

But is that what always happens? Does body image improve along with your BMI score?


Apparently not for a lot of people, according to this article from MSNBC. Especially those who lose a lot of weight or those who have a history of losing and regaining weight several times. Most people who lose weight report more satisfaction with their bodies and what they can do, but this doesn't always translate into improved body image.

For some, their "new" body never feels quite real, as if they're not sure the weight loss and increased fitness will last very long. Others literally can't "see" their bodies as they are now--they still see the "phantom fat" that used to be there.

The linked article offers some information about why these problems may happen, but maybe the most important question here is what people can do when they find themselves still feeling uncomfortable in their own skin even after weight loss.


When I think about my own body image issues, it seems like I have more than one body image floating around in my head. How Iím seeing my body at the moment depends a lot on what Iíve been doing recently. If Iím eating well and exercising regularly, I see myself in my mindís eye as being relatively healthy and fit, and I see my body as ďnormal.Ē Iím not very self-conscious about my appearance, even though I know Iím a long ways from being thin or buff. I can put on my compression biking shorts, muffintop and all, and head out into the world without giving a second thought to what someone else might think about this fashion choice.

But when Iím not eating well or exercising, this all changes pretty dramatically. I start seeing myself the way I used to when I was well over 125 pounds heavier. I get very self-conscious, donít want anyone to look at me, and wouldnít even think about wearing my bike shorts in public. I feel like my body is about as un-normal as you can get. If my weight goes up a couple pounds on the scale, these feelings and thoughts just get worse.

So, it seems that losing all that weight didnít entirely change my body image. It doesnít take a lot to make those old feelings and thoughts about my body come roaring back to the surface again. But, fortunately, it also doesnít take much to get myself back into a more realistic and positive frame of mindóI just need to do something healthy for myself, whether itís eating better, doing some exercise, or finding another way to de-stress about all this.

For me, the best antidote to negative feelings about my body is to treat myself as if I respect and care about my physical self, even when I may not feel that way at the moment.

Maybe someday Iíll get to the psychological roots of all those old feelings, and get rid of those demons once and for all. But if not, at least I know how to handle them when they do come up.

Whatís your story? Does how you feel about your body change according to your weight or clothing size? Has losing weight made a major difference in how you see yourself, or is it hard for you to see your body as it is now? What do you do to maintain a positive attitude toward yourself when those negative thoughts start coming up?


Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   We Ate It: Cranberry Raisinets

Great Stories from around the Web

Comments

  • 126
    This is tough. I've still got that FAT image in my brain, but my pant size is now a 42. I see some of the dads at the football games and I'm like "I wish I was that size" and DW says I'm already that size. My image would probably change if I had some skin reduction done, but that's not happening right now.
    I've worked really hard to get to the point I'm at now and I'm proud of the body I've crafted, but I think that I'll always think of myself at fat. - 9/4/2009   9:36:25 PM
  • 125
    Once I begin to live a healthy lifestyle, I don't need to lose much weight....even though I need to....to begin to feel better about myself. I feel more energetic and well.....healthier. I believe it may have more to do with feeling proud of setting a goal and reaching for it with full determination.....seeing what I'm really made of. - 9/4/2009   8:32:15 PM
  • 124
    I would think it would have to. I know I have felt inferior and turned down for jobs because I am overweight. If a person is born without an arm or a leg, they are not discriminated against as much as an overweight person is - man or woman. If you're single, there is not much dating scene for you. We would all like to believe that beauty is only skin deep but we know thats not the truth. People are very shallow and will expect perfection even if they are not perfect themselves. - 9/4/2009   7:25:52 PM
  • 123
    This is an excellent article. Sounds so much like me! My body image has never been the greatest but when I am eating right and EXERCISING I feel so much better!!! I have lost and gained several people over my life time - I just want to lose my excess weight and never gain it back. I prefer to gain friends and keep them but not on my body! - 9/4/2009   4:17:39 PM
  • OFELIA37
    122
    Body image is a great issue, but sometimes if diet and exercise don't cut it, cosmetic surgery is a great way (if you can afford it), I have always been thin but after my 2 kids I was in good shape but my belly was loose, I did a tummy tuck with breast augmentation and the results were incredible, I now have a flat flat flat stomach ,25 inch waist, and my self steem and my marries life improved like 1000% believe me, self image is very important, and if plastic surgery is not for you, that's OK as long as you feel really good on the mirror, believe me, people notice your self confidence from blocks away.
    So I'm pretty motivated know to keep exercising and eating healthy, so try to do it as much as you can, losing weight is a tough thing to do but just don't think about it to much, just keep doing good things for your body and it will pay off.
    Just a final comment, I did not loose any weight at all with the procedure I'm still on the same 127 pounds that I have always been, it is just my figure has change so much. - 9/4/2009   1:16:50 PM
  • 121
    With Spark People I am on my way of loosing big weight for the 4th time in my life. All previous times I had gained it all again. I know how it is to be thin and feel thin. It makes up my day every day, I feel happy and content with myself. Everything seems to run better. However, this is only my outside dressed shelf. When I look myself at the mirror naked (in my thin times I mean) I realize that the shape of my body has not changed at all, I still have more fat where I used to have it, my belly has the same problems and moreover, as age always goes on, I encounter loose skin everywhere on my body. All these drive my psychology backwards and I know there isn't much I can do to repair them (except perhaps cosmetic surgery which I have decided not to do). When dressed up or when shopping for new clothes, then it is best time for me. I have some more weight to loose this time and I am following a very special exercise program the results of which are helping me and boosting my ego and self confidence. I surely hope and expect that these results will overcome the impression that the thin naked image of myself makes on my mind.-
    Uhura - 9/4/2009   9:11:59 AM
  • 120
    I really still have an issue with being 'pretty' I never thought of myself as pretty, and now that I am, or at least I seem to be more to most people....well it doesn't quite match up in my head. I still get defensive, and I really have to watch myself, otherwise I go into that mode and think everyone hates me. I forget that people are people, some will like me, others wont, but I can't control what others thing anymore than they can control what I think.
    When I gain weight it worries me, but then it motivates me to try and lose it again. - 9/4/2009   1:14:24 AM
  • 119
    Yes. Like most people, when I am living a healthier lifestyle I feel better. Because I gained most of my weight with my 1rst of 3 pregnancies 5 years ago, and have either been pregnant or breastfeeding since, I still, until recently, have had a little denial about my weight and thinking it is all "baby weight." Until recently, I did not even realize just how big I've become. I don't see it in the mirror, but in pictures, oh boy!!! It is crazy how I look back at old pictures when I was in the 130's and realize that I was a great weight, but back then I felt fat. Just nuts! - 9/3/2009   11:32:52 PM
  • MRSKRISTINA
    118
    Unfortunately, yes. I know you should be comfortable in your own skin no matter how you look, but I just never have been. I have honestly never been at a healthy weight for as long as I can remember. I have constantly used food as a security blanket. Now, as I am losing weight and getting to the lowest number on the scale in years, I feel so much more confident. I don't feel as though everyone is just staring at my massive gut rolls or double chin when I talk- they are looking at me and listening to what I have to say. - 9/3/2009   9:26:12 PM
  • ETERNAL4
    117
    I have lost 12 pounds and when my husband said he couldn't grab my love handles, or "wow your belly is smaller" or when he said "I can feel your stomach mustles when you laugh"...sure I notice it and I carry myself differently when I am smaller in size. - 9/3/2009   8:47:40 PM
  • 116
    Like you I feel like I look great when I work out and eat well consistently. I have a group of supportive friends and we all tell each other how awesome we look and that helps too!

    I was thin and athletic until I was an adult so my body perception is actually that I look better than I do. But now that I am consistently losing weight--wow I feel like I look wonderful!! - 9/3/2009   1:17:41 PM
  • 115
    Dean: I always look for your posts as they contain a lot of indepth thought. This is a great topic - I was working with a personal trainer and he told me that most of his clients never reach "perfection" That once they lost weight or inches, they looked into the mirror and noticed that their waist wasn't small enough or that they had big hips - they were never satisfied.

    My sister lost about 40 pounds and when she looked into the mirror, she realized that she was still the same shape - just 40 pounds smaller. She didn't like her shape and there was nothing she could do about it.

    Bottom line, I think, is that we must learn to love ourselves and eat and exercise for our health. Eating and exercising for a "better looking" body is doing it for the wrong reason. The more fit we are, the easier it is to overcome physical hardships. The more fit we are makes aging less painful. Also, getting out and doing things helps us to stay active with others. So many reasons to exercise and eat right other than because of body image.

    Great food for thought - thanks for letting me think out loud

    C. Rosie - 9/3/2009   11:17:55 AM
  • 114
    A few years back I lost a lot of weight fairly quickly (medical issues) But I really didn't notice it until I put on a pair of jeans that had been way too tight a month earlier and they fell off me. Even then, finding I was 2 sizes smaller, didn't translate to what I saw in the mirror....I just saw the same old me.
    Even now, with almost 50 lbs gone, my idea of what I look like seems to fluctuate with my mood/monthly cycles/consistency with exercise and not what the mirror reflects back at me. - 9/3/2009   9:37:58 AM
  • SUGARPUNK52
    113
    So far I haven't lost enough weight for image to be a problem yet.I've only lost one size ( in clothing ).I'm plugging along and some day I'll make it! - 9/3/2009   1:22:31 AM
  • 112
    I totally relate to the feeling of having more than one body image. When I lost 65 pounds and kept them off for over 7 years, I had a very positive body image. I think what helped me the most was doing Yoga. One day I just realized as I was walking down the street, this body is my vehicle. It gets me everywhere I want to go. And I started feeling the muscles move and the leaness of my sleeker shape. However, when I gained 30 of those pounds back, my body image got lost in the extra weight. I am only now beginning to feel the old body coming back alive. - 9/2/2009   11:27:27 PM
  • TECHLADY
    111
    Mine certainly does! - 9/2/2009   10:55:43 PM
  • 110
    They need to read ROGER GOULD, M.D.'s book "Shrink Yourself" as this is just what he talks about in his book. We have a SparkTeam here to discuss it. He calls that nasty voice in your head "Harriett" and tells how to shut her up. He has a web site and a course on dealing with emotional eating and stress. - 9/2/2009   9:49:41 PM
  • 109
    I am pear shaped. So, my bottom half has always been shaped bigger. I have lost weight before and stayed big on the hips and thighs. But this time there has been a big difference. I now ride a bike for my exercise. I burn those calories by pumping my lower half on long distances. What has happened is that I now have smaller hips and thighs. My calves are still larger than I'd like them to be. But when I see myself in a mirror or store front I can not beleieve that my thighs belong to me. I fit in a 10 with plenty of room to spare in the thighs. My head still sees me as big hipped and smaller top. At 5'8" I am at the best shape I have ever been since my twenties. It is amazing was some exercising will do to a 55 year old body. My body image has not changed much with the weight, but my confidence in my fitness has by big leaps. - 9/2/2009   9:46:43 PM
  • 108
    I lost 150 pounds 12 years ago and I still feel heavy with thick legs and a fat butt. I just hit menopause and put on about 7 pounds without blinking and my self-esteem is pretty low right now. I'm so scared I'll gain the weight back. I don't see myself as a size 10. I used to be a size 26. I've learned to live with it. - 9/2/2009   7:58:41 PM
  • 107
    I didn't realize that I *did* have a poor self image till I lost weight. I'm 5'3" and for most of my life I weighed 120 pounds (which I "used" to think was too much, but now I know wasn't). i was busy raising 5 children and being a good - I hope - wife) and really never thought much about self image, but when I reached an all time high and then lost 50 pounds, I felt so much better about myself. I lost another 10 pounds but now have put it back on and am trying to get it off again. I don't think I'll ever get back down to 120, but that's all right; I feel good at my current weight and my hubby loves me at this weight (of couse, he loved me at *every* weight, too. You know, through "thick and thin"!). - 9/2/2009   6:46:57 PM
  • 106
    i'm not a big person. i'm only 20 but my body confidence has always been one of my biggest issues. when i work out i feel great but recently i stopped because i graduated from college and started working full time. i dont have enough money for a gym membership which is what i'm waiting for. but this last month hasn't been the best i've lost weight becuase of the muscle loss but i can definetly tell the difference in the way i look and feel. i really need to start working on being ok with myself regardless. this was a good blog :) - 9/2/2009   6:17:15 PM
  • USMCWIIFEY09
    105
    I have a body image that's stuck in my head. Sometimes when I lose weight I still feel as though my body LOOKS the same. I can't see what everyone else sees. I can rarely see what I lose. My Dad always says, "Wow you look great. Did you lose weight?" He doesn't say stuff like that unless he means it. I just don't see it. I can lose 5 lbs and I'll feel like I've gained 10.

    It's something I have to deal with. - 9/2/2009   6:16:11 PM
  • GRANDMARANDI
    104
    Yes my self-image is tied to weight and clothes size. - 9/2/2009   6:13:34 PM
  • 103
    i have lost 86 lbs, and i have a hard time seeing the difference...my eyes and my mind can't completely fathom the change, also a bit of the 'will it stick?' fear i suppose keeps me from really enjoying where i am now. i also never saw i was getting bigger either, it's like i have a fixed idea of a medium weight me and that's all i generally see.

    however, the past few weeks i am catching glimpses of the change, which is better than not seeing it all and i am starting to collect a pool of more positive thoughts about myself, rather than looking in the mirror and feeling a mix of guilt and hatred, starting to feel a bit more content about what is there, and knowing there is more to come by continuing to stay accountable. i think a lot of it is just from feeling stronger and leaner from working out that is changing my perspective. it's a slow process tho, i saw my weight drop on the scale but it's taken a year to really see my thought pattern change, but it definitely is. - 9/2/2009   4:41:44 PM
  • 102
    It sure does! I am living proof! - 9/2/2009   4:29:02 PM
  • 101
    I definitely feel better about myself when I am thinner!! It's when I look in the closet and I can pick out anything and it looks good on me that I feel the best! - 9/2/2009   3:59:08 PM
  • 100
    I've learned to feel better about myself in general, even though I'm a long way off from my weight loss goals; but yes, my self-image is deeply affected by what the scale says. If I gain, then I start the "I'm a failure" recording; but I'm learning to nip that in the bud and start a new mantra, "I am on a journey, and this is just a small sidestep towards my goal of being healthier and fitter". I try to not beat myself up if I gain, and learn to feel more satisfaction when I do something positive for myself. Coach Dean, you're my inspiration, and I'm glad you're actively blogging, as it helps me immensely to read your thoughts and trials, as it shows me that not one of us is perfect, and there's hope for me after all! =) - 9/2/2009   3:56:53 PM
  • SEZIGGY
    99
    I think that size plays a big part in how I view myself. I feel happier when I loose weight and I am very hard on myself even if I gain a single pound. - 9/2/2009   3:44:30 PM
  • 98
    I feel way more sexy and confident when I am a smaller size. I take better care of myself, wear nice clothes, high heels and makeup every day. When I'm fat, I'm just fat. I stop caring how I look and wouldn't be caught dead in high heels. I too, find it easy to slip back into old habits and I don't know why! - 9/2/2009   3:07:08 PM
  • MSKITYOCAT
    97
    When I am fat, I feel fat.
    When I'm thinner, I feel thinner.
    I'm very critical of my appearance and can face what it is I am looking at. Never have I been too small, but I've been too big.
    so now I'm having to work harder to get it off as I have aged and my intake should have shrunk in reality but not in my case Its an ongoing process with me. - 9/2/2009   2:54:06 PM
  • 96
    You know, it's odd... the more weight I lose, the worse I feel about myself. The fatter I see myself as. It's kind of backwards.

    Pale - 9/2/2009   2:40:05 PM
  • 95
    Good topic! I just read a few comments, and feel the need to get mine down too. The thing is that I never felt good about my body...even when I was a "skinny-blilink". As a teenager, I hated that I had no shape, now I have too much shape. I realize that I don't see myself as hugely fat. I even dream of myself as thin. Maybe it's a sort of denial, tho I've had too many years of therapy to get into that anymore. Anyway, I don't look in mirrors much. I get clothes that fit me, by mail order because I hate shopping and leave it at that. In the feeling department, I too, feel best if I'm doing the right things. If I'm following my plan, eating within my limits, drinking my water, exercising, logging into SP, reading the emails, all that good stuff...then, I feel great and it doesn't matter about the weight. It'll get there. Oh, and reading the testimonials of people who have done it before me. I get so inspired. The individual steps will add up to weight loss, you know. I only get feeling down when I've let myself get lazy. So, no more falling off the wagon! for me...God willin' and the creek don't rise! - 9/2/2009   2:11:10 PM
  • 94
    I agree completely. I still feel like the old fat me, even when I look in the mirror I just don't see the weight loss. I still have what I call "fat eyes". Doesn't matter what the scale says, even though I know I've lost over 40 pounds and kept it off for a year and a half now. I also find that my body image is effected by my behavior. If I'm eating healthy and following my exercise plan then I feel better about the way I look, but if I overindulge in sweets or overeat, then I feel like I did before I lost the weight. - 9/2/2009   12:05:14 PM
  • 93
    Whatís your story? Had gastric bypass 11/2007. Lost 240 pounds (went from 400 lbs to 160 lbs). Had 2 surgeries to remove extra skin on stomach, butt (4/2009) and thighs (6/2009). Went from a size 32/34 to 10/12.

    Does how you feel about your body change according to your weight or clothing size? Yes, I totally love how my body looks now.

    Has losing weight made a major difference in how you see yourself, or is it hard for you to see your body as it is now? When people compliment me on my weight loss and how good I look, I say "thank you," but feel guilty knowing that I don't always eat the right things. It's like I almost feel like a fraud, especially because I'm at Maintenance, and privately I'm really struggling with it. I've never maintained weight loss, though I have lost many, many pounds over the years! I've always gained it back. So now I'm kind of panicking that I won't be able to maintain this beautiful body. And that totally stresses me out, on a daily (sometimes hourly!) basis.

    What do you do to maintain a positive attitude toward yourself when those negative thoughts start coming up? I'm not saying it's the most healthy thing, but I go to a store and buy new clothes to not only make myself appreciate that I can fit into smaller sizes, but to remind myself that I love being able to dress in whatever I like, and love what I look like RIGHT NOW. I don't want to be so panicked about what MIGHT happen, that I'm not living in the present, which is me at my goal weight. Sometimes I go for a walk, kayak, or a bike ride, to prove to myself that I can DO those things; I appreciate how my body feels as it is working out.

    Someone in my gastric bypass support group once said, "It took me 40 years to perfect my bad habits; it's not going to take 4 months to undo those bad habits." So true! My surgeon said, "We only operate on your stomach, not your brain." Also true! It is taking a LOT of therapy to try and undo these years of binge eating, and it's only been 21 months since my gastric bypass. I am still trying to get to the root of my eating issues, hoping that I can keep this new body in good shape, and not undo all my hard work.
    - 9/2/2009   11:59:17 AM
  • 92
    It's always something I've been amazed about. Just getting out there and exercising a little improves my self image. Doesn't take much to improve it even when the mirror hasn't changed;-) - 9/2/2009   11:19:19 AM
  • 91
    Hey Coach Dean, Very interesting topic. Thanks. Having been at the right weight almost all my life, it was quite embarrassing when just about 10 days of steroids made me gain about 15-20lbs which increased to another 10 lbs more once the correct diagnosis of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension was made. This gave me a good excuse to stay there with no guilt!! lol. However, my doctor at the Mayo Clinic challenged me once I was stabilized to change my BMI status from Obese to normal with exercise, which until then, I was forbidden from. Having thus been motivated, I bumped into SP to slowly get back to my norm. I am relieved to be able to find clothes that fit me comfortably and never even gave the body image a thought. The other day however, when I went to a party, people were amazed to see me looking so good and not sick at all, the compliments sure went to my head!!! lol. I am sorry to disagree here: With shopping being tough - having been unable to walk around, lugging oxygen tank for a while as I was getting heavier, I was definetely aware of my weight gain and body image as reflected in 3 way mirrors of the stores!!! Now I am also aware of my weight loss and very happy that clothes are loose fitting once again, reminding me where exactly I am at. I will treat myself to a new wardrobe when I hit my healthy weight of 130lbs. Still got 9 more to go!!!! I have been more accepting of both weight gain and loss seeing me just the way I am.....by God's grace, thanks to the clothing fit!! - 9/2/2009   11:09:41 AM
  • SBATES63
    90
    I find it difficult to accept my new, thinner body. When I see pictures of myself, I hardly recognize me. I tend to see the heavier body in the mirror, rather than the new, trim me. As for the mental aspect, I feel great about myself as long as I am exercising and eating according to my plan. One cupcake can make me feel like a horse. I realize from reading this blog that I still have a lot of work to do on fostering a postive body image. - 9/2/2009   11:08:06 AM
  • 89
    Okay -- I think there is some of both... I look at pictures of myself at my smallest (which I still thought was big then) and think, WOW was I thin, too bad I didn't realize it then! I'm okay with the way I look most of the time, but I need to loose weight for my blood pressure and my own self... I don't have kids yet, but I need to be able to keep up with them when I get them... I'm also only 32 and I want to live my life content, not just hung up on stuff, and I can't be content if I'm too tired to do anything because I'm over weight. - 9/2/2009   10:55:33 AM
  • KNELSO2
    88
    Coach Dean, you hit on what turned out to be one of my biggest issues to overcome. I managed to get to my goal weight a little over a year ago. Then, when I got there, I realized that even though everyone else saw me as being fit and looking good, I still saw my old body when I looked in the mirror. And I got really stressed about figuring out how to maintain my body. One of my biggest fears was that I would regain all of the weight. I'm doing better now but the fear of gaining the weight back is still there.
    I've been actively working on resetting my body image. When I look in the mirror, I remind myself to focus on my assets, and not the negative. I also re-evaluate my clothing, trying to pick clothes that I look good in, and feel good in. It has helped that my friends and family are used to the "new" me. One of the things that used to frustrate me is when people would make comments about my weight loss, and the comments would be slightly snide or negative (are you sick? make sure you don't lose too much weight!). It's amazing what some people will say!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Karen - 9/2/2009   10:55:30 AM
  • 87
    My self-image has changed with my weight loss. I am excited to go shopping for new things now. I feel younger and have so much energy. I have to say that earlier in my weight loss I didn't have a positive self image. This has just been about the last five pounds lost and I've been able to see major changes that I feel so much better. I was so frustrated at one point because I was losing but still looking the same, but I never stopped working out. Now all of a sudden I can see and everyone around me is noticing. - 9/2/2009   10:54:54 AM
  • 86
    It is amazing that I, too, have blogged on this very subject, in the past! As I lose weight, I guage my body size by the clothes in my closet... I work hard to keep a positive attitude. I remember, when I look at the lady in the mirror, that she is what she is because of the choices I made in the past...and she will look different in the future because of the choices I make in the present.

    In the beginning, when I first joined SP, I had no real idea of how bad I looked and I could not accept responsibility for my size. Facing the dreaded camera on a monthly basis has really helped me cope with the "size reality"! Setting aside the urge to devour the local bakery and ice cream shop, when I am under stress, I have made it a habit to track everything I eat and to be completely honest about it... in that way,and because of that habit, my choices are much better in the present!
    Every month, when the camera is taking my current picture, I try to remember that this is my "report card" for the "eating education" that I am receiving at "Spark People University". It is easier now to look at the pictures after 6 months, than it was in the beginning! - 9/2/2009   10:41:35 AM
  • 85
    I was a size 18/20, now a 12, but I still see myself as that old size. I was just pondering this subject this weekend!

    Thanks for blogging about it:) - 9/2/2009   10:14:46 AM
  • 84
    When I'm on track with my eating and exercise, I always feel better about myself in general, and that includes my body image. A couple of off days, however, and my self-esteem takes a plunge. It's a struggle not to let my mood, or my degree of motivation, be ruled by the scale or by how "perfectly" I stick to my plan.

    Ironically, 60 lbs heavier and not actively doing anything about my weight or fitness level, I felt like I had fewer body image issues than I do now. Fears about regaining weight (which I've done), not being able to stick to my program (Weight Watchers), and simply the aging process (I'm 58) have made my almost hyper-aware, not necessarily of how I look, but whether I'm doing everything I can do for my health.

    At times, it seems overwhelming. I don't expect to look 23. I realize magazines Photoshop their pictures. I understand there is an entire celebrity culture that is obsessed with appearance, thinness, shopping, and acquisitiveness. That really concerns me a lot less than whether or not, on any given day, I'm doing what I know I need to do to reach my goal weight and become as fit as possible for ME. Lately? Not so good...For my mood if nothing else, I need to find my way back on track! - 9/2/2009   9:36:20 AM
  • 83
    Does my body image change with my weight? That's good question. I was a thin person and didn't gain weight until I was in my 40s and peri-menopausal. The truth is that when I was thin, I was so concerned about weight gain that I didn't eat much at all. I would binge and then deprive myself of calories. The things that people say to a child can sure affect the way that they view their body. At least that was true for me.

    Now my body seems to demand calories and it hangs onto the weight. I went through an emotional life event and ate whatever I wanted, and now my body is 30 pounds heavier than it was 5 years ago. My body image is not good. I feel old and unattractive and as is nothing I wear looks nice on me.

    So, it seems that I have body image issues whether I'm thin or not so thin.

    Maybe it all goes back to 'wanting to control' something while living in a place where we have no control of anything. - 9/2/2009   9:23:43 AM
  • 82
    I feel like a failure when I gain back any weight. Like I can't make it a lifestyle change, walk the walk and talk the talk. - 9/2/2009   8:47:14 AM
  • 81
    I know my body is different because I've lost many pounds. In my head I have a larger picture of my body. When I order my new size I just can't believe that's my size. At first I just look at the item, I wait to try it on when I feel like maybe it is my size. When I try it on, I'm surprised that it fits. I keep wondering when my mind will catch up to my new size? - 9/2/2009   8:36:13 AM
  • 80
    I have lost about 65 pounds over a very long period of time. When I come across an old article of clothing that used to be tight very often it is very large now and it blows my mind. - 9/2/2009   7:56:01 AM
  • 79
    i have lost 8 kgs so far!! it was a gr8 thing to do , and am still on the way to loose another. I've started heading a dietitian every 2 weeks since 3 months. and i get extremely happy when she measure my body parts and inform me i lost 2% fat here and there. Now i stand with more confidence and know very well, that the jeans i wanted to wear b4 looks much much nicer on me than b4. I stare at the mirror and keep staring.
    To help myself more, all my fat clothes i got rid off so i dont get to miss the old image !!1 - 9/2/2009   7:27:00 AM
  • 78
    I think I may have a slight distortion of visual body image that is mental but not psychological. When I first lost my weight after my thyroid disease diagnosis, I overdid it by a little and maintained at that weight for about a year. During that time my doctor insisted that my body fat was too low and I need to gain 10 to 20 pounds back to avoid joint problems. But at the time I felt great and liked the way I looked so I maintained at that low weight for a little over a year. But gradually my stamina began to suffer. Ironically, that is what prompted me to lose the weight initially when thyroid disease resulted in dibilitating fatigue and total loss of stamina. Then it seemed I need to gain some weight back to maintain my stamina. So since then I have intentionally regained about 12 pounds and I do feel better. But in the mirror and in photos, I see a difference in my thighs which is where I tend to carry a lot of muscle and fat. It's not major but I still don't like seeing those saddlebags in the mirror. - 9/2/2009   6:30:58 AM
  • 77
    I've never been overjoyed with my body. Even before I gained weight I didn't like it that much. However, while some condemn it, I don't have a problem with cosmetic/plastic surgery to improve areas because it can help your self-image and self confidence. When I've reached my goal, I do plan to "have some work done" and I'm not ashamed to admit it! - 9/2/2009   5:11:01 AM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Join SparkPeople.com

x Lose 10 Pounds by December 2! Get a FREE Personalized Plan