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LISS741 SparkPoints: (27,095)
Fitness Minutes: (18,978)
Posts: 337
4/25/13 4:04 P

Body image is something that I have a problem with as well. I too have a problem area in my stomach. I always think that if I can just each that stomach part out I would be happy. I still have a long way to go on my journey, but this week is the first week where I feel like I am actually going to make that happen. With that mindset, I am just going to keep doing what works and try not to get to hard on myself when things don't happen as fast as I want them too. Whenever I look the mirror I feel as though I see someone with a really pretty face, but gross body. I don't want to spend the rest of my life thinking that. I want to look in the mirror and be happy with everything. Some days I can, others I can't. But the more I work at it, the more I know that I can reach my goals.

MMWAID SparkPoints: (1,047)
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Posts: 7
4/25/13 2:00 P

When I was in my freshman year of college I was up to 232 pounds, a size 20. I had a health issue that was a wake up call for me so i started eating a lot of subway (that's really the only thing they had on campus that was guarunteed to be healthy) and exercising. Over a course of three years I lost 60 pounds and have been at a hiatus ever since. When I got into grad school I started running to over come my stand still, but instead I gained eight pounds of muscle. And I have stayed around 178-182 (depending on whether its summer or winter) since then. I got to the point that my body image was so bad that I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, because I had major guilt issues with eating food and missing a day of exercise. And although I am better I still have moments where I look into the mirror and see a size 20 girl. Then I get really upset and feel guilty. But that's because when i originally started losing the weight nine years ago, I was doing it for my health. Then it started to become about how I looked. So I slowly began to focus on the right things instead of my looks and not being a size 8 like I always wanted. You all have had amazing challenges and you're fighting them and are winning. Remember that you are beautiful and you are making your self healthy. The best compliment over all that I have gotten came recently when I visited my doctor. He said: You are in amazing shape, so don't worry about the number on the scale. You're healthy as a horse, and physically, are in great shape." and that felt awesome! So you are getting healthy and that's what makes you beautiful! And awesome!

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
4/24/13 5:48 P

I've noticed that the more weight I lose the more I'm tempted to be critical of parts of myself I used to ignore. It's like, when I was overweight, I only was ever looking at *one* negative: too much weight. Now that I'm normal in every possible way, and now that I've rediscovered a number of things about myself (and not just in appearance) that I truly like, I'm also reminded more of all the things I used to not like. I'm not going to list them here, because I don't think it helps, but trust me there are plenty of them.

It's a feeling that comes and goes. Buying clothes that fit properly helps a lot. So does improvement in toning whatever I realistically can. So do all my accomplishments that have nothing to do with how I look. So -- kinda sadly -- does being 43: I'm rapidly reaching the age where vanity becomes an enemy regardless, so it's a little easier to let go than it might be if I were 30.

INNERBEAUTY78 Posts: 217
4/24/13 5:15 P

I struggle with my body image as well. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I felt beautiful and it sucks! I'm working on losing the weight I've gained over the past few years, but even when I lost the weight before I still felt fat. It's a constant battle with the mind and I tell myself that my weight doesn't make me who I am. There's more to me than what the scale says and I need to work on not comparing myself to everyone around me.

JGIRL5799 Posts: 561
4/24/13 4:02 P

You have awesome accomplishments and be proud of that!

I think we all have certain body images we see ourselves at..

The skinniest I have been was before kids when I was training 60 head of horses.. being a size 8 and flat tummy (for the first time in my life) was a weird thing..I never saw myself as that but still as the fat person from before LOL...

I had guys hit on me alllll the time and the only thing went through my mind was like hey dude, you wouldn't have given me the time of day when I was 80 lbs heavier! LOLOL

I am about 30lbs from being where I wish to be.. being a size 12 would be perfect but I would be happy in a 14. I am 5'8 and 2 sizes away.

I think its a comfort level... having stretch marks, scars which I have surgery scars as well,
They are not pretty at all, having this looser skin is def. not pretty, but its a part of me.

There was a saying I fell in love with and it helped with the body perception that we give.. do I expect to be a thin skinny minni? No, because I have had two kids, the body has been through hell, it has been through surgeries.. I Loved, I have lived and my body has proven it LOLOL

Would I love to have no motion in my tummy, don't we all, but as I get older, the more I realize I am more beautiful, stronger and living life like how it was meant to, I have gained awesome experiences in the world from relationships and working. Wouldn't trade it for the world..

Scars on the inside means you have loved, scars on the outside means you have lived.
I think the fact is we are all so hard on ourselves more than what others are towards us and we are our worse critiques. Just another clue to be nicer and kinder to ourselves.. but I totally understand where you are coming from and you are not a lone in this :-))

HAPPYMENOW58 Posts: 2,264
4/24/13 4:00 P

Hello Hawtlikeme....I hear you! I am also apple shaped and have the same issues with my middle area....Right now...I am still about 25 pounds overweight..but I can tell you the last time I was at my goal weight..about 12 years ago...I was still large I really do sympathize with you! It is very annoying...I heard that is why so many women get liposuction...because they can't stand their problem areas....I just can't wait to get back to my goal weight...Hopefully, at least I'm hoping to throw away those body shapers!!! emoticon emoticon

HEAT04 Posts: 115
4/24/13 3:42 P

Good for you! Those are all great accomplishments that you should feel PROUD to have completed!!

I try to think of stretch marks (and c-section scar) as my battle scars and think that any other mother would understand. I have gotten smaller, but they have not gone away. I totally understand.

Try to change your perception a little and think about your entire journey. Start rewarding yourself and keep moving forward.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,173
4/24/13 9:05 A

I agree that strength training can really help. I carry my weight in the "sit down" area-- butt, hips, thighs (a pear shape). Used to be that pants that would fit my big hips, would leave a huge gap at the waist. Through strength training, my hips and waist are now in proportion and I can buy pants without having to take the waist in. Doesn't mean I don't still have flabby thighs though-- seems to be a really hard area to tone up. But I'm slowly making some progress with those, too.

Do I think I'll ever have truly slim and trim thighs? No, I don't reckon so. Better yes. But perfect, no. I'm satisfied by knowing that I am doing what I can about it, rather than lying around on the couch like I used to, eating potato chips and growing a bigger butt.

I don't know that I'd agree with the "silly little weights" comment though. If you belong to a gym it might be worth trying a heavy lifting program. If you're looking to do some stuff at home though-- there are tons of videos here on Spark and you can get some dumbbells at Walmart or Amazon for fairly cheap. I've accumulated a bunch of them; in retrospect it might have been worthwhile to look at something adjustable, where you can add or subtract weight rather than buying sets of dumbbells of various weights.

And as for wanting to see more immediate results. Sigh-- how well I know how you feel on that! It seems like, once I finally decided I wanted to lose weight-- well I just expected it to start falling off me at a pace so fast you could practically see it going, overnight. I wanted to lose the weight and end up with a perfect body. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. It takes patience and is more about progress than perfection. Which are the sorts of things that Spark stresses so much-- non scale victories, making small changes and being consistent with them, building on a foundation of healthy choices.

HAPPYMENOW58 Posts: 2,264
4/24/13 9:02 A

HI Hawtlikeme...I hear you! I heve struggled with body image/self esteem my whole life also....It is tough and I fret about it a lot. I have bought many books and workbooks at the Book store that have helped me over the years...All the suggestions have been good ones....keep reading, practicing positive self talk,writing in journals,etc...It is all worth it for your good health!You are special, unique, and beautiful.....Keep sparking! emoticon emoticon

HAWTLIKEME SparkPoints: (21,813)
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Posts: 905
4/24/13 8:50 A

Good question. I had lost most of my weight with cardio and was not doing ST consistently. About a year ago I joined Curves and have been doing their ST circuit training 3X/week and have seen great results in all areas but my problem zone. I have wonderfully toned arms, shoulders, legs and rear, but any differences in my stomach area are so minute that they are hard to assess.

Do you think that if I add more ST at home with heavier weights, it might help? I just did some ST with DH on Sunday night using 10lb weights and I am still sore, so I know it probably did more for me than what I've been doing.

DETOX55 SparkPoints: (1,380)
Fitness Minutes: (2,987)
Posts: 124
4/24/13 2:54 A

Question - do you ever lift weights? If not, try a serious weight lifting programme and you may find you get the results you want...

Silly little weights won't change a thing, but big weights can change everything...!

All the best.

4/23/13 5:15 P

i too struggle with a case of mommy tummy. drives me crazy. the flab on my belly makes me look like I'm still pregnant. Even back in highschool, many moons ago, I thought I was fat and I was like 130 lbs. Now , 3 kids later (and my youngest is 17 this coming summer) I still look pregnant. I feel like I creep up about 5 - 10 lbs per year or so . knock a few off , and then it sneaks back again. feel much like a yo-yo. it's difficult when all your freinds are eating what they want and going out to restaurants, and the kids and hubby sit munching snacks at night and they all stay skinny as a rail. lol I will get there one day!

HAWTLIKEME SparkPoints: (21,813)
Fitness Minutes: (21,732)
Posts: 905
4/23/13 9:30 A

Oh JRP_007, I'm so sorry that you've struggled with this for so long. It could be part of some bigger issues that you may have also struggled with throughout your life. Have you ever found anyone with whom you can share some of these thoughts/feelings? You might benefit from getting involved in some form of talk therapy or counselling to help you to identify ideas for improving your self-esteem.

My issues are isolated to exactly where my fat lies and I just wish that I could look the way that I had imagined (not that I ever thought I would have an hour glass figure or anything, but no having a disgusting flabby belly would have been nice after the long, hard trail that I've been on. I've been at this since the beginning of 2010 and at each new goal or milestone met, I keep thinking, "okay how many more pounds will it take to get me where I want to be.

I'm just bummed and having a momentary "feeling sorry for myself moment" and was hoping that there would be someone who was where I am who could shine some light on the subject with good results and hope.

JRP_007 Posts: 11
4/22/13 4:33 P

i have always struggled with my body image. even when i was 135 pounds i still thought i was fat. i am six feet tall and to be that height with that weight i was way to thin. but even then i still thought i was to big. over the years i gained some weight which was a good healthy thing to do. i got pregnant with my son and gained about 80 pounds. i lost about 40 lbs of it but every time i loose weight or get close to being back in the 100's i fain it all back and then some. its soooo frustrating. i get so upset that i cant fit into any of my clothes, that i cant dress up and feel like a beautiful woman anymore. and unfortunatly im so stubborn and i dotn have the income to replace my wardrob so im stuck in t-shirt, gym shorts and my few pair of jeans. it is very hard for me to stay motivated, to stick to somethign becasue i want instant results i want it to happen so bad and every time i try and it doesnt i just knocks me down and i feel so dispaired from it all. my husband bless him always makes me feel beautiful and tells me that i am and it truly does help, but it doesnt help the fact that when i look at myself in the mirror i feel sad and disgusted with my body. all i really want is to feel beautiful and comfortable in my body again, to gain the confindence i once had. every time i get close i just get knocked back ten steps when i stepped ahead one. i hope you dont take this message as me just crying for attention i just need to get it off my chest so that mabey someone out there could help me stay motivated and not give up when i dont see immediate results.

LAUROBNAT Posts: 217
4/22/13 4:19 P

As a society we have to get beyond basing our happiness and self esteem on our outward appearance. I know it is hard we are so bombarded with perfect images that we will never attain so let it go. You don't need perfect. You just need to be the best you can be.

Look at some of the accomplishments you mention below
3 beautiful children, college education, met your goal weight, healthy on the inside - where it really counts.

Smile lady - you have a lot to be proud of!!

HAWTLIKEME SparkPoints: (21,813)
Fitness Minutes: (21,732)
Posts: 905
4/22/13 3:48 P

I have to wonder how much company I have in this struggle. I have lost 76 pounds, gotten myself to a weight that is lower than I was in college which, 24 years and three kids later is no small feat. I am in better shape that I've ever been, am fit, healthy and am getting stronger all the time. I'm fitting into sizes that I never imagined I would as an adult and yet, I'm still discouraged and disappointed.

As an apple shape to begin with and after three pregnancies, lots of stretch marks and having carried so much extra weight for so long, I have a stomach area that refuses to change shape along with the rest of me. As I continue to lower my BF%age and all of my other parts continue to shrink, my muffin top, jelly belly continues to proportionally protrude. Pastic surgery is too costly to be an option, so here I am. Healthy, light, fit and still feeling unattractive.

I find this incredibly disheartening after so much hard work and I just don't feel at all that I look like I had wanted to. I know I'm not done yet as I could still lose more fat, but I'm not confident that it will leave from where I want it to. As we all know fat stays and goes where and as it pleases, but I have to say it is very hard to maintain focus and motivation knowing how little control you actually have over the final result.

Have you made lots of progress only to be disappointed with the results or have you been able to get your BF low enough to see it finally leave?

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