Your situation is definitely not unique. It is definitely not anorexia either. I have the same problem. I'll feel great, and then I'll see a recently taken photo of myself, and it hits me that I have SO much further to go. It sometimes prevents me from enjoying how far I HAVE come. I've come to terms with the fact that I will always see flaws in myself, but that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate what I have done for myself.
The body dysmorphia is common among women and your comparison to anorexia is valid in that both involve a distorted image of yourself. It is NOT the SAME as anorexia or even in reverse, but it is related. I often avoid even looking in the mirror because the ME I KNOW is certainly NOT the ME I see in photos or even in my mirror.
Well firstly, it's not "like anorexia but in reverse." Anorexia is anorexia, which is totally seperate. This is more like body dismorphia. But you're certainly not alone. I would look in the mirror every single day when I was at my high weight of 285 and think I looked fine, or even pretty. Then I'd see a random picture of myself and be completely shocked at how huge I looked. It wasn't until I lost about 100 lbs that what I saw in the mirror, and what I saw in pictures finally matched up. When I was at my high weight, I had select pictures that I thought looked good, and now I can't even stomach looking at those.
Some people just get so use to what they're seeing in the mirror, and they come to terms with how they look. They think of themselves as "normal," even though they could be extremely overweight, or even underweight. It catches you off guard when you see yourself in a picture, or catch a glimpse of your reflection in the window of a store, because you kind of can see yourself for how you really are.
In my head, I saw myself as "a little overweight." I didn't see myself for what I really was- super obese. And I have to say, when I finally came down from that high weight, it really made me sick to realize how I looked at my high weight. And as I lost more weight, it seemed like every single picture I looked at, even if it was from just 20 lbs ago, it shocked me by how overweight I looked in the pic compared to now. It was something I really struggled with.
If you're anything like me, as you start to lose, you'll get use to seeing the smaller you in the mirror, and you'll start to detach yourself from the mental image you've been seeing yourself as. It takes time, and patience. It doesn't happen overnight. If you ever want to chat, feel free to send me a PM. Good luck.
Looking at photos of me was what got me on the ball to lose weight. I avoided cameras like the plague but when we went on vacation to Washington, DC and I saw how I looked I cried. I knew I had gained weight but it was horrible to see how bad I actually looked.
The mirror doesn't always tell the tale and it's easy to think that I look "okay" but pictures for some reason are more startling and honest.
One of the main reasons i don't let people take pictures of me. I hate the way I look in them. Even at a healthy weight, i hated what i looked like.
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Photos always make me look much larger than I really am. The lens distorts. Plus, I still "see" myself at my normal weight, so I'm always shocked by photos, until I remember they don't tell the real story. You're doing great. Keep taking the next healthy step ... and celebrate the positive changes you feel and see.
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