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    CARPENSM   30,283
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How do you deal with a case of “Fat Head”

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Ok, I hate the F-word as much as the next person and really think it should be treated like the other f-word… or even worse because in my life the 3 letter F-word has probably been more damaging.

I’ve been “the fat girl” my whole life. I was a chubby kid, a chubby teen and then eventually… an obese adult. Its funny, people are resistant to use the O-word… I know it scared me for a long time.

At this point I’ve lost 81 lbs in my weight loss journey. I’m sitting at 203 lbs and being on the edge of One-derland is taunting me like you wouldn’t believe. But I’m confident that I’ll get there, don’t you worry! And oh will I jump for joy! I haven’t been less than 200 lbs since I was a child.

One of the biggest challenges of weight loss has been wrapping my head around the changing me. Don’t get me wrong, its not always easy to eat right late a night or resist some fried food while out with friends but I anticipated those challenges.

I didn’t anticipate looking at a pair of pants in disbelief only to try them on and say “wow, they do fit over my butt.”

I didn’t anticipate how amazing it would feel to be able to buckle a plane seat belt without saying a silent prayer in my head that this belt was a little smaller than others.

I didn’t anticipate the problems with my self image. I’ve always had a pretty healthy self-esteem despite not loving my body.

A few months ago I realized that self image was starting to become a problem, that despite all the success I’d experienced, I still really disliked my body and would focus on the things that I didn’t like over the things I did like. Instead of looking at how much thinner my waist was getting I would look at how wobbly my thighs looked.

To say the least, this wasn’t productive thinking!

In an act of desperation, I made myself several cue cards with instructions on them and set them by my bed. A couple times a week I would pick them up and following the instructions.

They were things like:
- Name one thing you like about yourself
- What’s one thing you can do now that you couldn’t do 2 years ago?
- What’s one kind thing your friends would say about you?

It felt cheesy to me but I knew I had to do something. I thought that even if I lost all the weight I want to it wouldn’t be good if I was physically healthy and not emotionally healthy. And what if it turned out that my weight wasn’t getting in my way so much as my bad case of “fat head.”

In a way I was suffering a sort of identity crisis. I had built up so many defences over the years to cope with my weight and am still struggling with how to cope with them. I’ve started noticing things that people will say around me, comments people make about overweight people.

I find this very upsetting!

1) it is upsetting that people talk like this.
2) it is really upsetting to know people have probably talked about ME like this.

But I try to focus on the positive. If someone is making these comments in front of me it is because they don’t see me as part of that group. But to me, I’m still very much part of that group and I think I always will be. And don’t you worry, I’m the type of person who speaks up in those situations!

Well I think my efforts to ride myself of “fat head” thinking have been helping.

I of course still have unhealthy thoughts but its getting easier to re-route my negative thoughts. I’m getting better and looking at the positive and diverting my attention from the negative. There are still road bumps (ie bathing suit shopping for my upcoming vacation was rough!) but I survived it! Funnily enough I focused on one very small thing. I bought 2 tankinis and focused on how now when I turn in a tankini and a little midriff pops out its no problem… where as 80 lbs ago I was showing off some serious tummy if that happened!

I think one of the keys to success is stopping yourself when you think those bad thoughts. I think of it in terms of “do not pass go.” When the bad thoughts start I just have to push them away and focus on the positive. One thing that works sometimes is looking at a before picture. After all, its been 2 years or gradual change for me so sometimes I forget and don’t really think I looked different.

What tricks do you guys have to stop a bad case of “fat head”? AKA, how do you stop the bad thoughts from taking over and focus on the positive?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

40PLUSANDFIT 2/3/2011 12:09PM

    First, you've done a tremendous job and look great. Yes I know you are still a WORK in progress. I've had a case of the fat head all my life, although technically when I was younger I wasn't fat. I'm not sure what caused it (oh yeah, great parenting ... not). Anyway, since I've lost my 25 pounds and (am still stuck on a plateau), I have those bouts myself. Sherri you thighs are still so huge and cellulite ridden, etc. Instead of noticing how STRONG they are and well musculared. So I have to one, get rid of all the old clothes. For some people this works. Two, stop the negative talk. I have to remind myself that I look much better. I'm in great shape. There's muscle tone where there wasn't before. I can't give any great tips. You just have to keep rewinding when the negative hits and work on the positive self talk. It will eventually take over.

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RACERXGIRL 2/3/2011 10:48AM

    I have a not-so-good habit of dwelling and stewing on the negative, so I try to be "in the moment" and live as consciously as I can. I, too, struggle with self esteem issues and what others (family and exes) have said as I was growing up really took root in my coconut. I had a therapist of mine suggest something similar to what you are doing with your cue cards. If I was in front of a mirror (at home, restroom at work, putting on my lipstick, etc.) I had to say "I love you" to myself. I felt like a total goober doing it, but it *does* make a difference. It's still a work in progress, and some days are better/worse than others...but if we keep making these positive changes they will push out the yucky stuff stuck in our brains. Oh, another thing she had me do was when those negative thoughts/voices from the past are tromping around in your head, think about it as if they're coming from a radio. Turn the volume knob down on the voices, eventually turning the radio off...then unplugging the radio and chucking it out, OR changing it to a good 'station' filled with positive self-talk. :)

Comment edited on: 2/3/2011 10:48:29 AM

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