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When do you stop seeing yourself as too big?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sunday we had the nicest day. My daughter Catherine took me, my mother, and my mother in law to a brunch at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. It was a fund-raiser for the vet school, so it was doubly nice. The conservatory was stunning -- loved the orchids. Great setting for a nice meal.

We took all the obligatory pictures. I had a hard time, though. In the ones we took before and the ones we took there, I keep seeing myself as, well, not fat, but . . . too big.

I think a lot of people who lose a pretty big amount of weight have to deal with this. I'm not under any illusions that I'm at my goal weight or anything, but at the same time, I know I'm supposed to see that I look nice in these photos.

I'm also not posting them to fish for compliments or anything. As I said, I know I still have 30 pounds to go. I'm just wondering what your experience is with this phase of weight loss and how you've dealt with it, how it unfolded in time.

Here's one with my daughter. : )

Editing to add: Found this blog on SP. I need to pay attention to #4.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have the same experience. I think I look good in the mirror, but pictures??? I'm always amazed at how heavy I still think I look. You look AMAZING though!!! Maybe try cropping the photos so you can't see your head, put them away for a few days, then pull them back out. I think you just need a fresh perspective. To a person who isn't you?? You look gorgeous. I love the whole thing, especially the hair and the dress!
    2098 days ago
    You have not given up on yourself. You now know you are the only one that can make it happen for you.

    You have the power to succeed or fail.

    You have chosen to succeed.

    You look emoticon

    2100 days ago
    I don't know if you ever will, honestly. It is all about body image and self confidence rather your pant sizes. With some hard mental work, you can start to identify yourself as smaller.
    2100 days ago
    Wow, I think you look great! Like, Wonder Woman great! You ought to look at those pics and say, "I should get paid for being this awesome."

    I know what you're saying, though. Why does it take our brains longer to catch up sometimes? I read the blog you suggested and I absolutely agree with number four. I made a hard and fast rule for myself about a year ago. I'm not allowed to make any negative comments about myself. None. It's totally against the rules. It was hard at first, but wow, it's made a huge difference. It actually changed the way I think about myself and see myself. It's helped me become a much more positive person.
    2100 days ago
    You look very pretty--everything about you, your hair, your face, and your shape. You've worked very hard for the shape, but you are lucky when it comes to the pretty face. I'd love to have your smile.

    Your posts are always so thought-provoking. My immediate impulse was to compare myself to your photos, and come up short. "Wow, look at her arms! Why don't mine look that good? She has 30 pounds to go but she's so much smaller than me, she looks like she's at goal." I have 20 pounds to go but I'm twice your size.
    But I think that's the source of my unhappiness with my appearance right there. I'm comparing myself to other people, instead of appreciating what I have. When I'm compelled to compare, it makes much more sense to compare with how I looked 20 pounds ago.
    I was at a party a week ago where I received many compliments on my appearance, and I *knew* the only reason anyone made any remarks was because another friend had passed word around that I've been running and can now cover some distance, so they felt obligated to say something. Isn't that crazy?
    Thanks for the post. I'll make it a goal to find more things to appreciate about my appearance. It's oddly comforting to know that obviously attractive people struggle with this, too. emoticon
    2101 days ago
    I think the interesting thing you say is "I know I'm supposed to see that I look nice in these photos."

    Try looking at them without any expectation. Try putting them next to before pictures and appreciating how far you've come. Try looking for positive features, not just flaws.

    I go through a regular mixed emotions when I see myself in a mirror at work. (For whatever reason, there is a full-length mirror in the lady's restroom that is unavoidable on walking in, so I've been getting to see myself from the beginning until now.) Sometimes I look and I'm simply boggled by how much slimmer I look. Other times I look and all I can see is how much more there is to go. Both images are there in my mind.
    2103 days ago
    It is a struggle. I am right there with you. I also don't like the photos or am extremely critical of them. I often don't see the improvement. Yesterday a co-worker noticed my back is smaller. I immediately took it as a negative that my abs need a ton of more work (which they do still need to drop 50) but accepting the compliment is very hard for women that have lost weight and are still in the process of getting it off.
    Keep at it and look at a really bad before pic and you will smile.
    2104 days ago
    To fix your pictures you have to pull them up in a software that handles pictures and rotate them 90 deg clockwise then 'save as' so you don't overwrite the original. I don't know what computer you have apple or pc or software so you'll have to look for them on your own :)
    2104 days ago
    The media pushes a lot of anorexic looking models, photoshop'ed actresses and other famous women, lean athletes with body makeup and the list goes on. It's no wonder that we're conditioned to see ourselves eternally inadequate; that is what they are selling after all so we buy advertisers' products including their diet products, make up, so we feel better, for a little while, until the next meaner product comes out and then it's back to the vicious cycle of inadequacy. So the #4 in your ETA comment is absolutely true for a large amount of the women population; we need to reframe our state of mind by changing our inner dialogue, which should be a monologue btw ;)

    It's no easy task, but it's feasible. A way to help recondition this is to make a list of 5 things you like about yourself to start with and go over it every night before bed so it's the last thing you think about. Add new things as you go and/or replace them if you want to keep them down to 5 :)

    You pictures are great; you look great.
    2104 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/15/2012 10:24:11 AM
    I LOVE LOVE the sundress. I think you look great. Younger with the shorter hair. Kudos to you not coloring it. I too will be 50 this year but I have been coloring my hair since I was 25. I got the good genes from my mother. I was going gray at 21 so there was no way I going to let that happen. I love your comment about Olympic hair - I think all us moms feel that way. I have lost 20 lbs and I have not agreed to have someone take my picture yet. I know I need to have progress pics. I love to see them on SP and it really makes a difference when you can actually see your progress in a photo. But I know what you mean. We are blinded by the old fat pictures. I do hope you (and all of us) get past that because I truly only see a fit, fantastic, fortyish, lady in your pictures.
    2104 days ago
    I was at a hotel on Friday night, and even though I'm proud of the weight I have lost, seeing myself in the full sized mirror when I got out of the shower was a real downer. It really put things in perspective. I have come a long way, but I still have a long way to go.
    2104 days ago
    I'm not sure if you EVER really stop seeing yourself as too big. It's one of those ridiculous tricks of mind. :(

    Spark posts pictures sideways if the actual file on your computer is coded as sideways. Your computer can adjust to make the preview and the actual picture look regular, but there's something in the coding that says it's actually that direction. To fix it, take the original files, turn them sideways, and save. Then re-open, turn them back to normal, and save. This fixes whatever minor coding problem says they're sideways as well as regular, and then when you upload them to Spark, they'll be correct.
    2104 days ago
  • HEAT7918
    You look fantastic!!

    It's funny how the mind works - for a long time I had a similar issue only backwards... I was really skinny growing up and all thru my teens (yes, I know that no one feels sorry for me about that LOL), but it took me a while to realize that I was gaining too much weight... I kept seeing myself as skinnier than I actually was! Then finally one day I looked at a picture of me from my birthday and I'm sitting in a chair wearing shorts and my thighs looked... not good. I didn't wear shorts for a couple of years after that.
    2104 days ago
    I think you look GREAT! Really you do! I'm having a hard time believing you need to lose 30 lbs!

    Now, from my own personal experience, I will tell you that I STILL struggle with feeling that I look too big. :/ It's stupid. I have to tell myself that I wear a size 2/4. That is NOT big and that what I think I'm seeing is just an optical illusion. LOL But like you, when I see pictures of myself, I automatically start with the criticism: "oh, my thighs look huge in that picture" or "why do my arms look so big???" I honestly don't know if I will ever be satisfied with the way I look. It's so frustrating.

    But if you do want to feel better about yourself, compare your old/before pictures with your new pictures and you'll see a difference. It will make you feel better and hope you realize just how far you've come!!
    2104 days ago
  • WINNIE1978
    Oh I love that dress!!! Very "spring"! And you and your daughter both look beautiful.

    I think our minds are very strange when it comes to how we see ourselves. Some days I will look in the mirror and see how far I've come and some days I will see how far I still have to go.
    2104 days ago
    First of all- lovely dress!

    Secondly- My view of myself swings widely from still overweight (obese) and huge to every now and then reality. Reality takes mirrors at the front of the gym where I'm doing boxercise or lifting weights. It takes many photographs at many angles- some flattering, some that catch me off guard. and aren't so flattering. It keeps it in perspective.
    2105 days ago
    You look emoticon
    2105 days ago
  • SHIRE33
    Thanks, HFM -- funny about the hair. It's SHORT for me! (Check out the pix on my main page.) :D

    My mother is always on my @$$ to color my hair. But I don't want to. Not now, anyway. My daughter sucked most of the blond out of me. :D So I always say I have "olympic hair" -- gold, silver, and bronze. lol!

    Most of it is in these "bride of frankenstein" streaks at my temples. I suppose eventually it'll all go. I wouldn't mind being all silver or something, but I'll probably just get drab gray. :D

    I'll be 50 in August. I earned these gray hairs!!

    2105 days ago
    NO idea about why, but will say you look awesome. Love the pics and smiles and lol heres one, cos of your hair I am really trying to let mine grow. I have had grey hair for 10 years or so, always being told you are too young to leave it grey. I don't mind it most times but usually keep it short very short. But then I see someone who looks beautiful and not old with longer grey hair and I think hmmmmmmmmmmmmm right now it is in a bob to end of my ears, so will see how hot I get this summer.
    AWESOME pics. you look great, asnd I don't think you look big at all. you look so great in that pic like the dress, I like it all! LOL
    I haven't lost enough to know in pics or real I have lost 20 lbs well 18 right now, but can tell in my clothes.
    Glad you had a great day!
    2105 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/14/2012 9:24:11 PM
  • SHIRE33
    If anybody knows why SP sometimes posts pictures SIDEWAYS I'd love to know how to fix it. Grr.
    2105 days ago
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