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I think you can use this "habit" in a positive way and not just let "Harriet" run away with it. There is nothing wrong with comparing yourself to others when you are working hard to improve yourself. If you see an obese person, make a point to talk to him/her and leave them a SPARKPEOPLE "card" and invite them to check out Sparks. If your town has a SparkTeam like we do in Pensacola, do tell them about it. Trust me, they are NOT "fat and jolly". I read so many of the messages here on the boards and they admit that they "put on a happy face" but inside they hate the fat prison they are in and they want OUT. Many, many Sparkers have turned their lives around, so it can be done.
My son said to me "Mother, if I was a woman, I'd do everything possible to be as good looking as I could be, because women just don't realize how men totally judge women by their looks."
I've been reading old posts that I had not looked at before. This is such a difficult issue. We have a huge amount of media promoting a certain look for women, even though it represents a very small percentage of women's bodies. I did not realize until I was much older that not all women were looking at other women with the constant evaluating that I was. But, a lot do, and we can be quite hard on each other. However, even when I find myself criticizing a woman's body, I rarely think it diminishes her as a human being. I used to judge my personal worth for being overweight, but realizing that I was able to cut others slack on that helped me lighten up on myself. I'm still bothered to some degree by my appearance, especially since I put on about 15 lbs. since last summer, but why I still give this attention is 1) because I still binge and 2) my BMI is still in the overweight range. Personally, I believe I am still healthy, but it just bugs me to know my risk of several diseases is up. I like to think of myself as being responsible in my choices. But, in the face of the desire to eat when I'm not hungry, I don't even remember such issues.
*"The goal of weight loss is incompatible with recovering from disordered eating." Center for Clinical Interventions
*The No S Diet saved my emotional life! Four years and counting. nosdiet.com/ *Be happy with this moment. This moment is your life.
*Get to the next meal hungry!
Thanks Sue(s). It is good to know I am not alone. What you said about 'going 7 years and not caring about your body or anyone else's ' is interesting. I guess part of the reason I am so focused on others is that I have been so focused on my body for so long.
My earliest memories of my body were around 11. I got my first 'bra' (really a half undershirt and I modeled it and my mom and sister said, 'you are fat' (I was not). Also kids in class told me I had a big butt. I've been fighting that butt and comparing it to others for 35 years. Enough Harriet!!
If you win 51% of the battles you have won the war.
Yes I certainly have this habit too. I am always pointing out heavy women in my mind. I also get this really sick sort of glee when someone who has been (in my opinion) a bragger about weight loss regains it. I still feel that way about Oprah.
It's definitely a character flaw on my part, and I realize that as critical as I am of others, that's NOTHING compared to how critical I feel about myself. That leads to shame, disappointment, anger....and for me these are triggers that get my bingeing going. Very self-defeating!!
"...let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith".
I have to admit I do that--- and I do that alot more when I am "dieting" than when I'm not.
I went for 7 years ignoring my weight and pretty much ignoring everyone elses too--- but putting on the pounds. As I started trying to lose, I found I paying much more attention to other people's bodies as well as my own. I started to become so much more aware and critical of people's bodies. Women who I had generally thought of as normal because they weren't obese--- I started to realize as I looked closely were actually overweight.
It kind of reminds me of how when I am in the process of buying a car, and shortly after I buy it, I start noticing the makes, models, and colors of what other people are driving. Then within a few weeks later, I go back to my more normal disinterest in cars and don't pay attention to it anymore. I hope that as I get to maintanence mode--- I will go back to not paying that much attention to other people's bodies, while still being able to "keep my weight in mind" enough to maintain. It seems I haven't learned yet to keep my weight in mind without comparing myself to others.
Your post got me to thinking about when this behavior first developed. I bet for many of us it was pre-adolescent or adolescent behavior. For me I think it was around age 11, when at school we were all weighed and I found I was the heaviest girl in the class at 90 pounds and only one boy was heavier-- when I become more self conscious of my "chubbiness" and started to want to lose. This was reinforced for me when my parents enrolled my sister and I in "finishing school" at a modeling school when I was 13. I was 113 pounds at 5' 4". In addition to teaching us etiquette, fashion, and make-up application, they told me I was overweight and began giving my dieting instructions. I think the "finishing school" experience was when I really started negatively comparing myself to the models that taught the class.
By today's standards of kids weight with so many kids being heavier--- 90 at age 11 at 5' and 113 at age 13 at 5'4--- is probably about average--- but for me I definitely felt fat at the time.
SW 8/1/08 229.
This week on my commitment list of things I am committed to do I put, 'I will not compare my body to others' I often find myself looking at women at the gym, on tv, on my exercise videos, in the store and comparing their bodies to mine. This is a nasty 'Harriet message' habit. I beat myself up for not looking as thin/young/good hair day as the other women or worse, I mentally criticize the larger women. In an effort to rid myself of this habit I said I would think, 'delete, delete, delete!' any time one of these thoughts came into my head this week. Instead I find myself obsessing even more! I never realized HOW MUCH I actually do this until I started to try and stop. Does anyone else practice this self depricating and nasty habit?
If you win 51% of the battles you have won the war.