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MARTHA324 Posts: 5,944
4/17/14 11:44 A

I was thin as a child and started gaining weight in college. Went on many diets and my weight bounced up and down. This last time I had gained quite a bit of weight and even though I was in the plus sizes I'd look in the mirror and not see someone as fat as I was. Sure, I knew I could lose some weight, but just didn't "get it."
What got me to change was having trouble getting up off the floor and I thought I'm not old enough to be having this kind of trouble. I also heard a news story about how it isn't healthy to drink every day. I decided I had to do something and over time have changed my eating and drinking habits. Now a size 8 or 10 and love my body.

KKKAREN Posts: 12,754
4/17/14 10:22 A

I never had a weight problem until I quit smoking in my 40's. I'm 25 to 30 lbs overweight now but I am always shocked when I see my image. In my minds eye I still look like I did when I was younger.

SUZIEQUE77 SparkPoints: (9,271)
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Posts: 1,068
4/15/14 6:12 P

I was a chubby child and I was quite aware that I was chubbier than most of my classmates, even then. I made my first effort to actually lose weight when I was 11 and went from about 120 chubby pounds to around 96 at that time, which was about right. I did it without doctors or help or advice. This was in the '70s but even then I knew what caused weight gain (eating too much) and that in order to lose it I needed to cut back, skip desserts, and be more active.

Still, a few years later into high school weight started creeping on and I really battled it after that with gaining and losing cycles. I know I was around 160 as a senior in high school, 170 when I was 19 and met my XH. And I was very much aware that I was overweight. I have never been able to accept myself like that. I think I have a very realistic view of what body really looks like. If I were to gain 10 or 20 pounds, I'd see it every where including in my face. I have always HATED that "you have gained weight" look.

4/15/14 5:15 P

I'm the opposite. I was chubby as a child and with the names my siblings would call me, my grandfather teasing me and wearing the "1/2" size clothing formed a concrete overweight image in myself. I lost the pounds and weighed between 103 and 111 from jr. high until after graduating college. My weight crept up in my 30's and at 135lbs I started Phen-fen. It "messed" me up for quite some time. Advancing into middle age, deteriorated health and depression and my weight shot up to 180. My heart did get better after some years.
So, here I am at 58 yrs/old and 233 lbs. and looking forward to any of those lesser weights. I think I have learned to be kinder to myself recently and will appreciate more the body image I have as I continue to lose weight and get healthier, stronger and happier.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,530)
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Posts: 27,194
4/15/14 12:46 P


I experienced similar feelings about my weight when I weighed over 200+ pounds. At the time, I wore a size 16 or so. I figured, size 12-16 is average isn't it ? Those were the sizes most American women wore, right ? So, if I'm wearing a size 16, I must be average ! But I wasn't, I was morbidly obese. I just didn't see myself as fat because I didn't think I was fat. I just thought I needed to lose a few pounds. There was a time when I tried on a "large" black leather jacket at Macys. It didn't fit. It was too tight. I convinced myself the reason I couldn't fit into the large or even extra large was because the jacket was cut SMALL.

Well, things changed after I'd decided I needed to lose those few pounds. When I lost the first 35 pounds, that's when I was finally able to try on that large black leather jacket and have it fit.

I did go on to lose more weight. Why did I tell myself I wasn't fat when I was ? I just don't think I wanted to face the reality of being morbidly obese. Being morbidly obese means I could have a lot of medical problems. Being morbidly obese means I can't do anything with my body, doesn't it ? When I was that size, I was kick boxing and I was good at it. I did push ups and jumping jacks and all that stuff. I was fit, but I was fat.

that's another reason for my own distorted self image. thought that as long as I exercised, I wasn't really that big. But... I was.

So, I do understand where you are coming from. Why do we do it ? I think we're afraid to face reality.

The good news ? I have learned to have a better self image of myself since losing the weight. However, this is a catch 22. When you lose the weight, you could have just as skewed a perception of your body. When some of us lost weight, we nitpicked at our bodies. Why be 140 when you can be 135 ? Why be a size 6 when you could go for 4 ? Remember when we were kids and our parents told us, you can do better ? okay, well, that can skew how we look at our bodies because we do wonder if we could do better.

What have I learned ? maybe it's because I'm old, lol, but I've learned to appreciate what my body can do instead of worrying about how it looks. I will never be perfect and I'm okay with that.

At some point, we all have to learn to love our bodies... as is. Because if we strive to be perfect, we're going to end up miserable.

Good health does come in many different shapes and sizes.

UMBILICAL Posts: 12,786
4/15/14 12:17 P

Eye of the beholder

PACAROLSUE SparkPoints: (4,521)
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Posts: 487
4/15/14 11:36 A

Well, I gained my 60 lbs over the past 30 years and still don't see it in my mind's eye. I have my measurements recorded on Fitday from when I signed up. Maybe I will update them periodically.

Thanks for the idea!

ATHENA-NADINE SparkPoints: (20,812)
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Posts: 360
4/15/14 11:16 A

I was naturally thin my entire life (between 108 and 120 pounds), until health issues during and following two pregnancies led to me gaining weight. I was in denial about it for YEARS because I couldn't see it in the mirror. At my heaviest weight, 185 pounds (and considered obese), I still had a hard time seeing it in the mirror, and was shocked to my core when I saw pictures of myself.

I'm down a little, at 177 pounds, and I've been fighting the distortion because I keep feeling like I'm already back down to a healthy weight when I look at myself. I assume that since I was naturally thin for most of my life I have a set image of myself in my head so don't see myself as I really am. Because of that, I make it a point to weigh myself every single morning after getting out of bed. Doing that helps me to ignore what the mirror tells me. I measure myself once a week as well--mostly to track my actual progress, but it also keeps me from lying to myself.

All that to say that I just have to continue to tell myself that I'm not actually 115 pounds anymore and I CANNOT fit into a size 6 no matter what I might believe when I'm looking at clothes in a store. I'm actually bordering on a 16 (they fit my legs and hips but are way too big for my waist).

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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4/15/14 10:35 A

I think a person's perception of themselves lags behind the reality, in general. For example, it took me 6 months to realize that I had *somehow* managed to gain about 30 pounds and even though that weight has been off for nearly two years, I still see myself as 30# heavier and am surprised by how I look in a mirror.

The way I try to combat this is to take regular measurements (as often as a week sometimes) of my waist, hips, and thighs. By keeping track of those numbers I know what size I am and when I might be heading in the wrong direction.

PACAROLSUE SparkPoints: (4,521)
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4/15/14 10:24 A

Many times I hear about people who have lost a lot of weight but still "see" themselves as fat. I am the opposite. My fighting weight was 130, when I was younger, in my 20's and 30's. I have gained a lot of weight over the years, but in my mind's eye I still see myself as thin. When I go to buy clothes, I'm shocked that I need a size much bigger than a 12. I take pants into the dressing room and can't believe it when they won't go over my hips. When I look at a size 16-18 pants they just look so huge. I can't believe that's what fits my body. When I pass a full length mirror I don't recognize myself, thinking that it's someone else I'm seeing. Pictures appall me! I have a wrap-around skirt that buttons up the side that I wore back in my thinner days. It now goes half way around me. I look at it and wonder how I was ever that small.

Did anyone else have this happen? How did you overcome it. It tends to make me think that I don't need to lose weight. I'm wondering what I could do to change my thinking. I think if I went clothes shopping every day, it would make me face the facts as they are and realize how important it is that I make some changes.

I really believe that this is holding back my weight loss.

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