Oh and one more thing - you mentioned your style. I know when I was overweight, I dressed like an idiot...I was also kind of broke, so that diddn't help matters. I gained almost 100lb during/after my pregnancy. I had no money...couldn't really afford clothes much. So, I wore sweats, and my boyfriend's XL shirts. I was pathetic. I gave up on my STYLE, and no longer dressed like an 18 year old girl! It took me almost 10 years to get back into a normal style! Now, I take pride in the way I look...spend money on clothes (now that I have it), and I think I would have been better off had I bought myself decent clothes even when I was heavy. This may sound crazy, but for me gaining the weight I lost myself. I stopped wearing jewelry, caring about my looks, EVERYTHING. I am just now even starting to get back into dressing stylish, wearing jewelry, and actually taking time to care for myself. I think I spent a few years where I didn't even get a haircut...just took some scissors and cut my ponytail. I know it sounds crazy, but it was a dark time in my life, and it took a lot to drag myself out of it. Sorry for the rambling, but your post brought me back to myself, and I wanted to share in hopes that it helps you feel better about yourself.
I think I am similar to you. I was about 100lb overweight when I started, now nearly 70lb down. I was average weight most of my life and everyone said I was so pretty etc. Then I gained weight with my daughter, and it changed me. I hated going anywhere, seeing people that knew me before the weight gain, and especially hated taking pictures. It's not that I had low self esteem. I knew (and know) that I'm extremely intellligent, good at msot things that I do. It's just that I didn't want to face people at my weight and feel the judgment. Even my own family made me feel bad because I used to be normal weight, then I gained so much I weighed more than my own overweight family members. I also hated feeling fat in public. It's just embarrassing, even though the rational person knows that other people just don't care how fat I AM! I eventually learned that people are actually sometimes nicer to you when you're overweight, like they are less intimidated of you! My advice to you is to focus on what you like about yourself, AND lose the weight. I can tell you that for me it had nothing to do with self esteem - I simply knew I shouldn't be 100lb overweight and I felt it. Once I lost 40-50lb, I started to feel more like myself and it felt good. Now I have more confidence and I am much less self conscious. I hope this helps you, and I wish you all the good luck in your journey. YOU CAN DO THIS. Take it from me, who went from 238, down to 168. It's taken me 4 years to get here, and I still have 20-40lb more to go, but it is worth it. You will feel better, look better, and most importantly you will be YOURSELF again.
Check out some of the spark pages on this site. I had about 25 #'s to lose, but had pretty low self esteem because of not "fitting ideal image". I have seen some of the most genuinely beautiful people on SP. Reading their stories is always inspirational. Start with ~INDYGIRL if you haven't already found her. Beth is AMAZING!!
you have to like yourself on the inside to want to work on the outside. You have to be nice to yourself. Change has to come within so the outside will change too. I am sure that you can do this. Change is possible you just have to want it real bad.
Fitness Minutes: (299,303)
8/2/12 5:15 P
You're not shallow !
Many women (regardless of size) have had issues with self esteem. I've worked with morbidly obese women who had the most amazing sense of style. They always wore fashionable clothing that flattered their figures. And I've also known size 6-8 women who looked like dish rags because they dressed like dish rags !
When a woman is self confident, size doesn't matter. Look at Aretha Franklin. She's recently lost weight, but she's always been a big woman. Yet, she's always been conscious about the clothing she's worn. She's always worn some eye catching fashions.
Size really doesn't matter. How we feel about ourselves really is about self confidence. There are plenty of women with super model figures who hate their bodies. Otherwise, why would they keep getting cosmetic surgery to change it ?
You are unique, one of a kind. Take a cue from Aretha, go out and buy some snazzy outfits that flatter your figure. Many good department stores (like Macy's or Torrid online) have some extremely fashionable clothes for larger women. Buy some new clothes ! Nothing says new attitude like a new outfit. Don't wear baggy clothing. Wearing the right clothes really can make all the difference.
Buying some new clothes or even getting a new hairdo is a way to start rebuilding your self confidence. You've already started taking the first steps to improving your health by becoming a member of Spark People. Spark People isn't just about losing weight. It's about embracing a healthy lifestyle. When your insides are healthy, that reflects on your outside.
With time, you'll see that there is a mind body connection. When one isn't working right, that messes up everything else. Take baby steps literally and figuratively. Read the forums. reply to other posts. You're going to learn a lot about yourself from your fellow members.
Be kind to yourself as you would to others.
Fitness Minutes: (20,173)
8/2/12 4:52 P
I am shallow
Fitness Minutes: (1,200)
149 8/2/12 3:34 P
Bother because your health (mental and physical) is worth the effort!
I like your honesty but in all due respect you never really liked yourself if looks matter so much. I see the same thing in two of my sisters and they both long for the attention they once got even though it was negative attention by people who disgusts me. I think you can get over it by exploring who you are without worrying about your outer shell. Are you good inside, are you good with kids, good with elderly? Can you make another persons day brighter, can you make yourself available to lend a helping hand, those are things that should matter. Work on your inside and then maybe you will want to groom your outside.
You can only control how you're presented, not how you're perceived.
It's okay to have some self-interest, which isn't the same as being shallow or selfish. But if you change your look, do it for yourself and not for others.
If you don't like any of your current outfits, maybe it's time to buy a new outfit - but one that you like and feel good in, rather than (ultimately) how you think others will judge it.
IMO, what you should do is go to the dinner (that is, if you really want to be there), and don't cut off your social activities if all it might take would be a new outfit or hairstyle... or maybe just toning down a current outfit.
Edited by: RACKMYBRAINS at: 8/2/2012 (14:18)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
8/2/12 1:59 P
I am brand new here- one thing I struggle with is my looks- I hate admitting this, because I didn't think I was "this way". When I was younger, I received a lot of attention for my looks, and frankly, I didn't think much of it. I dressed the way I wanted to (a little off the beaten path, lol) and didn't know any differently.
Well now at 47 and 100# overweight, I have been searching on what makes me feel the worst about my situation so I could work on fixing it. I am, after years of this, ready to admit it must be my looks. :(
I don't feel I am judgmental of other ppl's weight, I come from a family that has all struggled with weight and they are all beautiful to me! BUT, I look at myself and feel, "Why bother?" IF I 'get myself up' and feel ok about how I look, I either see a full length mirror or go out in public and immediately feel EXTREMELY self conscious-- often enough that I will either not go out at all, or leave where I am. UUggh, this is so hard to admit. :( When I think about clothes, hairstyles, make up that I love... my next thought is that a 47 yr old fat woman would look ridiculous in it.
How do I get over this?? I don't present myself, my personality, my style at all anymore. In fact, other than work or solitary activities (shopping, errands) I rarely go out at all unless I FORCE myself to. Like tonight, I am going to dinner with friends and I have been dreading getting dressed for it since I made the plans 4 days ago. Thinking about how to cancel (which I frequently do :( )
I have been living in either my work uniform (I am a chef, so I wear a chef coat to work) or flowy yoga pants, hoodies for too long. And feeling so ugly.
Have any others felt this way? I never knew my looks mattered to me like they apparently do. Trying to ignore how I feel about it hasn't done anything good for me, so maybe trying to address it will.
Sorry if this is too long- It's hard to be succinct when it is literally bubbling over in my thoughts.