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Old 10-04-09, 08:04 PM
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Unhappy Body Image Disaster!

Hi, this is my first post and so glad i found this forum. A little background, i'm 35 and have been overweight since about 15. At one point i was upto 245 lbs. at my highest weight. Now i weight approximately 190 after losing weight up and down over the past 10 years. There was a time that i would kill to be this weight and said i would never compain about being this size. I wear a size 12/14 and exercise (weights, aerobics and spin) 4-5 times a week. I've been told a million times that muscle weighs more than fat and i do believe that but DON'T see it

When i look in the mirror i see 300 lbs. I see my therapist for this very issue and she's asked me to not weigh myself as i'm seriously living my live based on the number on the scale. It's ruining my life. So it's been about 6 weeks since i've weighed myself and feel out of control. I really don't think it will make me feel better to get on the scale but i'd love to know who to cope with just keep doing what i'm doing. I'm dieting, eating healthy, drinking water, and exercising. I find it IMPOSSIBLE to take a compliment which i know they wouldn't say it if they didn't mean it. I think my image is getting distorted to the point where i have NO idea what i look like and cannot judge size. It's ruining my life....any words of advice or experiences would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-04-09, 08:41 PM
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Re: Body Image Disaster!

hi health,

i'm so sorry that you are having this concern. i have a dear friend who has lost considerable weight and yet she continues to shop for clothes that are her former size. she's mentioned that she just doesn't feel small and doesn't see herself that way. yet, when she was larger she said she felt like a tiny person trapped in a bigger body.

you're certainly not alone in having a distorted body image or feeling frustrated about weight loss/gain. it must be so frustrating to work so hard and not feel the results. i also think it's very difficult in our culture to see bodies for what they can do, instead of how they appear. can you look at your body and appreciate how strong it must be from all of that great exercising and healthy eating? you can probably hike up hills to beautiful vistas without a problem, plant trees, help an elderly person stand steadily--these are marvelous things!

taking compliments can be really hard if you're down on yourself. have you tried complimenting yourself? i'm sure you have both inner and outer beauty do you compliment others? my gut reaction is that you judge yourself far more harshly than you'd judge another. think of yourself as your best friend. if someone were saying the mean things about him/her that you say about yourself, you'd leap to the defense. it's hard to do that for ourselves, but necessary.

ok, i don't know where i'm going with this do you feel like your therapist is helping you with these issues? is she giving you useful mechanisms to attack this problem? do you feel like she understands your issues? maybe there are other methods of coping with this that would work better for you.

i wish you the very best during this difficult time.
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Old 10-04-09, 09:07 PM
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Re: Body Image Disaster!

Thank you so much Peri for the kind words and great advice. It is true, i would never treat anyone like i treat myself! My therapist is wonderful. I don't really know how she compares with others but she does help me as much as she can. And really makes sense. She has looked further for me for meetings specifically with this disorder. I tell her that i look at someone who is larger and don't even think about that what so ever, i see them for who they are and not what they look like. The problem is, is that i think that everyone looks at me for size and that's it! I think that i'm single due to my size which friends and family say otherwise.

I would love to know what other tools i could use to remind myself that the scale is not the cure all and that what i see in the mirror isn't the worst thing ever. I guess basically is that i have to start to learn how to accept things for the way they are.
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Old 10-04-09, 09:31 PM
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Re: Body Image Disaster!

hey there,

it's great to hear that you have a great rapport with your therapist--you certainly need a trusted team member in this struggle

this might sound daft, but how about dressing up more? you know, wear the items that make you feel prettiest. if you feel better with makeup, hair color, etc, then make the effort to treat yourself to those things as much as possible. treat yourself to things that are indulgent if you can and you enjoy them because i think it might help you to see yourself as worthy of caring gifts. i think practices like pilates and yoga can also do a lot to promote a more positive body image because they emphasize strength and self-care--admittedly, though, i'm not very good at consistent practice of anything.

maybe less than 'accepting things as they are' you could refocus yourself on the positive elements of your body. think about what it gives you and does for you. almost every female friend i've ever had has attempted to lose weight. the successful ones have put more energy into what they *can* have instead of what they must avoid. so, for example, they focus more on eating fruit instead of avoiding ice cream. (may sound naively optimistic, but i think forcing yourself to look at a positive you're moving toward might distract you from negative thoughts)

i just have so much empathy for you going through this.

i must confess, too, before you read old posts of mine or anything, that i'm barely out of the underweight category (don't worry, i'm not the skinny b*tch who's going to make out like thin people have it so hard) but my experience knowing women and being one is that we often find ourselves judging our worth by our appearance instead of our character. that said, it's perfectly reasonable to want to be both a good person and a good-looking one.

on the man front, of course there are men that only want a size 2 or whatever. however, as someone with far more male than female friends, most solid men are more sexually attracted to someone with a healthy body and a good measure of self confidence in that body's ability to give and receive pleasure. perhaps focusing on building confidence in general would be more effective than just looking at body image?? is it possible that having your therapy be primarily about your body distortion reinforces it?

keep your head high, health, you're going to get through this
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Old 10-06-09, 05:34 PM
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Re: Body Image Disaster!

I have two daughters. They are in their 20s.
One thing we have learned is that we, as women, some of us anyway, really know how to beat our selves up.
My daughters do it, I do it too. If it is not body image, well it can be just about anything.

I read all of the posts here and I have finally, at AGE 50, learned something.
You have to make your own happiness about yourself, your habits, accomplishments etc.
When you start beating yourself up, imagine physically or mentally abusing someone else. That is what you are doing to yourself. I tell my self "stop it!"
I have a mild eating disorder, I can control it, I force myself to eat properly, but it is always there, it is just part of me, a scar. My sister had major anorexia as a teenager and I saw her suffer but also admired her self control.
That control can be a good thing or a bad thing.

I wish you much luck and happiness
You are loved

I have taught my girls, they have to love themselves. Do not abuse yourself, then you are not growing. I guess that is how I feel when I do that. Nothing gets better, just worse

<3
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Old 10-07-09, 12:48 PM
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Re: Body Image Disaster!

Thank you so much for the advice. It totally makes sense. Just so hard to follow through. It's like one little small thing happens and it's a downward spiral from there. I try to focus on the positive in my life but i've always been so critical of myself. I had a run of bad dates, i know it wasn't me but after a few you start to think it's you totally lol!! I've since met someone new and haven't met him in person yet, only phone and email. We are meeting up soon for a drink and i'm scared to death due to the past few i've had.

I think society as a whole has made it so there is a picture perfect woman! I think people tend to forget that we come in all shapes, colors and sizes and that shouldn't matter. What matters should be what's within a person. But i know it's not a perfect world and you just have to weed out the one's that are superficial like that. I need to build confidence and show it I'm trying, work in progress!
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Old 10-08-09, 08:18 PM
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Re: Body Image Disaster!

heath92: well said.
I have been married for 26 years!!!!! yeah I can't believe it.
My hubby and I are quite different but we care about each other very much, and we have accepted the good things with the annoying things. I can think of at least 10 things that my hubby does that bugs me, but I am pretty annoying too.
People are too set on their own terms.
Today at the rink, (I ice dance, today we just skate and blab though) we were talking aobut husbands and my friends told me their hubbys were boss and bossy. Now that they are retired the hubbys are nit picky. haha, and 'micromanage-y'. I think I married a guy that is the complete opposite of that. he doesn't care much about anything, he is not picky. Well he is but not about little things. He is retired and now he works at home, consulting. It drives me nuts sometimes. I am so used to having the place to myself and getting things done, I have a hard time now.

I hope your date goes well.
I met my husband at a church party. I was dating someone else that was at the party too at the time...
...very funny situation

I agree, you need to be your own advocate, your own champion and protector of your heart. Set your own goals, and most certainly have high standards, that is what you deserve - the best, because you are worthy.
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Old 10-22-09, 09:14 PM
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Re: Body Image Disaster!

Quote:
Originally Posted by heath92 View Post
And really makes sense. She has looked further for me for meetings specifically with this disorder. I tell her that i look at someone who is larger and don't even think about that what so ever, i see them for who they are and not what they look like. The problem is, is that i think that everyone looks at me for size and that's it! I think that i'm single due to my size which friends and family say otherwise.

I would love to know what other tools i could use to remind myself that the scale is not the cure all and that what i see in the mirror isn't the worst thing ever. I guess basically is that i have to start to learn how to accept things for the way they are.
Hi Heath,

I was over weight starting in second grade and was chided over and over on a daily basis.

I used to dread going to the buss stop becuase a group of "boys" would pretend the earth was rummbling and that there was an earth quake happening . they were very creative . They would fall on the ground . and rol around.. LOL! its funny now but it REALY hurt . And I would hoover in the back of the buss alone .

They called me Big Birtha Fatty etc real l cruel stuff.

And no one came to my aid.


I used to come home from school and cry for a long time
In my photos grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and actuall through highschool even after I lost the weight you could see the depression in my eyes.

I was the tallest in the class and maybe 20 to 30 lbs over weight . I wasn't obese . But I was that largest child so I got it .

I did have problems with seeing fat on my body when i was okay .

I was also told I was ugly .

this is whats called mental poison someone injected me with .

The best thing you can do is just do the reverse of what you feel and think .

I dress up . I do my best to look nice now
And I tell myself I am very beautiful

i try to smile more , but its hard becuase Im very sad right now.

for the longest time I thought my body was ugly .

And the truth is I have a very nicely proportioned body and I'm lucky to have what I have .its like Ive been blind.

but why I hide it and have . Is because i did not belive I did . And I didn't want to attract attention.

And now when I show it I feel like Im being a braggart. better late than never ... for me its now or maybe never .

I belive we are all beautiful and we each have attributes if we just look for them.

Beautiful photo of you if thats you .

Feel gorgeous Heath.

Infinity~
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Old 10-22-09, 09:54 PM
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Re: Body Image Disaster!

I think your body image issues stem from a causal relationship with your low self-esteem. In other words, your body image issues are just a manifestation of low self-esteem.

Treat your self-esteem issues, and not focus on your body or image. When you're happy with yourself, you won't care what you look like.
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