T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 48596
posted 01-12-2011 05:19 PM
I lost some weight over 2-3 years. It was ok though, I weighed over 300 pounds and I did it in a healthy way by eating healthier, counting calories, and exercising. I am now 175 which is still overweight for my BMI but better and healthier than 300. My doctor knew I did this too by the way though I did it on my own.
I am just trying to maintain right now. But I guess I don't see myself as the 175 ish body but more the 200+ or 300 person. I look totally normal in clothing. If you saw me in person and I told you of my weight loss or if I showed you pictures of me before, you would probably never guess I have/had a weight problem. In fact, even though I weigh 175 I guess I carry it well because most people guess I am about 145. Under clothes I have "trouble zones". One thing you never assume while watching weight loss advertisements is that even if you lose the weight, you are not going to have the tight, perfect body seen in whatever advertisement you are watching be it for pills, meal plans, WW or other things (not that I used these things anyways). I have cellulite on my legs and butt. I have flabby arms...on my belly I have either what I figure might be lose skin or just more fat I need/should lose....With clothes I can hide or cover these things. I can wear long sleeves to hide my arms, cute jeans or capris to hide my legs and clothes that cover my belly. Actually my belly is "flat" for the most part, unless I sit down, so that makes me look smaller. But I sometimes feel like a fraud. I have started dating and sometimes I feel like I am misleading someone because I look like a normal person with clothes on. Does this make sense? I guess I know that all bodies are imperfect and I have seen how even photographs in magazines aren't real. Plus, I guess some people have imperfections on their face and they wear makeup which is similar to wearing clothes over trouble zones...
Member # 3
posted 01-12-2011 05:24 PM
Let me try coming to this like this: do you really think that there are 150-pound people, 200-pound people, 300-pound people? I mean, that what anyone weighs has anything to do with who they are as a
person? Or that you're only a "normal" person now and were not before? Or still aren't now because your tummy looks this way in cloths and that way naked? I hear you saying you feel like a fraud because others are seeing you as the person you are, who happens to look like you do now, rather than seeing you as all the ways in your life you may have looked, or because you (like pretty much everyone) looks different in clothes than without them. Do I have that right? If so, can we maybe talk some about your ideas of what makes a given person real or true?
Member # 48596
posted 01-12-2011 05:36 PM
I know that weight doesn't define or make a person. If I were going to go that way I'd focus more on body composition, health, fitness achievements ect. which is what I started realizing when I was trying to lose weight anyways. I know it doesn't define us anyways...
I guess I'm just worried that someone will see me and assume that I look in a way that I do not...I know that my one ex fantasized about me and I am pretty his fantasy didn't involve cellulite or all of those other things...so using that example what if he and I became intimate at one point and sees what I really looked like and then feels disappointed because I didn't look like what he expected? I guess I just worry not about just my reaction to my body, but another person's reaction?
Member # 3
posted 01-12-2011 05:43 PM
Aren't you still only talking about your body, though, when you talk about things like body composition, health, fitness?
Pretty much everyone (especially once we're not in our teens or 20s anymore) looks different in clothes than they do naked. Not just you. If they/we didn't, then getting naked with someone we were into wouldn't be very exciting, you know? What it sounds like to me is that you just might not feel ready to have someone see you outside your clothes now; that you're expressing feelings scared of judgment and too vulnerable for that just now. Does that seem right?
Member # 48596
posted 01-12-2011 06:31 PM
Yes, I was referring to my body. I have learned how the scale numbers really don't represent the body standing on it. For instance, two people of the same weight and height might have different body composition. 125 on one person might be more muscle and another person may be more fat on the other. So, saying that someone is 150 really doesn't tell you much about that person. They might have alot of fat or they might be very athletic and muscular due to lifting weights and training.
But will those feelings ever go away? Like will it go away by the time I'm 30 or 40?
Member # 3
posted 01-12-2011 08:08 PM
quote: But will those feelings ever go away? Like will it go away by the time I'm 30 or 40? Well, here's the thing: from what I can tell, if you keep thinking the way you are about people and bodies then how you feel might not change. In other words, I think to feel differently, you need to change your mind, not your body, or just have time pass.
One thing I want to be clear about is this: our world of late very much treats fat people like Fat People. In other words, much of our world DOES make people, and more people of size than others, be about their bodies, be considered as different people than others because of their bodies. And if you have lived life as a person of size, it's always going to be very hard to escape that and very hard not to internalize that. I don't have a single friend of size who doesn't acknowledge that and who hasn't had to do a lot of work to unpack that baggage that got put on them, whether their size changed or stayed the same. But that attitude isn't right: it's not true, it's an -ism and it's a pile of hooey. People are not their bodies, not how their bodies are composed, not numbers on a scale, not one kind of person because we have cellulite but another kind of person if we don't. Our bodies are part of who we are but only one part, and really, likely one of the smallest, least important parts, especially since they are always changing, all through our lives, not just because of weight changes, but because of a host of different things, many of which we cannot change or control. So, whatever someone weighs or has weighed, had or hasn't lost in pounds, how they are or aren't composed doesn't tell you much about that person. It usually doesn't tell you much at all beyond that that's how they look and probably how a lot of people they're related to look. Know what I mean?
Member # 48596
posted 01-12-2011 08:44 PM
Yes, I have experienced being picked on all through school. I started putting on weight in high school and was always picked on, had few friends as a result...and I don't know how to change that. I know I am more outgoing now, but I don't have as many friends or know how to make new friends because of that. And I always think of doing new things but I am still held back because I still have that "fat person" mentality I guess...
I just wondered if you knew any things that I could do to help me change my mind or change how I feel? One thing I noticed is that where I work right now there are people of all sizes (at school I was the biggest) and I find it interesting that I have coworkers that are probably the size or smaller than where I was my heaviest weight, but yet I think they are beautiful. I find little things like their eye color or hair color fascinating...so even though I know they are overweight I think they are attractive because of those things or their personality. So, maybe that is the way other people will see me? They might see my icky body but really like my eye color or my neck, or other attractive body part even though I might not like my body?
Member # 3
posted 01-12-2011 08:52 PM
I know it can be really awful. I have quite a few friends who are fat activists who have written and talked a whole lot about this issue. I'm so sorry you has to go through that, and I'm sorry if all of that stuff got under your skin, which it is bound to do.
However, the way you're viewing your co-workers is actually a pretty good sign that you only internalized it so much, and that you don't think about this in a super-limited way. That you can view their diversity and size so positively tell me that being able to apply that same view to yourself is going to be something you can do. Let me first say this: I know your body isn't icky. I know that because no body is icky. All bodies are simply different, but none of them are icky. How can what allows us to live our lives and have a home for who we are to live in ever be icky? Our skin, our bodies, they house who we are, they allow us to do things with who we are, and they can provide us all these experiences we'd not have without them. Even when we're ill and they don't work like we'd like them to, even when they cause us physical pain, I still don't think they're anything but seriously awesome. We wouldn't be here without them! If it helps, I grew up with a single mother who often worked double or triple shifts at a hospital where I spent a LOT of time growing up. So for me, as a child (and one who has a physical disability, as well, so there's that), I sat and talked with burn victims. With people who did not have control over their facial mannerisms or body parts. With people of all sizes, with people who were only kind of ill to people who were seriously ill. Because of that, and some other things, to me, I've never been able to see anyone whose body I thought of as icky, or who I thought was who they looked like. How you see yourself may have absolutely nothing to do with how others do, and chances are that the harshest critic of you is you, the harshest critic of your body is you, the person most likely to think who you look like is who you are is going to be you. For some folks, getting over all of this takes more time and work that for others. That's okay. It sounds like you've invested a lot of time and energy in your body. Can I ask if you've yet invested any in your mental health and well-being; done any work on your self-esteem, had any counseling around your feelings and self-image? I'd also be happy to share a couple book suggestions, including from those friends of mine who do work around this issue, whose work I find amazing. [ 01-12-2011, 08:54 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 48596
posted 01-12-2011 09:26 PM
I didn't realize there are books and activists on this. I'd be interested in the book titles and would try to find them at the library if they have them.
While I found I could research weight loss, nutrition and exercise mainly, I haven't found much on how to work on the self-esteem and body image issues. From what I have read, I've seen people say if a guy sees you he usually doesn't see your flaws but is just so happy that he sees you naked, to the fact that people focus more on the face and not the body, to as you mentioned how there are other people out there with body issues that are similar to post-weight loss bodies and are still accepted. I think one analogy was if you were dating a guy who you really liked but then learned that he had scars and such on his body because....he was in a fire/accident/was a fire fighter ect. situations would that be a deal breaker? And obviously not...at least not for me but others I guess... But no, I've had no help doing this at all. In high school my one doctor always told me I needed to lose weight but she never told me how to...which made me more upset than better and so I tried to avoid eating junk food which totally didn't work because when trying NOT to eat something you usually want to eat it! So, with me I just aim to eat healthy but if I really want it I will eat it...and I have mentioned to my doctors about what I could do to improve my skin and they have no answers or never mentioned that it was ok or that I should just improve my self esteem and how to do that...
Member # 3
posted 01-12-2011 09:45 PM
There so are! So, let me hook you up with a handful of links then. You may well wind up on the internet ride of your life tonight and discover a whole bunch of awesome stuff you never knew existed. How exciting!
Let's set aside what those doctors and such said for now. Let's also later address that your body image isn't about what guys think, but about what YOU do. Our body image is about OUR image of our bodies, not someone else's. Let's instead give you some really positive, enlightening fierce ladies to be in excellent company with. So, bookwise, here are just some good ones to start, most from some women I just love: Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body by Kate Harding Real Gorgeous: The Truth about Body and Beauty by Kaz Cooke FAT!SO? : Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size by Marilyn Wann Fat Chicks Rule!: How To Survive in a Thin-Centric World by Lara Frater Big Big Love: A Sourcebook on Sex for People of Size by Hanne Blank Body Outlaws: Rewriting the Rules of Beauty and Body Image by Ophira Edut Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary You might like this one because it's full of a range of images/photographs of young women who all look different: Body Drama by Nancy Redd But there are some goodies for you right online, too. Joy Nash's Fant rants are just completely amazing. You can find the first one here, then follow the YouTube links through more of them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUTJQIBI1oA I also love this piece we have here with some of my fave people I called on to talk to all of you about body image: http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather_corinna/2009/12/20/from_us_to_you_some_volunteer_aunties_talk_body_image This advice piece might help you out, too: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/how_can_i_trust_that_someone_else_will_like_my_body_when_i_hate_it_so_much This is Kate Harding's blog: http://kateharding.net/ NAAFA is a size acceptance organization in the US: http://www.naafaonline.com/dev2/ So, there are some starts, but happy to talk more over time and connect you with more of these resources. I think if you didn't even know they were out there, and people were thinking the way they are in them, you may feel better before you even go to bed tonight.
Member # 48970
posted 01-12-2011 11:52 PM
Just so you know, your body at whatever weight it is now is not really different than a body at the same weight which never weighed more. Maybe you feel that cellulite, stretchmarks, flabby arms, etc. are artifacts from your life before you started eating healthier, but that isn't the case. Most people, no matter their weight, have cellulite, stretch marks, and flabby arms (Gosh, I most certainly have cellulite and flabby arms and I've always been more on the thin side, and I used to feel badly about it too). In a way, it's something of a secret shame that most people have but think that other people don't have because few admit it.
And also, what your body has looked like in the past doesn't make what it looks like now fake by any means. Bodies change, often drastically- we used to be tiny babies. We used to not have breasts or hip curves. In a way, I think you may be going through something akin to puberty because it was such a huge change in what your body looks like. I'm not sure how puberty was for you, but growing breasts, etc. made me feel really awkward and not at home in my own body. So perhaps there is some of that dynamic going on too. Here are some links that really helped to change my mindset: http://www.blogher.com/own-your-beauty-month-2-imperfection-and-perception-katherine-center?page=0%2C0&from=promo http://kateharding.net/ http://www.alreadypretty.com/ (she has some good stuff now and then, like the letter to her body that she wrote) http://facesofbeauty.org/
Member # 3
posted 01-13-2011 08:24 AM
quote: Bodies change, often drastically- we used to be tiny babies. We used to not have breasts or hip curves. I love these points!
Member # 48596
posted 01-13-2011 02:13 PM
It makes sense that I might be going through post weight loss "puberty". When I was younger I didn't realize that my body changing was normal and everyone went through it and that it just meant that I was healthy...so I guess in this case if I knew that everyone has cellulite, and the body imperfections I have because it is normal and not...like wrong, that I would feel better? Yet, I doubt there is going to be a magazine or movie out there with someone who looks like me in it?
I'll check out those links and see if the library has any of those books.
Member # 20094
posted 01-13-2011 05:22 PM
Might it help to remind yourself that mainstream magazines and movies don't even come close to showing the full range of diversity when it comes to human bodies? The media is terrible for showing only a few body types, so it's not really sound to look to something like magazines if you're looking for examples of other people who look like you.
Member # 31388
posted 01-14-2011 03:16 PM
Yeah, most people I know (fat to super-thin, doesn't seem to make a difference) have stretch marks or cellulite or flab (including me). Some guys have stretch marks, too, even! So yeah.
Member # 45788
posted 02-01-2011 09:47 PM
besides, what you look like isnt that important. if youre in a relationship with someone and they split over the fact that youre not "hot', then theyre not worth spending youre time on. everyone has something about thier body that theryre uncomfortable with, and a lot of ppl wont even notice it. as a wrestler, i see this in a very close-to-home way. wrestling is unique as before every practice you strip down and havee your body inspected(to check for disease like ringworm). however, you compare each other, but thats not always fair. comparing the 103 pound weight class kid to the 215 pounder or the heavywieght isnt fair. It really dosent matter the way you are. if you dont have huge knockers or you arent ripped as hell or hung like a horse, who cares?! you should love you for the way you are, and ---- what everyone else says!