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Author Topic: Body Image Stuff  (Read 43039 times)
Benny B
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« on: July 15, 2012, 01:09 pm »

So as some of you know, over the last 5 months I've lost almost 50 pounds through counting calories and exercising. I've hit a couple short plateaus, but mostly I've been at a consistent pace the entire time. People have been complimenting me and asking me what I did to lose weight, almost all my clothes are baggy, and I have far more stamina than I did before.

The thing is, I feel like I still look exactly the same. When I look in the mirror, everything is where it was 5 months ago(except maybe my face seems a bit thinner). Is this just a result of seeing myself in the mirror every day? Is it a self-confidence thing? Has anyone else been through similar situations? How did you get through them?
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2012, 02:00 pm »

I have gained some weight since I started dating Stardust.  I think most of that was just me finally coming into my own adult fatness, as I was a skinny piece of nothing for most of my teenage and young adult years.  I weighed 130 lb. all throughout high school.  I'm 27 now and I weigh 205 (my target weight for my height is around 185).  I see the difference when I look at myself in pictures, but when I look at myself in the mirror I feel like I'm seeing the same person I've always seen.

I've experienced the same thing with Stardust. She lost more than 50 pounds in a year prior to us getting married, and while I can see the difference in the type of clothes she wears and the shape of her figure/face, she still looks "the same" to me, even though I know she's not.  Put a picture of her from three years ago next to a picture of her today and you'd probably think they were different people.  

I don't think it has anything (or at least, very much) to do with self confidence.  It's an extremely common thing and if you do a few Google searches there are plenty of people who have the same issue.  If other people are noticing the changes, you know you must be doing something right.  Many people recommend taking before and after pictures in order to stay motivated/see the changes, maybe you could give that a try.

The real question is, what does this perception mean to you?  Do you have self-esteem issues because you're unable to see yourself as different, or do you feel better about yourself even though you don't perceive the changes?  If you're struggling with your perception of yourself even after losing the weight, it might be worth considering ways you can feel better about the progress you've made.  If it's just something that you've noticed when you look at yourself in the mirror and it's not causing you to feel bad about yourself, I'd just accept it as normal and move on.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 02:22 pm by Remington Lonespear » Logged

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Benny B
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2012, 02:51 pm »

More than anything it's frustrating. I've overcome the impatience that comes with watching the scale move slowly, but I hate not seeing it at all bodily. It makes me worry that I'll never reach my goal, or at least never see it if it is there.

I'm not sure if self-esteem is the right term. I mean, I know I'm a good dude. I like myself and I like the way I treat people. Maybe it's just that I don't consider myself attractive yet-- so even though I'm less fat, I'm still fat enough to not look good(or look the way I want to, anyway), in my eyes. I would hope my subconscious isn't expecting me to look like Brad Pitt by the end of this, since that is just not in the cards with the body type I have, but still. You'd think it'd be a sliding scale of self-image rather than all-or-nothing.

I am still around 270, so I'm nowhere near svelte yet, but I'm still waiting for that feel-good vibe that I guess I assumed comes with weight loss.
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2012, 04:19 pm »

Oh man, i'm not sure if I should contribute here or if it would just open up a huge 50 gallon drum of worms for me I'd rather keep closed. For the sake of myself i'll tread lightly.

Anyways you're not alone in still seeing the same person in the mirror. From like late 2009 to early 2011ish(not sure) I had gone from like 205 to 135. I sorta snapped one day and become unbelievably disgusted with how I looked. It wasn't even a gradual build up I just woke up saw myself in the mirror and was like "holy shit". I had been really heavy for most of my life up to that point so I'm not sure what triggered the sudden realization, but its not relevant. Even after all the initial compliments and hearing "I don't even recognize you" multiple times I still felt really insecure for long time. Even after the weight loss I would still see myself in the mirror and notice everything that was wrong like I still needed to lose more which isn't really the best mindset to be in.

Lately though I've been feeling a little better and a little more confident and more comfortable so I guess the whole process of adjusting to a 'new you' is one that takes time.
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2012, 04:23 pm »

I was a really fat kid, as in a fatty fatty boom balatty kid, and I was that way right up until I got it together when I was about 18. Since then my weight has varied but never as terrible it was when I was a kid. I can honestly tell you that losing a vast amount of weight is as much psychological as it is physical.

I still sometimes battle with the mindset of being a Fat Kid. It takes some time and some time concious effort to let your mind catch up to what your body is doing. Even when I am healthier than I've ever been I still sometimes see the things that I used to be self concious about. Fat tummy shirt pull represent!

Huge motherfucking congratulations on what you are doing! If it helps, just appreciate all the things you are slowly being able to do as the weight comes off, enjoy the process and I think eventually the way you perecieve yourself will follow. I always found that I've been at my best when I'm not counting numbers but rather just appreciating the changes I can feel within myself and externally.


I think what I'm trying to get at is there's a whole heap of stuff you're probably going through now, knowingly or not, in regards to self image and esteem. Don't beat yourself up with expectations, just enjoy the process of becoming healthier, revel in having more energy and being able to achieve your goals, the rest of it will come.
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2012, 05:38 pm »

This fairly recent research may be related.

"results suggest that residual stigma remains against people who have previously been obese, even when they have lost substantial amounts of weight and regardless of their weight-loss method."
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2012, 06:56 pm »

Like Boron, I am unsure of if and how I should contribute here so I'll frame this the best I can.

There are so many things that go into how you see your body beyond how much weight you've gained or lost. Though I have never lost a substantial amount of weight (except during a period of unemployment and depression/self-loathing) or been more than what would be medically considered slightly overweight, the "weight I see myself" at changes constantly within the space of hours or less. Knowing exactly how this sounds, I am going to say it as straightforward as possible, I see myself as fat if I've eaten recently (not eaten junk food, eaten. Period.) and see myself looking thinner if I've gone a long time (as in half a day or more) without eating. Like I see a drastic difference.

This way of thinking and seeing myself has become less as I've gotten older, and I am also now able to acknowledge its ridiculousness of it all. I never had a particular eating disorder, but throughout my teenage years I had a very unhealthy relationship with food. My weight would fluctuate within a range of 20 lbs (basically between 125 and 145), varying week to week. The scale said that, but I never saw a difference in myself that correlated with a particular number, just how long it had been since my last meal. I am sure the fact that I developed early and have been quite top and bottom heavy since I was about 12 but had no idea how to dress for that until very recently contributed to the issue.

Being a woman, I am not sure how applicable it is to your own body image concerns except to say that the way and reason people see their bodies can vary greatly and may have nothing to do with the number on the scale. I also want to congratulate you on being on the right track towards your weight loss goals.
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Benny B
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2012, 11:51 am »

Thanks for the replies and the kind words, everyone. Y'all are bros.

I was talking to some friends last night at the bar, and they were commenting(jokingly) on how I was making them feel bad for eating a salad and losing all this weight. I started in on my "yeah, but I don't really look any different" thing, and they both stopped me cold. They wouldn't have it. They said I looked completely different, and the changes were impossible to not see.

I'm glad I have the friends that I do, since that's really what I need. I need someone to grab me by the shoulders and shake me and make me appreciate what I've accomplished, and what I'm still pursuing. I need a stern counter-argument to the self-loathing that always seems to creep back in my mind. Hopefully after hearing enough, I can internalize it, and be able to stop myself when I start turning negative.
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RummyLu
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 12:05 pm »

Just out of interest, have you bought a whole heap of new clothes for your awesome new body?

Realizing how different your clothes shopping habits will be now might help.
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 12:28 pm »

yeah, when I lost some weight last year the thing that really made it stick was the process of clothes shopping, and/or really looking at the clothing I used to wear and being shocked at how ill-fitting it had become.

I sort of recognize (to a lesser degree on my end) the stuff you're talking about, and I definitely think having friends around you to give you that perspective is really valuable and can be something to hold on to even when you aren't seeing it yourself that particular day/week.
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Benny B
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2012, 12:38 pm »

My clothes shopping habits are pretty much the same, in so far as I don't have any clothes shopping habits. Usually I just ride out whatever I have and whatever I get for Christmas. I had one new pair of pants given to me recently when my mom heard I'd lost that much weight, but otherwise I have all the same clothes.

I'm trying to put off buying shit until I'm closer to my goal, since if I buy stuff right now it won't fit in three months. Plus I don't have a lot of money. Hopefully I'm done losing weight by Christmas so I can get a free pile of new duds.

Maybe I'll buy one or two new things just to get me by for now.
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RummyLu
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2012, 12:43 pm »

Ah ok, fair enough.

When you reach your goal you might find that you start to develop some, because the whole process will probably be infinitely more enjoyable and/or easier than before.

Anyways, nice one BannyB, high five.
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 01:23 pm »

It sounds like your friends are really great, BennyB. I was very heavy all through high school and only lost weight toward the end of senior year and beyond. I still thought I was fat, to be blunt, and my best friend finally stopped me and said I wasn't. Then I saw some old friends and they all said things like "omg u r skinny" and that finally sealed it for me. I still can't look in the mirror and think I look good but everyone else seems to think I'm alright.

What I'm saying is that it's going to be a long while before you can look in the mirror and really appreciate what you've accomplished. But you have accomplished it. And you should be proud. I think we're all proud of you.
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RummyLu
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2012, 02:15 pm »

You also managed to do it without freezing cooked mince, and for that I think you rock.
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Benny B
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« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2012, 03:30 pm »

Hey folks. First off, you guys are rad as hell. Thank you for all the honesty and the encouragement. I know we have our squabbles as a weird little pseudo-community, but there's a reason I still post here, and you guys are it.

Today I officially broke that 50 pound barrier. I know I'll still be fighting that mental image of me looking like a fattie-tatties for a long time, but fuck it. I feel like 50 pounds is really getting into that realm of awesome accomplishment. And I feel fucking great.

I have my full-on treat day celebration a week from now, but tonight I'm going out as well. If someone brings a camera, I'll try to get you guys some better before/afters.
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RummyLu
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« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2012, 04:38 pm »

Huge clanking congratulations!

Also, I just realized I called you "banny b" a few posts up, what the hell? Sorry about that! Have a wonderful celebration, you earned it.
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Benny B
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2012, 11:51 am »

Hey gang, here's those before/afters I promised ya.


320 lbs.


263 lbs.
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Remington Lonespear
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2012, 12:12 pm »

I almost didn't recognize you with the curly red hair and glasses.
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2012, 01:12 pm »

Good, the transformation from "German Porn-Star" to "Local Politician's Aide" is almost complete.
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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2012, 02:33 am »

Wow, you look so much fresher and smaller (duh) nice one!
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