Monday, November 10, 2014

The Way You Look At Yourself

How do you see yourself when you look in the mirror?  Do you see a distorted view, like you'd see in a house of mirrors?

Do you see yourself much larger than you are?

Much smaller?

Something that I've found in this journey I started 2 months ago, is that the way I see myself in the mirror isn't the way I truly look.  I see myself as the 400 pound woman I was.  The one in the first picture I ever shared of myself.  I see the size 32/34 in the mirror, not the 22/24.  Even with clothing that is too big, a measuring tape going farther in, I don't "see" it when I look at myself. 

It's a distorted view.  It is also known as "phantom fat".  It is a struggle with body image that comes around when you've been fat/obese/overweight/fluffy (whatever you want to call it) a long while.  In my case, most of my life.  It's in the same realm as when someone loses a limb the feeling that it's still there.  It's not the same, but in the ballpark.  You lose a good portion of body fat, you still see and feel it there.

In an article from From Fat To Fit Girl, this is explained a bit better.  The article also offers ideas to help get your perception to match your body (there's quite a few in the article, here's a few:)

  1. Put a photo of yourself on the fridge or another visible place where you think you look better than perfect
  2. Get yourself a pair of skinny jeans or colored pants that make you keep thinking “Girl, you are small!”
  3. Take pictures now & compare them to old pictures
  4. Ask a friend or a significant other you absolutely trust what they think about your looks after the weight loss
  5. Look yourself in the mirror while you work out and compare the body you see with other bodies in the gym
  6. Go window shopping! Pick something out that you would never have dared to wear before and try it on just for the fun of it!
  7. Try on your old over-sized clothes! This way you will get a clear perspective of your progress and your current body size.

 I particularly like number 7, as I haven't bought any new clothes yet.  This one is easy!  I've also done number 6, which was rewarding. :)  Number 3 is one I do here on the blog and embarrass myself regularly showing my hefty self to you all.

The Fat To Fit Girl site has a lot of good posts on the distorted view of yourself issue--you might want to check them out here.

I mentioned this to hubby, as I have to ask him if I really do look smaller at all, since I can't see it.  After looking at me like my head is spinning in circles and I grew a horn or something, he says he didn't understand that.  Later on, he mentioned that after thinking about it, he has heard of that concept--in folks with anorexia nervosa.

I've never been accused of anorexia.  But, I get what hubby was saying about that--many or most with anorexia see themselves in a very distorted light, seeing fat where there isn't any, and seeing themselves much much much larger than they really are.  I get that.

For those who are going along with long term weight loss, are you having issues with how you see yourself in the mirror?

Shared With:  Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, 
Darling Downs Diaries
The Modest Mom

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  1. Keep up your good work! :) Losing weight can be difficult. I am on the journey as well. I have been watching my food intake and exercising for over two years now! I now teach a spin class at our YMCA and make much better decisions on food! I *think* I see myself with a right view...but I don't know that we ever truly feel content with our looks. Such a part of this sinful, fallen world. :)

    I am visiting you from Strangers and Pilgrims link up!
    Have a great day!

    1. Thank you! Oh wow..teaching a spin class--that's awesome! One day I'd like to lead a Leslie Sansone's walking thing that is on the local level. It will take a while to get there tho, but hey, one day at a time. :) I'm only 2 months in, so still a long way to go. You're right, we may ever feel truly content with looks...especially this side of heaven. :) Thank you for stopping in!!

  2. Just this a.m., I accidentally hit my hand on the wall & said," Lord, why am I such an idiot?" Even before the words were out of my mouth, I felt a deep sense of regret....I knew in my spirit that I don't have the right to even call myself such a name! I think it's probably the same when we look in the mirror. We have a body that is honored by the Lord & He looks at us through the lens of the blood sacrifice of His only Son Jesus, & He sees only beauty because we are forgiven of all the ugly. We should likely pray to see ourselves & others through the Father's eyes! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

    1. You have a wonderful point! You have been such an encouragement, and you make me see things through a different set of eyes. Thank you very much! :)

      Lots of hugs!

  3. You are so right, I have experienced this before, we never see ourselves as we really are. Thanks for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Keep up the great work. blessings.

  4. I think that if you do #7 enough it will sink in :) That is so exciting!!!

    Thank you for sharing your progress and encouraging others at the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

    1. I agree! I'm sure in time it'll sink in. :)

      Thank you for coming by!!!

  5. I am so happy to see that you found useful the ideas in my blog post for helping you see your new, smaller body after weight loss! The truth is, that it is a long journey, but eventually the image you have in your head will catch up with the body that you have in reality.

    I am so surprised that the issue of phantom fat does not get enough attention, however a lot of us suffer from distorted body image after weight loss.

    Thank you for sharing my ideas on how to deal with phantom fat!

    1. I'm thankful to have found the information you published. I have had that "phantom fat" thing before after a big weight loss but just figured it was my head messed up and not something legit. Now if we had a specific time frame as to when the head matches up with the body, that'd be great!! lol

      Thank you for stopping by! I hope others stop at your site and read what all you have published about it. It's amazing how much what you think makes or breaks you when it comes to how you see yourself!!!


Your graceful comments are welcome!