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Dealing with self body image issues


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So I've been losing weight and exercising since the begining of the year (Gotta love convient start points). Since that time, I've dropped a fair bit of weight and was doing great. Then, I smashed head long into my oldest opponet and the only one that I could never figure out how to beat. That is my own internal "view" of my body. My family, friends, fiancee, etc. all tell me that I'm looking so much better and they want my secrets, but I just can't see whatever it is they see. To me, I'm still looking like the fluffy man I was before I started. I keep trying to tell myself that I've obviously lost a fair bit of weight and that I should be proud about it and all that, but instead I'm finding myself losing to my body image. It makes it so I lose motivation and just kind of give up for a while. Eventually, I'm able to overcome it enough to get some work outs in and it quiets down for a while, but then it'll rear it's ugly head again and restart the cycle.

I'm sure there's not an easy fix for how to deal with it, but does anyone have suggestions/hints to help weaken it? I am willing to try just about anything, but I'm at a loss for how to deal with it.

My character (currently)
 
Race - Troll
Class - Adventurer (training for Ranger)
Attributes
1. Strength - 3
2. Dexterity - 1
3. Stamina - 3
4. Constitution - 3
5. Wisdom - 2
6. Charisma - 3
Level - 1
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I think you might already have achieved the most difficult part, which is self-knowledge  You know that your self image doesn't match onto how other people see you/what you've actually achieved, and you know that it's what's going on in your head that's incorrect.

 

One of the challenges in losing weight, I found, is confronting the fact that you're overweight.  I used to avoid mirrors, avoid photographs, and in general tried to avoid being confronted with the reality of how much weight I'd put on.  Similarly, other people would seldom - if ever - comment on my weight.  It just faded into the background where I could quietly forget that I was the elephant in the room.  But when you're actively trying to lose weight and succeeding, you're confronted by it.  When you get to the point that your clothes no longer fit properly and you need new ones.  When you weigh yourself. When you look in the mirror looking for change.  When other people comment on your weight loss.  Suddenly, from being something that I tried to hide from, it's now centre stage.  In some ways that's great, but in other ways it's difficult because the glare of the spotlight shows up not only how far I'd come, but how far I had to go.  If that's your experience too, then I think there's an element of just gritting your teeth and powering through  - keep on keeping on, because what you're doing is working.  Current habits and routine (food and exercise) + appropriate scaling up where appropriate + time = success.

 

Taking pictures, as alecto said, can be a good idea. I found tracking progress through belt notches and the feel and fit of clothes was useful.  But I don't think there's a magic bullet for this issue - my body image still hasn't caught up with my weight loss, and probably won't for a while yet.  But the main thing is that you know you're doing it, and that's absolutely vital.....

 Level 4 Human Adventurer / Level 4 Scout, couch to 5k graduate, six time marathon finisher.

Spoiler

 

Current 5k Personal Best: 22:00 / 21:23 / 21:13 / 21:09 / 20:55 / 20:25 (4th July 17)

Current 5 mile PB: 36:41 35:27 34:52 (10th May 17)

Current 10k PB: 44:58 44:27 44:07 44:06 43:50 (29th June 17)

Current Half Marathon PB: 1:41:54 1:38:24 1:37:47 1:37:41 (14th June 15)

Current Marathon PB: 3:39:34 3:29:49 (10th April 16)

 

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TIME.

 

Time is the biggest factor. You have been so used to seeing your body one way for so long, your brain has to make the mental adjustments to catch up with your body. Eventually you'll see it and you'll likely have issues with the changes and tackle a whole new set of insecurities. Those too take time.

 

You've just got to remember it's not a race. You can get there, even with the times you go off track.

Pixie Ranger Drunk on Tea~ (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

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Heya, :)

 

"My family, friends, fiancee, etc. all tell me that I'm looking so much better and they want my secrets, but I just can't see whatever it is they see. To me, I'm still looking like the fluffy man I was before I started. I keep trying to tell myself that I've obviously lost a fair bit of weight and that I should be proud about it and all that, but instead I'm finding myself losing to my body image."

 

Ok, let's imagine this weight loss journey of yours is a mountain. You start at the base thinking 'wow - that's a long way up...' You then climb a bit and make some progress, and your friends/family can see you slowly making your way up from where they sit in the car park. After all, this is your journey, not theirs. They're not coming. But they can see where you started and how far you've gone, along with the mountain. But you can't see this - you don't have that perspective. You see your feet in front of you and the ground over which you walk. Perhaps the top of the mountain doesn't look like it's coming any closer as you walk. But obviously, it is, and your friends/family in the car park can see so. But, again - you can't. It's a different perspective for you. You start to feel disheartened ('am I ever going to reach the top? I don't think I've walked anywhere. And there's still so far to go...') But your friends/family (from their position in the car park) can see that you've now walked two thirds of the way up. Maybe they start to think about taking up hiking themselves...perhaps they'll ask you for a few tips once you get back. After all, you obviously know what you're doing, now that you're successfully two thirds of the way up. But you're oblivious to all this. You see your feet and the ground underneath, and that sole peak still off in the distance. 

 

You decide to stop for a rest. You turn around. You gasp...the view is epic and you had no idea you were this high. It feels like you can see the whole world below. You still have a bit further to go until you reach the peak, but you've definitely come along way. You had no idea. Did you really just walk that far? It certainly didn't feel like it! Not from the way you saw it, with one foot in front of the other and your eyes on the ground...

 

The message: stop and turn around to see how far you've come, not how far you have to go. You'll be surprised. You'll get to the top eventually, but your journey is gradual. Your friends and family will see your progress from a different perspective and it will be more obvious to them. But trust what they say about this - they say it from an advantageous viewpoint which you don't have. Then use the distance you've travelled as an indicator of your sure progress and project it forwards - you've come this far...you can do the rest and get to the top of that mountain by doing exactly the same thing for the remaining hike.

 

Hope it might help to think of it a bit like that.

 

Very best :)

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That analogy... is amazing. I've never thought of it like that. Thank you for that.

 

I tried the pictures approach for a while. I stopped for a while because I got discouraged, but I think I'm going to give it another chance and actually compare them every once in a while. Never did that, and that sounds like it could help a good deal.

My character (currently)
 
Race - Troll
Class - Adventurer (training for Ranger)
Attributes
1. Strength - 3
2. Dexterity - 1
3. Stamina - 3
4. Constitution - 3
5. Wisdom - 2
6. Charisma - 3
Level - 1
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The OP hits home for me, because I could have written it myself.  Negative self-image issues can be motivation-crushers :neglected:.  And just like you, I heard from "the people at the car park" (wicked analogy, btw :peaceful: ) that I was losing weight...and sometimes I would see it...but more often I just saw the jiggle/squishiness (to be more accurate, I still just mostly see the jiggle/squishiness - definitely haven't overcome it yet).

 

For me, the real core of the issue is my expectations.  That is, what am I shooting for that is so so so frackin' hard to achieve?  Ultimately (for me), it comes down to wanting/striving to look shredded.  When I look in the mirror, I want, more than anything, to see some freakin' abs, man!!!  :playful:   Thing is, starting at 20%+ body fat, and the proud owner of some superb skinny-fat genetics, makes it a soul-sucking slog of a journey.  In fact, I've come to the realization that, without some extremely focused and dedicated dieting and training, that physique is unrealistic for me (having been ab-less at 12% bf, which is balls, but I know those are the genetic cards I was dealt).  Now, I still want to progress, to get better, to lose a bit more fat and gain a bit more muscle...I mean, don't stop trying to get better...but consider asking yourself if you're getting discouraged because you're chasing something that, realistically, might not be in the cards for you.

 

If that's the case (it is for me), there are absolutely loads of enviable, fit, lean, muscular (insert personally-desirable characteristic here) role models out there to pick from, to strive for.  Find one that matches your goals AND your body type...and then get after it :pride:

What you do, and what you don't do, matters.

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Agree awesome read about looking how far we have come, gave me that warm fuzzy feeling. I have not lost any weight but I work out every day as planned, I can tell a difference in my body so I guess maybe its toning up some, but I do know i feel  a lot better every day than I did 6 plus weeks ago before I started working out.

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I like love Jay's post too!

 

To the OP, I have been there many times. Until I started to seriously workout and set some goals that are not weightloss related. I still want to get rid of bodyfat and look better but it's secondary to my fitness goals. In the end I want to be badass strong, flexible, fast and powerful. I should look all trim and fit by then and if not? I am at least badass strong, flexible, fast and powerful! :-)

pre-Assassin

Clear eyes, full heart, can't lose!

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