Friday, February 10, 2012

How our mind distorts reality

There is a thread right now on the weight loss forum that I frequent that is about how we see ourselves incorrectly. The thread has had several people comment on how they felt as huge as at their top weight as 100 pounds less.

Think about that for a second... maybe two. These people, myself included felt fat as a teen (or even a preteen). Some were a bit overweight. Some were not, but maybe had a larger body frame. Or, their weight was fine, but they weren't fit, so they just had some fat on them, but they weren't actually overweight.

And so, as a not so fat, or not fat at all teen, they felt horrible about themselves (myself included). They felt fat and ugly. So, when they started gaining weight, myself included, they didn't really care that much because we thought of ourselves as already fat and ugly, so what is a bit more fat and ugly. Fat is fat, right?

How twisted is that?????  I so fit into that mind trap.  I felt very, very fat at this age and size:

I was just turning 16 years old in this picture. I was about 5'5.5" tall (I grew another inch after that time) and I weighed about 155-160 pounds and I thought I was enormous! Why? I was the largest girl on the squad my sophomore year (or about the largest, or tied for largest). And, I had a poochy stomach. What do I see now? I see a girl who could use some toning - some muscle. I do not see a fat girl, just an unfit one.

Yet, I felt soooooo fat. So huge. So undesirable. So awful. I weighed so much more than most girls my age.

I felt as huge then as I did here:

There is a 115-120 pound difference there. So, how, how is it possible that I felt I was just as undesirable and fat and ugly at 155-160 as at 275? Who took over my brain to equate those two weights as the same fatness. Honestly and truly, I felt just as huge and fat before getting fat and after getting fat.

Even the last time I lost weight I dealt with the demons of "I'm still fat". I got all the way down to 185 (from 235) and I felt as fat at 185 as I did at 235. So is it any surprise then that it was so easy to balloon back up? In the mirror I still say a chubby face, a saggy stomach, etc.

What happens to us, as I'm not alone in this thinking that we can't see reality?

My weight now is 173 and my goal is to get to 160 - a fit 160. So, I will get down to the weight (or slightly bigger) than I was in that age 16 photo.

This time I hope I don't feel so huge. This time I hope I can see myself in a healthy light. I'm doing everything in my power to feel that way. I'm blogging. I'm taking measurements. I'm taking photos every 20 pounds (or more frequently) and I'm giving myself some slack for body imperfections. I so hope this time that I can love my body for what it is - flaws and all and realize that while it might not be perfect, it's a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle and that should be enough. That yes, I still won't be as small as some women at my height, but that is OK.

Stats for 2/10/12:
Highest weight 275  Now: 173.0

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