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Monday, December 30, 2013

Body Image

When I weighed 349 lbs I told myself that I wasn't really that big.  I would compare myself to others and say "I may be fat but I'm not that fat".  The truth is I was fat, fat, fat, fat.  I convinced myself that I knew I was fat and I was comfortable with it.  But that was a lie.  I was never comfortable with being overweight.  I was always very conscious of my weight and tried to hide it with clothing and I tried to hide myself.  "This false perception is a subconscious coping strategy to protect us from the brutal truth, the truth about how big morbidly obese really is." (http://www.populararticles.com/article12490.html)
It's funny the things you learn to accept over the years.  Like the way people avoid you, the way people look and then whisper to their friends and laugh.  The way people ignore you or treat you like you are disgusting/dirty.  I have been ignored by waiters, food servers, sales clerks and others on numerous occasions.  In fact there was a time in my life that I would have never gone out to eat by myself, just because of the way people looked at me.
I hated shopping even in the big size stores and don't even ask about trying things on.  I told myself that it was okay that I was overweight and that I was comfortable with it.  But in truth I never was.  I never really looked at myself in a mirror, even to put my make up I would look but not really see myself.  I hate having my picture taken.  Why because pictures don't really lie.
The worst part of this is how I dealt with it.  I ate, drowned myself in over eating and food.  My life revolved around food.  I would be eating breakfast and I'd be planning my snack, lunch and dinner at the same time.
Now here I am almost 100lbs lighter and when I look in the mirror I still see a big fat, fat, fat person.  I know it sounds crazy but I see myself as very fat.  As I've lost weight I've become very critical of myself.  People tell me how great I look and all I can think about is all the fat rolls I have.
I still have trouble buying clothes that fit because I want to buy items that are smaller but that are still loose and hide my body.

So how do I get through this and have a somewhat healthy attitude about my body and all the work I'm doing to become healthier?
One thing is going to yoga three times a week.  Three times a week I put on exercise spandex pants (form fitting) a sports bra and razor back form fitted tank top.  I stand in class with 10-15 other skinny people and proceed to do Bikram yoga.  Am I able to look in the mirror at myself?  Well it's hard because what I see is this huge fat woman with flabby chicken wings for arms and fat rolls stuffed into a form fitting yoga outfit.
It's hard to look in the mirror, I find myself focusing on spots in the mirror that I'm not in.  I force myself to look in the mirror at the beginning of class and during several of the postures.  This is a very uncomfortable and difficult challenge for me but I force myself.
The other thing I've done is work on buying clothes that fit and may be a little snug.  I'm trying not to hide behind the clothing but it's hard.  I still want tops that are baggy and hide me.  The hardest part of the clothing is wearing bras that fit and lift instead of flatten and push down.
I know I have a long way to go to accepting my body as it is but I will keep trying.