The mental side of body transformation. . .

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 12, 2010 3:27 AM GMT
    So I've had more success than I ever really thought possible. I've lost over 90 pounds. I've established a consistent weight training routine. (I can even see muscles when I'm not flexing. -- This is big for me.)

    But somehow, my self-image isn't catching up. I still think of myself as 'that fat kid.' Despite what my mirror tells me I can't seem to seem to really internalize the changes.

    Has anyone here gone through a fairly radical transformation like this? What kind of mental/psychological challenges came with it for you? How'd you get over them?

    Thanks,

    Quill
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    Mar 16, 2010 3:47 AM GMT
    i think you might see yourself like that for a while .
    i have a girlfriend who lost over 70 pounds in a year by working with a personal trainer who controls her workouts and nutrition like an east german swim coach (minus the drugs .. :p ) .

    she looks incredible now and is happy with the results , but she's still self conscious about the little fat that remains. She plans on losing another 25 pounds.

    So is it still a WIP with you? Or have you attained your goal ?
    Maybe when everybody will stop noticing how much you lost and they all take you for granted you'll stop thinking about it yourself. ?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 16, 2010 4:34 AM GMT
    You can't expect to overcome an ingrained self image in only a few months. Give yourself time.
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    Mar 16, 2010 4:47 AM GMT
    I've surpassed my goal.

    When I was 238lbs. I would have killed to be 180. At 180, 160 sounded good. Now I'm 150 and 9% body fat. (I'm short. 5'icon_cool.gif

    You're both right. I guess I just have to be patient.
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    Mar 16, 2010 4:59 AM GMT
    Hey man, I hear you on this. I have been losing weight steadily for the last year after playing football for a long time (down over 50 lbs at this point). I also didn't come out until after I had lost a bunch of the weight, so I am entering this new confusing phase of my life while still feeling like that fat kid I always was growin up. Anyways, congrats on your results. Good luck with the inner transformation, like anything it's a process.
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    Mar 17, 2010 2:28 AM GMT
    Quill saidI've surpassed my goal.

    When I was 238lbs. I would have killed to be 180. At 180, 160 sounded good. Now I'm 150 and 9% body fat. (I'm short. 5'icon_cool.gif

    You're both right. I guess I just have to be patient.


    Wow! Congrats on your results icon_smile.gif
  • allatonce

    Posts: 904

    Mar 17, 2010 2:42 AM GMT
    Wow 9% body fat that's amazing. I went through the same thing with losing weight, its taken a couple years to adjust. Every now and again the fat kid comes out in me, but I am confident in knowing I'll never go back to where I was and that has given me a sense of security.

    Give yourself time to adjust, I don't think it well ever completely disappear but it definitely will fade into the background. You obviously recognize that you've done something amazing so go out and enjoy that new body. Take up a new sport, dance class, yoga, etc. For me doing all the things I was too embarrassed to try before really made me enjoy the accomplishment.
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Mar 17, 2010 3:12 AM GMT
    I've had some weight issues in my life. The first time was through 7th through 9th grade. I gained tons of weight due to a number of vaccines I had to get because my original family doctor passed away and I had to get all the vaccines again. My immune system went out of control after the shots and I was very ill for a couple of years and could not be active in any way. At 5"8ish in 9th grade I went from 180 lbs down to 143 lbs.

    Even at my best shape ever at the age of 32 at 10% bf and 186 lbs I was still that fat kid in grade school. Sometimes if I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I actually look decent, I still can't believe it.
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    Mar 18, 2010 5:21 AM GMT
    I understand the issue and have been in an active "fist fight" with it for the past 6 years....I lost 240 lbs.....3 times what you lost!
    My mental and physical images are still not in complete agreement and there are times when I catch myself seeing a shadow or reflection and thinking "who is that?" or "why is that person following me so closely?"...I have been dealing with it for almost 6 years now and with the help of a good therapist, the mental picture is slowly coming into line with the physical reality of me....I had 45 years of bad habits and poor self image to undo and reset...It take s time and work ..... a few months is not enough time for the mind to absorb the transformation,,,Good Luck! Since you live in Columbus, too, we should talk or meet and compare notes and experiences..... really.
    Gary icon_cool.gif
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Mar 18, 2010 5:40 AM GMT
    This may sound totally insane, but...

    Find a photographer you trust. Either a pro or a friend who does it as a hobby. Get some very nice, well lit photographs taken of yourself. Including at least some shirtless, and possibly even more skin exposed. And get the digital copies of the images. When tempted to think of yourself as "that fat kid", pull up the picture and say "No, this is what I look like now."

    I came at it from the other end -- the guy who was chronically 25-35 pounds underweight, and who still felt like "that skeleton" even after managing to put on 20 pounds of muscle -- but the basic idea applies.
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    Mar 18, 2010 5:43 AM GMT
    Might seem like a ridiculous idea to bodybuilders, but I've heard and read that the thing to do to battle poor self image is to kill your ego completely. If your "fat kid" self image was based on other people's view of you, a "fit" self image will be equally as false and based on the feedback you get from other people (that is, if you can get over the old fat image), not who you really are. Kill your ego and you won't have to deal with either... you can just be you.
  • RunPaloAlto

    Posts: 7

    Mar 30, 2010 4:49 AM GMT
    Congratulations. The challenge of integrating self image and appearance is huge. I lost 115 pounds 2 years ago and struggled for a long time with when to be "done." Like you, I used body fat percentage to finish the process. Two quick suggestions to help with this process:

    1. Find a friend or family member you trust who has good taste and ask them to go shopping with you. WIth the exception of expressing your taste as to colors, let them pick three outfits for you (workout clothes, one work appropriate outfit and a great pair of jeans with shirt or sweater). If someone dresses you for how you appear now, it will accelerate your transition time. I keep buying clothes for how appeared 40 pounds ago.

    2. Maintenance is really a challenge. Pick a physical goal to work toward as you learn to eat and excercise for the new you. I trained for a half-marathon and had alot of trouble learning how to eat enough carbohydrates to appropriately train for that goal.

    Good luck and feel free to email me if I can be of further help.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 30, 2010 6:21 AM GMT
    Please change your profile body description from "beefy" to "athletic" or "muscular" (whichever is most appropriate).

    The photo idea is also good... I did it and it helped, as do progress pics (I wish Ihad done them every month or two, but I have yearly progress ones in my privates here).

    Time.

    Be more forgiving to yourself: I donĀ“t cut guys dead because they have a lb or two hanging out, but I can be judgemental of myself for the same reasons.
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    Mar 30, 2010 6:32 AM GMT
    im battling with the same thing, i used to be 200lbs and at 5'4 thats not a pretty sight, ive now gotten to 135, little by little ive come to accept my new body, it took me a long time to get this far..give it time, itll sink in icon_smile.gif
  • DrewT

    Posts: 1327

    Mar 30, 2010 7:13 AM GMT
    Photography is really a good idea! It lets you really see you as who you are now.

    Congrats on the weight loss!
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Mar 30, 2010 5:58 PM GMT
    Wow. wow, wow, wow. Such a powerful transformation...no, I'm wrong, a powerful reclamation. You're literally reclaiming something you've always had, but never felt you could own. The self image is just a familiar safe feeling. It's more of a sure bet to believe what you have for so long, then to believe what you didn't dare believe before. Yes, it's a difficult transition, when you've previously been convinced it wasn't yours. But it is. And you should be tremendously proud.

    So much of what you say resonates for me. All the "blah blah" about me is on my profile (get a chicken breast and some rice before settling in to read it...it's like everything I post: seemingly endless... icon_redface.gif)

    The voice will quiet, sooner than you think. Don't tell it to shut up, just be willing to accept that the voice is wrong, finally wrong. The suggestions for photographs is an excellent one! And the suggestion to change your profile to athletic or muscular, even better. Own it, brother! You've earned it, now own it.

    Peace
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 30, 2010 6:05 PM GMT
    The opposite for me. I was dreadfully skinny throughout highschool and believe it or not even when I was up to 220 at my peak in my 30's I still felt skinny. If I stare at myself in a mirror (i'm 195 currently) I see myself as still skinny. If I catch a fleeting glimpse of myself say walking by a window or mirror then I see a whole different person,. It's very odd how the mind plays tricks andthe lighting does as well.