Mental Monday

I hear (and read) all too often how many of us look in the mirror and still see a fat girl looking back at us, regardless of our weight. For many of us, we've been fat girls for far longer than we've been former fat girls, and it's hard to stop thinking of ourselves that way.

Julie Hadden, a final four contestant on The Biggest Loser Season 4 told me no matter what she sees in the mirror, and regardless of what people tell her, she still thinks of herself as a fat girl. Any of us looking at her (remember how HOT she looked at the finale - and she still looks amazing!) know she is anything BUT fat, but she believes it, and her perception is her reality.

I'd like to share the following article with you - while it isn't going to magically change your own self-image (only YOU can do that), I hope this starts an internal conversation going, and gets you pointed in the right direction.


"The person we believe ourselves to be will always act in a manner consistent with our self-image." Brian Tracy

Revamp Your Self Image: Losing weight is hard. Shedding an old image of yourself can be even harder.

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? The person you were before you began your weight-loss journey? Or the actual image reflected back in the glass? For many of us, it takes a while for our self-image to catch up to the reality of our new, slimmer selves.

"I don't think anyone sees themselves the way they actually are when they first start losing weight," says Jane Kirby, RD, author of Eat Great, Lose Weight (Rodale Press). "It takes a while before we get used to our new body shape and size." Here are Kirby's five tips to help you see the real you.

1. Watch your waistline
Any weight-loss expert will tell you: the numbers on the scale may not mean as much to your self-image as a new pair of jeans. "Put on an old pair of pants and then a new pair. The changes in the way they fit and look will help you gain perspective," says Kirby.

2. Worth a thousand words
Take a photo every few weeks and compare it to older photos. "Pictures can be the spark that helps you continue losing weight," says Kirby.

3. Find an activity you love
You'll exercise more if you enjoy what you're doing — research confirms it. Go out and try a few different sports or workouts until one clicks. Once you feel comfortable, you'll also feel successful and strong.

4. Ask for reality checks
Supportive friends and family can give you a true assessment of your weight loss. But be careful: remove the phrase "Do I look fat?" from your vocabulary. Try something more positive such as, "Do my arms look leaner?" or "Do I look healthier?" instead.

5. Get help from a professional
If you're losing weight and you still can't shake that feel-fat mentality, consider talking to a psychologist or counselor. "A professional can help you think about why you've chosen to hold on to a body image that's keeping you unhappy," says Kirby. "There might be a deeper reason you're not shedding those negative thoughts."

Written by Karen J. Bannan


Marcelle said...

wow Julie looks amazing!!!!!
I watched that series...she was lovely, i really liked her.

Very interesting article, thanks Michelle.

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

I like the one about taking pictures along the way. That is so important, and was for me as I lost 150 pounds.

Those visual incentives are great. The whole article was great too - thanks for sharing it.

Fat[free]Me said...

Great article - it is an important issue!

Betsy said...

This is definitely really helpful. I have a hard time seeing the difference and will try and use some of these techniques to help get over that.

MochaTrina@Me So Hongry... said...

I needed to read that. I often go into my closet and slip on old clothes just to see how much I've really lost. Although I've lost 30 sometimes it doesn't matter becasue I still see a fat girl in the mirror.

Lucas said...

Thanks Michelle. I have often been my own harshest critic but time and focus can start changing us. I recently caught sight of myself in a mirror and couldn't believe it was me! I actually thought I looked slender! I still mostly see a fat girl or at least, all the areas that I want to improve but that shock image from the other day helps keep me motivated.

AzLinda said...

Great blog, I can totally relate!

Amanda said...

I will also always see myself as a fat girl. I notice like this article mentioned that pictures can say a thousand words and I can actually say, wow I do look pretty good. Also I try not to weigh myself anymore due to it ruled my mood. Now I just use my clothes as a better indicator.

She-Fit said...

WOW! This is something I really needed to read. Thanks for posting this article. Great tips that I will start working on. It's so true. No matter how much weight I lose, I always see myself as fat.

Deanna said...

I have to be honest, I think it's kinda of sad that Julie still sees herself as a fat girl...after all she's been through, accomplished and in addition - isn't she a motivational speaker and trainer (not sure if that is right) that she still sees herself in that light. I am not saying I can't relate - I can but I would hope that as we are accomplishing our physical goals we are also working on the mental ones too... that to me is my biggest battle, and I just hope - hope and pray that I learn from Julie and stop now - stop -no matter what I weigh - classifying myself by my weight. I hope that for anyone struggling with self confidence and weight issues...


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