Body dysmorphia...The struggle is real, y'all!

on 6/7/19 8:31 pm, edited 6/7/19 8:58 pm

When were you able to look in a mirror and see a different body? Was it while you were losing or only after you hit goal?

I know my body is getting smaller because I am fitting into clothes that used to be too small and I am down 95 lbs from my highest-ever weight. However, I swear that I look exactly the same when I look in the mirror. I just never thought body dysmorphia would happen to me and it is making me feel completely crazy.

Does anybody know any strategies to get past this?

Edited To add: it appears that my self diagnosis was premature and inaccurate. I am not obsessing over this or avoiding social situations. However, I am still wanting to get past not seeing a difference in my body yet and would appreciate advice.

Highest weight: 350, Surgery weight: 317

VSG: 1/9/19

No longer obese goal: 185, Healthy weight goal: 150

Weight loss per month: 1=22, 2=12, 3=9.5, 4=11.5, 5=8, 6=9

White Dove
on 6/7/19 10:56 pm

When our brain sees a face, it fills in the body that it remembers associated with that face. So to see what you look like, you have to look at your body without seeing your face. At one of our support meetings, we were told to get a brown grocery bag, put it over our head and cut out eyeholes and then look in the mirror with the bag covering our face.

When we did that, we could see what our bodies actually looked like. Now that we all have a camera walking around with us all day, you can take a selfie and cover up your face.

Real life begins where your comfort zone ends

on 6/8/19 7:16 am
VSG on 08/14/14

Interesting. Had never heard that advice about how to judge a rapidly changing body size/shape. Again, quite interesting. Thanks.

ANN 5'5", AGE 74, HW 235.6 (BMI 39.2), SW 216, GW 150, CW 132, BMI 22

POUNDS LOST: Pre-op -20, M1 -10, M2 -11, M3 -10, M4 -10, M5 -7, M6 -5, M7 -6, M8 -4, M9 -4,
NEXT 10 MOS. -12, TOTAL -100 LBS.

on 6/8/19 10:50 am
RNY on 01/23/19

That is very interesting and I'm definitely going to try the brown paper bag thing. Some days I can look in the mirror and tell that I have lost some weight, but then other days I look at myself and I think "wow I look so huge and disgusting!" It's like I see my 345 pound body again and it depresses me. Like why am I even doing this when I see no change? It's definitely been a rollercoaster ride thus far with the love/hate relationship I have with my body.

Surgery: RNY on 1/23/19

H.A.L.A B.
on 6/8/19 12:53 pm

I had body dismorphia both ways. I never saw herself as big as I was at my highest. But seeing pictures of me - I could see my size.

As I was losing, my internal body image finally matched my internal slimmer me. Until I got close to my goal. Then I had to adjust again. Proper fitting clothes, good haircut, and taking pictures with my friends that I saw as normal and putting the pictures in places I could see a few times a day. I.e on my mirrors, on a fridge, on a microwave, door u used to leave the house. Etc. Seeing image of me - my current me - really helped my brain to catch up with the real me.

Recently I lost app 30 lbs. 10-15 lbs below my goal. Yet I still "see myself" as bigger than I am currently. Friends comments ,: you lost a lot of weight" dies seem unreal, until I try to put my clothes on, realizing o went from a small- medium to small. But I don't want to fix that because I need to gain some lbs. At !y current weight, I have no reserves, so any serious illness may cause serious problems for me.

Hala. RNY 5/14/2008; Happy At Goal =HAG

"I can eat or do anything I want to - as long as I am willing to deal with the consequences"

"Failure is not falling down, It is not getting up once you fell... So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again...."

on 6/9/19 12:31 am

Interestingly enough I could and can see the change clearly in the mirror. However, I'm having a really hard time when looking down at my body, especially when sitting down.

on 6/9/19 6:41 am
VSG on 06/11/18

Aside from any psychological component, I think the context when I'm looking at myself matters a lot. Recall that we tend to lose the weight from our extremities first. So...

When I'm not intentionally looking at myself, but I happen to notice my arms or legs, I am very impressed at how thin they are now. I see a "thin" person.

When I look in a full-length mirror at my naked body, I naturally look at the area I'm most concerned about: my belly. Since the weight is slower to come off there, I'm least happy with that part of my body. And since my focus is on my belly, I see a "fat" person.

When I look in a full-length mirror at my clothed body, my focus is on my overall appearance. (Do the clothes fit, are they too wrinkled, do the colours go together, are there any rips or stains, etc.) I see a "thin" person.

When I look in the mirror over the sink, I see a face that looks 10 years younger. (I thought weight loss would make me look older, not younger!) I had assumed that because of my age (58) the loose skin under my jaw would stay, but it has shrunk considerably and is barely noticeable. And I have collarbones! I see a "thin" person.

From now on, when I look at my naked body, I will remind myself to look not just at the belly but at all the other areas.

on 6/9/19 7:09 am

Mines the opposite, I always thought I was thinner looking than I actually was (even when I was 340 and wore size 26W clothes). Now that I've lost a bunch of weight I still see myself as thinner than I am. I like how I loo****il I see pictures of me, or myself on the security camera at the store. That's when I realized how "large" I really am (I use the term LARGE loosely since I'm a size 10/12 but in my head I'm a size 4). The bad part about it is, I never reach a point of being happy with my size. Being 165 on the scale doesn't bother me but my size 10/12 appearance does. I'm sorry I can't tell you how to fit it, but know you're not alone and it's a very real issue many of us face.

on 6/9/19 7:53 am
RNY on 06/03/15

I've had this issue for a long time - both while SMO and at a normal weight. I never saw myself at 300+ lbs and was always shocked when I saw photos. At one time I got down to 138 and never saw myself as thin. Now, in the low 150s, I'd love to get back down there - but I saw a photo of myself at 140 just this morning and I looked too thin. Low 150s (where I am right now) is actually an OK weight for me (high end of a normal BMI), but I feel really heavy, even though everyone says I look really good at this weight. ARRRGGHHH!! I guess high 140s is a good compromise, but I'm sure I'll find a problem with that, too!!

(deactivated member)
on 6/9/19 3:51 pm

Pictures have been critical for me because I also don't see my weight loss, especially while nude. Of course, I've lost 3 pants sizes and my underwear sag, so I know I've lost, but when I see myself in the mirror, I'm as far as always, just wrinklier.

And like you, I didn't realize how big I was until I see my before and afters. I'm a work in progress.