I like to keep myself well-informed about the ideologies within the weight loss community and their different sects. I’ve liked to keep myself well-informed long before I made the choice to lose weight. Immersing myself in different articles, blogs and documentaries I’ve always found one recurring theme, people who have lost tremendous amounts of weight claim to have found their long-lost self-esteem. They rave about how they now carry themselves differently, that their perception of who they are has changed completely. I feel the exact opposite, and it makes me wonder, am I the exception to the rule or am I one of the few who is willing to admit that they are more unsure of who they are now than ever before?
Who wouldn’t feel different? 100 pounds is a hell of a lot of weight to lose in 5 months. That’s the size of a baby hippopotamus (seriously, I googled). For every change that I notice physically there are just as many that I’m oblivious too. When I do become aware of a change I become even more concerned with if the change is noticeable to other people, if they approve, and most importantly if I look strange. I know that my close friends must be so frustrated with my interrogations, “Do I look weird?”, “Does my face look like a muppet?”, “Do my legs look too scrawny?”. I was never this outwardly insecure until now. I feel like I need more reassurance. Skyping with my 7-year-old cousin and needing him to tell me I don’t look strange is a regular occurrence these days. My favorite part is that his response this last time was that I didn’t look weird but I looked like I needed a shower.
So when does this new-found self-esteem kick in? At what point to I stop feeling uncomfortable in my own skin? Will I ever feel comfortable in my own skin? These are the questions I’m struggling with these days. I’m sure that part of me thought that I would be like these weight lost poster children who lose a fuck-ton of weight and then are miraculously these happy, shiny people who like to run 5k’s. That’s not me. I still feel like I’m 300+ lbs. My mind hasn’t caught up with my body yet.
4 thoughts on “Weight Loss and Self-esteem, the Legend.”
FYI you always look like you need a shower.
You always look Filipino. Tough times.
Well, I think you hit it right on the head, “My mind hasn’t caught up with my body yet.” I think everyone sees themselves as bigger than they are (or body dysmorphia which is a bigger, more challenging thing). I think that people say they feel better because they’re thinner, but they are lying, albeit unintentionally. I think that the self esteem comes from learning what kind of power you have, reaching for a goal. It’s not the weight, it’s the achievement of being stronger than you knew.
Sometimes when your body changes drastically, you feel like it’s betrayed you somehow. You get angry that you see a different body than you have. That’s ok. It happens, but I promise you it will ease away eventually. You won’t have these long drawn out moments of “this is how I look?,” but the small moments of “hey, is that me” will be there forever. Think of it like this: you know your cousins/schoolmates/friend’s kid you haven’t seen in a year? They seem so much bigger when you see them next! But if you did the same with a younger sibling, you wouldn’t really notice unless someone pointed out to you. That’s what your doing right now. You watched the little kid grow (by this I mean you) and it’s like you’re seeing the other kid you haven’t seen in a year and your brain is pointing out all these things you hadn’t noticed. Give yourself time.
Thanks for this. I think I’m in such a rush to be “zen” about everything that I need to realize that this is a process, and that it will take time.