Improving my body image?


#1

There is probably a forum for this already, but I couldnt find it.

I have a negative body image…I was about 30 pounds overweight before I got pregnant… I didnt mind my extra weight then, but during pregnancy, I gained another 20 & havent lost it yet…So now Im about 50 pounds overweight…Im only 5 ft 4 in, so its noticeable on my short frame…

Im not looking for weight loss advice…I know how to do it!

I guess Im writing for advice:

How can I learn to Love my body in the meantime (while losing weight & obtaining better health)…I wonder if I see myself how others do? I dont feel grotesque or anything. Its really bothering me this week because we have a wedding this weekend & will see people I havent seen since Ive gained this weight…I just want to be myself without others noticing that my weight bothers me.

Thanks


#2

When I was losing weight, I treated myself to an outfit every once in awhile even though I knew it wouldn’t fit long. Looking good in clothes that fit and flattered my not-yet-ideal figure really kept me motivated to lose weight, and helped me stay confident when seeing people again after a long while.
Maybe you can also try something special with your hair or make-up or a facial or something. Focus on parts of your body or appearance that you do like despite your weight.
I also find that seeing the progress makes me not focus on the weight as a number, but that I’m going to look better next week than I did this one.


#3

[quote=katesmom]There is probably a forum for this already, but I couldnt find it.

I have a negative body image…I was about 30 pounds overweight before I got pregnant… I didnt mind my extra weight then, but during pregnancy, I gained another 20 & havent lost it yet…So now Im about 50 pounds overweight…Im only 5 ft 4 in, so its noticeable on my short frame…

Im not looking for weight loss advice…I know how to do it!

I guess Im writing for advice:

How can I learn to Love my body in the meantime (while losing weight & obtaining better health)…I wonder if I see myself how others do? I dont feel grotesque or anything. Its really bothering me this week because we have a wedding this weekend & will see people I havent seen since Ive gained this weight…I just want to be myself without others noticing that my weight bothers me.

Thanks
[/quote]

My dear friend,
The most important thing that matters is how God sees us. Once we understand this we will be able to see ourselves in a different light.

Think back to when God was creating all we have today as recorded in Genesis. When He created man in his own image and likeness He followed mans creation with the phrase, “This is very good”.

When **you **were conceived and came into being God said, as He looked at you, “This is very good”.
Each and every time He looks at you now, He repeats the same phrase.

Accept it. God loves you as you were, as you are and as you will be. He constantly reminds Himself that what you have become and what you are becoming “is very good indeed”, not because He forgets but because you are an ongoing part of His creation. **You **who is creating and is still in a process of being created.

Now remind youself of the same thing. you are good, indeed you are very good for you are made in the image and likeness of God himself.

God Bless you.


#4

Hey! With my three children, each time, I gained ten permanent pounds. I have decided to learn to love my body as if I will never loose the weight, and this is how I am doing it(although I will still try).

I am getting used to seeing myself naked…instead of focusing on the bad, I try to look at what is good. I have fuller breasts now :slight_smile: My legs are nice :slight_smile: My behind is good :slight_smile:

I got stretch marks with each child a new one…They fade and don’t look so bad with a tan (wear sunscreen)

Bigger doesn’t mean that you can’t wear “sexy” clothing for your husband…When it is appropriate Buy clothing that fits…Do not buy something that is a little tight, that you have to work to wear…I love dresses and I think everyone looks pretty in a nice dress, and I buy control top panty hose…they make me feel thinner.

I keep my hairstyle up, and try to wear makeup…

I work with a girl that is really overweight, but beautiful…she always smells so nice and her hair is gorgeous and smile is catchy…I look at her as a role model!


#5

Hi katesmom,

When I married my DW twenty years ago, she was a bean-pole. Since then, she has gotten much more ‘comfortable.’

She was driving herself crazy trying this or that exercise or diet. She really didn’t keep me informed on what she was doing, but after some time I realized she was knocking herself out in this effort.

One day, we were watching one of those stupid extreme makeover shows and she said ‘wouldn’t you like it if I surprised you with a ‘new’ body like that?’

Without thinking, I said “I’d be really upset if you changed ANYTHING.” That automatic responsed surprised me as much as it did her. I want her healthy and happy and just as she is. I decided to elaborate by saying, “do all that for yourself, if you want to, but don’t do it for me.”

So, if you want a body make-over why? Is it for yourself, or for your husband? I’ll bet you look just great just as you are.


#6

Not to be the Grinch here, but I’m not so sure we’re supposed to love our figures when we’re 50 lbs. overweight. Your discomfort could be the healthiest thing you have going for you. Be patient and kind to yourself along the way, enlist the support of your husband and/or girlfriends, but get started on the path to losing that weight. Set some modest goals, but then stick to it.

I guarantee no rationalization is ever going to feel as good as the sense of accomplishment you’ll get when you reach a healthier weight (and this comes from another 5’4" mom of three who gained no less than 40 lbs each time I was pregnant, but worked to get the pregnancy pounds off and weighs in at pre-pregnancy weight again.)


#7

Thanks everyone! Your posts have helped me…


#8

[quote=katesmom] Its really bothering me this week because we have a wedding this weekend & will see people I havent seen since Ive gained this weight…I just want to be myself without others noticing that my weight bothers me.Thanks
[/quote]

Those who love you for who you are won’t care that you’ve gained weight, they’ll be happy to see you. Those who criticize you or talk behind your back weren’t really that supportive of you to begin with, so why do you care?


#9

[quote=Didi]Those who love you for who you are won’t care that you’ve gained weight, they’ll be happy to see you. Those who criticize you or talk behind your back weren’t really that supportive of you to begin with, so why do you care?
[/quote]

True! Good point…Thank you for that!


#10

[quote=katesmom]There is probably a forum for this already, but I couldnt find it.

I have a negative body image…I was about 30 pounds overweight before I got pregnant… I didnt mind my extra weight then, but during pregnancy, I gained another 20 & havent lost it yet…So now Im about 50 pounds overweight…Im only 5 ft 4 in, so its noticeable on my short frame…

Im not looking for weight loss advice…I know how to do it!

I guess Im writing for advice:

How can I learn to Love my body in the meantime (while losing weight & obtaining better health)…I wonder if I see myself how others do? I dont feel grotesque or anything. Its really bothering me this week because we have a wedding this weekend & will see people I havent seen since Ive gained this weight…I just want to be myself without others noticing that my weight bothers me.

Thanks
[/quote]

Hello to “katesmom”: Bless you. You are awesome. Weight has absolutely nothing to do with how sexy and attractive a woman is, do you know this? Have you seen the magazines “More” for one, and many shows on TV, about sexy women regardless of size? I would say to you, as I have been there with gaining 75 pounds with each pregnancy (:o ) and being just such a fatty years ago, that what works is to go to a “large woman” store and buy several cute tops and leggings or skirts that make you feel sexy while you are losing the weight. It will make all the difference. Something loose and flowing, not tight, worn with some sexy sandles. Skirts are best. Something semi low cut (not immodest) and that makes you feel so sexy. Then go have a makeover in a dept. store, and/or a manicure in a bright color. BTW, you’re not even that much overweight compared to what I was. It’s all in how you feel as a woman, I have come to find out. You’ll look and feel gorgeous at the wedding. And wear bright lipstick. It will make all the difference–believe me–and my H loves it! Your loose and flowing outfit, with your nice manicure and bright lipstick, and your charming and Godly demeanor–viola–you’ll feel fabulous! Don’t forget a nice spray of nice perfume of course!

:smiley:


#11

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.” Matt. 6:16-18

The passage is about fasting, but I think it applies to taking care of yourself when you’re not too pleased with your body, as well.

As some other posters have pointed out, it is much easier to be pleased with your body if you take care with your grooming and, when the chore allows, choose flattering clothing… it doesn’t have to be expensive. Our Lord never intended for you to go around with a long face, looking like a slob. (And believe me, do I go there!! This isn’t the choir preaching to you! :whistle: )

Let us assume you’ve done that already. Take time to be grateful for your body and your life. Assume the attitude you would if you had just been released from the hospital after a painful and debilitating illness. Aren’t your hands wonderful? Isn’t it splendid, how it feels to be out walking, free of pain? Aren’t you relieved that your skin is not ravaged, your hair all still there? Isn’t it good just to be alive? From much gratitude comes much joy, as well as the willingness to take trouble for that one recognizes as valuable.

Conversely, you’re never going to be successful at a diet aimed to improve a body you don’t appreciate. After all, why should you trouble yourself over a body that you hate? Even if God or the South Beach diet were to re-make it for you, don’t be too sure that your attitude would automatically come around. You would be more likely to just keep moving the finish line, adding one more demand on God before you give thanks, or else living in fear that old age will come and steal what is “yours”, rather than giving thanks each day for what you’ve been given.

If you indulge your displeasure with your body, after all, you’re broadcasting ingratitude, not just to others, but to yourself. Be mindful of how your attitude inspires or discourages. When you catch yourself grumbling, banish the demon whispering that nonsense to you–with a healthy dose of thanks!


#12

Hi Kate,

This past year or so has been difficult for me in accepting that some of what goes on in my body or happens externally to my body is out of my control.

I’m kinda taller than you, 5’10, and was active and strong and felt very vital for most of my life. However, a multitude of injuries from three different car accidents (none of which were my fault; all people who ran into me–two were drunk driving) and a work-related injury from a few years ago have piled up long-term effects on my back, hips and neck. This led to a lot of bedrest, interruption of my work, my exercise, healthy physical outlets, etc. I became unable to do much of what I previously took for granted as being able to do easily and comfortably.

Just as I thought I might be getting better, another accident would happen and I would be back at square one. Each was worse than the last.

Then, as I was recuperating from the last accident, I was also noticing that my cycles were abnormal and I was experiencing so many strange symptoms. It took mannnnnnnnnny months, but I was finally diagnosed with an endocrine disorder and fertility disorder. Weight issues come with both diagnoses. At that point I was able to exercise and though I had gained weight while being off my feet intermittently for a very long, extended period of time, making headway with the endocrine difficulties was very hard.

Then, four months after I was diagnosed, I broke my ankle this summer and was off of it for another six weeks, right after we moved across the country. Then I found out I was pregnant (unexpectedly but excitedly) and spent about 12 weeks puking repeatedly on a daily basis and sleeping as much as possible. I also had a severe asthma attack and was in the hospital for a couple days.

Now that I’m pregnant, I can expect more of a weight gain, although that hasn’t really happened quite yet. I’m exercising to the best of my ability and praying that no more crazy accidents or health emergencies happen to me (or my husband, for that matter)–God willing. The exercise program I originally intended to start is not something my doctor is willing to let me do until after I deliver. (By the way, aside from the fertility disorder, my doctor also told me my back would collapse if I was pregnant. So far that hasn’t happened, but six more months to go! :))

Something that healed me when I felt very helpless as to what was happening and not being able to actively counterbalance anything with my old exercise patterns–was to accept the love of my husband. He is my greatest love and biggest cheerleader. I went through a period of time where I really withdrew and felt very ashamed of all that was happening to me, certain injuries that took a long time to heal and my body that didn’t feel toned or attractive anymore.

He would come in and I had gotten into the terrible habit of basically trying to hide my body and injuries from him and he would lay down, cuddle me and start kissing little parts of my body. “I love this little toe,” he would say. Or, “I need to kiss this itty bitty earlobe of yours.” Slowly I opened myself back up to him and I would let him kiss places I felt were ugly or undesirable at the time. (Not that a spouse’s body should ever be off limits, but I just felt so sad and disappointed with what had happened to me seemingly time and again, that I had withdrawn from him.) My husband is the type who, since nearly the day we met, has constantly told me how beautiful I am to him. During the healing time after the most damaging accident and while trying to figure out what was going on internally with me, I got tired of hearing it and would say things like, I don’t feel beautiful and I don’t want to hear you say that to me again. (So rude of me. I was just very insecure.) He paid zero attention and would constantly take my face and say things like, “Who is the most gorgeous girl!?!!”

It sounds silly, but living with that kind of affirmation on a daily basis is hard to ignore. It helped my attitude and my emotions heal, and in some ways I think it even made my physical healing faster because he was so convinced I would be better, even when everything seemed to be going the wrong way.

He would also always compliment and point out the things I could do right for my body and that he would observe me doing–going to PT, doing stretching and PT on my own, visiting the doctor (something I tend to hate), eating healthy, cooking wisely for us, etc.

Maybe you can ask your husband to encourage you and affirm you too, more so than maybe you normally need? Love is so healing.


#13

Aww, Abby, your hubby sounds so sweet!! You’re a lucky lady!


#14

[quote=vluvski]Aww, Abby, your hubby sounds so sweet!! You’re a lucky lady!
[/quote]

Thanks. :slight_smile: He’s a gift.


#15

[quote=katesmom]There is probably a forum for this already, but I couldnt find it.

I have a negative body image…I was about 30 pounds overweight before I got pregnant… I didnt mind my extra weight then, but during pregnancy, I gained another 20 & havent lost it yet…So now Im about 50 pounds overweight…Im only 5 ft 4 in, so its noticeable on my short frame…

Im not looking for weight loss advice…I know how to do it!

I guess Im writing for advice:

How can I learn to Love my body in the meantime (while losing weight & obtaining better health)…I wonder if I see myself how others do? I dont feel grotesque or anything. Its really bothering me this week because we have a wedding this weekend & will see people I havent seen since Ive gained this weight…I just want to be myself without others noticing that my weight bothers me.

Thanks
[/quote]

As I mentioned on another thread “katesmom”–I bet you look gorgeous. Just because you’re a little overweight–does not mean you cannot look sexy and amazing, still. :smiley: IMO, the best way to make you feel good and lose the weight is to buy some really nice new clothes in your current size that are sexy and feminine, no matter what the size is. Feminine is the key. Losse, flowing, semi-low cut, and FEMININE. I think alot of women lose this today, and there is no need to. Buy some thongs too (oh no–this topic was banned several times) but I mean it. Buy some sexy lingerie that makes you feel wonderful. When you start realizing you look SO awesome, it will inspire you to lose the extra weight.! This is what did it for me! I gained 75 lbs. with each kid. I felt awful until I bought some new clothes that fit my body. Soon I wanted to size down. It WILL work for you too, friend. Try it and see. IMO, don’t ever, ever lose your femininity!


#16

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