.:princesszelda:.

Still have a mind of an obese person?

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Hey everyone,

As of last week, I have officially lost over 100 lbs since I had weight loss surgery! Technically, if you count the special diet before surgery, I have lost a total of 115 lbs. Anyways, I have noticed something over the past couple months. I see that the number on the scale is going down, my clothes are really lose on me, etc., but for some reason, my mind refuses to believe that I am losing weight or anything like that. It is like I still have the mindset of an obese person. It is almost like my mind refuses to believe that I am losing weight or my mind hasn't made the connection between the weight loss, lose fitting clothes, etc. Maybe it has something to do with all those times I have lost weight and gained it all back plus some more weight. I guess my mind still automatically thinks that I am going to gain the weight right back. Maybe in the back of my mind, I am still afraid that I am going to gain all the weight back again. 

Has anyone ever experienced something like this? 

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Hi @.:princesszelda:., and congrats on your big milestone! That's incredible! You're just about exactly a year behind me in terms of surgery dates, so I can really understand where you are right now mentally. I think our lifetime histories of yoyoing up and down the scale tends to make us wary of thinking this time is forever, which I suppose is a useful protection mechanism, but it sure makes for some hard times trying to convince yourself you're actually changing so much. As time goes on, my mind is thinking this way less and less, and I suppose that will happen for you, too. Looking at pictures of myself is one thing that helps me a lot. Going shopping works, too (which explains why I shop way too much now, I guess). 

Fortunately for you, you are young and have plenty of time in your life to forget what it's like to live as an obese person! Don't get me wrong, I still think about these things daily, but more as an "I used to" moment rather than actually thinking through the lens of a fat person. You're definitely not alone.

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11 hours ago, .:princesszelda:. said:

Hey everyone,

As of last week, I have officially lost over 100 lbs since I had weight loss surgery! Technically, if you count the special diet before surgery, I have lost a total of 115 lbs. Anyways, I have noticed something over the past couple months. I see that the number on the scale is going down, my clothes are really lose on me, etc., but for some reason, my mind refuses to believe that I am losing weight or anything like that. It is like I still have the mindset of an obese person. It is almost like my mind refuses to believe that I am losing weight or my mind hasn't made the connection between the weight loss, lose fitting clothes, etc. Maybe it has something to do with all those times I have lost weight and gained it all back plus some more weight. I guess my mind still automatically thinks that I am going to gain the weight right back. Maybe in the back of my mind, I am still afraid that I am going to gain all the weight back again. 

Has anyone ever experienced something like this? 

Many of us struggled with this and occasionally still do.  Especially those who have a lifetime of failures under their belts of many sizes lol. 

During a moment of introspection, I remembered when I finally quit smoking for good (I think I was about your age).  All previous attempts, and there were many, I still felt like a smoker.  A smoker being tortured and punished.  Until I couldn't take it anymore and had "just one" and of course was right back to smoking.  When I did finally quit for good I had a powerful tool to help me (love of my fetal daughter) and that was when my brain finally decided that I was now a non-smoker.  Non-smokers don't ever have a cigarette, not even once.  Not exactly the same but I do see the similarity in how powerful a role the brain plays in both scenarios. 

It does take awhile for our brains to catch up with the reality of our bodies.  Once it does though, that (I believe) is what makes maintenance possible.  I am no longer an obese person and therefore I am no longer going to treat myself as if I am.  That means the behaviors that got me to that place are no longer allowed.  That is what makes maintenance successful for me.  It didn't happen overnight and it didn't happen by accident but it did happen.  And it can for you too :)

 

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I think I was about 4 years out.  I still have moments of seeing the fat Lois.  I look at old pictures and don’t connect with it being me.  I see newer pictures of me and dont connect with it being me.  I think at times I’m stuck in the twilight zone. 

I have a really hard time switching clothes for seasons; like going from summer clothes to winter clothes.  They are clothes I wore until April.  I haven’t gained weight but I’m always sure that they won’t fit me-but they do.  

I honestly believe that so much of this journey is mind games.  

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22 hours ago, .:princesszelda:. said:

Hey everyone,

As of last week, I have officially lost over 100 lbs since I had weight loss surgery! Technically, if you count the special diet before surgery, I have lost a total of 115 lbs. ...my mind refuses to believe that I am losing weight ... I still have the mindset of an obese person. It is almost like my mind refuses to believe that I am losing weight or my mind hasn't made the connection between the weight loss, lose fitting clothes, etc. Maybe it has something to do with all those times I have lost weight and gained it all back plus some more weight. I guess my mind still automatically thinks that I am going to gain the weight right back. Maybe in the back of my mind, I am still afraid that I am going to gain all the weight back again. 

Has anyone ever experienced something like this? 

You are in good company. Perhaps, with luck, you will because of your relative youth, escape the way this plagues people for years after their surgery. Hard for many of us to believe we are no longer obese. I still catch myself in something of a surprise, a shock, that I am now fit and normally contoured. 

Far better to be dealing with the issues of immense weight loss and self-image, than to be dealing with the issues of immense weight. Congratulations on your success to date and a long life to you. 

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Everything @Jen581791 said. I know for me, when I was actively losing weight, I almost had a mental block because (in hindsight), I didn’t want to get my hopes up and let myself celebrate in case it wasn’t real and it didn’t last. As you get smaller and maintain that size, it becomes your new normal, you’ll mentally adjust.  It’ll start to feel more real. I think it took a solid six months at goal weight before I started to feel the shift and I still have moments of disbelief. Trying on clothes, taking pictures, stepping on the scale, taking measurements are all things that helped me. Exposing myself to concrete, objective measurements over and over, over an extended period of time. You’re still (and I hope this doesn’t sound mean or judgy, because I don’t intend it that way) in the thick of active weight loss and in the big girl zone from the perspective of strangers  As you lose more and start to get consistent (casual, in passing) feedback from random strangers,  it’ll start to feel more real. For me, there is something about people who don’t know me making off-hand remarks about how tiny I am that helped (and continues to help) reality sink in. That’s weird, I know, but it’s my experience. Not gonna lie though, it’s still weird even after you (mostly) mentally adjust. I’m not sure that it ever goes away entirely though. Although, maybe that’s a good thing because it keeps us from becoming complacent. I’m constantly paranoid that I’ll gain weight even though maintaining has been relatively effortless and it took me a while before I could give away my bigger clothes. But slowly, I think a new normal sets in. You’ll get there.

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I still struggle all the time with how I view myself as still a fat person. I really can't understand how others can describe me as "skinny". That being said, I'm kind of embarrassed to say that I do see others as really fat. These are people who were often smaller than I was before I lost weight, and are no bigger now than they were before but in comparison to me seem huge to me now.  Clearly I have some dysmorphia concerning how I see myself, yet when looking at others I know I'm much smaller than they are.

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