Self perception

This weekend’s post is intended to give some insight in to the psyche of a person who is trying to transform themselves.

Current weight, 214.  Most recent short term goal, 215, next short term goal, 199.

A few posts ago I wrote about a TV show I saw where slightly over weight women were asked to draw an outline of their body, and also asked to pick out another outline that they thought looked like them.  Every time, they drew a larger profile than they actually fit, and picked a profile 2-6 sizes larger than their actual size.

I talked about how over weight men have the opposite problem… we think we’re actually smaller than we are.

Well, today, I had a different epiphany…

For the last few months I’ve been wearing jeans that I felt were a little too big for me.  Avoiding buying new ones because knowing how committed I was to my goal, I wanted to wait until the last possible minute so that I didn’t have to turn around in a few months and buy new ones.  When I walked in to the Lucky Brand store up in Marysville, I had thought I’d need to explain my situation the the salesperson.  She looked at me, asked me for a size, walked over to the wall of jeans, pulled off 2 pair told me to try them on.  She assured me adamantly that I’d be MUCH happier.

I walked in to the changing room, tried on the new pair and looked at myself.  Actually looked  pretty good, but felt a little more snug than I was used to.  But, they were size 34, I’d been wearing 38’s or 40’s for the past decade+.  But just to be sure, I tried my old pair back on, and that’s when I saw it… they looked like parachute pants in comparison.  “Sagging gang banger” was the term the sales person used when describing (after the sale) what she thought of my jeans when I walked in.  Now, I do take this with a grain of salt since 1)She spends her entire day staring at people trying on jeans so she’s probably hyper sensitive to this sort of thing and 2) She was, for at least part of the time, attempting to sell me jeans, so obviously it behooved her to convince me that I was in need of replacements.

Still, in a flash, I realized that my self perception was still warped, just in the other direction this time.  Because I’d gotten used to hiding my frame with baggy clothes, I thought this was the normal way to dress.  When I tried on clothes that actually fit me, I saw a completely different person.  I liked it.

It was at this point that I realized I’m no longer fighting an uphill battle.  I’m closer to the end than I am to the beginning.  I don’t know what the end is, but it very well could be 199.  Or it might be 189… who knows.  But when I started, I was north of 275, so no matter how you cut it, I’ve passed the half way point.

I share this not only to share my success with you, but to demonstrate how totally consuming the power of self image and perception can be.  I think we often brush off the notion that we literally might not see ourselves as others do.  I read an article recently that says hallucinogenic mushrooms cause you to see the entire spectrum of your self image all at once.  So if you are capable as thinking of your current self as obese, and with a six pack, you will see both.  Well, I’ve never shroomed, and I don’t even know how to imagine what that looks like, but after today, I finally understand the concept of actually envisioning yourself differently without changing shape or size.

Hopefully someone will read this and realize that they are NOT in fact fat, that they are active and healthy, and can be happy with who they are.  And hopefully someone else will realize that they ARE, in fact, unhealthily overweight, and have the power to change their circumstance.  But how we look, even to ourselves, will never be as important as how we feel, and how internally healthy we are.  And as I get closer and closer to “home,” I understand this more and more.  So here’s hoping the last 15 goes quicker than the first 15!

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