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When (if ever) did you stop thinking of yourself as fat?



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So I’m preop, a little under 3 weeks to go until my surgery. I’ve lost almost 70 lbs.

As many of you have experienced I’m sure, a number of people have complimented me/made comments about how much weight I’ve lost.

However I still myself as a “fat” person. When I look in the mirror, my eyes go to my “big” belly which I guess isn’t so big anymore but to my eyes really doesn’t look any different. Whenever I’m out and about, I still have a perception that people look at me as the “big” guy but that may not be the case.

Have you all been through something similar? What has it been like to change your self-perception?

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I am morbidly obese. I weigh 130lbs. I will always be morbidly obese. That is my fact that I live with every day. It's the reality I choose to keep because it reminds me that there is no magic metabolic cure or make-over that is permanent and lasting. I will never be a "naturally thin", never obese person. And I don't have the metabolism or the body that would show that. I have millions of empty, greedy, hormonally active little fat cells just lurking and waiting for life to happen. And for me to slip back in the habits of a lifetime that helped contribute to my dances at the Obesity Ball. I'm only in remission from this terrible disease.

And hopefully, recognizing the play book will keep me sharp and focused and protect me from delusion and complacency. Because I don't want to resume old habits and reawaken the inner MO person again. If I take care of the 2lb gain, I might be spared the 20 or 200lb regain. And it happens so quickly.

I see myself as thin and normal weight in a mirror or in a reflection. I see imperfections. But mentally, internally, I know I'm simply TOFI.

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Years ago I went on a commercial weight loss plan, and got down to 113 pounds. I'd look in the mirror and still see a fat girl. I guess I'll never see myself as thin, no matter what I weigh.

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I've gotten more used to thinking of myself as normal weight, but it took a long time to get there (I'm almost five years out). Although I'm occasionally still shocked when I see certain pictures of myself. I look thinner than what I look like in my head. Although to be honest, I never saw myself as super morbidly obese, either. I think my brain and body were most aligned when I was around 200 lbs. That was the image I had of myself, even when I weighed over 300 lbs - and through most of my weight loss phase. But I do see myself as more-or-less normal most of the time now. It does take a long time for the brain to catch up...

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7 hours ago, MaineDoc said:

Whenever I’m out and about, I still have a perception that people look at me as the “big” guy but that may not be the case....

Even when I hit 389 lbs last January 15th, which was the highest amount of weight in my life, It never bothered me much knowing what other people may be thinking of me, I have more important things to focus on.

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I'm nearly a year out and still think of myself as fat. I'm shocked sometimes when I see myself in a mirror or especially when I see photos of myself. I know intellectually that I'm no longer fat, but I'm not sure whether I will ever stop thinking of myself that way.

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10 hours ago, MaineDoc said:

However I still myself as a “fat” person. When I look in the mirror, my eyes go to my “big” belly which I guess isn’t so big anymore but to my eyes really doesn’t look any different.

Hmmmmmm. Do you mean "thinking of yourself as a fat person", "expecting to see someone fat in the mirror" or "feeling fat"?

I honestly can't say if there was a kind of "turning point" so to say for the first two things I mentioned.

However, regarding the "feeling of fat" I have that quite often (I think this might be because of the loose skin I still have). Sometimes I think though that "feeling fat" is some sad kind of norm in our culture.

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The very first time I felt the full impact of my weight loss was when I began to have A LOT more energy for tasks and activities I had long dropped because of fatigue. Walking long distances became pleasurable again and I encouraged others (mostly my thin & lazy teen kids) to join me. I believe it was around 190lbs (down ~60lbs)

Next was when my super attractive Surgical PA said he wasn't worried about me or my progress, I was at the proper weight for my frame and I looked *amazing*. I could tell he really meant it by the way he gushed over my results. That was around 160lbs (down 90lbs)

Another time, I was waiting in my surgeon's office about to discuss revision (from VSG to RNY to solve a few complications) and a prospective patient kept staring. Hard. He eventually asked me if i was waiting with/for someone and I told him no just my surgeon. I thought he was trying to *pick me up* but in fact he was confused that I needed to see a surgeon & was a WLS patient because i didn't look like it. (I've heard these types of comments several times)

Two final events sealed the deal for me:

My Bariatric surgeon and I decided revision to RNY was the best course of action for me but he DID NOT want me to lose anymore weight. He was adamant that I was at the right size and was already small enough at 155lbs & 5'3". (The revision went well and I'm maintaining in the 150s as promised.)

Finally, I had plastic surgery. At the Preop workup, I was discussing my plan with the surgeon. I wanted a Mommy Makeover- breast augmentation, Tummy Tuck and Brazilian butt lift. I wanted Lipo on my back to transfer fat to my buttocks.

He informed me that there wasn't much fat to lipo and it was excess skin that needed to be removed (instead I would need skin removal - a back lift and *maybe* after we could lipo my inner thighs for fat grafting.) He manually lifted the skin to prove it. I was shocked because I thought for certain it was excess fat but apparently I have thicker skin in certain areas.

******************************************

I took the long way round just to say that there were many incremental (progress) points that help me view myself differently/adequately and not just one defining Aha! moment.

For sure outside validation played it's role and luckily I became receptive to complements instead of misanthropic because of society's new level of interaction with me (nicer, more welcoming)

However, I'm unsure if I would have ever believed anyone's comments if I didn't begin to feel & see the change on my own first. Being kind, loving and accepting myself at every single stage of weight loss, instead of just at goal, really helped me.

Good Luck ❤

Edited by GreenTealael

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