Monday, June 14, 2010

It's all about Perception

I was reading a few blogs this morning and the comments and there was a post from Kenz at All the Weigh a couple days ago and she was talking about how her good friend, who is a doctor, discourages her from weighing in every week. She, Kenz, recognizes that the number the scale reads is only one piece of the weight loss puzzle and I'm really happy that she sees that. Because I work at Curves, I see lots of women in varying stages of their weight loss goals and some of them see no change on the scale but they lose A LOT of inches all over (one lady has gained half a pound but lost 21 inches over the last 2 years!). Some only lose weight but minimal inches. Your weight, your inches lost, your body fat percentage, your cholesterol, your blood pressure, these are all indicators of your health and weight loss journey and one does not speak for all of them. So first, I want to send Kenz my best wishes in her heathy journey for being able to see that the scale is not the be-all-to-end-all. Second, what I really wanted to talk about concerning this post was something I read in the comments.

Someone was saying how she doesn't weigh herself too often because she is heavier than she looks, and like Kenz, sees that weight is only part of the puzzle. I struggled with this my whole life because I never really paid much attention to what I weighed. I looked in the mirror and saw that I was overweight obese but I could change the angle or only really look at certain parts of my body and I didn't look that bad. Sure, I was the biggest girl in my class in elementary school, but by how much really? 10, 20 pounds? I could lie to myself and say that I carried it well, but I was very aware that I was fat because of the things people said.

When I was younger, maybe 6 years old or so, whenever me and my mom went shopping for new clothes and I bought jeans, she would do the mom thing and pull the waist band to make sure it wasn't too tight and she would say "Good, there is room to grow". I understand her rationale because what parent wants to keep buying clothes for her kids when they grow out of them in a few months? I remember when I was about 11-12 and I was trying on jeans and I did the same thing, but when I said the same thing she had said countless times over, her response was "You don't really want to keep growing any more". I wasn't hurt, I was just confused. Wasn't I still a growing girl? Did this mean I wasn't going to get any taller or that I was going to lose weight?

I took some pictures of myself the other day to post in my 1000 Words in Pictures section (currently under development). I got myself all pretty, doing my hair and make-up and what not and took some profile shots and then I got the mini camera stand out so I could take some full body shots. I thought that I looked pretty good that day but when I looked at the pictures on my computer all I saw was my stomach sticking out in ways that I'm sure I've never seen, my hips looking like a tire around my body and lots of double chin. It effectively zapped my self confidence for the day and I never posted the pictures. It was shocking to see the difference in the pictures and what I see in the mirror. I thought that I was becoming more aware of my body but now I wonder if I was only deluding myself further.

Maybe one day I'll get around to posting the pictures I took, when I weigh 25 lbs less or so. I'll be able to say that those are pictures of the girl I was and this is the girl I am now, but right now I'd rather think of myself as the girl I see in the mirror.


  1. Hey that was well said. That scales is enough to mess with people's heads!!

    And btw like the new look!!!

  2. I like the person in the mirror too and not the person captured by camera. And you are absolutely right that the scale is a terrible indication of how we are doing.
    I really liked this post - you are not alone in how you feel.

  3. I'm with you. I love the girl in the mirror. Not so much the girl in photos. I like to the think the girl in the mirror is the one other people see. While the camera only sees a Nth of a second of who we are. We are more than our shape. We are more than our weight. We are more than the size on the labels in our clothes. And it's all the other things that make us who we are.

  4. Hon, one day when you stand in front of the mirror and actually like what you see, the fat girl will still be there, the thin girl as well as the little girl, as the teenager. You bring all of those people with you on the journey. Try to be kind to them. They're the ones who had to go through all the bad stuff to get to where you're going.


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