Changing Body Image

I am sharing my thoughts on how to deal with changing your body image, because I know first-hand that it is not as easy as just losing weight.

Those who have never been obese cannot relate to this topic. I had a woman ask me, "Do people that are fat like it?". I know I should have decked her, but I have spent many moments contemplating why a person would ask such a question. Perhaps we don't like it, but we are like a woman who keeps returning to her abuser. We don't feel that we deserve any better. We may not like it, but it is where we are comfortable. We know what to expect.

Being thin brings it's own benefits and responsibilities. Are we ready to take them on? Or would we rather stick with what is familiar, in spite of how painful it may be? What if men start to notice us, and we are married?

Let's compare it to other image changes we experience in our lives. You are a student studying to be a doctor. You have been a student for 18 years. At some point you will need to start seeing yourself as a doctor. That is an expample of a complete role change and the change has to happen in your mind. Sometimes the change is sudden, as in the case of losing a spouse. You see yourself as a married person for 30 years, but your role changes due to death or divorce. Now you need to see yourself as a single person.

When I lost weight on this program it happened faster than I was prepared to change my body image. After I lost 30 pounds, I got scared. I remember telling my health coach that I was feeling skeptical. She was a great health coach, but she had never gone through the dramatic body change that I was experiencing. Being thin is very different from being obese. Most of the differences are better, but they take some adjustment.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I was able to walk on the beach without the fear of falling. That weekend was also the first time a man, that was not my husband, offered to buy me a drink. What!? Although the change was good, I needed time to adjust my thinking. "Did I deserve to be thin?" "Was I willing to give up all the excuses that being obese provided me?" I had blamed stress for my over-eating. I had let my children's success (or failures) dictate my mood, and image of myself. No one expects an obese woman to be physically active, let alone be accountable for her eating. Another excuse I liked using was that I was over 50 years of age. Everyone, except a health coach with TSFL, will agree that a peron over 50 will not be able to lose weight as successfully as a young woman would. I had a choice to use that excuse, or keep losing weight.

In all honesty, I could have lost the 60 pounds in 6 months. I simply was not ready. I needed to get used to this new body size. I needed to get used to looking in the mirror and seeing a different Stacy. I needed to give my healthier more energetic body a test drive. I had to give up being tired all the time. I had to stop sitting in front of the TV every night. I was used to coming home every night from work exhausted. I would put on my Pajamas, and sit in front of a screen and eat.

Now I had to say yes when my husband asked me to meet him after work! He and I had to get used to going out more frequently. I had to get used to going to a restaurant and staying on program. It is possible, but I was in the habit of taking those opportunities to try whatever they had on the menu. Now I had to get used to being accountable for making healthy choices. Going out more, meant that it was part of our lifestyle. I realized I had made every outing a "special occasion". That meant overeating and ordering alcohol. A new body means new habits. Are you ready? Talk to your health coach about this, or email me.

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