Monday, August 1, 2011

Delusional Thinking

Warning: This blog post may contain some paranoid thoughts. However, if you can't voice your own neuroses in your blog, what is the point of having one?

At this point in my weight loss journey, I feel weird about telling people I *only* have four pounds to lose until goal. I fully expect most people to glance at my undoubtedly imperfect figure and think, "Hmm...looks more like 20 to me." Of course, most people won't have the balls to say that; instead they'll grin and say, "Oh, that's great."

In the past, I've always had the opposite reaction. I remember telling my aunt and uncle (at the beginning of my weight loss journey) that I needed to lose 85 pounds. Their reaction was, "Certainly, not that much! That's crazy!"

I remember last summer when I finally broke into Onederland and I was 50-ish pounds from my goal weight. I was out with my then-boyfriend and one of his friends. I remember we were getting a little tipsy (it was around 2am) and my boyfriend decided to pick me up. I was so afraid that he'd realize right there and then that he was dating a "bigger girl" but he didn't flinch when he picked me up and set me down on the counter. I remember telling him soon afterward that I wanted to lose about 40 more pounds, and both my BF and his friend were skeptical--40 pounds, really?

They both didn't think I had that much to lose. I remember how wonderful that felt; for a moment I felt skinny.

So this weekend, I'm hanging out with my friend, smoking and listening to music. All of a sudden, I start wondering, "Why is he hanging out with me? Why would he hang out with a big girl? Doesn't he have anything better to do on a Friday night?" We decide to walk to the corner shop for some wine and I keep expecting the clerk to say something unpleasant to me, because WHO am I to be hanging out with a cute guy on a Friday night? But the clerk acts perfectly pleasant and even makes small talk with me. Then I catch a glimpse of myself in the store camera and realize, "I'm not big. I look like a normal, attractive 20-something year old." All of a sudden, I realize that I'm not hideous.

But then the next day, I'm at my favorite coffee shop, talking to a few guys I know, and I feel the same sense of paranoia: I feel like the token fat girl in the room. I wonder why anyone would bother talking to me. I feel this insane urge to tell crazy, entertaining stories to compensate for my lack of attractiveness. But of course my shyness/ paranoia/ insanity is making it difficult for me to talk at all. Which makes everyone else act funny, which then validates my insane thoughts: They are acting weird towards me because I'm gross.

Instead of, They are acting weird towards me because I'm acting weird towards them. Which makes more sense in a rational world.

But, unfortunately, I do not necessarily live in a rational world.

Believe it or not, these feelings have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with reality. I weighed in on Thursday and I am 154--not FAT by any means. I went to the mall yesterday and fit into size 10 express pants and a size 8 Banana Republic skirt. Not fat, by any means. I went for a 3 mile run/ walk yesterday and I know that I couldn't have done that a year ago.

And yet, I allow the crazy part of my brain to run rampant.

I need to work on this. These feelings are completely and utterly negative and worthless. Would I think these thoughts about anyone else? No, never, not even if she weighed 400+ pounds. I think people are beautiful, regardless of their weight. Why then do I attack myself so rigorously?

Can anyone identify with this? And if you can, have you come up with any positive solutions?


  1. YES, I can relate to this. I had been feeling so thin and beautiful and then suddenly about a month ago I started feeling fat again, despite that I definately was not fat.

    Now it seems as if I'm back to one day I feel thin and beautiful, the next day fat and ugly, repeat.

    Sigh. No solutions from me, but just know that you're not alone in this!

  2. I still struggle with fighting this mentality a lot. I don't think there are any tricks to it, I think it just takes time and a conscious decision to tell yourself you are not in fact fat anymore. No one is looking at you because you're the big girl. No one looks at you and thinks you're heavy. Sometimes you just have to make yourself stop the second you feel yourself falling into the negative thought pattern, and then it'll happen less and less.

  3. I so so relate. I have a lot farther to go on my weight loss journey than you do, 14 pounds down, somewhere around 60 to go, but I have lost and gained significant amounts before. I think it boils down to that change is so so hard. Don't judge yourself for having these feelings because they are a completely normal and I think necessary part of the process, our psyches don't necessarily change at the same rate our bodies do. For me, the key is to just let myself feel all the crazy feelings and try to let the feelings pass, don't hold onto them, don't give them too much weight, but don't ignore or try to force them out either. For me, that makes them hold on tighter.

  4. I don't know if there's ever going to be a point where I don't feel inadequate for being fat (I'm still over 200, so maybe I'll feel better in Onederland), but I do think you're making great progress. Realizing that your thoughts are somewhat irrational means that you know you are worth it, but perhaps are too scared to accept how wonderful you really are. Can you think of any reason you may be stopping yourself from being happy? When someone asked me this, I was able to make a list of 10 reasons and it was really emotionally draining as well as awakening. Sometimes we stand in our own way.

    Good luck!

  5. I'm getting into this discussion a little late, but once again, I can relate completely to what you are saying. I think it really just takes forcing yourself to do the positive self talk and shutting out the negative self talk, since it obviously doesn't always come naturally to us former overweight ladies. :) At first, it may seem very forced and awkward (and you may not even believe what you are telling yourself) but over time you just may find that it feels good to think positive thoughts. I just try to remind myself that we only have one life to live…why spend it telling ourselves how much we suck and feeling bad? Even if it feels fake, it is better than feeling crappy about yourself! So talk yourself up…and focus on all of the amazing things about you! And looking at that side to side comparison shot, it's obvious you have a lot to be proud of!!!