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Poor Self Image

28th Mar 2011
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To give you some idea how much being fat affects me, I will write how I feel when I get up each morning.

I appear to other people  as a great, confident and happy with myself person. This is far from the truth. My excess weight really affects the way I feel. As I am sure you know, how you feel on the inside affects how you appear on the outside. The change has start from the inside.

Every morning, I avoid as long as possibe to have a shower. I just do not want to look at myself and be even more aware of my excess weight. Once I have had a shower, I then again avoid putting on clothes for as long as possible. I am so worried that my clothes may be even tighter. I will not look at myself at a full length mirror since I just do not want to look at myself below the neck line.

Once I am in the office and start working, I forget about all my weight issues and become a normal professional. Work for me (and food!) is a geat drug.

I am not at all happy with the way I look at present since I know we judge others on how they look, what they wear and lastly how they speak. The first few seconds in meeting someone new are vital. I think I should be my normal weight so clothers would fit better, I would look far better and healther. So my weight is such a big weight on my mind.

Yet I am not taking effective steps to lose the weight! I carryon eating! Why!!! At times I get so angry with myself and eat more!

It is really stupid losing weight is one key area that would make me happier, confident and I am sure it will be good for my business. At the same time, I say to myself I do not have the time to make the changes in my life to lose weight!! I am a fool!

At this stage I do not have clear solutions and to be frank I am not looking for easy solutions. What I am doing is exploring the way I am at this stage. Is AW the right place to do this? To me it does not matter. The worst that could happen is terrible embarrassment. This is such a small price to pay to help myself and hopefully few other people.


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Replies (11)

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By neileg
29th Mar 2011 09:34

Speaking as one who used to be 6 stones heavier than I am now...

1. Buy bigger clothes, now. Feel comfortable in what you wear or you are constantly reminding yourself of your weight.

2. I understand the symptoms of getting angry, eating and then self loathing. This is the road to bullimia. You need to break the circle. You need to find something else to substitute for the eating. Could be anything really, read a book, walk the dog, take up embroidery.

3. Get help, you need support from someone who understands. Could be your GP, could be a weight loss class, could be a friend.

4. You may have an eating disorder that needs medical intervention. Taking the right medication to help you out of your spiral is not a cop out. You may benefit from a gastric band or similar surgical intervention.

Remember that you are not morally weak, you can't simply shake your self out of it, you need to change your life. It can't just consist of work and eating. If that means help from other people, then take it. If that means drugs, take them. If that means surgery, then have it.

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By rasmith
29th Mar 2011 10:29

it's oh so easy ....

with a job where we often sit at a desk all day, and don't move a huge amount, to get over weight and not realise you have done it. i did. then we bought a wii for the kids, with one of the wii fit boards. stood on it and felt the shame of the weight.

the wii fit gave me an easy score card, stand on it often, and find the motivation of the weight dropping to stop you eating so much. get out of the office every lunchtime. walk round the block. you'll eat less, get some exercise, and be more productive in the afternoon as a bonus, even if its raining/cold/snowing/etc. cut your portion sizes at meals, and find something to do in the evenings that stops you sitting and eating. get used to being hungry again, i had truely forgotten what hungry really was!

i dropped 5 stone, you can too, its not as hard as you think it is! and it does feel great!


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By wilcoskip
29th Mar 2011 11:34


Thanks for your very honest blog post.  As someone else commented, this is a problem for many of us simply because of the desk-bound nature of our work.  A biscuit here, a cream cake there to make the day go quicker, and before you know it you're packing some serious heft.

From personal experience, I've found weight watchers works, and I've also managed to lose weight by myself when I've been fiercely disciplined about it.  The key factors that helped me were forcing myself to get on the scales every few days, and forcing myself to keep track of what I ate (either by WW 'points' or by calories.)  After all, what you can measure, you can manage....

Also, try to build some regular exercise into your day - something that you enjoy, or something that simply becomes part of your routine.  I have a 45 minute walk to work and the same journey home.  Add the luxury of an ipod and the exercise becomes something I no longer even notice.

At the end of the day, many of us have been where you are, and I recognise my own thoughts in your words.  The thing you have to remember is that there is a way out.  It's long and it takes months, not weeks.  But the way out is there.

All the best.

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By Scotchguard
29th Mar 2011 13:26

You are on the right track

Well done for being so open and honest, that's definately the first step.

If you fit the normal type for an accountant you will be an analytical thinker and you appear to have given some analysis of your daily routine to the readers. It's worth drilling down further to understand yourself and the reasons for the weight gain. We all understand the equation calories eaten - expended = gain/loss/maintain; but if it was as easy as understanding things there would be noone overweight in the world. I do think you need to help yourself by getting help as I fear for your emotional well being without some support.

I personally had a life changing experience in the last few years, losing 5 stone in 1/2 a year under the Lighterlife programme. I know that some out there knock the harshness of the programme but it really hit the sweet spot for me (no pun intended) after a lifetime of weight gain and an element of acceptance/denial. The programme eliminates food entirely for 12 weeks and uses a substititue very low calorie food pack system (600-700 per day.) Whilst you are not allowed to eat at all you are led through some group conselling sessions using CBT and other thought tools which allow you to analyse your habits and underlying issues in a safe and controlled environment. It sounds quite naff/painful but was incredibly powerful for me. I am reaching 2 years since I did the programme, but have managed to keep the weight off in that time and am much more in control of my eating and have broken the negative thought processes and 'triggers' in my life which caused the problems. I am happier than I have ever been in my life as a result, and much more confident within my self.

It may not suit you, but if you have a group near at hand I would really encourage you to pop along to their education sessions (free/no obligation) to learn about it, as it may be the answer for you that it was for me.

In the meantime, remember you are a strong and valuable person, and you control your image of yourself, not others. Keep positive and I wish you good luck with your current challenges.

All the very best.

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By FirstTab
29th Mar 2011 21:57

Impressive weight loss

Thank you all for such a supportive response. I really appreciate it.

I am really impressive with such a huge weight loss by people here. It shows it can be done.

Just  by writing about it honestly and openly combined with such a supportive response is such boost to me to change things.

I will give this a lot more thought and carryon with this blog.

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By bendybod
30th Mar 2011 12:52

Poor self image

I can relate to many of the things that you write.  I am not overweight but I do have an issue with self image and eating disorders.  The eating disorders are in my past but the self image issues remain.  I would encourage you to seek medical advice.  The outcome may be that you don't need psychological help or medication, but if you do then it will be virtually impossible to change without it.  Even if you don't have an eating disorder, you may well be depressed if your self image has been bothering you for a long time.  There is absolutely no shame in asking for help - we are generally bad at it in our culture!  It sounds like you really do want to change - that's the most important thing.  If you don't really want to then it will never happen.

I find that buying clothes that are the right size really helps - it is difficult to feel good about yourself if you are squeezing into clothes that are too small or wearing baggy clothes to hide your shape.  I avoid mirrors as much as possible, particularly before I get dressed - our bodies look far worse naked than they do clothed.

I hope you can find a way to move forward and be happier in your body.  It's one of the worst feelings in the world to loathe who and what you feel you are.  I'm sure there are many wonderful things about you, it's just that this one out of control feeling is dictating your life.  Please be kind to yourself and look into getting some support.

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By gavwoods
30th Mar 2011 14:03

Hopefully some things I have learned about myself will be useful

Although my reason for losing weight was different it wasn't that different. I helped a friend with a flat tyre and popped a rib out of place. This was enough for me to re-examine my lifestyle (due to turn 40 this year) which had left me fairly overweight though not obese (lets just say the beach wasn't my favourite place) but moreover had left me with a really sendentry lifestyle and no real strength or energy. In the last 6 months I have lost 1st 9lb or just a bit less than a lb a week.

You said you didn't want easy answers and this isn't unfortunately but hopefully it will be helpful to know a little of what I have done and some of it may apply.

I joined my local council run gym and decided I would go 3 mornings a week and spoke to one of the trainers about a plan to lose weight and gain some muscle mass (not body building - More be able to lift a suitcase without my back going snap - All over core strength if you like.)

You have very accurately noticed that the problem is all in your head - at least looking back mine was. I decided that, like work which I just had to go to, the gym would be the same for me. If I wanted to stay fit I had to go and just like work I would not put anything else ahead of it.

It was hard initially as I got into it and there have been ups and downs but if I had some pieces of advice it would be as follows.

1) Cut out as much sugar as possible. In short it made me hungry and I didn't realise how addicted I was to it. It took time for me to realise that but once you get away from it for a while your desire to eat is really affected and you find you can walk past sugar/snacks much more easily. For me this meant eating porridge for breakfast with enough fresh fruit added to make it palletable. Taking out some of the potatoes/rice/pasta I would normally eat and replacing it with green veg, makig sure I have some fruit like bananas around so I dont end up hitting the tuck shop at 4pm. The odd treat is no bother but take sugar out of your core diet.

2) Get a time for the gym you can handle easily. I have two kids so for me it was 7:00am (told you it wasn't pretty.) That way i'm not annoying the whole family by being a billy no mates and heading off when there is things to be done.

3) If you want a book to read on why you are eating try this one. Understanding why you do things is a great help to changing. By the way, this is a sciency type book, it is not a diet plan and I do not follow it to the letter. I have just found it interesting to gain an insight into the chemical side of my insides. As with all these things, you extract the useful facts and don't adopt any extremes.

4) Find the times you are most likely to sit in front of the telly with a doughnut and do something else for that hour.

5) Plan your food so you dont get hungry. Hunger is a nightmare for anyone on a diet. If you let yourself get hungry you are either eating the wrong things or not enough. Aim to lose 1lb a week and dont beat yourself up if you miss some weeks. Ideally this is a lifestyle change so you have 40 years give or take to get it right. One week either way doesn't matter.

6) If you are like me you naturally pile on weight so it is a realisation that you are probably a bit of a food addict. This shouldn't be scary, it just means that to keep up what you will start on, it will be something you will be doing in 5, 10, 20 years time.

7) if you start the gym don't even think of giving it up until you have done 2 months. It often takes that long for the changes to start and in the beginning as you build your metabolism up and put on some muscle it can seem like you are going 2 steps forward and 2 steps back. Once you get to month 3 things get easier.

As I said it has been hard at times but I feel much better about my own self image now and wouldn't go back. Or at least I will spend the next 30 years doing my best not to.

Lastly - If I can do it you definately can.

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By FirstTab
30th Mar 2011 20:54

Such a quality response - thank you

Thank you so much for such a thoughtful and helpful response. Excellent advice.

I will certainly get the book.

Please keep the response coming.

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By FirstTab
31st Mar 2011 01:04


Thanks. Found the audio book version. It will only take me a weekend to listen. Othwise it would have been left on my Kindle.


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By torbenhalvorsen
06th Apr 2011 13:04

How to get a grip

First Tab

I think you have great help and support with wise words from many people.

Here is another perspective : How to Get A Grip by Matthew Kimberley is a no BS guide to gaining control over whatever is causing you problems in life. (Link is an Amazon Link - no affiliate codes)

It is a sometimes rude and very challenging book, but you may weel find it useful. I read it and thought it was very funny.


-- Accounting the PaperLess way™

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By FirstTab
06th Apr 2011 14:09


Thanks philrichards. I am sorry I missed your response earlier. I will add the book you recommend to my reading list. I will post here and let you know what I think.


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