Fat, Bloated and Ugly: Maybe Not

I read a story about a woman, on the Atkins forum, whose weight loss was slow.  This woman mistakenly believed nothing was changing about her body.  However, when she tried on a dress that recently didn’t fit, she discovered that even though she hadn’t lost weight she had lost inches, and the dress fit beautifully.  This got me thinking of how we sometimes mistakenly believe one thing about ourselves when in reality who we are and what we look like is much different.

Within each of us lies an image of who we are. This image is called our body map. It is located in our brain, and to change our body map we must change how we see ourselves and retrain our brain to see who we truly are using cognitive restructuring techniques. If we can gain an understanding of our own unique body map we may be able to break through the cycle of destructive thoughts that tell us that we are fat, bloated, and ugly, even after we have lost weight and become thinner.

If our maps are accurate they can help us paint a realistic picture of who we are. If they are inaccurate they can cause unnecessary mental anguish. Which can lead to mental disorders, such as:  body dysmorphic disorder, bulimia, and anorexia, not to mention a general feeling of self-loathing.

To gain an accurate picture of your own body map you have to use self-observation and examine your body’s representation of what you think you look like against information that is more precise.  Accurate information can be provided by kinesthetic experiences: looking into the mirror, taking precise body measurements, and by looking objectively at pictures of yourself.

Through body mapping, you can get a realistic representation of how you are built.  If the representation is not to your liking, you can use this information to push you forward to change that which you don’t like.  But, you may find, as many people do, that your body map or mental blueprint of what you look like is not that bad, thus, freeing yourself of those horrible feelings of self-loathing and hatred of who you are.

If a thousand people tell you look good, but you still feel fat, bloated, and ugly, someone is probably wrong. Guess who?

Take a good look at yourself.  Is your body map accurate?

Terry Elkins (whyguy)

Here is another link that talks about overcoming a poor body image.  Click Here.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Traci
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 19:03:19

    Terry,

    I read on the Atkins website that one woman got some craft paper and had her husband trace her outline on it. She said it surprised her how much smaller the image on the paper was than the image in her head. I think that’s a great idea! We should all do that. Hope you’re getting better! We miss you on the forum.

    Traci

    Reply

  2. Jennifer
    Mar 30, 2009 @ 09:16:57

    Terry,

    I was really glad when you posted this on the forum. I saw it at about the same time I was posting my “after” pic. No matter what, I can’t help but see only the imperfections in me rather than the accurate, total picture I should be seeing. So, again.. Thank you.

    Reply

    • whyguy
      Mar 30, 2009 @ 13:16:13

      Jen, you are not alone, many people have the same impression of themselves. Myself included at times. The important thing is to know that it really is a deception, and that we are the worst judge of who we are at times. The critical voice in our heads just won’t see the truth. But we can learn to silence that voice with a little understanding.

      I’m glad you find this post useful.

      Reply

  3. Baylor
    Mar 29, 2009 @ 21:29:31

    I am really glad you posted this. I think it is really important that people look at everything and see who they really are.

    You are one insightful dude!

    Reply

    • whyguy
      Mar 29, 2009 @ 21:55:57

      Thanks Baylor, I think it’s important that people get a real sense of who they are. Sometimes the truth hurts, but sometimes it can be freeing.

      Reply

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